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In Hollywood, the stars are out for the Israeli army

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When it comes to the profession of liberal values in Hollywood, Israel is still the exception.

The actor Gerard Butler refused to go to Saudi Arabia after the murder of Jamal Khashoggi. But meanwhile he did attend a gala for the Friends of the Israeli Defense Forces that raised $60 million, to support an army that has cut down scores of unarmed protesters at the Gaza fence. Variety November 2:

In his speech, gala chair Haim Saban saluted the Israeli soldiers who were honored for outstanding service. “Tonight you have seen up close the unbreakable spirit and the unimaginable bravery of our IDF soldiers and their families,” said Saban, who chaired the gala along with his wife, Cheryl, for their 12th consecutive year. “Standing behind these heroes is one of my greatest honors in my life.”…

The star-studded event included appearances from Gerard Butler, Ashton Kutcher, Katharine McPhee and fiance David Foster, Andy Garcia, Fran Drescher, and Israeli actors Ronalee Shimon and Yaakov Daniel from Netflix’s political thriller series “Fauda.”

Pharrell Williams provided the musical entertainment and performed his big hit “Happy.” He said it was particularly meaningful so as to overcome the sadness of the Pittsburgh massacre the week before.

“Look, what happened in that synagogue was incredibly cruel, it was wrong, and it’s not supposed to be what our nation is,” Williams said. “This group of people have been tested over and over and over again … but you guys show an incredible resilience.”

But earlier that week, Williams had sent a cease and desist letter to Donald Trump, saying he couldn’t use “Happy” at his rallies.

“Pharrell has not, and will not, grant you permission to publicly perform or otherwise broadcast or disseminate any of his music,” [attorney Howard] King wrote. “The use of ‘Happy’ without permission constitutes copyright infringement.”

Then there’s Jason Blum, a producer of the racial-thriller “Get Out.” He appeared at an Israeli film festival in Beverly Hills and got in trouble for dissing Donald Trump. Hollywood Reporter:

Film and television producer Jason Blum on Tuesday night was booed and physically removed from the stage after making controversial political statements during an acceptance speech at the 32nd Israeli Film Festival….

[He] suggested the recent uptick in anti-Semitism could be attributed to President Donald Trump, which was immediately met with several members of the crowd booing him.

But of course Blum also said “we have much to celebrate with the opening of the 32nd Israeli Film Festival.”

The festival is sponsored by the Adelson Foundation. Sheldon Adelson, together with his wife Miriam, have given more money to Donald Trump than anybody else, and gotten a lot for it: destruction of the Iran deal, moving the embassy to Jerusalem, the defunding of UNRWA, and support for the occupation. Does it occur to Blum that he ought not to show up at the festival, or at least say something about Adelson and Israel too?

Hollywood’s still PEP territory. Progressive Except Palestine!



Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is senior editor of and founded the site in 2005-06.

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Katie Miranda

Katie Miranda is an illustrator, jewelry designer, calligrapher, and cartoonist living in Portland, OR. Her Arabic calligraphy jewelry and apparel are favorites of people in the Palestine solidarity community. Katie runs Palbox: a quarterly subscription box containing Palestinian goods benefiting the Northern California branch of the International Solidarity Movement. Connect on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

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13 Responses

  1. Marnie on November 18, 2018, 11:17 am

    Sickening. The zionists grabbed the narrative of the synagogue shooting, as they do with any tragedy that results in loss of jewish life, and the syncophants in hollyweird and elsewhere fall in line. How is it Pharrel threatens tRUMP for the use of his music, but will give the IOF a free pass. Liberal elites are stupid as fuck.

    • Citizen on November 18, 2018, 1:12 pm

      American entertainers know on which side their bread is buttered.

      • Kay24 on November 18, 2018, 4:39 pm

        American entertainers, politicians, congresspeople, American institutions, and universities, ALL know which side their challah bread is buttered. :))

  2. eljay on November 18, 2018, 12:07 pm

    Zionists continue successfully to bamboozle far too many people into believing that Jewish / “Jewish State” supremacism, colonialism and (war) crimes are a “feel good” story.

  3. guyn on November 18, 2018, 5:48 pm

    I have difficulties to understand the majority of Blum’s tirade. What was the meaning of the booing? They were Trump’s partisans in the hall?

  4. CigarGod on November 19, 2018, 11:56 am

    Sounds like a bunch of settlers flew in for the film festival.

  5. genesto on November 19, 2018, 5:48 pm

    BLM told Draymond Green, the G.S. Warriors basketball star, “You’ve been played, Bro!” after he posted a picture of himself shooting a rifle, with a big grin on his face, while visiting an IDF training facility during the summer. I’m sure BLM has the same message for Pharrell.

    Meanwhile, there is a picture posted of Gerard Butler standing , grim (and black)-faced, in front of the remains of his house destroyed by the Campfire. Kinda makes you wonder if, just maybe, there is justice on earth after all – at least, once in every eon or so.

    • annie on November 19, 2018, 7:06 pm

      genesto, butler (and all the hollywood people in similar circumstance) lost their homes to the woosley fire. campfire is way north in butte county, northern california.

      • amigo on November 19, 2018, 7:27 pm

        Annie , just awfully sad.I had several friends that retired up there in the ln the late 90.s from Silicon valley area.

        My heart goes out to all those poor people.Remember the 89 Earthquake where some 49 people were killed and many injured.This fire is more devastating with 80 dead and 1000 missing and 10 to 11 k homes destroyed.Not sure how many were destroyed in 89.

        Is your air quality affected??.

      • annie on November 19, 2018, 10:08 pm

        overall, the air is the worst i have ever known for so long. even worse than santa rosa fire which was less than an hour drive away, although there were quite a few days of ash falling from the sky and leaving a blanket all over the yard.. this time tho, it’s worse. i can’t describe it. the smell. i am staying indoors and it even seems fuzzy, the air.

        but our air isn’t the worst of it. it’s knowing so many people are missing. knowing the death toll could get a lot higher tomorrow. so far most of the dead are old people who just couldn’t get out fast enough.

      • genesto on November 20, 2018, 11:54 am

        Sorry. Wrong fire. Same message though.

  6. Ossinev on November 20, 2018, 7:24 am

    Mmmm. Is this perchance the same Gerald Butler who was an avid fan of Glasgow Celtic football club whose supporters regularly fly Palestinian flags to show their support for the Palestinian people? I assume that somewhere along the line he has switched his sporting allegiance to Beitar Jerusalem FC. Perhaps he has even been granted honorary membership of La Familia ?

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