Actress Alyssa Milano Blasted for Singling Out Israel, ‘Targeting Jews’ in Twitter Post About Stimulus Deal
American actress Alyssa Milano was roasted by social media users on Monday for a Twitter post that singled out Israel for receiving US aid.
The US Congress approved on Monday a nearly-$900 billion coronavirus aid package that includes $600 stimulus checks for Americans. This second round of stimulus checks will be sent to individuals earning less than $75,000 a year and couples making less than $150,000.
Milano reacted harshly in a Twitter post, saying, “Between 30 and 40 million families are at risk of eviction, but Congress can only afford $600 per person. I’m sure the $500 MILLION in arms and military aid to Israel and the $2 BILLION for Air Force missiles will help keep them warm when they are on the streets.”
Her post was retweeted by Jewish actress and “Will & Grace” star Debra Messing.
— Debra Messing✍🏻 (@DebraMessing) December 22, 2020
Milano’s comments followed a similar tweet by journalist Walker Bragman.
But, as others pointed out, the aid to Israel was part of a broader $1.4 trillion agreement to fund the government through the rest of the fiscal year, not the COVID-19 relief bill. The spending agreement allocates foreign aid to a number of countries as part of the 2021 Defense Department budget, including $700 million to Sudan, $453 million to the Ukraine, and $1.3 billion to Egypt — almost three times the amount headed to Israel.
Tablet Magazine‘s Yair Rosenberg explained in a Twitter thread:
“The bill contains money for everyone from Egypt to Pakistan, as it does every year. Worth noting that under the current agreement struck by Obama, most military aid to Israel (and soon all of it) must be spent in America, so it’s ultimately just a subsidy to our own industries.”
“What they told you: Congress gave $500 million in its covid relief bill to Israel instead of Americans. What actually happened: Congress passed its foreign aid budget for all countries, including military aid to Israel, nearly all of which must be spent on American companies.”
Milano closed replies to her tweet, meaning that only users whom she followed or were mentioned could reply. Still, some social media criticized the “Charmed” actress on their own accounts for a post that one commenter said vilified Israel and “ultimately targets Jews.”
“@Alyssa_Milano, I generally respect your activism, but you have totally misrepresented the situation and for some reason singled out Israel, who isn’t even the largest recipient of military aid in the Defense Bill,” wrote another commenter.
Others leveled charges of bigotry, and called on both Messing and Milano to apologize for singling out Israel. “You helped spread antisemitism,” one Twitter user charged.
Ellie Cohanim — the US State Department’s deputy special envoy to combat anti-semitism — took aim at Bragman’s original tweet, which was amplified by antisemitic and white supremacist Twitter users.
.@WalkerBragman’s disinformation and singling out of Israel is meant to elicit an emotional response—which it does successfully. Not just by his usual followers, but also on platforms like 4chan populated by white supremacists: pic.twitter.com/MOWxzAWaOt
— Ellie Cohanim (@elliecohanim) December 22, 2020
Editor’s note: After the publication of this article, Milano removed her Twitter post and apologized.