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Ms Rachel sings ‘for all children’ after backlash



JTA – Following a campaign of criticism over a video fundraiser for children in multiple conflict areas, including Gaza, popular US children’s video educator Ms Rachel released a song on 23 May in support of “all the children”, including hostages and those in Israel.

“This is a prayer for children in Gaza,” she sings, “This is a prayer for children in Israel. This is a prayer for all the children: please stop hurting them. This is a prayer for all the civilians. This is a prayer for all the hostages. This is a prayer for all the innocent. Please stop hurting them.”

Israel-based writer Sarah Tuttle-Singer shared a screenshot of the post on her Instagram, captioning it, “Thank you, @msrachelforlittles for listening to us.”

The song also prays for “all the leaders”; “all in charge”; and “all the presidents”.

Rachel Griffin Accurso, known to her child and adult viewers as Ms Rachel, has nearly 10 million subscribers on YouTube and more than four million followers on TikTok. Griffin Accurso launched the fundraiser on 13 May through the charity Save the Children, for which she’s an ambassador.

The fundraiser, which sold out and raised $50 000 (R916 175), benefits children in Gaza, Sudan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ukraine, “and more”, according to the description on Cameo, where she’s recording the 500 videos purchased so far.

Though most of the response to the fundraiser has been positive, one vocal segment of the internet that has been divided over it is Jewish mothers who felt that Israeli children were left out.

Save the Children doesn’t operate in Israel, and the website instead directs visitors to partner charities that do. Save the Children has also issued multiple statements about the situation in Israel and Gaza, including one that expressed concern about the status of child hostages. Currently, two child hostages remain in Gaza, Ariel and Kfir Bibas.

Other critics say that the fundraiser downplays the atrocities of 7 October, and some have even created parody videos of Ms Rachel’s content to show footage of the attacks.

Griffin Accurso has gone public about her experience being the target of cyberbullying as a result of the fundraiser.

In a video filmed in a dark room, uploaded on 16 May, she said, “The bullying is so bad. It’s so bad. But I can handle this. Saying I don’t care about all kids, it just hurts so bad.”

In the caption for the video, she wrote, “I care deeply for all children. Palestinian children, Israeli children, children in the US – Muslim, Jewish, Christian children – all children, in every country. Not one is excluded.”

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