By Ani Karapetyan/Contributing Writer
One would have to be ignorant not to be familiar with the Palestinian-Israeli conflict which has prevailed for decades. The opinions of the international community are divided: few (mostly U.S.) support Israel, and others defend the interests of the disadvantaged Palestinians.
Opinions differ not only among politicians and among ordinary people but also among celebrities.
Here are some of the celebrities who support Palestinians:
Selena Gomez is one of many young celebrities who supported the Palestinians during the military operation “Indestructible Rock”. She posted a picture on her Instagram with the caption “Pray for Gaza.”
However, her post caused the anger of some of her fans. That made Selena post a follow-up photo explaining that she was not taking sides “And of course to be clear, I am not picking any sides. I am praying for peace and humanity for all!”
The actress Penelope Cruz, along with her husband, actor Javier Bardem also spoke in support of Gaza. The couple was among 100 film professionals to sign the open Spanish letter calling on the European Union to end Israel’s military operation in Gaza, along with director Pedro Almodovar. They urged the EU countries to condemn attacks against the Palestinian civilians in Gaza. As for the actress’s spouse, he was even more straightforward, as he referred to Israeli actions as “genocide.”
Roger Waters, the bassist, and songwriter of legendary rock band Pink Floyd has always directly demonstrated his pro-Palestinian stance. Waters fully supports the movement for a boycott and strongly encourages celebrities to refrain from performing in Israel. He has also led a movement of artists who refuse to play in Israel until the conflict ends. Meanwhile, Roger Waters has reiterated several times his opposition is not against Israel and Jews, but against Israeli military actions.
American Jewish comedian Jon Stewart, The former Daily Show host, took the Palestinian side, especially after the Israeli military action in 2009. He joked that the only thing both American political parties agreed on was supporting Israel’s bombing of Gaza. He even asked Hillary Clinton: “Can we at least agree the humanitarian crisis in Gaza is much needed and that the world must do more for the people who are trapped by this conflict?”
J. K. Rowling is a British novelist and screenwriter. She is the author of the Harry Potter fantasy series. She has spoken of both her opposition to Israel’s treatment of Palestine and against a boycott of Israel itself.
Russell Edward Brand is a comedian, actor, radio host, author, and activist. He has repeatedly called for an Israel boycott. Brand was even accused of anti-Semitism. He had to write an op-ed “Why I Oppose Anti-Semitism” for the Huffington Post, as a response to those who accused him of anti-Semitism.
Mark Ruffalo, an actor, and political activist has been a longtime supporter of Palestine, attacking Israel and its blockade of Gaza. He has posted a number of tweets and op-ed columns in support of Palestine.
In 2014, Thompson joined a number of other British actors for aboycott of an Israeli theater festival. They accused the festival of being linked to perceived illegal Israeli settlements.
In 2009, the actor signed on to a declaration condemning Israel as an “apartheid regime.” He dismissed the work of Tel Aviv filmmakers featured at the Toronto International Film Festival as “Israeli propaganda.
Several years later, Glover and a number of other actors released a statement saying, in part, “We stand in solidarity with the people of Palestine, and support their call for a cultural and academic boycott of Israel,” stated Glover and the other signatories.
Brian Eno is a musician, composer, record producer, singer, writer, and visual artist. He has been an outspoken critic of Israel’s policy toward Palestine. Eno has referred to the conflict as an ethnic cleansing.
The world’s number 1 soccer player, Cristiano Ronaldo has never hid the fact that he is pro-Palestinian. He has expressed his support for Palestine several times in the past. To demonstrate his support for Palestinian rights, in 2013, Cristiano didn’t want to swap t-shirts with an Israeli player. He also gave his Golden Boot Award to the Real Madrid Foundation, who put it up for auction to raise money to build schools in Palestine.
Coldplay, the British rock group, is also known for their pro-Palestine stance. In 2011, Coldplay posted a music video on their Facebook page. The song was called “Freedom for Palestine,” by OneWorld.
While Coldplay took no part in producing the song, their internet endorsement, which garnered over 5,500 likes in just a few hours; nonetheless, caught the attention of major Israeli media outlets, who criticized the band heavily. Even an anti-Coldplay Facebook page was created.
Of course, this is not the full list of the celebrities who support or sympathize with the Palestinians. Many of them, being aware of the powerful Jewish lobby in the United States, prefer to avoid expressing their public support towards the Palestinians.