Fact Check: South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem Hasn’t Banned Sale of Watermelon Slices

Tue May 21 2024
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PIERRE: South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem has not banned the sale of red watermelon slices, seen as a symbol of Palestinian solidarity by some, contrary to posts shared online with a fabricated quote or a miscaptioned video.

A post on X claimed, “#BREAKING! South Dakota Governor Krazy Kristi Noem @GovKristiNoem has just banned the sale of sliced #watermelon from every supermarket in the state. However, Noem’s spokesperson Ian Fury confirmed via email that there is “no truth” to these claims.

Furthermore, there are no official statements, social media posts, proclamations, or executive orders from Noem declaring watermelon slices as banning their sale in South Dakota.

Watermelon has become a symbol of Palestinian solidarity due to its colors matching the Palestinian flag and its hardy seeds, as noted by PBS Newshour.

Another false claim on Facebook includes a video of a woman distributing watermelon slices with the caption suggesting that Noem banned them due to their symbolism and that people protested by handing out slices. However, this video was actually shot in Malmo, Sweden. A comparison with Google Street View confirms the location near Stortorget Square. The video was posted on TikTok on May 10, following a peaceful pro-Palestinian demonstration in Malmo, involving over 10,000 participants, including activist Greta Thunberg.

South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem did not ban the sale of red watermelon slices due to their pro-Palestinian symbolism.

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