In a sign of heightened tensions and sensitivity on social media during the Israel-Hamas conflict, Alicia Keys clarified why she deleted an Instagram post on Monday that referenced paragliding.
Earlier on Monday, Keys posted a photo of himself wearing a green leather jacket with the caption, “What would you do if you weren’t afraid of anything??? Tell me your truth…’
She then added: “I have my eyes set on paragliding…👀👀”
Almost immediately, some users on Instagram called out Keys for being insensitive, with many saying the word triggered paragliders due to its use by Hamas terrorists during the infiltration of Israel during the October 7 attack. Some users on Instagram also went so far as to suggest that Keys wore green out of sympathy for Hamas.
Keys deleted the message and posted a short statement on her Instagram Stories late Monday. “The message I shared was in no way related to the recent devastating loss of innocent lives. My heart broke…. I pray for and stand for peace.”
Keys and her husband, music producer Swizz Beats, live in San Diego’s La Jolla neighborhood, a popular area for paragliding. The La Jolla area is also less than a 15-minute drive from the Torrey Pines Gliderport.
In 2013, the Grammy-winning artist was also heavily criticized for his performance in Israel. In response to an open letter from The color purple author Alice Walker asks Keys not to perform in Tel Aviv, the singer said The New York Times“I’m looking forward to my first visit to Israel. Music is a universal language meant to unite audiences in peace and love, and that is the spirit of our show.”
Israeli-American talent manager Guy Oseary, who had previously managed Keys when she was Maverick, the singer defended on Instagram. “There is talk of an anti-Semitic post that my dear friend Alicia Keys made on her Instagram,” Oseary wrote. “I can confirm to anyone in my ✡️ community who needs to hear it: it is NOT true.”
“There was a specific word in her message that our community found very triggering during this very painful time, but it was not connected in any way,” Oseary continued. “I spoke to Alicia and she was shocked to hear what the word meant and immediately deleted it.”
He added: “Alicia has always been a fighter for all human rights. I have had a front row seat for over a decade and have seen her positive impact in the world. Her humanitarian work reflects her empathy and her heart.”