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Entertainment Industry Figures Continue to Face Consequences for Anti-Israel Comments as Gaza War Divides Hollywood

Melissa Barrera pictured as The Cast of Scream VI will visit the Empire State Building to promote the film’s upcoming release on March 6, 2023 in New York City. Photo: IMAGO/MediaPunch via Reuters Connect

A growing number of celebrities and other members of the Hollywood entertainment industry are being fired from jobs and talent agencies or reprimanded by their colleagues for attacking Israel as the Jewish state wages a defensive war against Hamas in Gaza after the Palestinian terror group’s Oct. 7 massacre across southern Israeli communities.

Oscar-winning actress Susan Sarandon was dropped as a client by United Talent Agency after lambasting Israel at a recent pro-Palestinian rally in New York City, the agency confirmed on Tuesday. At the rally, Sarandon accused Israel of war crimes, encouraged others to have the “courage to speak out” in support of Palestinians, and compared Hamas’ slaughter of civilians last month — which sparked the current conflict —  to the hardships the Palestinians have faced in Gaza under Hamas rule. She has also shared a number of anti-Israel posts on social media since Hamas terrorists infiltrated the Jewish state, killing over 1,200 people and seizing more than 240 hostages.

At the same time, Spyglass Media Group, which produces the Scream film franchise, dropped actress Melissa Barrera as the star of Scream VII after she uploaded a series of posts on Instagram that referred to Israel as a “colonized” land and suggested that Jews control the media. She wrote in part: “Western media only shows the [Israeli] side. Why do they do that, I will let you deduce for yourself.”

“Gaza is currently being treated like a concentration camp,” she separately wrote in one post on her Instagram Story. “Cornering everyone together, with no where to go, no electricity no water … People have learnt nothing from our histories. And just like our histories, people are still silently watching it all happen. THIS IS GENOCIDE & ETHNIC CLEANSING.”

A Spyglass spokesperson said in a statement to Variety that Barrera was fired because her posts were deemed antisemitic: “Spyglass’ stance is unequivocally clear: We have zero tolerance for antisemitism or the incitement of hate in any form, including false references to genocide, ethnic cleansing, Holocaust distortion or anything that flagrantly crosses the line into hate speech.”

In October, one of Hollywood’s top agents, Maha Dakhil — whose clients included Tom Cruise, Natalie Portman, and Madonna — resigned from the Creative Artists Agency (CAA) internal board and was relieved of her duties as co-head of the motion pictures department after falsely accusing Israel of genocide. She apologized for the remarks and was reportedly allowed to remain as an agent at CAA.

Not everyone was happy with CAA’s actions. Cruise made it known to the agency that he still supported his agent, despite the incident, by meeting Dakhil at her CAA office on Nov. 15, according to reports. A group of CAA assistants even threatened to leave the agency for the way they treated Dakhil, but eventually dropped their threat, Variety reported. However, some CAA agents complained that Dakhil should have been fired.

Separately, CAA cut ties with a staffer and two clients who made anti-Israel comments on social media.

CAA also dropped Saira Rao and Regina Jackson — co-authors of the 2022 book White Women: Everything You Already Know About Your Own Racism and How to Do Better — because of their social media posts accusing Israel of genocide. Rao said she is “honored to be dropped by CAA for standing up for Palestinians.” However, a CAA spokesperson clarified that the author was not dropped for supporting Palestinians, but for social media posts that were antisemitic. Following the news, Rao tweeted: “F—k America. F—k Israel. The end.”

CAA did not stop there and additionally fired assistant Jouman (Jasmine) Barakat over her posts against Israel. Barakat called all Israelis white supremacists, labeled pro-Israel rallies as “pro-hell rallies,” and ridiculed a post from Israel’s official X/Twitter account that stated, “Even Israelis Deserve to Live” by calling it a “fascist regime,” according to screenshots of the posts circulated online.

Last month, Jewish voice actress Tara Strong was fired from her job in an independent animated series after she voiced solidarity with Israel and condemned Hamas terrorists. Meanwhile, former adult film star Mia Khalifa lost her partnership deal with Playboy magazine and an Ontario-based company called Red Light Holland in October after she referred to Hamas as “freedom fighters,” poked fun at the Oct. 7 terrorist attacks, and accused Israel of being a “Zionist apartheid regime.”

La La Land producer Marc Platt reportedly texted heads of the Hollywood talent agency WME asking why Sorry to Bother You writer-director Boots Riley was still a client after the latter asked his followers on X/Twitter to boycott a screening of raw, unedited footage about the Oct. 7 Hamas massacre at the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles. Riley called the film “murderous propaganda” and said, “when IDF [the Israel Defense Forces] and Israeli officials are at The Hague for war crimes, massacres, and genocidal actions — you won’t want your name or image to have been anywhere near it.” Riley is still a WME client.

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The detailed plans for a Canadian law that regulates hate speech online are seen as a ‘good start’ by Jewish groups

Jewish groups and others concerned about the rise of hate speech online welcomed the introduction of a new government bill on Feb. 26. And while the parliamentary process for it to become law is only beginning, it’s a good start according to advocacy groups who have called for the government to regulate certain types of […]

The post The detailed plans for a Canadian law that regulates hate speech online are seen as a ‘good start’ by Jewish groups appeared first on The Canadian Jewish News.

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‘You Jew!’: UC Berkeley Mob Attacks Jews During Event With IDF Soldier, University Pledges Investigation

Mob of anti-Zionists attempting to infiltrate event with Ran Bar-Yoshafat at University of California, Berkeley on February 27, 2024. Photo: Screenshot/Twitter

A mob of hundreds pro-Palestinian students and non-students shut down an event Monday evening at University of California-Berkeley featuring an Israeli soldier, forcing Jewish students to flee to a secret safe room as the protestors overwhelmed campus police

Footage of the incident shared by the outlet shows a serried mass of anti-Zionist agitators banging on the doors of the Zellerbach Library while an event featuring Israeli reservist Ran Bar-Yoshafat —who visited the university to discuss his military service during Hamas’ massacre across southern Israel on Oct. 7 — took place inside. The mob then stormed the building — breaking glass windows in the process, according reports in the Daily Wire — and forced school officials to evacuate Jewish students to a secret safe-room.

“What happened last night was deeply concerning and a violation of some of our most important rules and values as a university, including freedom of speech, respect for diversity, and the ties that bind us together as a community,” UC Berkeley assistant vice chancellor for communications and public affairs Dan Mogulof told The Algemeiner on Tuesday during a phone interview. “What we saw last night has no recent precedent. More than an estimated 200 protesters showed up at the venue and gained unauthorized entry into the building. There has never been anything like what occurred last night.”

Mogulof pledged that the university will launch an investigation into the incident.

“We do not and will not ignore violations of our rules and values,” he said. “When we have events like this, we always have two priorities. One, to do everything in our power so the event goes forward and the other is to do everything in our power to protect the safety and well being of our students and members of the public, and given the size of the crowd, and the violence of the crowd, we were unable to do both, even with 20 police officers. The event had to be cancelled, so that we could evacuate the building and support the safety of the students.”

During the infiltration of Zellerbach, one of the mob — which was assembled by Bears for Palestine, which had earlier proclaimed its intention to cancel the event — spit on a Jewish student and called him a “Jew,” pejoratively.

“You know what I was screamed at? ‘Jew, you Jew, you Jew,’ literally right to my face,” the student who was attacked said to a friend. “Some woman — then she spit at me.”

Shaya Keyvanfar, a student, told The Algemeiner that her sister was spit and that the incident was unlike any she had ever witnessed.

“Once the doors were closed, the protesters somehow found a side door and pushed it open, and a few of them managed to get in, and once they did, they tried to open the door for the rest of them,” Keyvanfar said. “It was really scary. They were pounding on the windows outside — they broke one — they spit at my sister and others. They called someone a dirty Jew. It was eerie.”

Keyvanfar added that it may be difficult to identify the culprits because anti-Zionists activists wear masks to conceal their identities.

Security concerns plagued the event all week, according to the Daily Wire, and after arriving on campus Bar-Yoshafat was required to conceal his identity. Prior to that, the location of the event was changed to various locations to prevent violence.

“I just felt really bad for these kids because they were scared,” Bar-Yoshafat told Daily Wire. “Girls were crying from being attacked, and I think the kid that was spat on was just so shocked. I don’t think the students anticipated so many people being violent, they thought they would just chant outside.”

During Tuesday’s interview with The Algemeiner Mogulof stressed that the university “understands now that we are in new territory” and called the incident a “black mark” on its reputation. He also explained that UC Berkeley launched an antisemitism awareness program in 2019, which included panels and talks with esteemed scholars of Jewish history such as Deborah Lipstadt, because it takes the issue of campus antisemitism seriously.

Follow Dion J. Pierre @DionJPierre.

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Prominent Pro-Hamas Activist in Australia Arrested on Kidnapping and Torture Charges

Australian pro-Hamas activist Laura Allam. Photo: X/Twitter

Australian police on Monday announced the arrest of a prominent pro-Hamas advocate accused of orchestrating the kidnapping and torture of a man whose perceived offense was to work for a Jewish employer.

Melbourne resident Laura Allam was charged with kidnapping, armed robbery, illegal detention, assault and battery against the 31-year-old man, who has not been named by authorities. Working with an accomplice who has also been arrested and charged with kidnapping, false imprisonment, armed robbery, threats to kill, intention to cause injury, recklessly causing injury, unlawful assault and assault with weapon, the 28-year-old Allam is  understood to have targeted the man solely because his employer is Jewish.

According to a statement from police in the State of Victoria, the brutal assault occurred on the night of Feb. 16 in the Melbourne suburb of St. Albans. “It’s alleged a man was pulled from a car near the intersection of Gladstone and Cleveland streets about 9.30pm,” the statement noted. “He was then allegedly placed in another car and assaulted and robbed before being released in Braybrook.” The victim required extensive treatment in hospital for injuries sustained in the “horrific kidnapping and torture.”

Allam is a prominent member of Australia’s large Lebanese community and the CEO of the Al Jannah Foundation, which bills itself as an Islamic humanitarian organization. While Allam’s social media profiles specify that she is still running the organization, an entry on the Australian register of companies notes that the foundation ceased operations in July 2023, less than three years after it was formally incorporated. The foundation’s website additionally lists a number of projects that it is raising money for — including addressing food shortages in Lebanon and child health challenges — that apparently remain unfunded.

In the wake of the Oct. 7 Hamas pogrom in southern Israel, Allam dedicated most of her time to attacking Israel on social media as well as spreading false information on her TikTok account, which had 20,000 followers before being closed down, as well as X/Twitter and Instagram. One post on Feb. 5 promoted the fabricated claim that a British Royal Navy warship dispatched to the Gulf to combat attacks on shipping by Houthi terrorists in Yemen had “broken down off the coasts of England.”

Her barbs against Israel on social media included a post that declared “good riddance” over an image of four Israeli soldiers killed while serving in Gaza. On Oct. 8 — the day after the Hamas pogrom which resulted in the murder of more than 1,200 people and the kidnapping of over 200 amid atrocities that included mass rape and bodily mutilation — Allam told her followers that she had “woken up to some great news from our beloved Palestine.” Other posts spoke of “a jihad of martyrdom or victory” and lauded attempts to “avenge the martyrs in Jenin and Gaza.”

Allam discussed her arrest in her final post on her Instagram account before it was closed down. Reproduced on the pro-Israel blog Israellycool, Allam’s post boasted of her “selflessness” and her commitment to “remaining quiet — for now,” going on to declare that “[T]here are words that burn the wildest flames in the deepest pits of my heart and will only ever be extinguished when Allah takes the ‘haqq’ (truth) from every single oppressor to walk this earth.”

“This seems to be an admission as to her involvement, yet amazingly no apology for her actions,” Israellycool observed in an accompanying commentary. “In fact, she speaks as if the incident somehow passively ‘occurred’ – as opposed to her actively doing something terrible.”

In its coverage of Allam’s arrest on Monday, Melbourne’s Herald Sun news outlet reported on “an extraordinary suppression order relating to her case prevents the Herald Sun from running Ms Allam’s image, referencing some ethnic groups or providing certain detail about her advocacy activities.” However, several posts on X/Twitter shared her photograph, her name and her other affiliations.

Allam made the news earlier this month after she spoke at a pro-Hamas protest at the Australian parliament in Canberra alongside three senators from the left-wing Green Party. Responding to the event, Sky News Australia host Andrew Bolt highlighted Allam’s Islamist loyalties, saying, “[T]hat’s one of the people now sharing a stage with the Greens. The Greens may not have known of Allam’s past, but this is who they find next to them in their gutter.”

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