American actress regrets supporting Israel boycott

American actress Greta Gerwig expresses regret after signing a letter calling for a boycott of Israel.

Arutz Sheva Staff and JTA ,

Greta Gerwig
Greta Gerwig

American actress Greta Gerwig has expressed regret for signing a letter calling for a boycott of Israel, JTA reported on Tuesday.

Gerwig was a member of a group of more than 60 artists who in July signed a letter urging Lincoln Center to cancel performances of “To The End Of The Land,” a play based on a novel of the same name by famed Israeli novelist David Grossman.

The signees took issue with the fact that the play was funded by Israel’s Office of Cultural Affairs in North America.

The protest letter was organized by the Adalah-NY group, which calls for the boycott of Israel over its treatment of Palestinian Arabs.

Last Friday, however, Gerwig admitted to the New York Post that she was not knowledgeable enough on the issue to have taken a stand on it.

“This past summer, a close friend asked me to lend my name to a letter,” she said, adding, “I am generally careful about the causes I support, but in this case I was not. I was unfamiliar with the complexities of the letter and I did not take the time to study them.”

“Instead,” continued Gerwig, “because the letter had already been signed by many other friends and collaborators I know to be thoughtful and honorable people, I agreed to add my name. While I respect the passion and integrity of others who signed this letter, for me to put my name to something outside of my personal realm of knowledge or experience was a mistake — my mistake — and I am sorry for any confusion or hurt I may have caused.”

Earlier last week, the Post reported — and Gerwig’s representative vigorously denied — that journalists at the recent Toronto and Telluride film festivals had been instructed not to ask Gerwig questions about the Israel letter, possibly because she is gearing up for a lobbying campaign for an Academy Award. Her directorial debut — titled “Ladybird,” and starring Saiorse Ronan — has picked up Oscar buzz this festival season.

The phenomenon of celebrities calling for a boycott of Israel is not a new one. One of the most prominent voices has been musician Roger Waters, who is known for his anti-Israel views and for his encouragement of boycotts against Israel.

Waters has in the past compared Israel to Nazi Germany, saying in an interview, “The situation in Israel/Palestine, with the occupation, the ethnic cleansing and the systematic racist apartheid Israeli regime is unacceptable.”

If that is not enough, Waters has frequently blasted other musicians for choosing to perform in Israel and has pressured them to cancel their performances.

Artists he has attacked include Jon Bon Jovi, Alan Parsons, the Rolling Stones, Neil Young, Radiohead and actress Scarlett Johansson.

In 2015, Waters was one of 700 British artists who wrote a letter in which they pledged to boycott Israel in protest over the allegedly high death toll of “Palestinian civilians” in the Gaza war during the summer of 2014.