The Hollywood sign in Los Angeles, California. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.
More than 130 members of the entertainment industry have signed an open letter calling on celebrities and influencers to stop spreading false information about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
“We call on our colleagues and friends in the entertainment community to stop posting misinformation and one-sided narratives that only work to inflame the conflict instead of bringing about peace,” the May 14 open letter stated. “When lives are at stake, we all bear responsibility to unite rather than divide. Incendiary language only benefits those at the extremes who have no interest in peace. Our thoughts are with all Israelis and Palestinians who are experiencing unfathomable levels of fear and violence, and hope for the day when both peoples can live side by side in peace.”
It added, “While we may have differing opinions on the conflict, it is never okay for Hamas to publicly call for the killing of civilians, use civilians as human shields, and rain down missiles indiscriminately on civilian populations with no care about who is killed — Arab or Jew.”
The letter’s signatories include KISS frontman Gene Simmons, Grammy Award-winning artist Michael Bublé, songwriter-producer Diane Warren, “The View” co-host Meghan McCain, actress Selma Blair, actress Emmanuelle Chriqui, Disturbed frontman David Draiman, actor David Mazouz, and singer Matisyahu, among many others. It was published by Creative Community for Peace, an apolitical, non-profit entertainment industry organization.
“Misinformed and fallacious memes being posted by those far away from the conflict are being taken for truth,” said Ari Ingel, director of Creative Community for Peace. “This distorted version of reality is being spread online and then amplified by influencers, which only fans the flames of hatred and has real life consequences.”
Ingel told Variety he hopes the open letter will also inform people that “Hamas is playing a leading role in this violence.”
“While we may have differing views on whether the evictions are legitimate or not legitimate, that doesn’t take away from Hamas firing these missiles indiscriminately at civilian populations in Israel, which affects Arabs and Jews,” Ingel explained. “People need to call on [Hamas] to stop firing missiles and stop inflaming the situation.”