'Don't know what they're talking about!': Celebrities slammed for wading in on Israeli war

'Don't know what they're talking about!': Celebrities slammed for wading in on Israeli war

Anne Diamond hosts debate on celebrities getting involved in politics

Harvey Gough

By Harvey Gough

Published: 20/10/2023

- 11:24

Updated: 20/10/2023

- 11:50

An open letter by over 2,000 celebrities criticised Israel but failed to condemn Hamas

A letter signed by more than 2,000 cultural figures and artists calling for a ceasefire in Gaza has sparked conversation about whether celebrities should share their views on political matters.

The letter, signed by celebrities such as Steve Coogan, Tilda Swinton and Charles Dance, accuses the Government of “not only tolerating war crimes but aiding and abetting them”.

In particular the letter condemns Israel’s actions in retaliation against terrorist group Hamas, opening with: “We are witnessing a crime and a catastrophe. Israel has reduced much of Gaza to rubble, and cut off the supply of water, power, food and medicine to 2.3 million Palestinians.”

While many praised the letter for holding power to account, many criticised the content for failing to specifically mention Hamas’s terrorist attacks against Israel, instead only condemning “every act of violence against civilians”.

Narinda Kaur and Alex Armstrong

Narinda Kaur and Alex Armstrong debate whether celebrities should get involved in politics

GB News

GB News’ Anne Diamond hosted a debate on Breakfast, with political commentator Alex Armstrong and social commentator Narinda Kaur, on whether celebrities should stay out of politics.

Armstrong started the debate, saying: “These people are are building a a big influence based online and what they say carries weight Anne.”

“They don't always present the facts. They sometimes come out with a little bit of nonsense that's, you know, opinions shared by other elite celebrities around them. It's like a little club and they're not very representative of the people I tend to find.”

“But you know what really grinds my gears is publicly funded celebrities, i.e. ones on the BBC, who tend to have quite strong opinions on things but are paid for by the taxpayer.”


Gary Lineker waving

Gary Lineker has found himself in hot water for his political commentary in the past


Kaur weighed in on this: “Tweets are independent though it's got nothing to do with BBC.”

“If you're a celebrity and you've got a big following, you can get people to participate. And the democratic process is meant for participation.”

“When the UK got involved behind Ukraine, suddenly it was OK for celebrities to lend their voice. But suddenly with Palestine, they're not allowed to get involved?!”

Kaur pointed to examples where celebrities had done good by weighing in on political matters: “Kim Kardashian has got involved in miscarriages of justice in America, and she's had so many released from crimes they didn't commit. And I think that's fantastic.”

Steve Coogan

Steve Coogan leads 2,000+ Brit actors calling for Israel ceasefire as they accuse West of ‘tolerating war crimes’


Armstrong chimed back in to say: “It's symptomatic of our society. We're looking to celebrities for leadership now and I think politicians aren't leading the way anymore.”

“I think there's a sort of a line drawn, and the royal family do a quite a good job of this. I'm not saying that's celebrities, they are the head of state after all. But there's a line where it gets very political and quite dangerous.”

“Some of the opinions they put out there are literally to vote for specific parties!”

Finally, on whether the letter should have mentioned Hamas’s terrorist attacks, Kaur said: “Maybe they did condemn them two weeks ago. But now they're saying, hang on a minute, Israel has taken this too far now and actually Western leaders have blood on their hands. I think it's amazing they wrote this.”

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