Joey Barton and Yossi Benayoun were involved in a Twitter spat today over the divisive conflict between Gaza and Israel.
Barton, well known for making social comment and quoting The Smiths and Nietzsche on Twitter, spoke out about the 18-day-old conflict which has left over 800 dead - the vast majority of which have been Palestinian.
"The attack on the school in Beit Hanoun is deplorable. #StopKillingChildrenInGaza," wrote Barton this morning.
He continued: "If this was anybody else but Israel the West would intervene. It cannot continue. Innocent children being slaughtered. This must stop.
"How can a God stand by and watch this? Or even condone this? Is this all part of his master plan?
"The UN attempting to evacuate the school when the bombing took place? Asked IDF for window to evacuate. Not given. Children die as a result."
Barton, who used to play for Manchester City and Newcastle also tweeted a picture.
This is not war. These are not combatants. They are just innocent children. This is ethnic cleansing. pic.twitter.com/Qf9JabG79Y— Joseph Barton (@Joey7Barton) July 25, 2014
Video: Gaza conflict continues
The comments from Barton appeared to rile former Liverpool player Benayoun, who has 96 appearances for Israel. Benayoun now plays for Maccabi Haifa, whose pre-season friendly against French side Lille earlier this week had to be abandoned after pro-Palestinian protesters stormed the pitch and fought with players. Benayoun was among those targeted.
@Joey7Barton mate things can never changed you have been stupid and you will stay stupid all your life..embarrassing .— Yossi Benayoun (@YossiBenayoun15) July 25, 2014
Rather predictably, Barton was quick to hit back at the 34-year-old, whom he played alongside at QPR for a short period of time.
@YossiBenayoun15 Firstly, you cannot call somebody stupid with such bad grammar. Secondly, you cannot and should not kill innocent children.— Joseph Barton (@Joey7Barton) July 25, 2014
@YossiBenayoun15 Thirdly, you cannot remove people from their land because a fictional book from thousands of years ago tells you can.— Joseph Barton (@Joey7Barton) July 25, 2014
Barton, who recently appeared on BBC Question Time appeared keen to end the conversation on good terms.
@YossiBenayoun15 Last but not least, I hope you and your family are safe and well and remain so through this terrible time. xx— Joseph Barton (@Joey7Barton) July 25, 2014
But he quickly got back to expressing his views on the conflict.
Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is impotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent.— Joseph Barton (@Joey7Barton) July 25, 2014
Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?— Joseph Barton (@Joey7Barton) July 25, 2014
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