Joan Rivers launches an intense defense of Israel over the recent surge of violence in the Israel-Palestinian conflict. During her missive, the grand dame of caustic comedy took down Selena Gomez. Way down.
Israel, Joan Rivers has your back. Selena Gomez, check yours for a knife.
Gomez was just one of many casualties in an epic rant by comedienne Joan Rivers, as she defended Israel’s right to defend itself against attacks from Islamic militants including Hamas in the current crisis.
The 81-year-old was asked for her opinion on the current Israeli-Palestinian crisis by a TMZ photog when they caught up with her at LAX airport Thursday afternoon. A video of Rivers in full flow was later uploaded to their site.
Towards the end of an outraged speech articulating Rivers’ anger at Hamas, CNN, the BBC, and others’ media coverage during the past 18 days of fighting, and her own indifference to Palestinian civilian casualties, the veteran star then obliterated Gomez when she was asked for her view on Selena’s recent “Pray For Gaza” Instagram.
To be precise, Selena’s full message read: “It’s About Humanity, Pray for Gaza.”
The actress-singer also added a brief caption:
“Please pray for those families and babies today. Please always remember what’s important in life.”
“It’s not any of this,” the starlet continued, at the time referring to a Italian global festival she was then attending to promote her latest film, Rudderless. “We are here to help, inspire and love. Be that change.”
Gomez signed off with the hashtag, “#wearethenextgeneration.”
Following equal parts praise and criticism from thousands who commented at her Instagram page, Selena clarified under 48 hours later:
“And of course to be clear, I am not picking any sides. I am praying for peace and humanity for all!”
Interpreting Gomez’s post as an attack on Israel and support for Palestinians, Joan didn’t hold back on her insults.
“Oh, Selena Gomez!” Rivers said sarcastically. “Oh, yeah, that college grad.”
Joan drawled: “Oh, well, if Selena said that,” then, swinging lower: “Let’s see if she can spell ‘Palestinian.’“
Mercifully, Rivers stopped there before displaying more unnecessary ugliness in response to Gomez’s constitutional and inherent right to express her opinion.
It should be noted, many observers do not view Gomez’s Instagram post as pro-Hamas or anti-Israel but rather pro-peace — especially after her clarification which stated exactly that.
In the video, Rivers used an interesting analogy to describe the proximity of Israel and the Gaza strip.
“Let me just tell you, if New Jersey were firing rockets into New York, we would wipe ’em out,” she told TMZ’s cameraman. “If we heard that they were digging tunnels from New Jersey to New York, we would get rid of Jersey. So I don’t want to hear any more ‘We’ll have a partial truce.'”
The Fashion Police host continued:
“And Palestinians, you cannot throw rockets and expect people not to defend themselves,”
Asked about civilian Palestinian casualties, Rivers yelled, “I’m sorry. Then don’t put your goddamned things in private homes! Don’t you dare put weapon stashes in private homes and then we say get out – of course we’re going to do it!”
At one point during the clip, the surgically-altered entertainer was asked where blockaded civilians were supposed to go when Israel Defense Forces (IDF) typically gave Palestinian householders a three-minute signal to leave before aerial bombardment.
“I don’t care! They started it! You’re all insane! They started it! What are you all saying? They started it!” Rivers stormed in reply.
The mother-of-one went on to add: “”How do I know? ‘Cause I have been over there. That’s how I know. And I wish the world would know. And BBC should be ashamed of themselves, and CNN should be ashamed of themselves, and everybody stop it already!”
Fighting in Gaza kicked off on July 8 following last month’s killing of three Israeli teens in the occupied West Bank, and the death on July 2 of a Palestinian youth in what is suspected as a revenge murder.
Air attacks and eight days of ground offensives later, BBC News reports Palestinian medical sources said the death toll in Gaza had risen to 797 on Thursday. [Note: That figure is now higher.]
Of these, 191 were children and 67 were women, said UN officials.
Israel says 31 soldiers, two Israeli civilians, and a Thai worker in the Israeli city of Ashkelon have been killed since July 8. BBC News put the total Israeli fatalities at 38. Reuters, 42 civilians, three soldiers.
In the end, appeals for a ceasefire on humanitarian grounds after 13 children were slain and over 200 Palestinians were wounded after the IDF shelled a UN-run school in Beit Hanoun, Gaza, Thursday were only partially heeded.
The Guardian reports Israel’s cabinet unanimously rejected a US-backed proposal advanced by Secretary of State John Kerry, for a week-long “humanitarian pause” in the offensive on Gaza after 19 days of fighting that has claimed over 1032 Palestinian lives, with most of them civilian.
The British paper noted, Hamas had already indicated its opposition to the terms of the U.S. plan, which it considered as too much in Israel’s favor.
UN chief Ban Ki-moon said he was “appalled” by the school attack and that it showed “the imperative for the killing to stop — and to stop now.”
UN officials have said they had been trying to negotiate a “window of time” with the IDF to allow for civilians to leave the area due to fighting. Chris Gunness, spokesman for the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine refugees added the IDF were formally given the co-ordinates of the shelter in Beit Hanoun.
The IDF’s statement said it had been in combat “with Hamas terrorists in the area of Beit Hanoun, who are using civilian infrastructure and international symbols as human shields.”
Then added: “In the course of the afternoon, several rockets launched by Hamas from within the Gaza Strip landed in the Beit Hanoun area. The IDF is reviewing the incident.”
Around the world, public opinion is split on the horror unfolding in the Mideast. There have been anti-Israel protests in Jordan, France and Iran.
Despite a failure on Friday to agree a longer-term deal, foreign ministers from the U.S., UK, Turkey, and Qatar are among those meeting in Paris later for more talks. John Kerry said on Friday he is still confident of a longer ceasefire, despite reports that Israel had rejected one proposal.
The announcement of the humanitarian truce came shortly after Israeli Defence Minister Moshe Yaalon warned ground operations in Gaza could soon be broadened “significantly.”
Hamas has previously said it will not agree to any long-term truce that did not lead to an end to Israel’s blockade of the Gaza Strip, which has been in place since 2007.
The British ambassador to the UN, Mark Lyall Grant, said he was disappointed at the failure to reach a longer-term truce but said Saturday’s 12-hour pause, could “open up a little bit of space to work on a more sustainable ceasefire,” BBC News reports.
Later Saturday, Agence France-Presse reports Israel’s security cabinet approved a four-hour extension of the 12-hour temporary truce in Gaza, after the Palestinian death toll topped 1,000 with the retrieval of dozens of bodies. Israel’s Channel 10 said the truce has now been extended to midnight local time.
Meanwhile in Lebanon, Hassan Nasrallah, the secretary general of Hezbollah, declared:
“This is the most critical period in the region’s history since the rape of Palestine.”
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