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May 18, 2015 2:27 pm

Madonna Stirs Controversy With Instagram Photo of Jewish, Arab Men Almost Kissing

avatar by Shiryn Solny

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Madonna posted on Instagram a picture of two men - one Palestinian and one Jewish - almost kissing. Photo: Instagram.

Pop superstar Madonna caused a stir on Sunday when she posted a photo on Instagram of a Palestinian man and a Jewish man who appear to be close to kissing.

Both men in the image are wearing religious headgear, with the Jew sporting a yarmulke and the Palestinian a headscarf. Madonna captioned the photo “This image is 100” and added a heart emoji as well as the hashtag #rebelhearts, which is the title of her new album.

The image prompted mixed reactions from the singer’s 3.9 million Instagram followers. Some said it represented a positive image of love, while others slammed the apparent homosexual nature of the photo as not being compatible with their belief systems. Fans wrote, “Love does not discriminate” and “Love has no religion,” while another posted, “Islam doesn’t support homosexuality and if someone doesn’t like that then they don’t have to be Muslim. Its that’s simple.”

Another commenter said, “for me this pic rocks…because I love someone who is Muslim religion and I’m atheist, I think love should have ‘no’ boundaries.”

Commenting on the portrayal of homosexuality, one fan replied saying: “I see two men one Muslim perhaps and one Jewish together sharing a moment of peace. Can’t we just all get along without discussing religious beliefs? This image can be read in a million times, it might be just a simple friendship between two man [sic]?”

The image also prompted discussion among Instagram users about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and about the possibility of both sides coming to peaceful terms. Comments included, “I stand with Israel” and “I stand with Palestine.” One commenter said the picture “shows we could be united together in peace” and, on the other side of the debate, another wrote “I don’t think the man on the right is going to be able to do that anytime soon…”

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