The Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) Movement has plenty of money flowing in, mostly from Europe, to pressure businesses and investors from engaging with Israeli organizations in an effort to isolate the Jewish state from the rest of the world. Their stated hope is that Israel can be pressured into abandoning “occupied” lands, but many at the top of the movement understand that doing so will eventually lead to the disruption of Israel as a nation and the birth of a dominate Palestinian state.
While more politicians and prominent corporate figures are starting to shift their views on the BDS movement, the majority of exposure to the movement comes in the form of entertainment. They realize they have an uphill road to climb before Americans treat Israel the way most of the rest of the world does, so they’re targets are the celebrities they feel influence us the most.
It’s becoming difficult for major celebrities to openly embrace Israel, especially if they have an international audience. But some celebrities are swimming against the current by openly declaring their support for America’s only true ally in the Middle East.
This list was much harder to put together than I thought it would be because there are conflicting views. Some celebrities, such as Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling, are on both pro-Israel and pro-BDS lists. This contradiction is partially reconciled by shifting views or tempered responses that support Israel while also showing support for Palestinians, but there also seems to be misinformation campaigns out there that try to list celebrities who are clearly pro-Israel as being pro-BDS over isolated comments. If a celebrity pronounces their support for Israel but cancels an appearance over security concerns, that doesn’t mean they’re suddenly BDS supporters, but that’s how some are being painted.
This list is gathered and cross-referenced to more sources than I can list. At any point, some of these celebrities may have changed sides, so be sure to check the most recent reports before assuming they’re still pro-Israel.
This list is important because those of us who support Israel’s right to exist and operate as a sovereign nation should be aware of which celebrities share our views. We didn’t include some prominent names that simply made an appearance in Israel unless they made their support for the nation public. It’s better to be certain rather than make assumptions.
So, here’s the list in no particular order…
Donated $150,000 to the Friends of Israeli Defense Forces that pays for education and care of Israeli troops and supports families of fallen soldiers.
The Jewish former porn star has been a thorn in the sides of leftists for years. She’s not only pro-Israel but also politically conservative.
Kanye West and Kim Kardashian
The regularly newsworthy power couple have had their children baptized in Jerusalem. Kardashian learned how dangerous it can be to support the Jewish state after a Tweet saying she was “praying for Israel” after Hamas rocket attacks. The onslaught of hateful messages, including death threats, compelled her to delete her Tweet.
Jean-Claude Van Damme
Following a controversial Facebook post that showed him in Jerusalem in which he said, “Hello from Israel,” the martial arts actor later changed the caption to appease the hordes crowding his comment feed. While it was a backtrack from his original support, we’ll assume his presence in the nation and his original post reflected his feelings, and his subsequent edit was simply to not cause trouble.
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Ashton Kutcher and Gerard Butler
What do actors Ashton Kutcher and Gerard Butler have to do with one another? They appeared together at the Friends of the Israel Defense Forces that raised $60 million to support soldiers and families in the IDF. Which brings us to one of the performers at the event…
Williams took a lot of heat from fans and foes alike by performing at the FIDF fundraiser in Los Angeles in 2018.
As the push against celebrities going to Israel reached its peak in 2014, Lady Gaga bucked the system, not only performing there but becoming the source of rallies in the states based on her profanity-laden proclamation of affection for Israel.
If there’s a celebrity who can escape criticism over supporting Israel, it’s Keanu. The John Wick star has visited Israel multiple times and signed his support for Israel in 2014.
While her support may publicly be more about her Jewish heritage and defending Jews themselves rather than Israel as a nation, she seems to be against Hamas terrorism enough to count as a pro-Israel celebrity.
Comedic political talk show host Bill Maher may be the key to getting progressives to understand why Israel exists, how it’s handling the Palestinian situation properly, and why their conflicts with their neighbors are usually no fault of Israel itself. He’s become an icon for the left with his anti-Trump rhetoric finding its way into every show. But his logic wins out, and when it comes to Israel, the only logical way to handle it is to accept and support the nation.
This list is obviously incomplete, but if it does well, we’ll either expand it or post a new list with fresh celebrity faces.
Israel faces political, economic, and militaristic challenges from every side. As the BDS movement continues to pick up steam, it’s good to know there are still some celebrities who are brave enough to go against the flow in their professions.