Singer Rihanna tweeted a message Tuesday that said simply #FreePalestine, but then apparently had a change of heart, deleting the tweet after only eight minutes, TMZ reported
The tweet was posted soon after the ceasefire agreement between Israel and Palestine was rejected.
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A similar tweet about the situation in the Middle East was posted by Houston Rockets star Dwight Howard late Saturday afternoon. Just like Rihanna’s tweet, Howard’s #FreePalestine message was deleted, but not before receiving more than 1,400 retweets, according to a screen shot captured by TMZ
"Previous tweet was a mistake,” Howard, 28, then tweeted. “I have never commented on international politics and never will."
The Zionist Organization of America quickly criticized Howard for his tweet.
"He should be publicly condemned as strong as Donald Sterling was," ZOA President Morton Klein said according to TMZ Sports.
"Anyone who uses the phrase 'Free Palestine' is either ignorant of the situation or hates the Jewish state of Israel,” Klein added. “It's a hateful position. Celebs have great influence. When he makes a ridiculously false statement like 'Free Palestine,' it's frightening."
A pro-Palestinian organization said Howard shouldn’t have apologized for his support of Palestine.
Hussein Ibish, a senior Fellow at the American Task Force on Palestine, didn’t understand the backlash against Howard. "It seems fantastically mean-spirited that people would have a problem with what [Dwight] said. It was a very vague, humanitarian message. It's an unobjectionable value," he said, TMZ reported.
"I understand why a sports star would delete the message and not want to get involved in such a serious issue," Ibish continued, "but what takes me back is that (Dwight) simply wished freedom for Palestinians. I don't understand the offense."
Earlier on Saturday, Omri Casspri, the only Israeli to be drafted by the NBA and who was suddenly traded from Houston to New Orleans this week, tweeted his support for Israel.
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