Kim Kardashian Inks Deal As New Face Of Israeli Eyewear Co., Triggers BDS Response

During their past trip to Israel in 2015, Kardashian and her husband, rapper Kanye West, were criticized along similar lines for acknowledging and decrying the Armenian genocide while ignoring the ongoing genocide of the Palestinian people.

American reality-TV star and model Kim Kardashian finalized a deal on Wednesday to serve as the new “face” of the Israeli eyewear company Carolina Lemke as it seeks to enter the U.S. market.

Negotiations for Kardashian to appear in an Israeli ad campaign with the company had been in the works for months. Nonetheless, the news that Kardashian had signed a deal with the company has sparked calls for a boycott of the model’s franchises in solidarity with the Palestinian rights movement Boycott, Divest, Sanctions (BDS). The BDS movement, a nonviolent movement targeting Israeli apartheid, has grown in visibility and influence in recent years, drawing the frequent ire of the Israeli government.

Per the agreement, Kardashian will appear alongside Israeli supermodel Bar Refaeli, the current face and part-owner of the brand, in a series of advertisements to be shot in Israel sometime next year and will also be allowed to design her own limited-edition line of sunglasses. Kardashian will further participate in a promotional tour throughout Israel as part of the deal.

In a press release, the company announced that it had sought out Kardashian because she is “the most famous woman in the United States,” an edge the company hopes will attract U.S. consumers. According to Carolina Lemke’s parent company, Castro, the glasses brand plans to invest between $20 to $30 million on a plan to enter the U.S. market.

Kardashian’s upcoming visits to Israel to participate in the ad campaign will not be her first. In 2015 Kardashian — along with her husband, rapper Kanye West — visited Israel for a short sight-seeing trip during which their child, North West, was baptized. Notably, the cathedral where North West was baptized has been largely inaccessible to the vast majority of Palestinian Christians due to apartheid policies.

In addition, earlier this year, Kardashian had hired Israeli model Yael Shebia for an advertising campaign for her make-up franchise. This, along with her past apparent favoritism of Israel over Palestine, suggests that Kardashian is unlikely to be swayed by calls to show solidarity with Palestinians by supporting BDS.

However, news of Kardashian’s plans to join forces with Carolina Lemke sparked outrage on social media, particularly from BDS supporters and other critics of the Israeli government regarding its inhumane treatment of native Palestinians. Some of the criticisms levied against Kardashian for her decision to become the face of an Israeli brand led some to call for a boycott of all Kardashian-related franchises.

An obvious double-standard on oppression and genocide

Others made the salient point that Kardashian, whose late father was of Armenian Christian heritage, should be ashamed of her decision, given that the State of Israel ethnically cleansed Armenian refugees that Palestine had accepted during and after the Armenian genocide in the early 20th century. The Armenian quarter in Jerusalem is currently occupied by Israel. Furthermore, the State of Israel continues to deny that the Armenian genocide ever took place, and Armenians living in occupied Jerusalem often complain of being treated like “third-class citizens.”

During their past trip to Israel in 2015, Kardashian and her husband had been criticized along similar lines for acknowledging and decrying the Armenian genocide while ignoring the ongoing genocide of the Palestinian people. Since 1948, Israel has expelled 90 percent of Palestinians from their land; and Israel has militarily occupied Palestine’s West Bank since 1967, while its decade-long blockade of Gaza has made normal life impossible in the enclave.

Via MintPress News

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