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Celebrities’ most problematic responses to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict

Since Hamas launched surprise air, land and sea attacks on Israel on October 7, many famous faces have spoken out on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The conflict has a complex history and posting about such a contentious issue is bound to cause backlash, with some celebrities—both intentionally and unintentionally—sparking uproar online.

Here’s some of the most controversial posts shared by stars on the conflict so far.

Jamie Lee Curtis

The 64-year-old is no stranger to dividing opinions on the internet, with the Halloween star regularly posting about politics and causes close to her heart.

On October 9, Curtis shared a picture of Gazan children looking up at missiles flying through the sky, along with the caption “Terror from the skies.” However, the graphic featured the Israeli flag, making it appear as though it was Israeli children in the image.

Curtis removed the graphic, but it still caused backlash on social, with one user accusing the Oscar-winner of “performative activism.”

“This would be a perfect time for celebs to say nothing,” said another, poster while a third user commented: “Just because you have the platform and can doesn’t mean you should.”

Justin Bieber

On October 11, Justin Bieber made a similar mistake to Curtis. The singer posted a graphic of a destroyed city to Instagram, emblazoned with the caption “Praying for Israel.” However, the image was actually of the Gaza Strip.

After fans pointed out the error, Bieber quickly deleted the image. Still, that didn’t stop people from poking fun at the 29-year-old, with one social media user wondering: “Where is the PR team?!?”

“This is so embarrassing,” wrote another commentator, while a third added: “Really wish these celebrities would stop taking sides on issues they probably know very, very little about.”

After X user Katie Halper posted about Curtis and Bieber’s mistakes, fans took issue with the stars’ choosing to delete their posts when they realized the images were of Gaza, not Israel.

“It’s crazy that they delete it instead of correcting the post,” said armaknee1992.

“Oh so they didn’t deserve prayers, okay,” wrote serogt.

“These are mostly innocent people caught in the crossfires of a corrupt system,” commented justandresito05.

“They think violence against Israeli civilians is unacceptable, and violence against Palestinian civilians is maybe unfortunate, sometimes,” said ryguy1986. “Then try to lecture people about empathy.”

Noah Schnapp

He’s best known for starring as Will Byers in Stranger Things, but Noah Schnapp was trending for a more controversial reason this week.

On October 11, the 19-year-old actor told Instagram followers: “You either stand with Israel or you stand with terrorism.”

Schnapp’s comment was part of a larger statement on the Israel-Hamas conflict, in which the actor wrote: “As a Jewish American, I am afraid. Afraid for my brothers and sisters in Israel, who have been senselessly attacked by Hamas.

“I am truly heartbroken to see the brutal murders of innocent children, women and soldiers fighting to defend themselves.”

Schnapp slammed pro-Palestinian followers who supported Hamas, but acknowledged that the organization does not represent all Palestinians, calling for peace on both sides.

“We must recognize that we are all on the side of the fight against terrorism,” he said. “Choose humanity over violence.”

However, the comment sparked outrage on social media, with X user livv calling Schnapp a “disgusting vile person.”

“Noah schnapp telling people that if they don’t stand for ethnic cleansing and colonialism that they stand for terrorism. Go to hell,” said @inlovewithyeri.

Ash agreed, commenting: “Noah schnapp saying ‘let’s not choose sides’ then in the same post saying ‘you either stand with israel or stand with terrorism.’ B*** go f*** urself.”

This isn’t the first time Schnapp’s praise for Israel has caused controversy online. The teen was trolled on social media during a visit to the country this summer. After posting to Instagram to declare his love for the country while staying in Tel Aviv, Schnapp was accused of “white-washing apartheid” and “endorsing a Zionist regime.”

Kim Kardashian

On October 11, Kardashian shared a lengthy statement to her Instagram account in support of Israel.

“A message to my Jewish friends and family. I love you. I support you. I have heard about how scared you feel during this time, and I want you to know you are not alone in this,” she wrote.

“Brutal terrorism has taken innocent lives and now both Israeli and Palestinian civilians are suffering and paying the greatest price there is.”

Kardashian also said she is “particularly sensitive to these issues” due to her Armenian heritage. The 41-year-old’s paternal grandparents were born in Russia and Turkey (in areas formerly known as Armenia) and emigrated to the U.S. before her father, Robert Kardashian, was born.

In September, the reality star spoke out about the turmoil in the Nagorno-Karabakh region. Taking to X, Kardashian warned of the risk to the Armenian population of Nagorno-Karabakh (referred to as Artsakh by Armenians), now that Azerbaijan has regained control of the area and restored its sovereignty after more than 30 years of unrest.

“I have been talking about the Armenian Genocide for years, and now, after months of blockade with minimal media coverage and no external support, Armenians are the victims of an ethnic cleansing themselves in Artsakh,” she continued.

“They are in this moment also suffering from an extreme humanitarian crisis, and there are still prisoners of war being held captive or missing.”

However, social media users called out Kardashian for supporting Israel, despite the country supplying weapons to Azerbaijan during its attempt to retake Nagorno-Karabakh.

“As an advocate against the Armenian genocide, is Kim Kardashian aware that Israel is the largest arms dealer supplying weapons to Azerbaijan, supporting them in carrying out attacks against Armenians?” asked X user sara m. saleh.

“I was a bit shocked at the cognitive dissonance in her post…” said Jennetta Quinn-Bates, while Khouloudjalelly wrote: “selective empathy and double standards.”

Newsweek has reached out to Jamie Lee Curtis, Justin Bieber, Noah Schnapp and Kim Kardashian by email for comment.

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