Actor Mark Ruffalo’s apology for posting on social media suggesting that Israel committed “genocide” during the recent fighting with Palestinians in the Gaza Strip attracts praise and backlash and underscores the delicate and tense nature of the longstanding conflict.
Ruffalo, an outspoken Emmy award-winning and Oscar-nominated actor, tweeted Monday that he had “been thinking and apologizing for contributions during the recent battles between Israel and Hamas that suggested that Israel” was “committing” genocide “and that “it is not correct”. It’s flammable, disrespectful, and used to justify anti-Semitism at home and abroad. “
The fighting had escalated for almost two weeks this month, leaving hundreds of dead, the majority of Palestinians and parts of the impoverished Gaza Strip to rubble. A bilateral ceasefire agreement between Israel and the Palestinian militant group Hamas was signed on Friday, but the conflict sparked massive pro-Israeli and pro-Palestinian demonstrations worldwide.
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In the United States, the protests have attracted diverse groups of people, and pro-Palestinian activists have called for America to end funding the Israeli military. The Biden government is involved in “war crimes” in the region and calls for an end to the occupation of the Palestinian territories.
Meanwhile, American Jewish organizations have reported a wave of anti-Semitic incidents and overt hate crimes, including against synagogues in the suburbs of Chicago and Tucson, Arizona. Jewish people were also physically assaulted and harassed on the streets of Los Angeles, New York and South Florida. President Joe Biden condemned the “hateful behavior” on Monday. Mosques also reported anti-Muslim vandalism this month. A house of worship in Brooklyn was sprayed with the phrase “Death to Palestine”.
It is unclear what contributions Ruffalo apologized for, but he did suggested in a tweet on May 11th that Israel’s actions were comparable to apartheid in South Africa and that sanctions could work similarly against Israel.
“1500 Palestinians are expelled from #Jerusalem. 200 protesters were injured. 9 children were killed,” he wrote.
While some Twitter users thank Ruffalo, the previous one told The Hollywood Reporter That he grew up in an Italian Roman Catholic family trying to stifle rhetoric surrounding the sensitive issue, others asked if he was being “intimidated into silence” and “traced back”.
Several celebrities have received similar criticism in recent days for voicing their views on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Over the weekend the English singer Dua Lipa tweeted in response to an organization that paid for a full-page ad in the New York Times equating its public support for the Palestinians as anti-Semitic. She wrote that the ad “shamelessly” used her name to “advance its ugly campaign with falsehoods and blatant misrepresentations”.
“I stand in solidarity with all the oppressed and reject all forms of racism,” she added.