Wednesday, August 10th | 14 Av 5782

July 15, 2022 10:59 am

From Ruffalo to Rogen, the Celebs Who Have Spread the Biggest Lies About Israel

avatar by Rachel O'Donoghue


Mark Ruffalo and Cate Blanchett speaking at the 2017 San Diego Comic Con International, for “Thor: Ragnarok.” Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

Hollywood actor Mark Ruffalo once again displayed his breathtaking ignorance when he claimed that the death of Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh in the West Bank city of Jenin was part of a pattern of “state sanctioned killings,” and not the result of a firefight between Islamist terrorists and the Israeli military, as the evidence points to.

This isn’t the first time, of course, that Ruffalo has made controversial comments about the Jewish state. Last year, he issued an apology after having accused Israel of committing “genocide” in Gaza during the Hamas-initiated May war.

Taking to Twitter, the film star announced that he had “reflected” on his posts and said the word genocide — defined as the mass extermination of a particular group of people — was “not accurate” and “disrespectful,” while acknowledging that it was being used to “justify antisemitism.”

He also claimed that it was “time to avoid hyperbole” — a lesson that, judging by his latest intervention, he did not take to heart.

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Sadly, Ruffalo is not alone in the celebrity world when it comes to espousing inflammatory rhetoric about Israel.

From model Bella Hadid posting cartoons to her millions of followers that suggest Israel is a land of colonizers, to adult film actress Mia Khalifa quaffing Nazi-era champagne while condemning Israel as an “apartheid” state, the rich and famous cannot help but get their facts wrong as they relate to the thorny, complicated issue of Israeli-Palestinian affairs.

Here are some of the most notable infamous anti-Israel statements made by A-listers.

Academy Award-nominated director Lars Von Trier is best known for his sometimes mind-bending movies, but he is on HonestReporting’s radar for a different reason: his appalling remarks about Nazism and Israel.

In 2011, the Danish filmmaker was kicked out of the glitzy Cannes Film Festival after making disturbing remarks about his sympathy for Adolf Hitler and his dislike of Israel during a press conference for his movie Melancholia.

Sitting next to a noticeably-uncomfortable Kirsten Dunst, von Trier told a room full of journalists:

I thought I was a Jew for a long time and was very happy being a Jew … Then it turned out that I was not a Jew … I found out that I was really a Nazi which also gave me some pleasure. What can I say? I understand Hitler. He did some wrong things, absolutely, but I can see him sitting there in his bunker at the end … I sympathize with him, yes, a little bit.

Von Trier then suggested he could not be “for Jews” because of Israel and joked that he was a Nazi:

But come on, I am not for the Second World War, and I am not against Jews. I am very much for Jews; well not too much because Israel is a pain in the ass. But still, how can I get out of this sentence … Okay, I’m a Nazi.

Fellow film director Oliver Stone also received backlash over an antisemitic and anti-Israel diatribe.

Stone, who won an Oscar for his smash hit movie “Platoon,” gave an interview in 2010 to the Sunday Times in which he downplayed the Holocaust and suggested Israel exerted control over United States foreign policy.

In the interview, Stone claimed that in America there was an inordinate focus on the Nazi-perpetrated murder of six million Jews during the Holocaust because of “Jewish domination of the media.”

He also suggested Jews and Israel exerted a malign influence over policy-making in the United States:

There’s a major lobby in the United States. “[Jews] are hard workers. They stay on top of every comment, the most powerful lobby in Washington. Israel has f***** up United States foreign policy for years.

Just months before Stone’s comments to the Sunday Times, he had defended Hitler as being used as an “easy scapegoat throughout history.”

Unfortunately, even some celebrities who should know better have abandoned all logic in their rush to condemn Israel.

For example, Jewish comedian and actor Seth Rogen, whose parents met on a kibbutz in Israel, once mocked pro-Israel activist Eve Barlow after she spoke out about online antisemitic bullying.

In addition, he claimed in a 2020 podcast interview that he was “fed a huge amount of lies about Israel” and implied the Jewish state did not have a right to exist:

To me [Israel] just seems an antiquated thought process. If it is for religious reasons, I don’t agree with it, because I think religion is silly. If it is for truly the preservation of Jewish people, it makes no sense, because again, you don’t keep something you’re trying to preserve all in one place – especially when that place is proven to be pretty volatile, you know? …  And I also think that as a Jewish person I was fed a huge amount of lies about Israel my entire life! They never tell you that, ‘oh, by the way, there were people there.’ They make it seem like it was just like sitting there, like the f*****g door’s open! They forget to include the fact to every young Jewish person.

Jewish thespian and star of the Harry Potter films Miriam Margolyes also denigrated Israel by suggesting that the Jewish state is to blame for rising antisemitism. Speaking in 2014, Margoyles additionally claimed that Israel’s defensive measures against US-designated terrorist group Hamas were “unacceptable”:

I loathe Hamas, but they were democratically elected and Israel’s behavior is not acceptable. I don’t think people like Jews – they never have. English literature, my great love, is full of greasy and treacherous Jews. I’m lucky they like me, and one always needs a Jewish accountant. Antisemitism is horrible and can’t be defended, but Israel is stupid for allowing people to vent it.

It was bestselling author Michael Crichton who once described the people of Hollywood as “fabulously stupid.”

The aforementioned titans of the silver screen prove that he may have had a point.

The author is a contributor to HonestReporting, a Jerusalem-based media watchdog with a focus on antisemitism and anti-Israel bias — where a version of this article first appeared.

The opinions presented by Algemeiner bloggers are solely theirs and do not represent those of The Algemeiner, its publishers or editors. If you would like to share your views with a blog post on The Algemeiner, please be in touch through our Contact page.

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