Earlier this month, a group of students at New York University held a counter-demonstration during Israeli Apartheid Week supported by the World Values Network Partners.
Carrying a sign featuring a message from Lady Gaga, the students participated in Israel Pride Week, so Jewish members of the NYU community felt pride in their heritage while others were making attacks against the country.
The group of about 20 students rallied around a sign featuring a message spoken by Gaga during a performance in Israel last year: “You are strong, you are brave, you are confident. I f*****g love you, Israel!”
“We want to make sure they feel represented, that they don’t need to be afraid,” Mendy Boteach, one of the organizers of the demonstration, told the New York Observer.
Of course,Mother Monster is no stranger to advocacy roles, using her celebrity to speak out on behalf of the LGBTQ community and especially teenagers who are struggling to accept themselves in light of bullying. She’s also been involved in philanthropic efforts to benefit victims of natural disasters including the 2010 Haiti earthquake, the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan and Hurricane Sandy, while also lending her name to a line of lipstick sold by MAC Cosmetics as a fundraiser for HIV and AIDS education.
Israel has been a hot-button issue lately for the United States, long a sworn ally of the state, after the country’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, recently gave a speech to Congress on the invitation of Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-Ohio). Boehner and President Obama clashed over the invitation, and following Netanyahu’s visit and recent re-election, Boehner has announced he’ll be visiting Israel. Netanyahu angered voters and some political leaders in the United States with comments that were taken as racist against Palestinians, but after the election promised he still supports a peace agreement that would allow for the establishment of a Palestinian state.