Since Hamas terrorists attacked Israel on October 7, over 1,200 Israelis have been killed, more than 3,300 have been injured and an estimated 200 people have been kidnapped and taken to the Gaza Strip.
Many celebrities have sent their support to Israeli soldiers, civilians, and those affected by the violence. However, many have also faced backlash for expressing support for Israelis, including calls to boycott those artists.
Below are some of the Jewish and non-Jewish celebrities who have shown solidarity with the Israeli people during their time of need and public responses to their statements.
Israeli actress Gal Gadot has been a vocal supporter of Israel in Hollywood.
“I stand with Israel, you should too,” Gadot wrote in an Instagram post. “The world cannot sit on the fence when these horrific acts of terror are happening!”
On October 7, the “Wonder Woman” star shared multiple Instagram Stories decrying the violence in Israel.
“At least 250 Israelis have been murdered and dozens of women, children and elders held as hostages in Gaza, by Palestinian military group Hamas,” Gadot wrote. “Starting early morning, more than 3,000 rockets were fired. Hamas is holding hostages controlling bases and settlements in Israel. There have been more than 1,500 injured, and heavy fighting is still ongoing.
“I hear their voices and they are banging on the door. I am with my two little children. My heart is aching.”
Gadot, who hosted a screening of 47 minutes of uncensored footage of the Oct. 7 Hamas attacks, is one of the most boycotted actresses in Hollywood.
Calls to boycott the 125 film executives, producers and actors invited to the screening flooded social media when the news of the screening was announced.
On Instagram, Jewish comedian Jerry Seinfeld shared a photo that said, “I Stand With Israel,” writing about his experiences living in the country.
“I lived and worked on a kibbutz in Israel when I was 16 and I have loved our Jewish homeland ever since. My heart is breaking from these attacks and atrocities. But we are also a very strong people in our hearts and minds.
“We believe in justice, freedom and equality. We survive and flourish no matter what. I will always stand with Israel and the Jewish people,” he said.
In a Substack post titled, “Why I find antisemitism to be especially heinous,” former NBA star Kareem Abdul-Jabbar condemned the uptick in antisemitism following Hamas’s attack on Israel.
“Part of the heinousness is that antisemitism infects people of other cultures, religions, and ethnicities who have themselves been targeted for the same mistreatment,” Abdul-Jabbar wrote.
“How can you decry the unfairness and bad logic of prejudice based on skin color, nationality, religion, or gender, then turn around and support it against Jews?” he added.
“The reasons given for antisemitism are so depressing. If an extraterrestrial alien listened to the typical antisemite give their reasons for hating Jews, they would probably be inclined to conclude that there is no intelligent life on Earth,” he wrote.
Abdul-Jabbar wrote that painting people with broad strokes and resorting to antisemitism fosters hate for no reason besides racism.
“Please don’t bother characterizing anyone else as a terrorist, because the moment you make threats against someone because of their religion, you’re the terrorist,” he concluded.
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson
Dwayne Johnson, known as the Rock, voiced his sorrow and anger to his 391 million Instagram followers, writing, “I’m heartbroken, angry, and sickened by the brutal murders and kidnapping of Jewish people through the horrific acts of the Hamas terrorist group. The growing loss of innocent Israeli and Palestinian lives is heart wrenching as this war escalates to immense proportions.”
“I condemn and denounce terrorism, and in this devastating moment, my heart goes out to all the innocent victims and families grieving for their lost loved ones,” he added. Johnson has the fifth-highest following on Instagram.
Los Angeles Lakers star Lebron James condemned the Hamas attacks on X, writing with his business partner Maverick Carter, “The devastation in Israel is tragic and unacceptable. The murder and violence against innocent people by Hamas is terrorism.”
“The SpringHill Company family sends our deepest condolences to Israel and the Jewish community,” they added, referring to the entertainment company founded by James and Carter. “We all must work to ensure this tragedy does not spread even more hate, racism, and antisemitism.”
Kim Kardashian condemned the Hamas attacks and expressed her solidarity with the Jewish community, posting to her 364 million followers: “A message to my Jewish friends and family. I love you. I support you. I have heard about how scared you feel during this time, and I want you to know you are not alone in this.”
The reality star added, “My heart is broken seeing the videos of these babies and families being terrorized and murdered in front of the whole world! As human beings with a heart, how can anyone not be devastated by these horrific images that we will never be able to unsee?”
NFL legend Tom Brady unequivocally condemned the Hamas attacks, writing on X: “There should be no gray area about condemning Hamas’ terrorist attacks on Israeli citizens.”
“I’m heartbroken for all of the innocent lives lost in Israel and Gaza this week, heartbroken for the losses that are sure to follow. It’s horrifying to watch this violence continue to unfold with no indication of stopping,” he added.
Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg condemned the Hamas attacks on Facebook, writing, “The terrorist attacks by Hamas are pure evil. There is never any justification for carrying out acts of terrorism against innocent people. The widespread suffering that has resulted is devastating. My focus remains on the safety of our employees and their families in Israel and the region.”
Israel’s official X account responded, saying “Thank you @Meta.”
Jewish actor Josh Gad shared his sorrow for those who have died in Israel on Instagram.
“I have no words. I am praying for my many family members in Israel. What a cowardly act,” he wrote. “What we are witnessing in real time right now is unprecedented since the Yom Kippur War. My heart breaks for the families of those who have lost loved ones, and for the hostages who have been taken. What a horrific day.”
Gad later said he was “personally attacked, shamed, unfollowed and threatened” for expressing his sympathy toward Israelis who were killed by Hamas. He wrote another post on Threads about how he has been critical of the Israeli government’s treatment of Palestinians, and one can support their cause without championing violence and terrorism.
“Instead of compassion & humanity, people are treating this as if it’s a FOOTBALL match with two teams when the points scored are dead human bodies. Waving flags around as if they are team jerseys,” he wrote.
“Somewhere in a basement right now, tied up and terrified are little CHILDREN who have never done anything to hurt a Palestinian. Somewhere on the streets of Gaza are innocent people who are being shelled, because terrorists decided it was best to destroy any opportunity for peace.
“There are no winners here. We are all losers. Most importantly, every Israeli and Palestinian is now on the losing end,” he added. “I am truly at a loss. I guess I’m the naive one.”
U2 dedicated their concert on Sunday in Las Vegas to those killed at the Supernova music festival.
They changed the lyrics to their song “Pride (In the Name of Love)” to honor the lives lost.
“A song about nonviolence seems ridiculous, but our prayers have always been for peace and for nonviolence. … Our hearts and our anger,” U2’s frontman Bono said.
“Early morning, Oct. 7, sun is rising in the desert sky. Stars of David, they took your life, but they could not take your pride,” he sang.
Israeli talent manager Guy Oseary shared a statement of support to his Instagram Story with a video of a young Israeli woman being kidnapped at the Supernova music festival.
“Over 200 Israelis have been murdered this morning. The terrorist organization Hamas said: ‘If you have a gun, get it out. This is the time to use it — get out with trucks, cars, axes, today the best and most honorable history starts,’” Oseary wrote.
“This is horrific.. these murders are being celebrated in Iran. Noa [Argamani] in this video was at a music festival when she and others were shot at and kidnapped.. many women, children and elderly are being taken from their homes and kidnapped.”
“I have always prayed for peace. ALWAYS,” Oseary added. “I have always spoken up for my Jewish community and have also spoken up for my Arab brothers and sisters. I have no words today. Only heartbreak. Only tears.”
Oseary’s post was shared by many celebrities including Jamie Lee Curtis who commented an Israeli flag with the caption “My hand in yours.”
Mayim Bialik posted an Instagram video of herself reading the final text messages of Israelis killed by Hamas.
“Some of us have decided to read text messages sent from the last moments of people’s lives in Israel. Yes, this is disturbing and heartbreaking, but it’s something I have decided to do in hopes it can continue to convey the depth of pain and suffering the Jewish people and the Israeli population are experiencing as we defend our right to exist. #TheLastMessage #HamasisISIS,” she captioned the video.
Jewish comedian Amy Schumer reposted Guy Oseary’s message and added her own, writing: “Jewish people are the only group not allowed to defend themselves. This has nothing to do with the occupation. Hamas don’t want end to occupation, they want to eradicate Israel. They’re funded by Iran, who are trying to destroy the peace deal.”
Schumer posted the image alongside multiple other graphics and videos. One photo she shared was the image of an Israeli family captioned “Family erased.”
“There is no other side. Hamas is a terrorist organization. Stop sitting at home wondering how to be diplomatic. They want to murder all Jews,” Schumer added.
The comedian shared a quote from Martin Luther King Jr. expressing support for Israel and against antisemitism.
Among other critics, Bernie King, the civil rights activist’s daughter, blasted Schumer on X.
“Amy: Certainly, my father was against antisemitism, as am I,” King wrote. “He also believed militarism (along with racism and poverty) to be among the interconnected Triple Evils. I am certain he would call for Israel’s bombing of Palestinians to cease, for hostages to be released and for us to work for true peace, which includes justice.”
Following the criticism, Schumer wrote a statement responding to allegations that she is Islamaphobic.
“Couple things. What I want is EVERY HOSTAGE BACK. I want safety and freedom from Hamas for Palestinians and Israelis. I want safety for Jewish people and Muslims as well. Everyone. Just like you. I want peace. You will never see me wishing harm on anyone.
“Saying I’m Islamophobic or that I like genocide is crazy,” she added. “When you say I’m rich please add in ‘SELF MADE’ I come [from] being dirt poor. I have never been given any money to support a cause other than tampons. I’ve never stolen a joke.
“We are all in a lot of pain. What hurts the most is that we all actually love each other. You hate Jews. You don’t know why. I still love you,” she added.
She also shared the famous quote from German clergyman Martin Niemöller, which reflects on those who remain silent:
“First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out — because I was not a socialist. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out — because I was not a trade unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out — because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me — and there was no one left to speak for me.”
Barbra Streisand shared and later removed an impassioned message with her followers on Instagram, describing herself as “shocked and shaken” by Hamas’s violence.
“What happened to the rules of engagement? This attack is brutality without any humanity or compassion,” she wrote.
“There are no words to explain the insanity of what is happening and the sadness that is to come of this. I’m grieving for all the mothers and fathers who have lost their children.”
While fans described themselves as “disappointed” by Streisand’s support for Israel, she faced even more pushback when she deleted her statement shortly after posting it.
Some fans speculate that she deleted her statement so it wouldn’t disrupt publicity for her newly-released autobiography.
Former NBA player Amar’e Stoudemire, who received Israeli citizenship in 2019 and converted to Judaism in 2020, shared an expletive-filled video blasting those who did not call out Hamas.
A former player and co-owner of Hapoel Jerusalem, Stoudemire voiced his frustration with those who have been silent regarding antisemitism, arguing they are hypocritical.
“I woke up, man, this morning with some disturbing news out of Israel – that Hamas kidnapping children, putting them in cages, killing women, killing the elderly. That’s some coward s–t. That’s cowardly,” Stoudemire said. “And for all y’all Black Lives Matter (supporters) who ain’t saying nothing, ‘Well let me figure out exactly what’s happening before I say anything,’ — f–k you.
Stoudemire later posted a video clarifying: “I recognize that in a moment of passion that there is a better way that I can communicate my emotions about the conflict. I pray that all involved are able to find a resolution.”
Jewish comedian Sarah Silverman posted Guy Oseary’s photos to X and video and called on her fans to understand that many Israelis disagree with their government and one cannot conflate them.
“My sister and nieces and nephews are there. They’ve been protesting BIBI for months,” she wrote. Silverman added that regardless of one’s views on Israel-Palestinian conflict, everyone should condemn Hamas as a terror organization.
“Fight for a two-state solution,” Silverman continued. “Israelis are Jews and Arabs and all colors. There is so much complexity to this. But make NO MISTAKE Hamas is a terror organization whose mission statement is kill all Jews.”
Israeli supermodel Bar Refaeli mourned the deaths of Israelis in an interview with a German newspaper. She said that as a mother to three young children, she couldn’t fathom how the parents of the children taken hostage or killed must feel.
“My country has been attacked by terrorists who intentionally and indiscriminately murdered hundreds of citizens and kidnapped dozens, including women and children,” she said. “My heart is broken as I hear about more and more dead and wounded on the television that is always on. In these difficult days in which Israel will try to return its kidnapped sons and daughters, global solidarity will be especially important and appreciated.”
“Stranger Things” star Noah Schnapp posted a statement on Instagram where he called on his followers to stand with Israel and denounce Hamas and antisemitism.
“As a Jewish American, I am afraid. Afraid for my brothers and sisters in Israel, who have been senselessly attacked by Hamas. I am truly heartbroken to see the brutal murders of innocent children, women and soldiers fighting to defend themselves,” he wrote.
‘I, like others, want peace for both Palestinians and Israelis. Let’s stop the rhetoric and choosing sides. Instead we must recognise that we are all on the side of the fight against terrorism. Choose humanity over violence,” he added.
The actor said that he received blowback for posting a photo of a victim of Hamas’s attack on the Supernova Music Festival.
“I was met with comments reading “no one cares free Palestine” and “she deserves that, and every Israeli terrorist deserves that – Free Palestine.” I am outraged by the justification and celebration of the death of a young girl’s life. Have people lost their minds??? STOP!
“This is one example of many posts, rallies, and petitions being signed attempting to justify the brutality against these innocent Israeli people.”
Schnapp urged his followers to “have empathy and common sense to know that this is wrong.”
‘You don’t have to be Jewish, you don’t have to be Israeli, you just have to have empathy and common sense to know that THIS is wrong,” he concluded.
In response to his post, many fans said they would boycott “Stranger Things” and Schnapp’s future projects.
Israeli-American actor Ronen Rubinstein encouraged his followers to donate to Israeli causes in his Instagram post.
The “9-1-1 Lone Star” lead shared a tragic message about what is happening in his hometown of Rehovot, saying that Israel has no other choice than to fight back against Hamas during this unprecedented time of terrorism.
“This past weekend, 3 rockets fell in my hometown of Rehovot. My families friends’ Nephew & his 6 month old daughter were brutally murdered in front of their mother and two sons,” he wrote.
“My friends and family who have lived in Israel their entire lives have never seen these kinds of horrors before. Women are being raped & murdered on the streets. Israeli soldiers dead bodies are being dragged by vehicles. Young children, men & women are being kidnapped and tortured.
“Israel has no choice but to protect itself. As Americans, we would never question these actions if someone came into our land and did the atrocities that are happening in Israel. Innocent Israelis AND Palestinians are dying because of the actions taken by TERRORIST. This is a war against TERRORISM. PERIOD.”
Israeli-American Natalie Portman posted a simple message to her Instagram page to express her sadness over the deaths caused by the terrorism.
“My heart is shattered for the people of Israel. Children, women and the elderly have been murdered and abducted from their own homes. I am in horror at these barbaric acts and my heart is pounding with love and prayer for the families of all affected.”
Madonna shared a video of Hamas rockets being fired into Israel and bodies left after the attack. The singer said that it was “unfathomable” to imagine the children being assaulted and murdered by Hamas and said that “conflicts can never be resolved with violence.”
“We live in a World Ravaged by Hate,” she wrote. “My heart goes out to Israel. To Families and Homes that have been destroyed. To children who are lost. To Innocent Victims who have Been Killed. To All who are Suffering or who will suffer from this conflict. I’m Praying For you. … Let us all Pray. For Israel. For Peace. For The World.”
Former MMA champion Floyd Mayweather shared photos of him in Israel in a post to Instagram where he condemned antisemitism and blasted Hamas.
“I stand with Israel against the Hamas terrorists,” Mayweather said. “Hamas do not represent the people of Palestine but are a terrorist group that are attacking innocent lives! I stand for all humans and wish for the safe return of all Americans and Israelis and any human that were kidnapped as hostages during these horrific war crimes. This is not a time for politics.”
The fighter reportedly is also sending his private plane “Air Mayweather” to Israel stocked with supplies for those on the front lines.
Jewish talent manager Scooter Braun had his post supporting Israel taken down twice by Instagram. In it, he shared an image of Noa Argamani, a young woman who was kidnapped at the Supernova music festival where 260 people were slaughtered by Hamas.
“She could be your sister, your friend, your daughter. But I sit and watch so many stay silent waiting for it to becomes a trend before they get involved. I know you are scared. I know you are confused.”
“But I have watched Jews as a minority speak up everytime for others. We marched with you during Black Lives Matter, we stood with you for gun reform, we screamed out when your rights were challenged because of sexual orientation. We give when you are sick…
“But when our synagogues were shot we heard your silence, and now that those in our homeland are murdered by terrorists we don’t expect you to call out for justice, for protection. We actually expect your silence. We expect your ridicule when we defend ourselves. But deep down we always hope our friends would see us,” Braun wrote.
Other celebrities have shared posts supporting Israel
Actor Josh Malina tweeted a photo of the New York Times headline of Hamas’ attack: “Horrendous news to wake up to. Thinking of Israel,” he wrote.
Actress Isla Fisher shared photos of hostages Doron Asher and her two young daughters, aged 5 and 3. In her post Fisher wrote: “There is no excuse for the deliberate killing and kidnapping of innocent civilians anytime anywhere ever.”
“Sons of Anarchy” star Ron Perlman posted a Star of David to Instagram with the words, “I stand with Israel.” His caption read, “Unspeakable savagery, unprocessable sadness.”
Jewish comedian Chelsea Handler condemned Hamas as a terrorist organization in her Instagram post, adding that she does not believe Hamas “represents all Palestinians.”
“I am for human rights and denouncing terror and for the world to end this violence. It is heart-wrenching to see what is happening and there is no excuse for this type of barbarism,” she said.
Israeli actress Yael Grobglas, who starred in “Jane the Virgin” and “Hanukkah on Rye,” shared on Instagram her sadness for her home country: “Israel is under a massive terrorist attack. Hundreds of innocent Israeli civilians murdered, many kidnapped while others are held hostage. My heart is with everyone back home. I stand with Israel.”
Actor Mark Hamill posted a simple message of support for Israel on his Instagram with an image of the American and Israeli flags together, and captioned it, “America stands with Israel. #Always.”
Sofia Richie, Ashley Tisdale, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Liev Schreiber, Nina Dobrev and Max Greenfield also shared an image from StandWithUs on Instagram and expressed their support of Israel.
Over 700 celebrities signed a letter in support of Israel
Over 700 celebrities signed an open letter created by the nonprofit Creative Community for Peace condemning Hamas’s attack on Israel, calling for the hostages to be released, and sharing their support for Israel.
The letter also demanded that those in the entertainment industry not post any misinformation about the war.
The signers of the letter included Chris Pine, Debra Messing, Bryan Lourd, Richard Lovett, Ryan Murphy, Zachery Levi, Sharon Osbourne, Tracey-Ann Oberman, George Lopez, Phil Rosenthal, Mekhi Phifer, Diane Warren, Haim Saban, Irving Azoff, Ynon Kreiz, Jody Gerson, Mark Hamill, Rick Yorn, Howie Mandel, Sherry Lansing, Rick Yorn, Tom Rothman Julian Edelman and Antoine Fuqua.
“We urge everyone to remember the horrific images that came out of Israel and to not amplify or fall for their propaganda,” the letter states.
“Our thoughts are with all those experiencing unfathomable levels of fear and violence, and we hope for the day when Israelis and Palestinians can live side by side in peace.”
Some celebrities have been criticized for remaining silent or neutral
Kylie Jenner was blasted by supporters of both Israel and Hamas for posting a pro-Israel post on Instagram and then promptly deleting it in response to pro-Palestinian blowback. Jenner lost over 1 million followers after she posted the message.
Justin Bieber also swiftly deleted an Instagram story that said “praying for Israel” after he was called out for sharing a graphic with a photo of Gaza instead.
Palestinian-American model Bella Hadid, who has been a vocal critic of Israel, has remained silent after the attacks. Hadid’s fans have criticized her for not speaking up.
Meanwhile, Gigi Hadid, Bella’s sister and fellow model, was called out by the Israeli government for not criticizing Hamas’s massacre in her post.
Hadid wrote on Instagram, “There is nothing Jewish about the Israeli government’s treatment of Palestinians. Condemning the Israeli government is not antisemitic and supporting Palestinians is not supporting Hamas.”
“Have you been sleeping the past week?” the State of Israel wrote on Instagram in response to Hadid’s post. “Or are you just fine turning a blind eye to Jewish babies being butchered in their homes? Your silence has been very clear about where you stand. We see you.”
Israel created its own version of the graphic Hadid shared with new text stating: “There is nothing valiant about Hamas’s massacre of Israelis. Condemning Hamas for what it is (ISIS) is not anti-Palestine and supporting Israelis in their fight against barbaric terrorists is the right thing to do.”
“If you don’t condemn this your words mean nothing,” Israel doubled down with another post to Hadid, sharing photos of a bloodied floor with children’s toys strewn around.
Actress and Rare Beauty founder Selena Gomez was also criticized by supporters of both Israel and Palestine for not taking a firm stance.
“We are devastated by the images & reports coming from the Middle East,” a post on the Rare Beauty Instagram wrote. “Thousands of innocent Palestinian civilians have been killed in Israeli airstrikes & millions of civilians have been displaced & left without access to food, water, medicine, or basic necessities for survival. A large number of these victims are children. Palestinian civilians must be protected, period.”
“We remain heartbroken by the horrible terror attack against innocent civilians in Israel on October 7th, many of them also children. There is no situation where attacks on civilians are acceptable. We strongly denounce any & all forms of anti-Semitism and Islamophobia,” the post added.
Rare Beauty’s announcement that it would be donating to Magen David Adom and Palestinian Red Crescent Society was ripped by those claiming Gomez’s company was supporting “genocide.”
Many pro-Palestinian fans have vowed to boycott Rare Beauty and Gomez’s future projects because the company’s CEO Scott Friedman follows the IDF, Jewish Resistance and the American Israel Public Affairs Committee on Instagram.
Originally Published Oct 12, 2023 02:47PM EDT