Gal Gadot‘s message of unity amid ongoing rocket attacks in the West Bank created a firestorm from online critics, who contend the former Israeli Defense Forces fighter is a “propaganda” tool for the Israeli military.
The 36-year-old “Wonder Woman” actress took to Twitter to express how her “heart breaks,” because her “country is at war,” as tensions over a disputed Jerusalem region led to deadly exchanges of rocket fire attacks between Israel and Hamas militants.
“This is a vicious cycle that has been going on for far too long,” the Israeli native tweeted Wednesday.
“Israel deserves to live as a free and safe nation, Our neighbors deserve the same. I pray for the victims and their families. I pray for this unimaginable hostility to end, I pray for our leaders to find the solution so we can live side by side in peace.”
Some Twitter users immediately took to the social network to pan the actress’s military history, accusing her of supporting “ethnic cleansing” and “mass genocide,” in remarks that are no longer visible, after Gadot disabled comments on her tweet.
“Reminder Gal Gadot served in the IDF for two years where she not only witnessed the ethnic cleansing of Palestine firsthand but also actively supported it. How can you advocate to stop the vicious cycle of terror when you are standing on the frontlines enabling it #FreePalestine,” wrote one user, @thetaeprint, according to Fox News.
“People really said we were exaggerating when we said boycott Gal Gadot who acts as a literal tool of propaganda for her government and the occupation forces she once served in. She can’t even say the word Palestinian. To the dustbin of history,” one woman tweeted.
Others supported Gadot’s call for peace, and noted that military service is required for all Israelis over the age of 18.
“The internet is angry at Gal Gadot because she’s an IDF veteran, which all Israelis are required to serve in for at least two years, and had the audacity to share a heartwarming message for peace in the conflict. A lot of disgusting people in her replies,” one man wrote.
“It’s Twitter, of course, not real life. But the quote-tweets to @GalGadot’s dignified & humane wish for peace exemplify the antisemitism & misogyny that social media has brought to the public square,” another said.
Republican Texas Sen. Ted Cruz had a more concise message of solidarity with the actress, simply writing “God bless @GalGadot.”
The swirling controversy comes as other public figures have been pressured into about-faces on less diplomatic remarks.
NYC mayoral contender Andrew Yang walked back a staunch pro-Israel tweet after critics to the left and Palestinian activists panned the Democrat’s statement.
Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who was among Yang’s critics, also blasted President Biden for saying, “Israel has a right to defend itself” Wednesday evening.
“Blanket statements like these w/ little context or acknowledgement of what precipitated this cycle of violence – namely, the expulsions of Palestinians and attacks on Al Aqsa – dehumanize Palestinians & imply the US will look the other way at human rights violations,” the Democrat tweeted.
There have also been a growing chorus of calls for Twitter to ban the Islamic Republic’s supreme leader Ayatollah Khamenei, after he urged Palestinians to “confront the enemy.”
The social network banned former President Donald Trump after he galvanized rioters to storm the US Capitol, “due to the risk of further incitement of violence.”