Did Justin Bieber hold an Israeli flag? No, it’s a digitally modified version

Claim

He has always been on their side, he also announced he was performing there after Israel started bombing Palestine in 2021.

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Explanation

On October 7, 2023, the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas launched surprise attacks against Israel from the Gaza Strip, killing hundreds of civilians. Israel retaliated by declaring war on Hamas and attacking Gaza from the air and on the ground, killing many thousand people so far. The internet is flooded with numerous images and videos linking it with the ongoing conflict between Israel and Palestine.

Meanwhile, an image of the Canadian pop star Justin Bieber carrying the Israeli flag is making rounds on the internet amidst the current war.

The assertion is made about a post he made on Instagram in October of this year regarding the recent Israel-Hamas conflict. “Praying for Israel” was the message he had posted in an Instagram story. He mistakenly used a picture of the devastation in Gaza to support Israel in the conflict, even though that is not what he meant to do. Then, Bieber quickly took down the story and published a different picture-free post with the same caption. The current viral post claims that Justin Bieber is holding the Israeli flag as a result of all of the above incidents. You can view one similar claim post here.

What’s the truth?

After performing a Google reverse image search on the picture, we found a similar image of Bieber holding a Brazilian flag from October 5, 2011, which was posted on the Portuguese news website Globo TV.

The article was titled “Justin Bieber appears to fans on the balcony of his hotel in Rio de Janeiro.” According to the article, “Bieber waved to the fans waiting outside the Copacabana Palace, blew kisses, and raised a Brazilian flag. At night, he performs his first show in the country at the Engenhão stadium.”

As we read this article, we discovered that the original photo of Justin Bieber holding the Brazilian flag had been edited and spread with false information on social media.

We have also attached the comparison of both the original & viral images for the reader’s reference below.

When we advanced our search we also found an article by the ‘Hindustan Times’ where the singer has clarified the Instagram story. According to the article, he wrote, “Truly hurting for both my Israeli and Palestinian friends. I’m pretty sure we all instinctively know evil when we see it. To villainize all Palestinians or all Israeli people to me seems wrong. I’m not interested in choosing sides, but I am interested in standing with the families, who have been brutally taken from us”.

Conclusion:

Thus, we deduce that the widely circulated photo purporting to show Justin Bieber in favor of Israel flying its flag is a digitally modified version. Actually, he was holding a Brazilian flag in the original picture.

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Indu Meenakshi

Indu Meenakshi is a former Microbiologist-turned-journalist, works as a Sub-Editor at YouTurn. She additionally holds Master’s in Management and English Literature. As a fact-checker, her job entails actively dispelling false information found online, exposing fake news, and raising public awareness.
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