Israel-born actress Gal Gadot has come under fire for a statement she posted on social media in response to the escalating violence between Israel and Palestine. In the wake of the backlash, the Wonder Woman star deactivated Twitter replies and Instagram comments.
“My heart breaks. My country is at war. I worry for my family, my friends. I worry for my people. This is a vicious cycle that has been going on for far too long,” she wrote. “Israel deserves to live as a free and safe nation. Our neighbors deserve the same. I pray for the victims and their families. I pray for this unimaginable hostility to end, I pray for our leaders to find the solution so we can live side by side in peace. I pray for better days.”
Gadot’s intended statement of unity received more than 100,000 quote retweets, in which she was criticized for supporting “ethnic cleansing” and “genocide” while benignly referring to Palestine as a neighbor. Her mandatory two years of service in the Israel Defense Forces was also a point of contention.
The longtime conflict between Israel and Palestine has bubbled over to the worst violence in decades as Jewish and Arab citizens have clashed in the streets. Israel’s recent airstrikes against Hamas targets in Gaza have led to 83 people deaths this week alone, and Palestinian militants have fired rockets into Israel, where seven people have died.
Israeli leaders have warned of a potential civil war, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu describing the scenes of arson and violence as “anarchy” and appealed for an end to “lynchings.”
Meanwhile, Palestinian leaders have pointed to police brutality against Palestinian protestors and the actions of right-wing Israeli groups. “The police shot an Arab demonstrator in Lod,” said Ahmed Tibi, the leader of the Ta’al party and a member of Israel’s Parliament. “We don’t want bloodshed. We want to protest.”
— Gal Gadot (@GalGadot) May 12, 2021