[News] Fake feminist group Zioness used rapper's image without her approval

Anti-Imperialist News news at freedomarchives.org
Tue Jan 23 11:15:08 EST 2018


  Fake feminist group Zioness used rapper's image without her approval

Ali Abunimah <https://electronicintifada.net/people/ali-abunimah> - 22 
January 2018


In a Getty Images database, South African hip hop artist Dope Saint Jude 
is misidentified as an “Afro-American woman” and her photo is sold as a 
generic stock image. Her image was altered by the pro-Israel “feminist” 
group Zioness, which erased her tattoo of Jesus and superimposed a Star 
of David on her chest.

A South African artist is rejecting any ties to a Zionist women’s group 
that is using her image in its propaganda.

Dope Saint Jude, a Cape Town hip hop artist and producer 
<https://soundcloud.com/dope-saint-jude> confirmed that her image had 
been used by Zioness in posters and graphics 
<https://www.zioness.org/posters> promoting the pro-Israel group’s 
presence at the Women’s March in cities across the US last weekend.

A poster from the pro-Israel group Zioness.

One image, in a style reminiscent of Shepard Fairey’s famous poster of 
Barack Obama 
shows Dope Saint Jude standing with arms crossed above the slogan 
“Zionists 4 Women’s Rights #TheResistance.”

Another includes the slogan “Zionesses stand with women in Iran.”

The Zioness movement appears to be an astroturfing 
effort to portray support for Israel as feminist, in line with the 
propaganda strategy 
adopted by Israel and its lobby groups to try to co-opt progressive support.

In a series of tweets, Dope Saint Jude – born Catherine St Jude 
– confirmed that the image is of her.

“I am in no way affiliated with the Zioness movement,” she tweeted. “At 

“I’m just a South African girl who rides a motorbike, makes music and 
has no ties to Israel or the zionest [her spelling] movement,” she added.

The stylized image of Dope Saint Jude is adapted from a photo 
distributed by the Getty Images agency 
apparently as a generic stock image.

The Getty caption mislabels the native South African as an 
“Afro-American woman” with “tattoos and dreadlocks standing with her 
arms crossed and looking proudly at the camera.”

The use of Dope Saint Jude’s image was brought to wide attention by 
Twitter user @ML_ine <https://twitter.com/ML_ine>, who observed that 
“the Zioness movement took a picture of a Black woman from Getty Images, 
lightened her skin and then made her part of their logo.”

The Zioness version also erases 
<https://twitter.com/LeftStu/status/955344422148780032> a tattoo 
depicting the Virgin Mary 
<http://pltfrm.co.za/dope-saint-jude-modern-day-joan-arc/> from Dope 
Saint Jude’s arm and superimposes a Star of David on her chest.

The use of an African woman’s image to promote Israel is particularly 
crass given the extreme government-backed racism 
against asylum-seekers and refugees from African states who are 
currently facing mass expulsion or jail if they resist 

Dope Saint Jude was profiled by /Elle South Africa/ 
<http://www.elle.co.za/elle-meets-dope-st-jude/> in 2015.

“Dope Saint Jude is the experience of a young brown girl in South 
Africa, moving in the hip hop scene,” the artist told the magazine. “She 
defines her own femininity and imposes her own power dynamic, instead of 
conforming to the idea [of] femininity that is imposed by society.”

The stock image of Dope Saint Jude has been used to market other 
political causes:

    Zionist feminist astroturf

Zioness was cofounded 
by Amanda Berman, an executive of The Lawfare Project.

The Lawfare Project is an Israel lobby group that uses litigation to 
harass supporters of Palestinian rights and its director claims 
that “there is no such thing as a Palestinian.”

Zioness is being promoted by Chloé Valdary, an African American 
Christian Zionist 
long groomed by Israel lobby groups 
as a spokesperson for the anti-Palestinian cause:

Zioness has generated opposition to its presence in the Women’s March 
held across the US this weekend a year after the inauguration of Donald 

“The Zioness is progressive, Zionist and proud,” the group’s website 
proclaims <https://www.zioness.org>. “Rooted in Jewish values, she 
stands for justice and fights against all forms of oppression.”

But as Palestinian American organizer Nada Elia points out in a 
commentary <http://mondoweiss.net/2018/01/arent-nariman-tamimi/> for 
/Mondoweiss/, “Obviously, Zionesses do not view Israel’s 70 years of the 
violation of Palestinian human rights as a form of oppression.”

Elia notes that Zioness is one of a number of efforts by pro-Israel 
forces to reassert their presence in what are being claimed as 
progressive spaces.

The Palestinian American Women’s Association and several US solidarity 
groups withdrew their endorsement 
from the Los Angeles Women’s March in protest 
<https://www.facebook.com/pawasca/posts/839032499617813> of the 
organizers’ invitation to actor Scarlett Johansson to address the rally.

Johansson was at the center of controversy several years ago because of 
her role as spokesperson for Sodastream 
<https://electronicintifada.net/tags/sodastream>, an Israeli company 
that was located in and profiting from Israel’s military occupation and 
colonization of the West Bank.

Amid global protests, Johansson ended her role as humanitarian 
ambassador for Oxfam, after the international development charity 
criticized her endorsement 
deal with SodaStream.

Elia welcomes the growing resistance to this kind of whitewashing that 
attempts to manufacture grassroots feminism in support of Israel.

“Palestinian women and our allies have long pointed out the erasure of 
our oppression from mainstream feminist discourse,” she writes. 
“Hopefully 2018, and the grassroots insistence that Palestine must be 
included in intersectional struggles for justice, will put an end to that.”

/This article has been updated./

/Editor’s note: An earlier version of this article described Dope Saint 
Jude’s tattoo as being of Jesus, however as it now notes, the artist 
herself has previously described it as a tattoo of Mary./

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