Hollywood Verses Benny Gantz

Top actors, musicians and authors back open letter accusing Israeli DM of apartheid and suppressing Palestinian human rights

By Ryan Jones | | Topics: palestinians
Feeling the heat from Hollywood: Even with centrists and leftists in power, it's a mistake to think that the world's cultural elites will warm to Israel. Photo: Marc Israel Sellem/POOL

What do they know about it? Probably not much. But that isn’t stopping Hollywood elites from using their public platform to condemn Israel Defense Minister Benny Gantz for blacklisting six Palestinian NGOs as terror-supporting organizations.

In an open letter addressed to the Israeli leadership, 100 prominent entertainers, artists and other industry big shots expressed their feelings on the matter:


 

Over the past two weeks, Israel has launched an unprecedented and blanket attack on Palestinian human rights defenders beginning with the designation, on 19 October 2021, of six leading Palestinian human rights organisations as “terrorist” groups.

Still, despite international condemnation by the UN, international human rights groups, and government officials, the Israeli occupation has doubled down in their crackdown and issued a military order that outlaws, entirely, the six Palestinian organisations in the West Bank.

The vital work of these six organizations to protect and empower Palestinians and hold Israel accountable for its gross human rights violations and aparthied regime of institutionlised racial discrimination is precisely the work that Israel is trying to end. Israel’s designation of these six Palestinian organisations as “terrorist” groups, and the military order that outlaws them places the safety of the organisations and their staff at imminent risk.


 

The letter was endorsed by Richard Gere, Mark Ruffalo, Claire Foy, Tilda Swinton, Susan Sarandon and Simon Pegg, among others. See the full list here.

The six Palestinian NGOs in question have all been linked to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), a recognized terrorist organization the world over. Israel has quietly presented evidence (and much of it is publicly available) that these NGOs:

  • Employed and financially compensated convicted terrorists;
  • Forged documents for the purpose of raising donations for the PFLP, under the guise of activities that did not take place; and
  • Facilitated the recruitment of activists to the military arm of the PFLP.

In short, the Israeli government charged that “these organizations constitute a lifeline for the PFLP in the form of fundraising, money laundering and recruitment of operatives.”

To further understand Israel’s decision, read:

Gere, Ruffalo, Sarandon and the rest have little personal knowledge of what’s really going on. They are latching on to charges leveled by anti-Israel groups and organizations, driven to do so by their own antagonism toward the Jewish state.

Those familiar with the Middle East conflict are aware that bonafide terrorist organizations like Hamas, Hezbollah and the Muslim Brotherhood often engage in genuine humanitarian activities. Doing so serves three purposes:

  1. Cover up their more violent activities.
  2. Serve as a vector for fundraising abroad.
  3. Ingratiate themselves with the local population in order to better recruit new members.

As such, it is entirely possible that the six NGOs at the center of the current scandal are both humanitarians and terrorists. In the Muslim Middle East, and in particular in regards to the conflict with Israel, the two roles are not mutually exclusive.

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