Looking at Anti-Israel Celebrities and Their Brands
JNS.org – During the current conflict in Gaza a number of celebrities have voiced their opinions in support of either the Israeli or Palestinian positions. But others—be it during Operation Protective Edge or at other times—have gone further than simply supporting the Palestinians by actively supporting the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel, making false accusations about the Jewish state, ignoring Israel’s position on the conflict, or justifying the actions of the terrorist group Hamas. Many of these celebrities also endorse popular brands and products.
The following is a list of such celebrities and some of the brands they have endorsed:
Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem
On July 28, actors Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem, who are married, signed an open letter along with dozens of other Spanish film stars, directors, musicians, and writers, including renowned director Pedro Almodovar, denouncing Israel’s Operation Protective Edge in Gaza as “genocide.” (JNS.org published a rebuttal of the letter here.)
Cruz has endorsed products such as Lancôme, L’Oréal, Mango,Ralph Lauren, and Agent Provocateur. Bardem, who made acameo appearance in Cruz’s Agent Provocateur ad, also appeared in a campaign for Doctors Without Borders.
Roger Waters of Pink Floyd
Roger Waters, front man for the band Pink Floyd, has long been an outspoken supporter of the BDS movement. In addition to refusing to perform in Israel and calling on other musicians to cancel their planned concerts there, Waters featured a giant pig-shaped balloon emblazoned with a Star of David in a 2013 concert, prompting accusations of anti-Semitism. He has also compared Israelis to Nazis.
In the 1990s, Volkswagen sponsored the tours of several bands, including Pink Floyd, and issued a special edition Golf car named after the band.
In the midst of the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas in Gaza, British comedian Russell Brand posted a YouTube video criticizing Fox News host Sean Hannity’s interview with Palestinian-American guest Yousef Munayyer. In the video, Brand said Hamas terrorists might use “what we would perceive or term as acts of terror” to defend themselves against Israel.
In 2011, Brand appeared in a commercial for the HP TouchPad.
Zayn Malik of One Direction
Singer Zayn Malik of the British band One Direction posted the hashtag #FreePalestine on his Twitter amid the current conflict between Israel and Hamas. Unlike singer Rihanna, who also posted the hashtag and then deleted it, Malik kept his post online, garnering nearly 200,000 retweets.
Actor Danny Glover has also supported the BDS movement. In 2009, he signed on to a declaration condemning Israel as an “apartheid regime” and dismissing the work of the Tel Aviv filmmakers featured in the Toronto International Film Festival as “Israeli propaganda.”
In 2014, Glover joined others featured in “American Revolutionary: The Evolution of Grace Lee Boggs” in a statement lamenting the documentary film’s screening at the DocAviv festival in Tel Aviv on May 13 and 15.
“We stand in solidarity with the people of Palestine, and support their call for cultural and academic boycott of Israel,” stated Glover and the other signatories.
In 2010, Glover became a brand ambassador for the nutrition company Eiro.
In January 2014, British actress Emma Thompson participated in a call with other actors to boycott the Israeli Habima Theatre’s performance at the Globe Theatre in London. In a letter published by The Guardian, Thompson and her co-signers berated Habima for its “shameful record of involvement with illegal Israeli settlements in Occupied Palestinian Territory.”
Thompson is currently a member of the lineup of “Leading Ladies” representing Marks & Spencer.
Hollywood star Dustin Hoffman had canceled plans to attend the Jerusalem Film Festival following the IDF’s raid of the 2010 flotilla that sought to break the blockade on Gaza. Hoffman, who is Jewish, was scheduled to appear at the Muslim Public Affairs Council’s (MPAC) 22nd Annual Media Awards to present an award to an anti-Israel film. MPAC is run by Salam al-Marayati, a radical leader who has called for Israel’s destruction. Hoffman pulled outat the last minute due to “a very serious virus.”
Singer Stevie Wonder backed out of a performance at a Friends of the Israel Defense Forces (FIDF) gala in Los Angeles in 2012 due to “a recommendation from the United Nations to withdraw.” Prior to Wonder’s decision to cancel his performance, BDS activists posted a petition on change.org urging the singer to pull out. That petition garnered more than 4,600 signatures.
In 2013, Wonder appeared in a Super Bowl commercial for Bud Light.