An Israeli jingle producer who made a viral video of model Bella Hadid walking back her support for Palestine last week told the Daily Dot that his intention was “to put some truth in her mouth.”
“We’re in a war, and the whole world spreads fake news so as long as I’m faking something, I[‘d] rather it is the truth,” Yishay Raziel, a Tel Aviv-based musician, sound designer, and voiceover artist, said to the Daily Dot.
The video was posted on X on Saturday, where it was quickly debunked by users in the comments warning that it was faked. It also got hit by a “manipulated media” tag and a community note noting that the video was made with AI and that Hadid had been vocal and clear in her support for Palestine.
Raziel told the Daily Dot that he’d made a voice model of Hadid, then lipsynced the video, which also required some voice acting “under” the model to complete the effect.
The clip with Hadid’s faked voice, which is overlaid with Hebrew subtitles, comes from a video of a speech Hadid made at the Global Lyme Alliance in 2016. Hadid was diagnosed with Lyme disease in 2012, reported U.S. News & World Report.
“Hi, it’s Bella Hadid,” Hadid says in the faked video. “On October 7th, 2023, Israel faced a tragic attack by Hamas. I can’t stay silent. I apologize for my past remarks. This tragedy has opened my eyes to the pain endured here, and I stand with Israel against terror. I’ve taken time to truly learn the historical context. Now with a clearer understanding, I hope we can engage in constructive dialogue moving forward. Thank you.”
Hadid posted a statement on Instagram on Thursday saying that she “mourn[s] for the Israeli families that have been dealing with the pain and aftermath of October 7th. Regardless of the history of the land, I condemn the terrorist attacks on any civilians, anywhere. Harming women and children and inflicting terror does not and should not do any good for the Free Palestine movement.”
She also discussed her father’s history in the Nakba, which is Arabic for “catastrophe,” and is used to refer to the ethnic cleansing of parts of Israel in 1948 of Palestinians, which displaced around 700,000 people.
“Wars have laws,” Hadid wrote in her post, “and they must be upheld, no matter what.”
Hadid’s publicist didn’t respond to questions about Raziel’s video.
Bella’s sister Gigi was criticized on Instagram by Israel on Oct. 15 for her alleged “silence” about Hamas’ attack, despite having condemned the harm to Jewish people after Oct. 7th.
“Hi @bellahadid, we fixed it for you,” wrote Raziel and Nataly Dadon, an Israeli influencer, in a joint post with the fake video, which drew shocked reactions online.
“this is so fuсking scary.. using ai to fake support from a palestinian woman is just low and i genuinely hope bella sues,” wrote @saintdoII on X.
“this is so scary. like rn it’s clear it’s fake but what about in the future,” asked @gardenbabylons.
On Instagram, the response wasn’t as negative across the board. “This is some pretty good work. Her lips moving even look like he is saying those things. How did you do this?” wrote one user.
But others thought it wasn’t a smart move.
“A terrible mistake we are making,” wrote one user in Hebrew. “Shooting ourselves in the foot, showing them we know how to edit videos so they can tell the world ‘you see the Israelis only spread fake news.’ Stupid thing to do stop it already!”
“Every side publishes fake stuff,” Raziel told the Daily Dot. “As long as our details are true, my conscience is clear.”