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Amid the ongoing Israel-Hamas war, several Hollywood stars and other public figures, such as Natalie Portman and Madonna, have spoken out to condemn the violence and offer support to victims.
At least 2,800 people have died so far — about 1,300 in Israel and more than 1,500 in Gaza — in the fighting, which began early Saturday, according to The Associated Press.
President Joe Biden issued a statement on the conflict over the weekend, writing, “The United States unequivocally condemns this appalling assault against Israel by Hamas terrorists from Gaza, and I made clear to Prime Minister Netanyahu that we stand ready to offer all appropriate means of support to the Government and people of Israel. Terrorism is never justified. ... My Administration’s support for Israel’s security is rock solid and unwavering.”
Hundreds of Hollywoods stars, including: Chris Pine, Jerry Seinfeld, Gal Gadot, Channing Tatum, Florence Pugh and Joaquin Phoenix signed a letter to President Biden calling upon him for a ceasefire, putting an end to the “devastating loss of lives and unfolding horrors” in Israel and Gaza, per USA Today.
“We ask that, as President of the United States, you call for an immediate de-escalation and ceasefire in Gaza and Israel before another life is lost,” the letter, published by the Artists 4 Ceasefire organization, reads. “We believe all life is sacred, no matter faith or ethnicity and we condemn the killing of Palestinian and Israeli civilians.”
“Beyond our pain and mourning for all of the people there and their loved ones around the world we are motivated by an unbending will to stand for our common humanity,” the letter concludes. “We refuse to tell future generations the story of our silence, that we stood by and did nothing.”
During an October Oval Office Address, Biden declared that “We stand with Israel. And we will make sure Israel has what it needs to take care of its citizens, defend itself, and respond to this attack,” as reported by the Deseret News.
“Let’s be real clear: There is no place for hate in America — not against Jews, not against Muslims, not against anybody. We reject — we reject — what we reject is terrorism. We condemn the indiscriminate evil, just as we’ve always done,” he added.
Here is what other celebrities have said regarding Saturday’s surprise attack on Israel and the ensuing war:
Natalie Portman, an Israeli American actress, wrote, “My heart is shattered for the people of Israel,” on Instagram, adding, “I am in horror at these barbaric acts and my heart is pounding with love and prayer for the families of all affected.”
Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson
American actor, producer and retired wrestler Dwayne Johnson says he is “sickened by the brutal murders and kidnapping of Jewish people,” per Instagram.
“I don’t pretend to know everything about the complex conflict of the Middle East. It commands deep understanding, context and nuance — what I do know is hateful acts of terrorism like these are never justified.”
Israeli actress Gal Gadot, who served for two years in the Israel Defense Forces in her 20s, has been sharing daily updates with her followers through Instagram.
“I stand with Israel you should too,” the “Wonder Woman” star wrote. “The world cannot sit on the fence when these horrific acts of terror are happening!”
Madonna posted a video to her Instagram account alongside a long statement. “Watching all of these families and especially children being herded, assaulted and murdered in the streets is Heartbreaking. Imagine if this was happening to you??” the pop star wrote.
“My heart goes out to Israel. To Families and Homes that have been destroyed. To children who are lost. To Innocent Victims who have Been Killed. To All who are Suffering or who will suffer from this conflict. Im Praying For you. I am aware that this is the work of Hamas and there are many innocent people in Palestine who do not support this terrorist organization. This Tragic attack will only cause more suffering for everyone.”
Jerry Seinfeld, Jewish comedian and star of “Seinfeld,” shared his support for Israel on social media on Tuesday.
“I lived and worked on a Kibbutz in Israel when I was 16 and I have loved our Jewish homeland ever since,” the comedian wrote, adding, “My heart is breaking from these attacks and atrocities. But we are also a very strong people in our hearts and minds. We believe in justice, freedom and equality. We survive and flourish no matter what.”
Academy Award-winning actress and singer Barbara Streisand revealed she has been “shocked and shaken” since hearing about the ongoing war in Israel.
“There are no words to explain the insanity of what is happening and the sadness that it has come to this. ... I’m praying for all the mothers and fathers who have lost their children,” Streisand wrote in a lengthy Instagram statement.
“We have to hope and pray for the safe return of all hostages.”
Selma Blair, who is Jewish, shared her support for Israel and Jews across the globe in a social media post.
“A warning to the American people, as this evil has happened on Israeli soil, so too is it already among us. We will be vilified for doing what we know is right,” Blair wrote, per Variety. “The Jews have never been safe. And I am asking for every ally to realize what this again means for Jews everywhere. If Israel is not protected, we will know a very brutal reality. Israel. My spirit home. I stand with you.”
“Legally Blonde” actress Reese Witherspoon shared a lengthy post on Instagram, expressing a hope for resolution.
“The ongoing conflict and loss of innocent lives in Israel and Palestine is more than the human spirit can bear. We are witnessing the darkest parts of humanity,” Witherspoon wrote. “Please God help us find our way.”
In a recent Instagram story, Justin Bieber said he is “not interested in choosing sides” but said he is “truly hurting for both my Israeli and Palestinian friends,” per Fox News.
“I’m pretty sure we all instinctively know evil when we see it. To villainize all Palestinians or all Israeli people to me seems wrong. I’m not interested in choosing sides, but I am interested in standing with the families who have been brutally taken from us.”
Josh Gad, an American actor and descendent of Holocaust survivors, wrote, “I have no words. I am praying for my many family members in Israel. What a cowardly act. What we are witnessing in real time right now is unprecedented since the Yom Kippur war. My heart breaks for the families of those who have lost loved ones, and for the hostages who have been taken. What a horrific day,” on his Instagram page.
“The Office” actor BJ Novak, who is Jewish, wrote in an Instagram story, “My heart will always be broken by the unspeakable horrors committed against the people of Israel. I pray for a future without hate, without horror, without Hamas. I stand with Israel,” per Variety.
Gigi Hadid, a half-Palestinian model, condemned Hamas for the “terrorizing of innocent people.”
“While I have hopes and dreams for Palestinians, none of them include the harm of a Jewish person,” Hadid wrote in a lengthy Instagram post. “If you are hurting, as I share my condolences today with my loved ones, both Palestinian and Jewish, I’m sending you my love and strength — whoever and wherever you are.”
“I know my words will never be enough or heal the deep wounds of so many but I pray for the safety of innocent lives, always.”
During U2’s recent Las Vegas show, the band changed the lyrics to their hit song, “Pride,” to pay tribute to the “beautiful kids” killed at the Supernova music festival in Israel, reports The Guardian.
“In the light of what’s happened in Israel and Gaza, a song about non-violence seems somewhat ridiculous, even laughable, but our prayers have always been for peace and for non-violence,” U2 wrote in a tweet ahead of their Sunday concert.
“But our hearts and our anger, you know where that’s pointed. So sing with us … and those beautiful kids at that music festival.”
In the light of what’s happened in Israel and Gaza, a song about non-violence seems somewhat ridiculous, even laughable, but our prayers have always been for peace and for non-violence…
But our hearts and our anger, you know where that’s pointed. So sing with us… and those… pic.twitter.com/S1zfCMNtzz
— U2 (@U2) October 9, 2023
Jamie Lee Curtis
Academy Award winning actress Jamie Lee Curtis wrote via Instagram, “ALL CHILDREN NEED OUR PRAYERS, CONCERN and LOVE be they Israeli or Palestinian.”
Kim Kardashian said, “Brutal terrorism has taken innocent lives and now both Israeli and Palestinian civilians are suffering,” in a lengthy Instagram post.
“No matter who’s side you are on, or how you have been triggered by the horrors of these past few days, our hearts should always have compassion towards innocent victims caught in the cross hairs of warring over power, politics, religion, race and ethnicity.”
American actress Lynda Carter shared her thoughts on the conflict on social media.
“Millions of Israelis and Palestinians have worked so hard to end the cycle of violence, only to see it escalate,” she wrote in a tweet, adding, “Nothing we say, as we sit safely in our homes and far away from the conflict, can really capture how much of a tragedy this is.”
Jessica Seinfeld, comedian Jerry Seinfeld’s wife, wrote, “Innocent Palestinians who live in Gaza who are not Hamas, deserve to be free. Jews who live in and outside of Israel are not the Israeli government. They deserve to live without fear for being Jewish (or massacred for the same reason),” via Instagram.
Amy Schumer, American actress and comedian, has been especially outspoken regarding the Israel-Hamas war.
“I’m sad to have lost so many friends these last few weeks but feel powerful and free knowing I stand for the truth and will fight for it always,” Schumer wrote in a post to Instagram last week, per Fox News.
“I’m a proud Jewish woman and have every right to be. Head high. Spirits high. Love to my fellow brothers and sisters.”
Supermodel Brooke Shields revealed via Instagram that she donated money to a charity organization helping all victims of the Israel-Hamas war, she encouraged her followers to donate as well.
“I am disgusted and horrified by the antisemitism and the barbaric acts of Hamas,” she shared on Instagram. “I stand with Israel and with the Jewish people.”
Jewish comedian, actor and director Adam Sandler expressed grief over the Israel-Hamas war on his Instagram page: “I’ve been heartbroken by the horrendous attacks on Israel earlier this week and send the families of the victims all my love and sympathy. I pray for peace and the safety of the innocent Israelis and Palestinians everywhere.”
SNL star Pete Davidson addressed the Israel-Hama war during his Saturday Night Live hosting debut.
“I saw so many terrible pictures this week of children suffering, Israeli children and Palestinian children, and it took me back to a really horrible, horrible place, and no one in this world deserves to suffer like that, especially not kids,” Davidson said, referring to his memories of losing his father in the 9/11 terrorist attacks, per the Washington Post.