The summer’s bloodletting in the Gaza Strip has stopped, but the discourse on war that Israel’s assault sparked in the U.S. rages on. Nowhere is this more apparent than in Hollywood, where celebrity criticism of Israel led to recriminations from pro-Israel stars and threats to blacklist those who spoke out against the military operation. The entertainment industry is splitting over Israel in the wake of that state’s punishing attack on Palestinians in Gaza.
Before hostilities ended, those weighing in on social media on the side of Israel included Bill Maher, Howard Stern and Roseanne Barr. And Creative Community for Peace, a pro-Israel activist org, released a petition with 200 names in support of Israel. Sylvester Stallone, Seth Rogen, Minnie Driver and Arnold Schwarzenegger were among the signatories, as were several top studio execs.
Adalah-NY, the New York Campaign for the Boycott of Israel, accuses CCFP of being in bed with Israeli right-wing political interests.
New York, NY, September 2, 2014 - On August 23, the Los Angeles group Creative Community for Peace (CCFP) released a widely reported on statement in Billboard Magazine - “200 Hollywood Heavyweights Support Israel.” What was not reported is that CCFP is a “creative” front group for the right-wing, pro Israeli settler nonprofit StandWithUs, that has a close relationship with the Israeli government. Though CCFP carefully avoids explaining this on their website and materials, CCFP is the same legally-registered nonprofit as StandWithUs (SWU), and, as of October 2013, operated from within SWU’s LA office.
Felice Gelman from Adalah-NY: The New York Campaign for the Boycott of Israel commented, “We wonder if CCFP explained to the Hollywood luminaries who signed its statement, like Ziggy Marley and Sarah Silverman, that its apolitical message of ‘art building bridges for peace’ is actually a sanitizing front for the right-wing, pro-settler organization StandWithUs, that has deep ties to the Israeli government? We are also concerned that US media covering the statement did not report on who CCFP really is.”
On Thursday evening, July 24, several hundred people including many Jews gathered in Foley Square for an anti-Israeli rally. The names of over 100 children killed in Gaza were read aloud as several people stretched out a long tape bearing the names and ages of the dead.