Mark Ruffalo has long been one of the most obnoxious and insufferable leftists on Twitter, using his position as an influential actor to slander Republicans and capitalism, among other things. Yet on Monday night, he rightly apologized for calling Israel’s actions during the recent conflict with Hamas a form of “genocide.” It took courage for him to reverse his remarks and to apologize, but leftist Twitter condemned him for it.
“I have reflected & wanted to apologize for posts during the recent Israel/Hamas fighting that suggested Israel is committing ‘genocide’. It’s not accurate, it’s inflammatory, disrespectful & is being used to justify antisemitism here & abroad. Now is the time to avoid hyperbole,” Ruffalo tweeted.
Indeed, anger at Israel has apparently fueled a surge in anti-Semitic attacks in the U.S. and abroad. While many have condemned Israel in the conflict, Hamas fired first, launching rockets based on a lie. Hamas hid behind civilians, in some cases refusing to warn children to evacuate buildings after Israeli forces warned that the buildings would be targeted and gave Hamas time to evacuate. Many of Hamas’ rockets misfired, falling back to Gaza, where they likely killed innocent civilians.
Israel has targeted its attacks against Hamas as much as possible, while Hamas has put Palestinian civilians in harm’s way. Israel’s actions may not have been perfect, but the charge of genocide is baseless and heinous. Ruffalo was correct to retract and apologize.
Lebanese-American political activist and former Hillary Clinton advisor Peter Daou mocked Ruffalo’s apology by issuing an “apology” of his own.
“As the son of a Jewish mother, I have reflected and I want to apologize to the [Palestinian] people for not being a stronger advocate against their oppression. Now is not the time to sugarcoat apartheid,” Daou wrote, echoing Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s racist smear against Israel.
Talbert Swan, a Canadian bishop and president of an NAACP chapter, faulted Ruffalo for characterizing the conflict as being between Israel and Hamas.
“You never referred to the Palestinians who were being slaughtered as ‘Hamas’ in your previous tweets,” Swan tweeted. “What happened? Who got to you? Were the 70+ murdered children fighting for Hamas? [Free Palestine!]”
Swan went further, claiming that Ruffalo “is the latest prominent white man forced to exit advocacy against white supremacist tyranny.”
Leftist political cartoonist Carlos Latuff, who has 114,000 Twitter followers, lampooned Ruffalo, suggesting that the Israel lobby had blackmailed him into silence.
“Mark Ruffalo, as well as other artists and journalists from the US mainstream media, have already felt the weight of the Lobby for criticism or even jokes about [Israel]. It requires a lot of COURAGE to defend Palestinians,” Latuff tweeted.
Dutch video game designer Rami Ismail, who has 184,000 followers on Twitter, thanked Ruffalo… for the original statement.
“Thanks for the original statement, it was nice for a people being -without any hyperbole- bombed, murdered, occupied, persecuted, and cleansed to have an actual Avenger on their side – even if it was for just a moment,” Ismail tweeted. “Shame you decided against those values of life and dignity.”
Palestinian American activist lawyer Huwaida Arraf, who co-founded the International Solidarity Movement (ISM), suggested that Ruffalo’s apology has convinced her that she needs to call Israel’s attacks genocide.
“As an attorney, I have long avoided calling it genocide. No longer. Israel’s policies fit the legal definition, but as with any crime, there is the element of intent that must be proven. For that, there are plenty of statements from Israeli officials. Not hyperbole,” Arraf tweeted.
The United Nations defines genocide as one of many acts “committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group.” The acts include:
- Killing members of the group;
- Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;
- Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;
- Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;
- Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.
Israel’s activities in the recent conflict do not qualify as genocide. Israeli strikes focused on combatting Hamas’ military abilities, not killing Palestinians. Israel issued warnings before launching missiles at buildings and Israel worked hard to provoke Hamas fighters to use tunnels to attack Israel — so that Israeli forces could isolate Hamas fighters from Palestinian civilians to ensure that Israel did not kill civilians but combatants.
Recommended: The Hamas Rocket Attacks Are Based on a Lie
Ruffalo was right to apologize, and the leftists who condemned him revealed their true colors by doing so. As Jews face increasing anti-Semitic attacks, these leftists doubled down on the rhetoric that is putting Jews in danger.