By Randi Nord via Mint Press News
Just two weeks before Israel pounded Gaza with bombs last night, over 1,200 celebrities came together to raise a record-breaking $60 million to support the Israeli Defense Forces and Israel’s occupation of Palestine at a gala called Friends of Israeli Defense Forces (FIDF).
The Israeli jets bombing the Gaza Strip targeted the Al-Aqsa TV headquarters and killed at least five Palestinians.
At least 214 Palestinians have been killed and over 18,000 wounded since beginning the Great Return March on the 30th of March this year, coinciding with the Trump administration’s decision to move Washington’s embassy from Tel Aviv to the holy Palestinian city of Jerusalem Al-Quds.
Despite their support for seemingly progressive politics at home, these celebrities apparently see no contradiction in supporting the U.S.-backed Israeli occupation of Palestine and blockade of Gaza — the world’s largest open-air prison, which Israel has bombed to rubble.
Ninety percent of Gaza’s main water supply is unfit for consumption (including agricultural use) due to contamination from sewage. Meanwhile, children must pass through military checkpoints and risk death to attend school each day.
Here are some of the most prominent celebrities who attended the gala last weekend to support the Israeli occupation and its ongoing assault on the Palestinian people.
Ashton Kutcher | A superstar who rose to fame from the hit TV series That 70s Show and now peddles cameras, Ashton Kutcher proudly attended November’s Friends of the IDF event.
The BS rhetoric around arming more people to protect others is just that, BS! Armed people got killed last night! Gun Reform now!!!
— ashton kutcher (@aplusk) November 9, 2018
Celebrities like Ashton Kutcher,Fran Drescher & Pharrell Williams have helped to raising money for the most immoral army in the world that kills innocent Palestinians. Celebrities without humanity. https://t.co/3blyQFTm72 pic.twitter.com/uwTsPtzqtK
— Palestine is not a slogan (@Stefaniafodd) November 6, 2018
Ironically enough, just days later, Kutcher took to Twitter to rant about gun control in the United States and the “BS rhetoric” behind arming more people to protect others. Apparently, Kutcher believes the “good guy with a gun” narrative applies only to Israelis attacking unarmed Palestinians.
Pharrell Williams | Pharrell Williams provided entertainment for the event. His hit song “Happy” added a disturbing tone to a gala celebrating 70 years of brutal Israeli military occupation and oppression.
This year's sold-out event welcomed more than 1,200 friends of the IDF, including prominent actors and singers like Ashton Kutcher, Pharrell Williams, Gerard Butler and Katharine McPhee. By the end of the evening, the FIDF had raised a whopping $60 million.
Ouate de phoque !! pic.twitter.com/lX6sXzwttA
— Mk (@Mk67116349Mk) November 9, 2018
Palestinians in Gaza were certainly anything but happy when Israeli jets rained fire on their homes a few weeks later.
David Foster | Prominent Canadian singer David Foster proudly attended the event in support of Israeli occupation.
Gerard Butler | In a twist of fate, Gerard Butler’s Malibu home was destroyed by the California wildfires this week. Quite ironic considering that Butler supports the forced removal of Palestinians from their homes and subsequent destruction.
Returned to my house in Malibu after evacuating. Heartbreaking time across California. Inspired as ever by the courage, spirit and sacrifice of firefighters. Thank you @LAFD. If you can, support these brave men and women at https://t.co/ei7c7F7cZx. pic.twitter.com/AcBcLtKmDU
— Gerard Butler (@GerardButler) November 11, 2018
Andy Garcia | Andy Garcia has a long history of supporting reactionary forces in his home country of Cuba, where his family of business owners fled after the beginning of the revolution and failed Bay of Pigs operation. Today, Garcia supports Israel’s imperialist military-industrial complex occupying Palestine.
The Friends of the IDF🇮🇱gala raised $60 million.
Celebrities donors attended including Ziggy Marley, Ashton Kutcher, Gerard Butler, Andy Garcia, Pharrell Williams & David Foster.
— Going Underground on RT (@Underground_RT) November 9, 2018
Fran Drescher | American icon and “activist” Fran Drescher can be spotted in pictures from the event rocking a peace sign. Gaza, however, experiences anything but peace.
Ziggy Marley | Ziggy Marley, son of the late reggae icon Bob Marley, proudly attended the gala, which raised a staggering $60M to support causes relating to the IDF.
Katharine McPhee | The American singer and actress, who rose to fame thanks to her participation on American Idol and her role in the House Bunny, attended the FIDF gala.
Extremely disappointed that#AshtonKutcher, #GerardButler, #ArnoldSchwarzenegger, #Seal, #DavidFoster, #KatharineMcPhee #AndyGarcia, #FranDrescher#PharrellWilliams contributed to the #israelidefenseforces, when most of these celebs speak out 4 human rights violations.
— Bryant Watson (@bryantwatson) November 13, 2018
American taxpayers provide various Israeli military institutions and other organizations with over $3 billion each year to carry out the devastating occupation and siege of Palestine and support overall Israeli life and wellbeing.
Randi Nord is a MintPress News staff writer. She is also co-founder of Geopolitics Alert where she covers U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East with a special focus on Yemen.