The news coming out of California is devastating. From the two wildfires ravaging the state (the Camp Fire and the Woolsey Fire), there are nearly 100 people dead and more than 1,000 people are still missing.
The fires’ destruction have been rampant — impacting the rich and the poor alike. Nearly 1,200 structures have been destroyed from the Woolsey Fire (which is nearly contained as of this morning), and over 15,000 structures have been destroyed in the Camp Fire. The loss is incomprehensible. And yet, some hateful folks have managed to throw some anti-Semitism into the mix.
We’ll start at the beginning: The Woolsey Fire, being in Southern California, impacted many celebrities (including many Kardashians) — among them, the Scottish actor, Gerard Butler.
Last week, Butler tweeted a photo of himself returning to his Malibu home, an image of total destruction. “Heartbreaking time across California,” Butler wrote, “Inspired as ever by the courage, spirit and sacrifice of firefighters.”
Returned to my house in Malibu after evacuating. Heartbreaking time across California. Inspired as ever by the courage, spirit and sacrifice of firefighters. Thank you @LAFD. If you can, support these brave men and women at https://t.co/ei7c7F7cZx. pic.twitter.com/AcBcLtKmDU
— Gerard Butler (@GerardButler) November 11, 2018
True to the “haters gonna hate” ethos of Twitter, however, instead of showing sympathy for Butler and the countless impacted people impacted by the fire, many took this as an opportunity to attack Butler for his support of Israel. Some even said to him he deserved to lose his house.
Wait, what!? It’s true.
Earlier this month, Gerard Butler and a plethora of other celebs (Ashton Kutcher, Pharrell, Fran Drescher) attended a gala for Friends of the Israel Defense Forces. The nonprofit supports IDF soldiers and families of fallen and wounded soldiers.
Just how does this connect to the fires in California? Well, it doesn’t at all, TBH. But that’s not stopping some on Twitter from trying to make the connection.
“This is nature’s way of teaching u how one feels when a home is destroyed, lost or snatched,” wrote one user replying to Butler’s photo. “And u raised money for IDF who do this to Palestinians every day. Enjoy Rebuilding. Hope u learnt something.”
Another said, “what goes around comes around,” with others writing a variation of “karma’s a bitch” and “Karma for supporting the death and distruction [sic] of the thousands of Palestinian families your money has bought.” Yet another, a Syrian politician, said, “You should have put away some of the $60 million you donated to the IDF to destroy more Palestinian homes! Bad call..! Ask Israelis to help u rebuild…!” One tweet just called him “Zionist.”
Let us be clear: Butler didn’t “deserve” to have his house burn down for simply supporting Israel — it wasn’t karma, or “payback” for attending the gala in support of the IDF. The destruction in California should not be celebrated in any way; even if it’s a celebrity you dislike, or disagree with. (Did you catch our earlier mention of the Kardashians? Kim and Kanye’s house is affected. But did we say anything about their politics? No.) Reveling in another person’s loss is reprehensible — no matter what your nationality, your religion, or your Twitter handle.
Header Image via Gerald Butler on Twitter.