HOLLYWOOD – Less than 200 Hollywood players and personalities signed a statement attacking Hamas and pledging support for Israel. We consider the meaning of this.

“When you talk to artists like Javier Bardem and Pedro Almodovar, you have to think, ‘Where do you think your movies are being watched in the Middle East? They can’t be watched anywhere else but in Israel,” so speaks David Lonner, spokesperson of the Creative Community for Peace, a pro-Israel lobby which just published a statement co-signed by just shy of 200 Hollywood types and Seth Rogen. It’s an interesting point. It reveals the strange form of blackmail that is being perpetuated and the way human life is sometimes calculated in Hollywood. Customer, fan base, the people who make up box office, those are the people you talk to, the people you connect with, the people who count. Those other Third World-y types, yeah they’re okay for George and Angelina to get weepy over, but they don’t actually watch your films, so really… who gives a shit?

Let’s just get one thing clear: Hamas are a bunch of f*cking assholes. That isn’t up for debate. And if that was the letter I’d sign it too. Jesus, who wouldn’t? Except for Hamas. But the measure of your civilisation is how you react to f*cking assholes, not how much of a f*cking asshole the other guy is. So here is the statement issued, with some notes.

I’m sorry it isn’t funny.

We, the undersigned, are saddened by the devastating loss of life endured by Israelis (64 soldiers, 3 civilians killed) and Palestinians (2090 dead, 76% civilians, including hundreds of children) in Gaza. We are pained by the suffering on both (deplorable but it isn’t equal, it is in fact vastly unequal) sides of the conflict and hope for a solution that brings peace to the region.

While we stand firm in our commitment to peace and justice, we must also stand firm against ideologies of hatred and genocide which are reflected in Hamas’ charter (oh, wait, so if the two are incompatible which one’s going to give?), Article 7 of which reads, “There is a Jew hiding behind me, come on and kill him!” The son of a Hamas founder has also commented about the true nature of Hamas. (Hamas is a despicable organisation which is doing untold damage to its own community including summary executions of ‘spies’. However, it has no practical capacity for genocide, its weapons are ineffective, whereas the wholesale destruction of Gaza [a tower block was toppled today], its infrastructure and housing is effectively making it impossible for a people to live there. It’s not genocide – let’s not get hysterical – but a damned sight closer than those Hamas clowns are capable of, regardless of article 7 of a charter that even the members of Hamas haven’t read.)

Hamas cannot be allowed to rain rockets on Israeli cities (the well publicized effectiveness of the Iron Dome defences makes this hyperbole factually incorrect, and the actual raining of destruction on Gaza, makes it offensive in the extreme), nor can it be allowed to hold its own people hostage (which no one seems to be treating this as a hostage situation, given the number of civilian deaths). Hospitals are for healing, not for hiding weapons. Schools are for learning, not for launching missiles. Children are our hope, not our human shields. (Hospitals are for healing not for being bombed, Schools are for learning not for being blown to smithereens, likewise refugee centres are for refugees to huddle in safety not for being targeted by the Israeli air force. The actions of Hamas again are despicable but that does not in any way excuse the indiscriminate and wholesale destruction of housing, schools, hospitals, power stations and now residential tower blocks by the Israeli armed forces).

We join together in support of the democratic values we all cherish and in the hope that the healing and transformative power of the arts (Like co-signatories Kelsey Grammer, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone’s The Expendables 3 for instance) can be used to build bridges of peace. (Forget bridges of peace, just stop blowing up actual bridges, roads, buildings and civilians).

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