Fayrouz and Other Celebrities Acknowledge That Palestinian Lives Matter
By: Emiliya Strahilova/Arab America Contributing Writer
More than one hundred Palestinians were killed in the Gaza strip since March 30 and the number of the injured is climbing to over 13,000. While the investigation on how the Israeli forces were trying to minimize the casualties is still going on, there are several famous people that are defending Gazans and blaming Israel and Trump for pushing the sudden move of the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem; their voices are heard loudly in the social media.
The following are some of the celebrities and elected officials that have expressed their concern: Chelsea Handler, Bette Midler, Rowan Blanchard, Judd Apatow, Ava DuVerney, Jeffrey Wright, Marc Lamont Hill, Josh Fox, Gigi Hadid, Susan Sarandon, Morgan J. Freeman, rapper Vic Mensa, Senator Bernie Sanders, Rep. Marc Pocan, Rep. Betty McCollum, Rep. Barbara Lee, Reza Aslan, NFL player Oday Aboushi, WWE fighter Sami Zayn, journalist Rula Jebrael.
There are more who have joined a growing chorus of high-profile influencers speaking out against Israel’s regime.
— Gigi Hadid (@GiGiHadid) May 15, 2018
Whether coming from artistic or political backgrounds, they are not shying away from expressing their devastation with the current situation. For instance, American filmmaker Ava DuVerney shared Senator Bernie Sanders stance.
“A United Nations anti-discrimination committee on Monday called on Israel to stop using ‘disproportionate force’ against Palestinian protesters in Gaza, stating it was ‘gravely concerned’ those killed posed no imminent threat when they were shot.” https://t.co/JSAcPixcGI
— Ava DuVernay (@ava) May 14, 2018
Over 50 killed in Gaza today and 2,000 wounded, on top of the 41 killed and more than 9,000 wounded over the past weeks. This is a staggering toll. Hamas violence does not justify Israel firing on unarmed protesters.
— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) May 14, 2018
The fact the new U.S. embassy was cheerfully celebrated simultaneously with the massacre at the protests additionally provoked popular personalities’ comments. The trend in the media was to show a split screen where on one side attired officials were attending the ceremony at the embassy and on the other unarmed Palestinians were running away from bombs and gunfire.
Fifty-two people died in protest over moving American Embassy to Jerusalem. Thanks, asshole! Your uninformed and demented actions have consequences! Don’t you get it? Those people had families too!
— Bette Midler (@BetteMidler) May 14, 2018
I’m glad Ivanka and Jared could take time away from their busy schedules of not being qualified to represent the US to go represent the US, and celebrate moving the capital in exchange for the adelson’s donations, while 50+ Palestinians have been killed.
— Chelsea Handler (@chelseahandler) May 14, 2018
Celebrating the US embassy opening in occupied Jerusalem, precisely while IDF troops are murdering scores of innocent, unarmed Palestinians in Gaza:
The appalling juxtaposition of these two jarring events, unfolding in synchronicity, screams total disregard for human suffering. pic.twitter.com/JTg3tOaXCI
— Rula Jebreal (@rulajebreal) May 14, 2018
Jeffrey Wright compared Netanyahu’s enthusiastic exclamation “What a glorious day!” with the “heavy devaluation of Palestinian life.”Others drew a parallel between the violence at the Gaza strip and the disregard of the African Americans and minorities in the U.S. Above all, people were simply demonstrating their sincere solidarity with the tragedy of the Palestinians.
I’m the child of Holocaust Survivors. This kind of genocidal violence in Israel must be called out for what it is. This is totally unacceptable. Occupation is a crime. Our heritage should forbid us from engaging in this horrendous violence. We must address the cycle and end it https://t.co/jR3u1VkVu0
— Josh Fox (@joshfoxfilm) May 14, 2018
Even the iconic Lebanese vocalist Fayrouz released a song this past Sunday dedicated to the victims of the Israeli massacres of Palestinian protesters in Gaza. The song is a hymn entitled, “How long, O Lord?” The lyrics of the psalm lament, “how long, lord, will you forget me forever, how long will you hide your face from me?” The music video is juxtaposed with pictures of the horrific events which took place in Gaza protesting President Donald Trump’s decision to open the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem.
Meanwhile, at the festival in Cannes, Spanish American star Benicio del Toro accompanied pro-Palestinians who guarded a tent with the Palestinian flag. French Lebanese actress, Manal Issa got noticed by everyone holding high a sign reading “Stop the attack on Gaza.” This was the first time the Palestinians had their space among the rest of the pavilions at the festival. “It’s really crazy to be here with the films, with the filmmakers, talking about our future plans, while our kids and families are suffering from the Israeli attack on them,” said Palestinian film producer and director, May Odeh.
In the past year, an increasing number of entertainers, athletes, and scholars, such as Natalie Portman, Lorde, and NFL player Michael Bennett have boycotted trips and events in Israel, citing their objections to Israel’s treatment of Palestinians and refugees. Recently, Paul McCartney also announced that he wouldn’t travel to Israel to receive the music Wolf prize because the awarding ceremony, “doesn’t fit his schedule.”