Hillary Clinton takes on Jon Stewart
The night after Jon Stewart spent a full two-and-a-half minutes lambasting Israel for its counter-terror operation in Gaza – the host of The Late Show sought agreement from that evening’s guest, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Instead, Clinton expressed strong support for the Jewish state.
Referring to the people of Gaza, she said, “They’re trapped by their leadership, unfortunately, they have leadership that is committed to resistance and violence, and therefore their actions are mostly about how do we get new and better missiles to launch them at Israel instead of saying, hey let’s try and figure out how we’re going to make your lives better.”
Furthermore, she told Steward, “The Israelis are absolutely right in saying they can’t just sit there and let rockets rain down, they have a missile defense system which is working well, but that can’t be certain, and now there are drones that are being launched from Gaza.”
“The Hamas leadership now feels somewhat trapped themselves because they had an ally with the Muslim brotherhood. [Egypt’s Morsi is] gone, and the new regime in Cairo sees Hamas as a danger to them because they see them as a source of instability and violence that can affect them in Sinai and beyond. So they are trapped and they’re trapped, I would argue first and foremost, by a leadership that doesn’t really want to make the situation that much better because that gives them a lot of leverage over the poor people in Gaza.”
When Stewart tried labeling Hamas as “freedom fighters,” Clinton replied: “I don’t agree with that for a couple of reasons.
When Israel withdrew from Gaza…they left a lot of their businesses; there was a really valuable horticultural business that was set up by the Israelis who had lived in Gaza and the idea was that this would be literally turned over. Money was provided; there would be a fund that would train Palestinians in Gaza to do this work and basically the leadership said we don’t want anything left from Israel, destroyed it all. That mentality to me is hard to deal with.”
Like his wife, former President Bill Clinton also placed the onus on Hamas for the current conflict. In an interview with NDTV last week, he noted, “Hamas was perfectly well aware what would happen if they started raining rockets on Israel. They fired a thousand of them, and they have a strategy designed to force Israel to kill their own civilians so that the rest of the world will condemn them.”
Actor Jon Voight blasts Penelope Cruz & Javier Bardem
Days after dozens of stars from Spain’s cultural scene signed a letter blasting Israel’s military operation in the Gaza Strip, actor Jon Voight came out in support of the Jewish state. In a scathing open letter published by The Hollywood Reporter, Voight said the letter’s signatories, including Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem, “incite anti-Semitism all over the world and are oblivious to the damage they have caused.”
Calling Cruz and Bardem “ignorant,” Voight, who is the father of actress Angelina Jolie, wrote “ [Israel] voluntarily returned the Sinai Peninsula to Egypt in return for peace, and gave the Palestinians all of Gaza as a peace gesture. What was the response? The Palestinians elected Hamas, a terrorist organization, and they immediately began firing thousands of rockets into Israel. “
Addressing his peers who signed the letter, he wrote, “Can you take back the fire of anti-Semitism that is raging all over the world now?” Adding, “You had a great responsibility to use your celebrity for good. Instead, you have defamed the only democratic country of goodwill in the Middle East: Israel. You should hang your heads in shame.”
Prior to Voight’s letter, Barden and Cruz issued separate statements clarifying that their endorsement of the letter accusing Israel of genocide was actually their way of calling for peace. “[My] only wish and intention in signing that group letter is the hope that there will be peace in both Israel and Gaza,” wrote Cruz.
In addition to Voight, Relativity Media CEO Ryan Kavanaugh was the first major Hollywood executive to weigh in on the controversial letter, which was also signed by Oscar-winning director Pedro Almodovar. “It makes my blood boil,” Kavanaugh told The Hollywood Reporter. “As the grandson of Holocaust survivors, anyone calling it Israeli ‘genocide’ vs. protecting themselves are either the most ignorant people about the situation and shouldn’t be commenting or are truly anti-Semitic.” According to The Hollywood Reporter, many studio heads are furious with the couple.
Anti-Israel celebrities and their brands
During the current conflict in Gaza a number of celebrities have voiced their opinions in support of either the Israeli or Palestinian positions. But others have gone further than simply supporting the Palestinians by actively supporting the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel, making false accusations about the Jewish state, ignoring Israel’s position on the conflict, or justifying the actions of the terrorist group Hamas. Many of these celebrities also endorse popular brands and products.
Roger Waters of Pink Floyd
Roger Waters, front man for the band Pink Floyd, has long been an outspoken supporter of the BDS movement. In addition to refusing to perform in Israel and calling on other musicians to cancel their planned concerts there, Waters featured a giant pig-shaped balloon emblazoned with a Star of David in a 2013 concert, prompting accusations of anti-Semitism. He has also compared Israelis to Nazis. In the 1990s, Volkswagen sponsored the tours of several bands, including Pink Floyd, and issued a special edition Golf car named after the band.
In the midst of the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas in Gaza, British comedian Russell Brand posted a YouTube video criticizing Fox News host Sean Hannity’s interview with Palestinian-American guest Yousef Munayyer. In the video, Brand said Hamas terrorists might use “what we would perceive or term as acts of terror” to defend themselves against Israel. In 2011, Brand appeared in a commercial for the HP TouchPad.
Zayn Malik of One Direction
Singer Zayn Malik of the British band One Direction posted the hashtag #FreePalestine on his Twitter amid the current conflict between Israel and Hamas. Unlike singer Rihanna, who also posted the hashtag and then deleted it, Malik kept his post online, garnering nearly 200,000 retweets. One Direction recently appeared in a Super Bowl advertisement for Macy’s and released its own campaign for the Our Moment fragrance.
Actor Danny Glover has also supported the BDS movement. In 2009, he signed on to a declaration condemning Israel as an “apartheid regime” and dismissing the work of the Tel Aviv filmmakers featured in the Toronto International Film Festival as “Israeli propaganda.” In 2014, Glover joined others featured in “American Revolutionary: The Evolution of Grace Lee Boggs” in a statement lamenting the documentary film’s screening at the DocAviv festival in Tel Aviv on May 13 and 15. “We stand in solidarity with the people of Palestine, and support their call for cultural and academic boycott of Israel,” stated Glover and the other signatories. In 2010, Glover became a brand ambassador for the nutrition company Eiro.
In January 2014, British actress Emma Thompson participated in a call with other actors to boycott the Israeli Habima Theatre’s performance at the Globe Theatre in London. In a letter published by The Guardian, Thompson and her co-signers berated Habima for its “shameful record of involvement with illegal Israeli settlements in Occupied Palestinian Territory.” Thompson is currently a member of the lineup of “Leading Ladies” representing Marks & Spencer.
Dustin Hoffman had canceled plans to attend the Jerusalem Film Festival following the IDF’s raid of the 2010 flotilla that sought to break the blockade on Gaza. Hoffman, who is Jewish, was scheduled to appear at the Muslim Public Affairs Council’s (MPAC) 22nd Annual Media Awards to present an award to an anti-Israel film. MPAC is run by Salam al-Marayati, a radical leader who has called for Israel’s destruction. Hoffman pulled out at the last minute due to “a very serious virus.” Hoffman has appeared in advertisements for Sky Atlantic, Telstra, Audi, and Caffe Vergnano.
Singer Stevie Wonder backed out of a performance at a Friends of the Israel Defense Forces (FIDF) gala in Los Angeles in 2012 due to “a recommendation from the United Nations to withdraw.” Prior to Wonder’s decision to cancel his performance, BDS activists posted a petition on change.org urging the singer to pull out. In 2013, Wonder appeared in a Super Bowl commercial for Bud Light.