Five days after the largest murder of Jews since the Holocaust, entertainers from across the spectrum took a stand for Israel and condemned the Hamas terrorist attacks in an open letter. Among the signatories of the letter are actress Gal Gadot, comedian Jerry Seinfeld, actress Debra Messing and former New England Patriots player Julian Edelman.
The open letter is an initiative by Creative Community for Peace (CCFP), a nonprofit that for the past 12 years has been Israel’s top advocate in the entertainment industry. CCFP’s mission is to “promote the arts as a bridge to peace, to educate about rising antisemitism within the entertainment industry, and to galvanize support against the cultural boycott of Israel.”
The grisly video footage of the October 7th attacks in southern Israel have already been downplayed and misconstrued with false narratives across social media and major media outlets — in many cases by influential public figures. So CCFP reached out to many celebrities and entertainment leaders to sign a letter making their stance in support of Israel clear.
Referring to Hamas’ attack, the letter is unequivocal. “This is terrorism,” the letter stated. “This is evil. There is no justification or rationalization for Hamas’ actions. These are barbaric acts of terrorism that must be called out by everyone. [Hamas is] a terrorist organization whose leaders call for the murder of Jews everywhere. CCFP calls on our friends and colleagues in the entertainment industry to speak out forcefully against Hamas and do whatever is in their power to urge the terrorist organization to return the innocent hostages to their families.”
Barely 24 hours after CCFP made the announcement of the first 700 signatories on Thursday, the list more than doubled in size to over 1,600. “They sign it because they agree with the message, which is to call on the entertainment community to speak out against Hamas, because Israel needs their support at this time to stop people sharing misinformation about the war, which is flying around like crazy,” CCFP Director Ari Ingel told the Journal. “And, to also do everything in their power to send a message that the hostages need to come home to their families,”
The letter also shows that support for Israel goes beyond religious ties, as many of the signatories are not Jewish.
The letter also shows that support for Israel goes beyond religious ties, as many of the signatories are not Jewish. Among them are actress Helen Mirren, Broadway performer Billy Porter, former MMA fighter Chuck Liddell, comedian George Lopez, television personality Sharon Osbourne, singer/songwriter Ziggy Marley, actor Andy Garcia, comedian Nikki Glaser, “Star Wars” actor Mark Hamill, and musician John Fogerty, the former lead singer and guitarist for Creedence Clearwater Revival.
Ingel singled out Fogerty as one of the notable musicians supporting Israel and condemning terrorism, citing that Creedence Clearwater Revival was one of the foremost anti-war bands in the late 60s and early 70s, with hit songs “Fortunate Son” and “Who’ll Stop the Rain?” Ingel also said that CCFP contacts most of the boldface signatories directly to seek their official pledge of support (not necessarily through a publicist or manager), adding a meaningful personal touch to the gesture.
“People are sometimes scared to speak out on their own,” Ingel said. “So in doing something collectively like this, there’s strength in numbers and it gives more comfort to speak out as a group and as one voice. Maybe they don’t know what to say on their own, they don’t have enough understanding to say something on their own, or they don’t want to face any social media backlash from all these bots and trolls from Iran and Qatar.”
While CCFP will continue to reach out for more signatories, there are many celebrities unaffiliated with CCFP who have voiced public support for Israel to their massive social media followings.
Boxing champion Floyd Mayweather, Jr. shared his firm support for Israel with his 30 million Instagram followers twice, including a photo of himself overlooking the Western Wall. TMZ reported that Mayweather planned to dispatch his private jet, named “Air Mayweather” to deliver food, water, bulletproof vests and other relief supplies to civilians and IDF soldiers over the weekend.
Hours before the first Sabbath after the attacks, film director Quentin Tarantino visited military bases and towns throughout southern Israel to boost the morale of soldiers and residents. For several years, the “Pulp Fiction” director has resided in the Tel Aviv suburb of Ramat Aviv with his wife, Israeli singer/model Daniella Pick, and their two children. They met in 2009 at the Israel premiere of Tarantino’s film “Inglorious Basterds.” Though Tarantino didn’t post to any social media about his gesture, photos and videos were shared worldwide.
Los Angeles Lakers star Lebron James took to Instagram to express his thoughts on the war on behalf of his video production enterprise, The SpringHill Company. “The murder and violence against innocent people by Hamas is terrorism,” James wrote with SpringHill co-founder Maverick Carter. “The SpringHill Company family extends our deepest condolences to Israel and the Jewish community. We pray for peace in the region and reiterate our continued commitment to fight hate in all its forms. We all must work to ensure this tragedy does not spread even more hate, racism, and antisemitism.” James has the 26th most followed Instagram account in the world, with over 158 million followers.
Media personality Kim Kardashian shared words of sympathy for Israel with her 364 million followers. “A message to my Jewish friends and family,” Kardashian wrote. “I love you. I support you. I have heard about how scared you feel during this time, and I want you to know you are not alone in this. My heart is broken seeing the videos of these babies and families being terrorized and murdered in front of the whole world! As human beings with a heart, how can anyone not be devastated by these horrific images that we will never be able to unsee? Brutal terrorism has taken innocent lives and now both Israeli and Palestinian civilians are suffering and paying the greatest price there is. As an Armenian, I am particularly sensitive to these issues because I have been talking about the Armenian Genocide for years, and now, after months of blockade with minimal media coverage and no external support, Armenians are the victims of an ethnic cleansing themselves in Artsakh. They are in this moment also suffering from an extreme humanitarian crisis, and there are still prisoners of war being held captive or missing.”
Action star Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson also took to Instagram to express his condemnation of Hamas’ acts of terror against the Jewish people. “I’m heartbroken, angry, and sickened by the brutal murders and kidnapping of Jewish people through the horrific acts of the Hamas terrorist group,” Johnson posted. “The growing loss of innocent Israeli and Palestinian lives is heart wrenching as this war escalates to immense proportions. I don’t pretend to know everything about the complex conflict in the Middle East. It commands deep understanding, context, and nuance — what I do know is hateful acts of terrorism like these are never justified. I condemn and denounce terrorism, and in this devastating moment, my heart goes out to all the innocent victims and families grieving for their lost loved ones. I pray for compassion and resolve. I pray for all innocent lives. ~dj” Johnson has the sixth most-followed Instagram account in the world, with 392 million followers. Johnson is the most popular Instagram account to condemn the Hamas terrorist attacks.
Media personality Kylie Jenner was at one point the most-followed Instagram account (400 million followers) to express support for Israel, when she shared a post from the advocacy group Stand With Us in her Instagram story that read “Now and always, we stand with the people of Israel!” Jenner deleted the post, and news outlets are estimating that she lost between 500,000-1 million followers after expressing support for Israel.