Gaza Conflict: “Let Them Eat Cake” Video Sparks Awareness

Gaza Conflict: “Let Them Eat Cake” Video Sparks Awareness

Haley Kalil’s “Let Them Eat Cake” TikTok video for the Met Gala has led to a furore at a critical juncture as the world turns its attention to Rafah, whilst ordinary people in the US are struggling to buy groceries. 

Kalil’s video could not have come at a better time as parts of Gaza is facing full-blown famine and the world is watching in horror as the genocide unfolds. 

In the US, income inequality is ”grotesquely uneven”, with a Gini coefficient (0.434) closer to India (0.495) than other advanced economies. 

The “let them eat cake” quote is attributed to the French queen in the 18th century, Marie-Antoinette, during the French revolution. Antoinette purportedly said so after being told that her people had no bread to eat.

Even though there is no historical evidence in connection with Antoinette, the quote is often used to illustrate how disconnected the elites are with the realities of their people.  

While Antoinette was guillotined when she was found guilty against various charges, TikTok users are calling for “digitine” (an abbreviation of “digital guillotine”). 

Digitine refers to the act of blocking all the celebrities, influencers and wealthy socialites who are ‘tone-deaf’ and do not use their resources to lift the sufferings and injustices that are happening all over the world, especially in Gaza.

With digitine, income of those influencers could be affected, as their revenues, business sales and engagements are reduced. 

Among the targets of “Block out 2024” are Kim Kardashian and Taylor Swift, who are purportedly silent on the conflict in Gaza. The ripple of “Block out 2024” has reached the Malaysian shore too, as similar calls are made to block local celebrities and influencers who are tone-deaf. 

Given the circumstances, ordinary Americans have every reason to be angry. As Israel’s strongest allies, the US government provides military aids and billions of dollars fund to the country.

Those funds could have been allocated for better use to benefit the Americans. Thus, Kalil’s video for the $75,000-a-ticket Met Gala highlights how disconnected the US elites are with the ordinary citizens. 

In recent weeks, the US administration faces mounting pressure as pro-Palestine encampments spread at universities all over the country, from Columbia to UCLA.

It is an expression of displeasure on the US’s stand on the Gaza conflict that has claimed more 35,000 people, many of whom are children and women. 

Kalil’s video sparked anger and frustration over the US’s complicity in the conflict, building from the momentum of discontent from among the university students.

The ongoing conflict in the Middle East exposed the blatant hypocrisy among the US elites as well their counterparts in Europe, from the congress to the business communities.

Far from being the champion that uphold justice, human rights and sustainable development, the US administration is complicit in the terror acts and genocide of the Israel regime that are being inflicted on the Palestinian for more than seven decades.

The world community will not forget such barbaric acts, and those responsible shall be held accountable in due time. 

Thanks to Haley Kalil’s video, the world’s eyes are now fixated on Rafah!  

Mohammad Abdul Hamid 
Head of Economic Prosperity Cluster, IKRAM

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