L-R: Mark Ruffalo, Susan Sarandon and Roger Waters (images by Shutterstock) (images by Shutterstock)
celebrities

Star power also comes with the responsibility to examine the facts and vet the organizations they support.

By Pesach Benson, United With Israel

More than 100 U.S. and UK silver screen stars signed a letter denouncing Israel’s blacklist of six Palestinian non-governmental organizations with terror links.

Among the more notable signatories were actors Richard Gere, Claire Foy, Mark Ruffalo, Tilda Swinton, Susan Sarandon and soccer star-turned-actor Eric Cantona.

Also signing were director Ken Loach and musicians Roger Waters, Brian Eno and Peter Gabriel.

The letter was organized by Jewish Voice for Peace, a radical anti-Zionist group.

In October, Israel blacklisted the six Palestinian NGOs with ties to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.

The most prominent of the six NGOs are Al-Haq, which spearheads legal campaigns and Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions activities against Israel, and Addameer, which advocates for Palestinian prisoners. Both are based in Ramallah. The other four designated NGOs are Defense for Children-International, the Union of Palestinian Women’s Committees, the Union of Agricultural Work Committees and the Bisan Research and Advocacy Center.

The Defense Ministry’s designation paves the way for Israeli authorities to seize the groups’ assets and criminalize their funding.

The JVP letter breathlessly accused Israel of “an unprecedented and blanket attack on Palestinian human rights defenders.”

“The military order allows for Israeli occupation forces to raid their offices, forcibly shut them down, arbitrarily arrest their staff to be tried under Israeli military courts, and institute other reprisals, including travel bans and residency revocations against their members. The threat of retaliation is real and puts at risk not just the organizations themselves, but the entire Palestinian civil society and the tens of thousands of Palestinians they serve every day,” the letter added.

It ended with 114 signatures.

It was first reported by Britain’s Sky News, which asked the Israeli government for a response. The government referred Sky News to an October statement issued by the Defense Ministry explaining that the six charities used “forgery and deceit” to raise funds. The six NGOs are primarily funded by European states and multinational organizations.

Hollywood Glitz or Ditz?

The fame of popular actors, musicians, athletes and social media influencers gives them a unique platform to speak out on all kinds of issues.

But their star power also comes with responsibility to examine the facts for themselves and more closely vet the organizations they support.

This responsibility includes not to be taken advantage of by people who want to capitalize on naive, gullible personalities.

The PFLP is designated as a “terror organization” by Israel, the U.S., the European Union and Canada. The terror organization’s most notable attacks include the 1976 Entebbe hijacking, the 2001 assassination of tourism minister Rehavam Zeevi and the 2014 Har Nof synagogue massacre.

According to NGO Monitor, a Defense for Children-International coordinator by the name of Hashem Abu Maria was lauded by the PFLP as one of its leaders after being killed in a clash with the IDF in 2014. Samer Arbid, the financial director of the Agricultural Work Committee, was accused of leading the terror cell that killed Rina Shnerb in a roadside bomb in 2019. Several current and former board members of Addameer have close ties to the terror group.

Jewish Voice for Peace is a radical anti-Zionist organization. It views Zionism as a fundamentally racist movement, supports the antisemitic Boycott Divestment and Sanctions campaign and has shown solidarity with terrorists like Marwan Bargrhouti and Rasmea Odeh. JVP is not only out of step with the mainstream Jewish community, but provides a fig leaf for BDS excesses and excuses murderous Palestinian terror attacks.

Perhaps these 114 actors, musicians, directors and others should learn a lesson from football Hall of Fame quarterback Brett Favre.

In 2018, the neo-Nazi Goyim Defense League duped Favre into recording a video that appeared to endorse the group. When Favre learned the true purpose of the video and that it was going viral on white supremacist internet forums, his representatives managed to get it removed. More important, Favre apologized for not being more careful.

Yes, 114 celebrities can be wrong.

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