Deluge of Hollywood A-Listers’ Unequivocal Show of Support For Israel
Some positive news now, with a deluge of Hollywood A-listers signing on to the #NoHostageLeftBehind campaign, which encourages no rest until all hostages held by Hamas are free.
The letter is devoid of any both-sidesing or calls for a ceasefire and is a strong show of support for the Jewish state, while placing the blame on the predicament of the Gazans’ situation squarely on Hamas.
Dear President Biden,
We are heartened by Friday’s release of the two American hostages, Judith Ranaan and her daughter Natalie Ranaan and by today’s release of two Israelis, Nurit Cooper and Yocheved Lifshitz, whose husbands remain in captivity.
But our relief is tempered by our overwhelming concern that 220 innocent people, including 30 children, remain captive by terrorists, threatened with torture and death. They were taken by Hamas in the savage massacre of October 7, where over 1,400 Israelis were slaughtered – women raped, families burned alive, and infants beheaded.
Thank you for your unshakable moral conviction, leadership, and support for the Jewish people, who have been terrorized by Hamas since the group’s founding over 35 years ago, and for the Palestinians, who have also been terrorized, oppressed, and victimized by Hamas for the last 17 years that the group has been governing Gaza.
We all want the same thing: Freedom for Israelis and Palestinians to live side by side in peace. Freedom from the brutal violence spread by Hamas. And most urgently, in this moment, freedom for the hostages.
We urge everyone to not rest until all hostages are released. No hostage can be left behind. Whether American, Argentinian, Australian, Azerbaijani, Brazilian, British, Canadian, Chilean, Chinese, Danish, Dutch, Eritrean, Filipino, French, German, Indian, Israeli, Italian, Kazakh, Mexican, Panamanian, Paraguayan, Peruvian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, South African, Spanish, Sri Lankan, Thai, Ukrainian, Uzbekistani or otherwise, we need to bring them home.
Adam & Jackie Sandler
David Alan Grier
Diane Von Furstenberg
Judge Judy Sheindlin
Lana Del Rey
Paul & Julie Rudd
Sacha Baron Cohen
Sting & Trudie Styler
Amy Sherman Palladino
Mary Elizabeth Winstead
David Gilmour & Polly Sampson
Deborah Lee Furness
Jamie Ray Newman
Jason Biggs & Jenny Mollen Biggs
Jonathan Marc Sherman
Lauren Schuker Blum
Dame Maureen Lipman
Reinaldo Marcus Green
Simon Sebag Montefiore
Tracy Ann Oberman
Tyler James Williams
Whitney Wolfe Herd
Variety refers to this as “a dizzying amount” of A-listers (378 to be exact) and – much to my satisfaction – it includes Roger Waters’ ex-Pink Floyd bandmate David Gilmour (with his wife Polly Samson), who seems to be seeing the light (perhaps following yours truly on Twitter has helped a little bit. Or not).
It is also a way more impressive list than the list of 80 celebs calling for a ceasefire, and which focuses on Israel’s actions in Gaza:
We come together as artists and advocates, but most importantly as human beings witnessing the devastating loss of lives and unfolding horrors in Israel and Palestine.
We ask that, as President of the United States, you call for an immediate de-escalation and ceasefire in Gaza and Israel before another life is lost. More than 4,000 people have been killed in the last week and a half – a number any person of conscience knows is catastrophic. We believe all life is sacred, no matter faith or ethnicity and we condemn the killing of Palestinian and Israeli civilians.
We urge your administration, and all world leaders, to honor all of the lives in the Holy Land and call for and facilitate a ceasefire without delay – an end to the bombing of Gaza, and the safe release of hostages. Half of Gaza’s two million residents are children, and more than two thirds are refugees and their descendants being forced to flee their homes. Humanitarian aid must be allowed to reach them.
We believe that the United States can play a vital diplomatic role in ending the suffering and we are adding our voices to those from the US Congress, UNICEF, Doctors without Borders, The International Committee of The Red Cross, and so many others. Saving lives is a moral imperative. To Echo UNICEF, “Compassion — and international law — must prevail.”
As of this writing more than 6,000 bombs have been dropped on Gaza in the last 12 days – resulting in one child being killed every 15 minutes.
“Children and families in Gaza have practically run out of food, water, electricity, medicine and safe access to hospitals, following days of air strikes and cuts to all supply routes. Gaza’s sole power plant ran out of fuel Wednesday afternoon, shutting down electricity, water and wastewater treatment. Most residents can no longer get drinking water from service providers or household water through pipelines…. The humanitarian situation has reached lethal lows, and yet all reports point to further attacks. Compassion — and international law — must prevail.” – UNICEF spokesperson James Elder
Beyond our pain and mourning for all of the people there and their loved ones around the world we are motivated by an unbending will to stand for our common humanity. We stand for freedom, justice, dignity and peace for all people – and a deep desire to stop more bloodshed.
We refuse to tell future generations the story of our silence, that we stood by and did nothing. As Emergency Relief Chief Martin Griffiths told UN News, “History is watching.”
Aria Mia Loberti
Fatima Farheen Mirza
The pro-Israel list is also way more impressive than those who signed on to an even more anti-Israel letter:
“We are witnessing a crime and a catastrophe. Israel has reduced much of Gaza to rubble, and cut off the supply of water, power, food and medicine to 2.3 million Palestinians. In the words of the UN’s undersecretary for humanitarian affairs, ‘the spectre of death’ is hanging over the territory.
Gaza is already a society of refugees and the children of refugees. Now, in their hundreds of thousands, bombarded from air, sea and land, Palestinians whose grandparents were forced out of their homes at the barrel of a gun are again being told to flee – or face collective punishment on an unimaginable scale. Dispossessed of rights, described by Israel’s minister of defence as “human animals”, they have become people to whom almost anything can be done.
Our governments are not only tolerating war crimes but aiding and abetting them. There will come a time when they are held to account for their complicity. But for now, while condemning every act of violence against civilians and every infringement of international law whoever perpetrates them, our obligation is to do all we can to bring an end to the unprecedented cruelty being inflicted on Gaza.
We support the global movement against the destruction of Gaza and the mass displacement of the Palestinian people. We demand that our governments end their military and political support for Israel’s actions.
We call for an immediate ceasefire and the opening of Gaza’s crossings to allow humanitarian aid to enter unhindered.”
True, close to 4,000 have signed on, but they are for the most part Z-listers and no-namers. And one of the more well-known actors who signed – Sam Heughan of Outlander – claims he misunderstood what it was about!