These celebrities are some of the many going public with strong views about Gaza. AFP PHOTO / FILES
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Pop idols and professional athletes are going public with strong views about Gaza, putting their relations with fans on the line while stirring up a social media frenzy. More often than not, celebrity sympathies have been leaning in favor of Palestinians as the Israeli assault on Hamas rolls into its fourth week and the death toll keeps rising.As of Tuesday, his message had been retweeted 220,000 times, and favorited just as often, among his 13 million followers worldwide.The roster of celebrities – many not known for political activism – weighing in on Gaza has grown since pop diva Rihanna and basketball star Dwight Howard tweeted #FreePalestine.Social media gives celebrities unprecedented power that lets them engage directly with millions of fans worldwide, said George Washington University media professor William Youmans.Cowell, a polarizing figure at the best of times, hasn't commented – but ironically, it was his smash hit British talent show "The X Factor" that in 2010 unearthed a promising boy band named One Direction.
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