published : 2023-10-19

Hollywood Stars Fear Backlash for Siding with Israel, Jewish Critic Says

Lieba Nesis of The Jewish Voice warns against neutrality in the conflict

Hollywood stars attending a charity event showing support for Israel (taken with Canon EOS 5D Mark IV)

Hollywood celebrities are facing a dilemma in showing support for Israel in its war against Hamas, according to Lieba Nesis, an entertainment writer for The Jewish Voice.

Nesis emphasizes that celebrities hold significant influence in American society, acting as gatekeepers to the minds of both adolescents and adults.

However, she points out that many stars are hesitant to openly side with Israel due to the potential backlash they may face.

Nesis argues that fear of cancellation and career damage drives celebrities to conform to a specific narrative, preventing them from diverging from the popular opinion held within their industry.

She explains that Hollywood stars live in a bubble, rarely engaging with the real world and diverse perspectives.

Kylie Jenner posing in front of a pro-Israel mural (taken with Nikon D850)

Nesis highlights instances where celebrities faced criticism for expressing support for Israel, citing examples such as Kylie Jenner and Josh Gad.

Jenner received intense backlash for sharing a post in solidarity with Israel, leading her to delete the post.

Similarly, Gad, who has Holocaust survivor grandparents, faced blowback and later felt the need to clarify his stance to avoid further criticism.

Nesis argues that celebrities feel compelled to draw moral equivalences between Israel and Palestine to protect their careers and avoid being bullied or boycotted by those sympathetic to Palestine.

However, she insists that in this situation, there is no room for neutrality.

Josh Gad holding a sign that reads 'I stand with Israel' (taken with Sony Alpha a7 III)

Nesis commends those celebrities who have unequivocally denounced the violence against Jews, including Floyd Mayweather, LeBron James, Amy Schumer, Jerry Seinfeld, and Gigi Hadid.

She strongly opposes trying to equate the suffering of Israelis and Palestinians, asserting that the recent attacks by Hamas were worse than those perpetrated by ISIS.

Over a thousand members of the entertainment industry have signed an open letter expressing their solidarity with Israel, including Chris Pine, Helen Mirren, Mark Hamill, and Gal Gadot.

Nesis concludes by urging celebrities to denounce the terrorist attacks committed by Hamas in the strongest terms possible, viewing their silence as a betrayal to the Jewish people and a dangerous complacency reminiscent of the Holocaust.