A host of celebrities have taken to social media to express their views on the outbreak of conflict between Israel and Palestinian militant group Hamas.
Hamas launched an attack on Israel on Saturday in a move that took the Israeli military and security services by surprise, and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu subsequently declared: “We are at war.”
At least 700 people have reportedly been killed in Israel and more than 400 in Gaza, the Associated Press said. Since Saturday, Israel has carried out attacks against Hamas, launching “Operation Swords of Iron.”
Hezbollah, an Iran-backed organization that the U.S. considers a terrorist group alongside Hamas, on Sunday launched a barrage of mortar shells into Israel. The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) fired artillery into Lebanon. No casualties were reported on either side, according to Reuters.
As the conflict captures international headlines, several celebrities have taken to social media to express their sympathy and support for Israel, as well as the civilians caught up in the violence. There was also support for the Palestinian people.
Sharing news coverage of the conflict, Madonna wrote on Instagram: “What is Happening in Israel is Devastating.. Watching all of these families and especially children being herded, assaulted and murdered in the streets is Heartbreaking.
“Imagine if this was happening to you?? It’s Un-fathomable. Conflicts can never be resolved with violence. Unfortunately Humanity does not understand this Universal truth. Has Never Understood it. We live in a World Ravaged by Hate.”
“My heart goes out to Israel,” the pop star continued. “To Families and Homes that have been destroyed. To children who are lost. To Innocent Victims who have Been Killed. To All who are Suffering or who will suffer from this conflict. I’m Praying For you.”
“I am aware that this is the work of Hamas and there are many innocent people in Palestine who do not support this terrorist organization,” she added. “This Tragic attack will only cause more suffering for everyone Let us all Pray. For Israel. For Peace. For The World.”
In an expiring Instagram Story post, Kylie Jenner shared a post from Israel education nonprofit education organization StandWithUs. “Now and always, we stand with the people of Israel,” read a caption under a photo of the Israeli flag.
A number of other celebrities also posted or showed support for similar images on Instagram, including Jenner’s mother, Kris Jenner, Julia Garner, Sarah Paulson, Sofia Richie, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Nina Dobrev, Patrick Schwarzenegger, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Ashley Tisdale, Mandy Moore and Nicola Peltz.
Also taking to Instagram, Israeli-born actress Gal Gadot posted a photo of the Star of David, under which sat the statement: “I stand with Israel.”
“I stand with Israel you should too,” the Wonder Woman star captioned the image. “The world cannot sit on the fence when these horrific acts of terror are happening!”
In an X post, comedian Sarah Silverman roundly condemned Hamas, while also speaking about the complexities of the issues affecting the region.
“My sister and nieces and nephews are there,” she wrote. “They’ve been protesting BIBI [Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu] for months. Fight for a two state solution. Israelis are Jews and Arabs and all colors.
“There is so much complexity to this,” Silverman continued. “But make NO MISTAKE Hamas is a terror organization [whose] mission statement is kill all Jews. This f****** world breaks my heart.”
Also showing support for Israel is 90 Day Fiancé alum Loren Brovarnik, who over the weekend shared a series of photos on Instagram from her trip to Israel. She captioned the post with blue and white hearts.
The TV personality’s husband, Alex Brovarnik, shared several Instagram Story posts in support of Israel and highlighting the devastation in the wake of the attack.
He also shared an “I stand with Israel” post on his grid on Saturday, adding the caption: “A horrific day for all Israeli and Jewish people in the world, it’s not over and it will be hard but we are strong we are together and we will defeat the darkness.”
Actor Michael Rapaport shared a lengthy thread on X, in which he condemned the “disgusting savage attack” and spoke about the broad range of people affected.
“Innocent Jewish people are being hunted down, killed and kidnapped,” he wrote. “This is a slaughter of the Innocent by Terrorists. PERIOD. The most vulnerable Women, Children & the Elderly have been murdered and kidnapped. This was a disgusting savage attack on a Holiday Saturday morning.”
“Some of the Murdered & Kidnapped aren’t even Jewish people! INNOCENT ATTACKS on anyone in plain site,” Rapaport went on.
Rapaport then took aim at those who have linked the attack to President Joe Biden‘s administration’s issuing of a waiver to allow the transfer of $6 billion in frozen Iranian funds from South Korea to Qatar.
“And GOP/MAGA fanboys blaming this catastrophe on the 6Billion dollars don’t surprise me any, you deranged sick Trump fanboys don’t skip a beat to blame anything on Biden,” he commented. “This is about KILLERS OF JEWISH PEOPLE that have never stopped.”
Comedian Roseanne Barr counted herself among those taking aim at Democrats, as she wrote on X: “Praying for Israel. Being attacked by Iran after we gave them billions is exactly what we knew would happen and what I feared most when I called out the Obama/Jarrett foreign ‘plan.’ Make no mistake—This has been underway for years and this is not Biden.”
She also directly responded to Biden’s statement on X that condemned the attack and concluded: “Israel has a right to defend itself – full stop.”
“‘Full stop?’ Whoever is running this account please don’t try to make Hamas funding grandpa criminal moneybags try to seem hip,” Barr wrote.
Caitlyn Jenner pushed back on criticism of those who tied the $6 billion to the attack, commenting on X: “What the hell is the point in attempting to justify the $6 billion that we unfroze for hostages? [Because] it’s held in Qatar? Give me a break.”
Another X user countered that “the money is still in Qatar. Sitting there. Theoretically they haven’t spent any of it. So how is it linked?”
“Borrowing against it (leverage) finance 101,” Jenner said.
Jenner responded to a photo that purported to show a person at a pro-Palestinian rally in the U.S. flashing an image of the swastika.
“If you are silent against the egregious acts of terror by the militant terrorist group – Hamas – killing the most Jews in one day since the Holocaust you are complicit,” she wrote. “Make no mistake – this is who we are fighting against. Modern day Nazism.”
In an X statement on Saturday, Biden said: “The United States stands with the people of Israel.”
“Israeli hostages taken into Gaza are victims of a war crime, terrorism,” wrote broadcaster Geraldo Rivera on X. “If they are not protected and treated humanely, there will be massive retaliation. The world will abandon the Palestinian cause. Hamas started this. There is never a legitimate excuse for targeting civilians.”
The Real Housewives of New York City star Jill Zarin called her X followers to action, writing: “I just urged my members of Congress to stand with Israel as it protects its people from terrorism. Hamas has launched a war on Israel, killing scores of Israelis and taking civilians hostage. America must stand with Israel as it protects its people. Tell Congress to act now.”
“Horrified and heartbroken by the barrage of attacks from Hamas upon civilians in Israel,” Star Trek actor George Takei stated on X. “Innocent people suffer the consequences of violent extremism, and this kind of terrorism only produces deeper, more intractable problems.”
Takei added in a follow-up post that his “thoughts and hopes are for peace, and for democracy for all people in the region, but such a future is proving ever more elusive, I fear.”
Star Wars actor Mark Hamill shared an image of the U.S. and Israeli flags side by side, as he wrote on X: “America stands with Israel.”
Actress Jamie Lee Curtis wrote in an Instagram post about her videos regarding Israelis being kidnapped in the conflict being removed on the platform.
Reposting the videos and images on Sunday, the screen star wrote of social media users having “harassed me all day yesterday as I was grieving, leaving the most horrendous comments on my post in reaction to my simply showing two videos of Israeli girls being kidnapped.”
“In the past I have initiated and organized a fundraiser for my Muslim brothers and sisters who were brutally murdered in New Zealand by a white supremacist,” she went on. “I’ve stood up for our courageous sisters, the women of Iran repeatedly. I’ve supported Palestinian peace NGO’s. I published an open letter on Al Jazeera during the Arab spring of 2011 supporting Arab youth fighting for their freedom.
“But if you post one thing about Jews or Israelis being murdered or kidnapped what happened to me will likely happen to you. The only difference is I was able to get reinstated. I’ve attached a video of an 85 year old grandmother kidnapped being paraded in Gaza.
“Again, I have no words. Only tears. and pain. Thank you to anyone that has spoken up against these atrocities. It shouldn’t have to be a brave act for you to simply speak out against these horrific acts of violence but unfortunately it is. [To] my friends that are posting anything other than about this today, I ask that you please wait just one day to get back to normal.
“For Jews around the world, life will never be normal again. This is our new normal.The innocent kidnapped women, elderly, children, babies and men need all the media’s attention and help to get their story heard.”
Comedian Amy Schumer responded to the attacks by sharing posts on Instagram from plastic surgeon Dr. Sheila Nazarian and Mandana Dayani, former president of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle‘s philanthropic organization Archewell.
“Never in my years as an activist have I seen other activists, upon seeing footage of little girls being killed and dragged through streets, immediately find the burning need to go on the internet and justify their deaths. ‘Oh, here [are] all the reasons that girl was burned alive!'” Dayani’s post read.
“For completely clarity, the only reason you do this is because you have been made to believe that the killing of Jews can even be justified. Because every civilization has taught that the life of a Jew is less valuable than your own.
“It’s the Hitler playbook. Your antisemitism is not unconscious. It is so deeply rooted in your bones and you are so comfortable with it, you are not even able to consider its impact on your friends.”
Nazarian’s post, shared by Schumer, read: “If you are silent when terrorists murder Israelis, stay silent when Israel defends itself.”
Israeli actress Yael Grobglas shared a photo of her country’s flag, writing on Instagram: “Israel is under a massive terrorist attack. Hundreds of innocent Israeli civilians murdered, many kidnapped while others are held hostage. My heart is with everyone back home. I stand with Israel.”
Grobglas edited the post to add that anyone “defending this attack here has been or will be blocked and or reported for hate speech for defending and supporting acts of terrorism.”
Meanwhile, several other social media users showed support for Palestinians.
Swedish singer Zara Larsson was among those, sharing a photo of herself on her Instagram Story, alongside a caption that read: “Oh so it’s stand with Ukraine when Russia invades but not Palesti-.”
On Saturday, former adult film star Mia Khalifa shared a message on X that led to a public firing from her role as an advisor at Red Light Holland, which produces and distributes magic mushrooms.
“Can someone please tell the freedom fighters in Palestine to flip their phones and film horizontal,” read Khalifa’s social media post.
Responding, Red Light Holland CEO Todd Shapiro wrote: “This is such a horrendous tweet @miakhalifa. Consider yourself fired effective immediately. Simply disgusting. Beyond disgusting. Please evolve and become a better human being.
“The fact you are condoning death, rape, beatings and hostage taking is truly gross. No words can explain your ignorance. We need humans to come together, especially in the face of tragedy. I pray for you to become a better person. However, it clearly seems like it’s too late for you.”
A screenshot of Shapiro’s X post was shared on the Red Light Holland account, prompting Khalifa to respond: “I’d say supporting Palestine has lost me business opportunities, but I’m more angry at myself for not checking whether or not I was entering into business with Zionists. My bad.”
In a separate post responding to the screenshot, Khalifa said: “I just wanna make sure there’s 4k footage of my people breaking down the walls of the open air prison they’ve been forced out of their homes and into so we have good options for the history books that write about how how they freed themselves from apartheid.
“Please worry about your sad little company lacking direction and purpose before you utter my name again. I stand with all people fighting oppression, now and always, do your research before begging for my investment in your little project, I’m from LEBANON, are you insane for expecting me to be on the side of colonialism you f****** weirdo.”
Khalifa also shared a screenshot of a direct message purporting to have been sent by radio personality and wrestler Peter Rosenberg that read: “Awful tweet dude …. Wow.”
“I stand with all oppressed people, everywhere, until no one is fighting for freedom,” the screenshot showed Khalifa responding. “I’m from Lebanon, I’ve lived through more air [raids] by the IDF [Israel Defense Forces] than your tiny privileged brain could ever know how to work through.
“[You] know nothing but tall tales of a land that doesn’t belong to you, created by a military that has nothing to do with your peaceful god loving religion. Don’t you ever disrespect me and my experience with what geopolitical war is again you man child.”
Newsweek has contacted Rosenberg via email for comment.
Elsewhere, Khalifa responded to an X post discussing those who have publicly expressed support for Palestinians.
The X user stated in their post that “a lot of people forget that being pro Palestine is actually like an unpopular stance. We saw what happened to Bella Hadid and how much backlash she got and mind you the girl is Palestinian. So all these celebs supporting all this while upsetting is also just unsurprising.”
“If you see a celebrity supporting just TRUSTTTT it’s the money that’s talking,” said Khalifa in response, adding that “these people have no soul or opinions of their own or the ability for critical thinking and will do/say anything to appease their investors in their businesses.”
While Rihanna has not yet spoken out on the conflict, one of her Instagram posts from 2021, in which she spoke about the loss of lives in the region, has received renewed attention on the social media platform.
At the time, fighting had broken out following weeks of tension in East Jerusalem over the proposed evictions of Palestinians from their homes in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood to make room for Israeli settlers.
“My heart is breaking with the violence I’m seeing displayed between Israel and Palestine!” Rihanna began in her statement. “I can’t bear to see it! Innocent Israeli and Palestinian children are hiding in bomb shelters, over 40 lives lost in Gaza alone, at least 13 of whom were also innocent children!”
“There needs to be some kind of resolve!” the musician continued. “We are sadly watching innocent people fall victim to notions perpetrated by government and extremists, and this cycle needs to be broken!”
As events continue to unfold, Biden condemned the attacks, while stating that the United States is standing by to offer its support to Israel.
“The United States unequivocally condemns this appalling assault against Israel by Hamas terrorists from Gaza, and I made clear to Prime Minister Netanyahu that we stand ready to offer all appropriate means of support to the Government and people of Israel,” Biden said in a statement emailed to Newsweek by the White House. “Terrorism is never justified.”
U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres also “strongly” condemned Hamas’ actions.
“The attacks have so far claimed numerous Israeli civilian lives and injured many hundreds,” a spokesperson for Guterres said in an official statement on Saturday. “The Secretary-General is appalled by reports that civilians have been attacked and abducted from their own homes.”
Update 10/9/23, 5:10 a.m. ET: This story has been updated with information on additional social media posts.