Amy Schumer clarifies stance on Israel-Gaza: ‘I don’t agree with anything that Netanyahu is doing’

Comedian and actor has been one of the most vocal celebrity proponents of Israel

Inga Parkel
Tuesday 30 April 2024 19:16 BST
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Amy Schumer has clarified her stance on the ongoing Israel-Hamas war after receiving backlash for her social media posts about the conflict.

Since Hamas’s surprise 7 October attack on Israel, the comedian and actor, 42, has used her large Instagram platform to campaign on behalf of Israel’s operation and call for the release of hostages held in Gaza.

She is also among more than 700 Hollywood figures, including Jamie Lee Curtis, Gal Gadot and Jerry Seinfeld, who have signed an open letter from the Creative Community For Peace in support of Israel.

Speaking to Variety in a new interview, Schumer made it clear that while she supports the Jewish people, she does not agree with Israel’s controversial Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

“I don’t agree with anything that Netanyau is doing, and neither do the Israelis I know,” she said. “Of course what’s going on in Gaza is sickening, horrifying and unthinkable. And, I don’t think it’s OK to hate anyone because they were born Jewish.

“It’s gotten to this place,” Schumer added, “where you can’t speak up for other Jews without people feeling like it’s a slight to the conditions in Gaza.”

Last November, a month after the war began, Schumer posted a clip from one of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr’s impassioned speeches, in which he called on people to “take a stand against antisemitism because it’s wrong, it’s unjust, and it’s evil”.

Amy Schumer
Amy Schumer (Getty Images for Good+Foundation)

Dr Bernice King, the daughter of King Jr, later responded to the video, saying that Schumer’s clip failed to acknowledge her father’s history of challenging racism and advocating for peace.

“Amy: Certainly, my father was against antisemitism, as am I,” King, who is the CEO of the Martin Luther King Jr Center for Nonviolent Social Change, said in her response.

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“He also believed militarism (along with racism and poverty) to be among the interconnected Triple Evils. I am certain he would call for Israel’s bombing of Palestinians to cease, for hostages to be released and for us to work for true peace, which includes justice,” Dr King tweeted.

Days later, Schumer said she was “accepting love and feedback” on Instagram by turning on her comments, which had up until then been disabled.

Schumer has continued to share content that many social media users called out as propaganda, and for perpetuating harmful stereotypes.

In a since-deleted post, Schumer shared a comic on Instagram, which intended to satirise comments made by American Pro-Palestine supporters. “Gazans rape Jewish girls only in self defense,” read one of the signs in the comic. “Proud of our rapist martyrs,” said another.

“It’s so crazy to me how Bella & Gigi [Hadid] had to tiptoe around their statements and then Amy Schumer is like ‘Gazans are rapists’ and will still have a career,” actor Asia Jackson wrote on X in response to the post.

Schumer then messaged Jackson on Instagram: “Did something I post about my people being massacred upset you?”

“The Islamophobia and generalisation of Gazan people did,” Jackson, who is an African-American and Indigenous Filipino, wrote back, according to screenshots she shared on X.

In her latest post about the war shared on 10 March, Schumer shared a statement from British historian Simon Sebag Montefiore, which read: “Recent months of the Hamas kill-&-rape attack against Israeli civilians & Israel’s war against Hamas have been marked by so much tragic killing and suffering of civilians, Palestinians & Israeli and the suffering of both populations must be told, all crimes exposed.

“It is worth doing a bit of reading about the Middle East,” it continued. “For now the urgency is to get plentiful aid back to the people of Gaza, to get Israeli hostages back, to negotiate a ceasefire from both sides, remove Hamas from the equation, end the war and start negotiations to create the truth for the pathway to Two Nations, Two Republics, a safe Israel next door to a Safe Palestine.”

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