For all the amazing powers she possesses as Wonder Woman, Gal Gadot is perhaps not very good at reading the room. Particularly when that room is the Twitterverse (remember the “Imagine” video?). On Wednesday, the Israel-born actress tweeted what she presumably meant to be a statement of unity regarding the current escalation in the decades-long Israel-Palestine conflict. The 36-year-old actress posted a broken heart emoji along with the following statement:
“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. 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 could live side by side in peace. I pray for better days.”
— Gal Gadot (@GalGadot) May 12, 2021
It didn’t take long for Gadot’s tweet to inspire some serious vitriol. According to The Hollywood Reporter:
“Gadot’s pro-peace, respect-both-sides sentiment might sound fairly benign, but some took issue with the actress using the friendly term ‘neighbors’ amid the rocket-firing conflict and for supporting Israel at all. Gadot also served two years as a soldier in the Israel Defense Forces (which is mandatory for all Israeli citizens over the age of 18), something that has likewise been made a point of contention.”
Jezebel also seized upon Gadot’s use of the word “neighbors,” with a headline that accused her of being “Incapable of Acknowledging the Existence of Palestinians.” Her deference to her home country had others accusing her of being a proponent of both “ethnic cleansing” and “mass genocide.” The backlash became so heated that Gadot eventually disabled her comments—but did leave her original message up, both on Twitter and Instagram.
As violence between Israel and Palestine has ratcheted up to levels not seen since 2014, Human Rights Watch and the United Nations have condemned Israel’s actions. In a blistering report issued recently, Human Rights Watch accused Israel of “crimes of apartheid and persecution.” On Tuesday, one day before Gadot’s tweet-hear-round-the-world, a spokesperson for the UN Secretary-General issued a statement that noted:
“He is deeply saddened to learn of increasingly large numbers of casualties, including children, from Israeli airstrikes in Gaza, and of Israeli fatalities from rockets launched from Gaza. The Secretary-General’s thoughts are with the families of the victims.” He also advised Israel to “exercise maximum restraint and calibrate their use of force.”
Shortly after winning the title of Miss Israel in 2004, Gadot spent two years as an Israel Defense Forces soldier (something that is required of all Israeli citizens over the age of 18). Gadot, however, did have several people come to her defense. Unfortunately, Ted Cruz was one of them.
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) May 12, 2021
(Via The Hollywood Reporter)