The most recent Gaza slaughter presents another situation where the public pronouncements of people who matter have to be squelched. This is a community that most definitely does not believe in free speech (see Brenton Sanderson’s current article on the situation in Australia.) Of course, as in the “Jews control Hollywood” theme (see below), these things keep popping up, so pressure must be brought to bear.
An article in JTA sums up some of the current examples (“From Selena Gomez to Howard Stern, celebs squabble over Gaza in tweets and rants“). Basically, these celebrities had the mistaken view that Gaza is a humanitarian crisis so one could feel sympathy for the victims. So they impulsively put out messages of sympathy for the Gazans, as good liberals should. Only to be subjected to powerful blow back, causing most of them to quickly backpedal.
The prize for quickest turnaround goes to Rihanna “who tweeted #Free Palestine, only to delete the tweet eight minutes later and subsequently post a picture of a Jewish and Arab boy walking arm in arm with the message, ‘Let’s pray for peace and a swift end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict!’”
Just how low the bar is for offending the pro-Israel community can be seen with Selena Gomez who
urged her Instagram followers to “Pray for Gaza,” then followed up a few hours later to add that she was “not picking any sides.” That was more than enough for Joan Rivers, who capped off a pro-Israel tirade by sarcastically mocking Gomez as “that college grad,” then added, “Let’s see if she can spell Palestinian.”
Expressing sympathy for the slaughter of Gazans is far too partisan for the censors.
The opinions of celebrities matter to a lot of people. Hence the terror felt by Marvin Hier of the Simon Wiesenthal Center when Penelope Cruz and others signed a letter accusing the IDF of “genocide” in Gaza. Hier’s tactic was to find a non-Jewish celebrity who could be counted on to have the right attitude. That would be John Voight who is in a class by himself when it comes to philosemitism. From Jew or Not Jew:
Voight is not Jewish, although from the looks of things, he might as well be. A long-time host of the Chabad Telethon [see Trudie Pert’s series on Menachem Mandel Schneerson], he has extensively studied the Torah and Hasidic literature. He counts a number of rabbis as his friends, has addressed the congregation in a Hollywood synagogue on Yom Kippur, and seeks out Chabad centers on his travels.
Voight performed as expected, noting that “Israel has always labored for a peaceful relation with its Arab neighbors” (!) and accusing the miscreants of inciting anti-Semitism.
Whether it was Voight’s letter or the numerous other critiques of the couple, the pushback worked. Cruz released a statement noting that she was “not an expert on the situation” and that she only wished to promote peace.
Others did the same:
In fact a number of the celebrities who have spoken out on the Gaza conflict have followed a pattern similar to that of Cruz and [Javier] Bardem — a gesture in sympathy with the Palestinians (sometimes paired with harsh criticism of Israel) followed by criticism that leads to backtracking (possibly with the caveat that no bigotry was intended), finally capped off with a vague call for peace.
Madonna atoned for her gaffe of referring to the “innocent children of GAZA” by condemning Hamas and posting “a picture of herself with a pair of bare-topped, muscled back-up dancers — one wearing a Jewish star on his muscled abs, the other a Muslim crescent.” Madonna is nothing if not tasteful.
Some celebrities I hadn’t heard of didn’t back down, cooperating in a video put out by Jewish Voice for Peace (Eve Ensler, Mandy Patinkin, Roger Waters, Chuck D and Brian Eno), so we will have to see what becomes of their careers.
Jackie Mason (an ordained rabbi) is quite clear that these people should suffer professional consequences—that the Jews who run Hollywood should punish celebrities who offend the pro-Israel crowd, specifically mentioning Gomez, Cruz, and Rihanna.
“They come from these kinds of anti-Semitic, low-class backgrounds where a Jew is the most disgusting thing in the world to them,” Mason answers, according to audio obtained by The Hollywood Reporter. “The ironic thing is that it’s Jewish people who own these Hollywood studios … And they all hire these people and they depend on them for a living. Every penny they made is made from Jews and they hate every Jew just by nature.”
Say what?? Jews own the studios and have power to punish Hollywood celebrities who oppose Jewish interests to the point that all of those mentioned by Mason backtracked on their statements? Which implies that these celebrities are afraid that indeed Hollywood Jews are acting as Jews in exerting pressure on them. I guess it’s okay when someone like Mason says it (but not Gary Oldman et al.).
Also note the incredible leap from criticizing Israel to supposedly hating all Jews.
Mason is definitely on the hyper-fanatical end of the spectrum of fanaticism, but it’s the kind of fanaticism that can’t hurt in Hollywood. I rather doubt that he will suffer any professional difficulties for expressing his opinions.