As the conflict between Israel and Hamas rages on, leaving over a thousand Palestinians dead, we can all be comforted by the fact that the nation's top celebrities are offering their two cents. (Maybe more like one cent.)
With such a lopsided death toll, many celebrities have taken to Twitter to express their sympathies for Gaza. That is until they decide to backtrack or delete Tweets of support all together.
Penelope Cruz is the latest celeb to express and then clarify her support of Palestine. The actress signed an open letter condemning Israel's attacks on Gaza, calling them a "genocide." The same letter was also signed by her husband Javier Bardem and film director Pedro Almodovar. Today, Cruz released a statement clarifying her stance.
"I don't want to be misunderstood on this important subject. I'm not an expert on the situation and I'm aware of the complexity of it," the actress said in a statement via her representative. "My only wish and intention in signing that group letter is the hope that there will be peace in both Israel and Gaza. I am hopeful all parties can agree to a cease fire and there are no more innocent victims on either side of the border. I wish for unity, and peace... I believe in a civilization that can be capable of bringing the courage to have a world where humans can live side by side."
Right. Ok. Cruz joins the growing list of celebrities who are offering their unsolicited opinions on the conflict.
Rihanna tweeted the hashtag #FreePalestine before later deleting the Tweet replacing it with a much more neutral message.
Let's pray for peace and a swift end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict! Is there any hope?.... pic.twitter.com/jHD56KXkcu
— Rihanna (@rihanna) July 15, 2014
Rapper and producer Swizz Beatz weighed in.
#freepalestine 🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏 I don't care what's the problem you don't just kill lil kids like that🙈 I pray for peace ASAP!!!!
— SWIZZ BEATZ (@THEREALSWIZZZ) July 14, 2014
As did Madonna
And Selena Gomez
Look, I can appreciate the fact that these celebrities heard about what was happening and were horrified. We all are. That being said, they are commenting on a very sensitive and controversial subject rather flippantly. There is a lot of depth and history to the conflict that can't fully be conveyed in an Instagram post. Much like that kissing Arab-Jewish couple, these platitudes are helping no one.
A one-off Tweet or Instagram post doesn't inform anyone of anything. With such large audiences, the least they could do is put forth actual information ore actively work to end the conflict. If these celebrities are truly invested in peace, are they donating any money? Encouraging donations? Protesting?
The best solution is probably just to stop doing this, but celebrities, if you must tweet about Israel and Gaza, let's lay down some ground rules.
Show some actual commitment to the cause
Mia Farrow has been actively tweeting about the violence. She is also, however, a known political activist in addition to being a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador for fourteen years.
No power = no water in Gaza. 180,000 people now crowded into UN shelters
— mia farrow (@MiaFarrow) July 29, 2014
I can find no moral justification for bombing schools, hospitals, ambulances and defenseless civilians who cannot even flee to safety
— mia farrow (@MiaFarrow) July 30, 2014
This can also be called: stay in your lane. I certainly have feelings about the conflict as well, but I'm far from an expert on Israel and Palestine. Ergo, I don't believe it's my place to go flapping my mouth about something that involves a lot of tensions and high emotions without knowing exactly what I'm talking about. Which leads me to:
Let someone else do the talking
Mark Ruffalo and Kerry Washington have been demonstrating this tactic—letting actual journalists do the talking for them by sharing pertinent articles from respected sources.
— Mark Ruffalo (@MarkRuffalo) July 26, 2014
— kerry washington (@kerrywashington) July 16, 2014
Finally, if you really can't help yourself and are going to express an opinion,
Stick to your guns
One Direction member Zayn Malik and actor John Cusak have tweeted about Israel and Palestine and they *gasp* didn't even delete their tweets.
— zaynmalik1D (@zaynmalik) July 28, 2014
Bombing people who can't escape not defense - does not mean one supports Hamas means to be against murder as solution to political problem
— John Cusack (@johncusack) July 23, 2014
It may be a controversial opinion, but as long as it's your opinion, you need to stand up for what you believe in and face the consequences. Opinions are often unpopular and sometimes they're wrong, but that's how this works.
Images via Getty.