Schnapp back

Actor Noah Schnapp says views on Israel-Hamas war were ‘misconstrued’

‘Stranger Things’ star sends message of peace, hope for hostages to be freed and end to bloodshed, following criticism of footage of him with stickers reading ‘Zionism is sexy’

Michael Horovitz is a breaking news editor at The Times of Israel

Noah Schnapp addressing his pro-Israel views, in a TikTok video posted January 16, 2024. (TikTok screenshot: used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law)
Noah Schnapp addressing his pro-Israel views, in a TikTok video posted January 16, 2024. (TikTok screenshot: used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law)

Jewish actor Noah Schnapp said this week that his views on the Israel-Hamas war had been “misconstrued,” addressing reactions to a video that circulated of him using pro-Israel stickers, which encountered backlash online in November.

The original video showed Schnapp at a restaurant with a group of others holding stickers reading “Zionism is sexy” and “Hamas is ISIS.” It was unclear who originally posted the video.

The footage sparked calls for a boycott of the Netflix series “Stranger Things,” in which Schnapp plays Will Byers, as well as criticism from other celebrities, including Fifth Harmony singer Lauren Jaurequi who accused Israel supporters of being “necrophiliacs” and having an “enjoyment of bloodshed,” in a post on X.

Schnapp decided to set the record straight in a post on TikTok on Monday, stating that he only wants “peace and safety and security for all innocent people affected by this conflict.”

“I’ve had many open discussions with friends from Palestinian backgrounds, and I think those are very important conversations to have,” he continued. “And one of the takeaways I’ve had is that we all hope for the same thing, that being, those innocent people still being held hostage in Gaza to be returned to their families, and equally hope for an end to the loss of innocent lives in Palestine, so many of those people being women and children, and it’s horrible to see.”

He called for an end to hostilities on “both sides” and expressed hope that someday Israelis and Palestinians can live “harmoniously together in that region.”

@noahschnapp❤️♬ original sound – Noah Schnapp

“And I hope for 2024 online to see people be a little more understanding and compassionate and recognize that we’re all human, regardless of our race, of our ethnicity, of our background, of our country of birth, even our sexuality, of anything,” he said, calling for all his followers to “stand together for humanity and for peace.”

An unnamed insider told the Daily Mail that Schnapp was not pressured by Netflix producers or his fellow cast to come out with the video.

“People close to him have talked to him about it — but there was zero pressure put on him to do anything specific or take down any videos, or comments on the subject,” the source said.

“‘He just saw the uproar it brought online, and he got scared. The things people were saying to him online or threatening him just got really real, really fast and he wanted to set the story straight because he never anticipated it would get to this point at any time,” the insider added.

Days before the contentious video of him circulated, Schnapp wrote in an online post he was “heartbroken” over Hamas’s October 7 massacre, adding that the terror group doesn’t “represent the Palestinian people when they value murdering Israelis more than protecting their own.”

“You either stand with Israel or you stand with terrorism,” he added.

War erupted when Hamas-led terrorists stormed into Israel from Gaza, murdering some 1,200 people, mostly civilians, and kidnapping some 240 people to Gaza.

Schnapp’s co-star Brett Gelman, also Jewish, has actively posted pro-Israel messages on social media since the beginning of the war and even joined a skit on the Israeli satirical show “Eretz Nehederet” skewering the anti-Israel sentiment in the American left and especially on campus.

Schnapp visited Israel last year, sharing several photos of his trip on Instagram. He also had his bar mitzvah in the country half a decade ago.

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