The Shmooze

Celebrities Tweet the Middle East — With Controversial Results

By Julie Wiener

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(JTA) — First, there were the celebrity tweeter and deleters.

As the Israel-Gaza conflict continues to spark a proxy war on Twitter and other social media, numerous celebrities are getting themselves caught in the crossfire.

Earlier this week, both singer Rihanna and basketball player Dwight Howard alienated partisans on both sides by tweeting the #FreePalestine hashtag — and then deleting it.

Then former Justin Bieber paramour Selena Gomez decided to get all political and post a “Pray For Gaza” photo on her Instagram feed.

Fans got upset, so she posted a photo of herself meditating on the beach with the caption: “And of course to be clear, I am not picking any sides. I am praying for peace and humanity for all!”

Now comedian Bill Maher is irking feminists (and, presumably, Hamas supporters) with the following post:

Jezebel took issue with the “crazy woman” analogy: “Making a joke about hitting a woman to make a point about a country where people are being killed is just gross.”

Numerous other celebs have taken sides on social media. Actors Rob Schneider and John Cusack engaged followers in heated debates:

Mia Farrow called for civility:

And Mayim Bialik just wants her friends and family to be safe:

Actress Vanessa Williams may have taken the least political approach (although it doubtless irked those of the #FreePalestine persuasion): from July 7-July 14, she posted upbeat photos and videos from her vacation in Israel: “Jerusalem bagel. Now we’re talking ! 7 sheckels #israeltourism #amvoicesinisrael #oldcity.”

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