Gal Gadot has been receiving criticism on social media after leaving users disappointed by her comments on the ongoing violence between Israel and Palestine.
The actor, who is Israeli and served in the Israel Defence Forces before becoming a Hollywood star, posted a statement to Instagram and Twitter saying her country was ‘at war’ and calling for Israel to be able to live as a ‘free and safe nation’.
Though not mentioning Palestine by name, Gadot’s statement also urged for Israel’s ‘neighbours’ to be given the same opportunity, and called for peace on all sides.
However, many disagreed with Gadot’s words, and used the stance of fellow actor Natalie Portman – who is also Israeli – to criticise the Wonder Woman star.
In her own response to the escalating violence this week, Portman shared a post by Viola Davis spreading educational resources about crackdowns on protestors opposing plans for forced evictions of Palestinians in Sheikh Jarrah, a neighbourhood in East Jerusalem.
In the past 24 hours both stars have been trending on Twitter as people compared the two responses. One user wrote, ‘Natalie Portman is also an Israeli actress but she has posted in support of Palestine while @GalGadot (Wonder Woman) is still praying for Israel. ‘Israel deserves to live as free and safe nation’….seriously?’
Another wrote ‘the difference between Gal Gadot and Natalie Portman – both Israeli actresses – is so astounding.’
Portman has been a vocal critic of the Israeli government under current Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for several years, and has previously taken to social media to speak out about what she’s described as ‘racist’ nation-state policies promoted by those in power.
In 2018, the Oscar winner turned down Israel’s prestigious Genesis Prize, saying, ‘The mistreatment of those suffering from today’s atrocities is simply not in line with my Jewish values.’ She added, ‘Because I care about Israel, I must stand up against violence, corruption, inequality, and abuse of power.’
By comparison, Gadot’s comments have been viewed as excusing and even justifying the actions of Israel’s government and security forces, which in the past week alone have led to the deaths of at least 67 people in Gaza, The Guardian reports. Seven Israelis have been killed in the violence.
In a tweet, activist Aaron Vallely said, ‘Gal Gadot’s statement is far worse than that tone-deaf imagine video from last year. ‘Free and Safe’. The same state that is perpetrating military occupation, land theft and ethnic cleansing against the people of Palestine.’