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Wiping out hunger or eradicating disease are issues most people, including celebrities, can get behind, she noted. But Israel is a topic that's very personal to many people, and one that almost always causes friction and in the case of the current Mideast clash, an unusually sharp difference of opinion among entertainers.
In some ways it may be harmful, said Rabbi Marvin Hier, founder and dean at the pro Israel Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles. Hier, who has close ties to the Hollywood community, sees celebrities misinterpreting events and journalists ignoring history when describing the current conflict. He believes comments like those first issued by the 100 Spanish luminaries are irresponsible.
And Penelope Cruz and husband Javier Bardem quickly clarified their stand on the issue after they joined 100 Spanish signees of an open letter calling the Israeli attacks genocide. Later, more participants sought to tone down the rhetoric.
"I think they think they're going to be more popular," Hier said. "Look around the world. I'm not talking about the United States; in the United States polls show two to one that people understand how the war started and they back Israel. But it's not so around the world."
Hier believes some condemning Israel are doing it to gain fans in a climate of growing anti Semitism in Europe.
Others, though, haven't backed away from their commentary. Demme, Shawn, Chuck D and dozens more, including Nobel Peace Prize winners, participated in a Jewish Voice For Peace video in which each held up a sign with the name and age of a conflict casualty. The video attracted 100,000 views in two days on the Web.
Ruffalo has tweeted on the issue frequently and said he's seen his following fluctuate because of it. But he's committed to using his social media voice for more than just laughs. 3, 2013 file photo, Spanish actress Penelope Cruz poses for photographers as Converse Low Tops Women
The Israel Palestinian debate was once considered so delicate a topic, it was pretty much off limits to celebrities. But in another sign that social media is intensifying how we wrestle with sensitive global issues, stars of all stripes are taking to the Internet to openly discuss the conflict that has killed more than 1,300 people. The result is a high profile divide rarely seen within the predominantly liberal entertainment community.
"I don't see this as being politics or statehood for Palestine or Hamas," Demme said. "I think it's about taking innocent lives and the destruction of a culture. . Yet some, like pop star Rihanna and Houston Rockets centre Dwight Howard, had second thoughts and erased their messages of support for Palestinians soon after they were posted.
When director Jonathan Demme was approached to show support for all victims of the conflict in Gaza, he didn't hesitate to sign on. Actor Wallace Shawn is willing to put up with jeers on the street for his opinions about the violence. And Mark Ruffalo is determined to air his views about the fighting on Twitter, no matter the cost to his social media numbers.
themselves from the political debate, staying with a message of peace.
she arrives for the UK Premiere of "The Counselor," in London. Rabbi Marvin Hier, founder and dean at the pro Israel Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles, believes comments like those issued by 100 Spanish citizens, including Cruz and her husband, the director Pedro Almodovar, and Javier Bardem, in a letter accusing Israel of genocide are irresponsible. "My only wish and intention in signing that group letter is the hope that there will be peace in both Israel and Gaza," Cruz stated. (Photo by Jon Furniss/Invision/AP, file)
How each star chooses to broach the issue has varied. Many acts have cancelled concerts in Israel. Some cite safety concerns. Others are actively calling for a boycott, such as Pink Floyd's Roger Waters. And some try to distance Converse Yellow Sneakers
Growing number of celebrities raise voices on Gaza conflict
FILE In this Oct. 3, 2013 file photo, Spanish actress Penelope Cruz poses for photographers as she arrives for the UK Premiere of "The Counselor," in London. Rabbi Marvin Hier, founder and dean at the pro Israel Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles, believes comments like those issued by 100 Spanish citizens, including Cruz and her husband, the director Pedro Almodovar, and Javier Bardem, in a letter accusing Israel of genocide are irresponsible. "My only wish and intention in signing that group letter is the hope that there will be peace in both Israel and Gaza," Cruz stated. (Photo by Jon Furniss/Invision/AP, file)
"We're involved as American taxpayers, so, you know, I'm involved," Shawn said in an interview. "I'm actually paying for these cruel assaults on innocent civilians. "But there are some issues that are far more controversial Men Converse Sneakers than others."
Shawn, who is Jewish, narrates the video and said he's been criticized on the street in New York because of it. He said he understands the Jewish community's need for Israel to exist, but he would like to persuade those stars who support Israel's actions including such notables as Scarlett Johansson, Joan Rivers, Howard Stern and Bill Maher that violence is unnecessary.
you to speak out, then do it," Clark said. "But there are serious risks and people have been trying to figure out this situation for millennia and your voice or support one way or another may not be helpful to the overall debate."
"If I were a publicist advising Hollywood celebrities, if your conscience absolutely compels Converse Shoes High Tops Pink
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