Mark Ruffalo talks Palestinian issues, calls Israel a 'kind of apartheid'

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Ruffalo said that he spoke out previously to share his view on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and was called an antisemite for doing so.

Actor Mark Ruffalo referred to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the division between the two as a "kind of apartheid" while speaking to television host Mehdi Hasan on the self-titled NBC program.Ruffalo accused the Israeli government of carrying out "asymmetrical warfare" upon the Palestinian people, and tied in the United States' support for "Israel" as plainly aiding and abetting the separation and the "violence acted upon them."

"There’s no reason why an ally of American should not be held to same the standard as we would any other nation in the world,” Ruffalo said.

Ruffalo said that he spoke out previously to share his view on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and was called an antisemite for doing so."I was called an antisemite about it, for doing that - which was really tough to hear," Ruffalo said.

"The fact that so many people will take it to that extreme when you're talking about that type of inequality, that type of oppression, that kind of apartheid. Really."

Ruffalo then likened the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to what's taking place in the US today, saying that America houses an "apartheid sytem" noting the systematic racism and racial inqualities present within the country.

He stated that there are Two Americas, one being BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Color) America and the other being white America.

The NBC television host, Hasan – formerly of Al Jazeera – is notably well outspoken in his views against "Israel".

During last year's Israeli elections, Hasan spoke to Palestinian American Lawyer Noura Erakat on his program Deconstructed to determine if "Israel" was a democracy or an apartheid state.

"Lindsay Graham once compared picking between Donald Trump and Ted Cruz to having to choose between being poisoned or being shot. I wonder if Palestinians feel that way this week after the latest Israeli election results – which could see racist warmonger Benjamin Netanyahu replaced by yet another racist warmonger, opposition leader General Benny Gantz," Hasan said in his opening remarks.

After he introduced his guest Erakat, his opening question was: "Is Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel’s longest-serving prime minister and proud unabashed racist, on his way out of office?"

However, Hasan states that his anti-Israel views are not grounded in racism and that they instead surround Israel's treatment of the Palestinian people. Hasan argued that fact last year when he won an Intelligence Squared debate going against the notion that "anti-Zionism is antisemitism."

"[The] debate is not about Israel per se. It's not about whether you support or oppose "Israel" or the occupation. It's about... the case that those of us who oppose Israel in its current form, who oppose the political ideology underpinning it, that we're racists," Hasan said. "Stand with us against this unjust, innaccurate, irresponsible, ludicrous, simplistic, sweeping motion which conflates Judaism, a great and ancient religion, with Zionism, a very modern and political ideology, and in doing so risks emptying antisemitism of all meaning."

While both Ruffalo and Hasan's viewpoints share a common theme, some argued against that point after hearing Ruffalo's comments claiming that his viewpoint is one-sided.

"'I learned about Palestine by meeting Palestinians. Mark Ruffalo, that is great — really," said Middle East analyst Yoni Michanie. "Now, get to know Israelis. Meet with Israelis that had their entire families ethnically cleansed from Arab countries and who have lost loved ones to terrorism."

Pro-Israel group Sussex Friends of Israel tweeted: "All the injustices in the world and your chosen specialist subject is the one where there are no injustices. Smells kind of antisemitic wouldn’t you say?"

Source: This article first appeared on the Jerusalem Post, along with the cover photo, captioned as: Actor Mark Ruffalo speaks at a protest against U.S. President-elect Donald Trump outside the Trump International Hotel in New York City (photo credit: REUTERS)


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