Israel-Palestine war: Taylor Swift and Selena Gomez attend Gaza fundraiser

World-famous artists photographed attending Gaza fundraising event hosted by comedian Ramy Youssef in New York

Singer Taylor Swift and actor Selena Gomez were photographed attending a stand-up comedy show on 8 December, with the proceeds of the event going towards humanitarian relief in Gaza.

The event was hosted by comedian Ramy Youssef in Brooklyn, New York, with other shows also held in Philadelphia, Washington and San Francisco, among other cities.

Other celebrities were also photographed attending the event, including British model Cara Delevingne, Anya Taylor-Joy and Zoe Kravitz. 

The photos of the celebrities attending the comedy show were shared by People magazine and later confirmed by Vogue, who detailed the celebrities outfits.  

In an Instagram photo posted on 15 November, Youssef wrote that all “of the proceeds for the remainder of the ‘Ramy Youssef: more feelings’ standup tour will be donated to ANERA, providing humanitarian relief to the people of Gaza”.

The American Near East Refugee Aid (ANERA) is a charity that provides humanitarian relief to refugees and vulnerable communities in Palestine and Lebanon. The organisation was established after the 1967 War in an effort to assist Palestinian refugees by investing in schools and the training of teachers. 

The fundraising effort comes in the midst of a months-long Israeli offensive on Gaza, which has claimed the lives of at least 18,205 Palestinians and destroyed entire neighbourhoods in the besieged enclave.

Palestinian-Dutch model Gigi Hadid commented on Youssef, the Egyptian-American Emmy-nominated actor’s Instagram post on the fundraiser, calling him a “legend”.

Youssef has received widespread praise from fans who commended him for supporting what UN officials have called a humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza.

“You are uncompromising and so real. So grateful for your power and voice representing Arab and Muslim Americans,” one respondent, with the username ‘rawan.a.hammoud’, wrote. 

Middle East Eye reached out to the representatives of Swift and Gomez but did not receive a response by the time of publication. Neither Swift nor Gomez have since commented on the war on Gaza or about their attendance of the event.

Boycott of Gomez’s brand

Gomez’s attendance has raised questions online, following growing controversy after her fans accused her beauty brand, Rare Beauty, of staying silent amid the ongoing bombardment of Gaza. 

Former fans of the actor and singer called for a global boycott of her brand after she first failed to comment on the war taking place, and then on 30 October announced she had been “taking a break from social media because my heart breaks to see all of the horror, hate, violence and terror that’s going on in the world”.

She was also accused of “centering herself” after, in the same post, she wrote: “I wish I could change the world, but a post won’t.”