ISRAEL AT WAR - DAY 147

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John Cusack rejects antisemitism accusations as ‘complete lies’

Stop Antisemitism group spotlights actor as its ‘Antisemite of the Week’ for denying Hamas raped some October 7 victims

Actor John Cusack attends the 'Chi-Raq' premiere during the 66th Berlinale International Film Festival in Berlin, February 16, 2016. (taniavolobueva/Shutterstock.com)
Actor John Cusack attends the 'Chi-Raq' premiere during the 66th Berlinale International Film Festival in Berlin, February 16, 2016. (taniavolobueva/Shutterstock.com)

American actor John Cusack hit back at accusations of antisemitism lobbed against him on social media this week by the Stop Antisemitism group.

The organization declared Cusack its “Antisemite of the Week” on Sunday for sharing posts denying that Hamas raped women in Israel during its massive October 7 attack on the south, in which 1,200 people, mostly civilians, were murdered and 253 were taken hostage; for saying Hamas was a charitable organization; and for accusing Israel of helping create Hamas for its own purposes.

Cusack shares dozens of posts a day on X, formerly Twitter, many of which accused Israel of carrying out a genocide in Gaza. The actor also presented many posts showing Jewish people expressing anti-Israel views to back up his claims.

Among multiple tweets shared by Cusack denying mass rape on October 7 was one that included a blog post by Nazareth-based journalist Jonathan Cook, who accused Israel of lying about the use of rape in Hamas’s attacks despite plenty of evidence compiled by police.

This includes testimonies from survivors and ZAKA search and rescue personnel, who spent weeks collecting and identifying the bodies of October 7 victims, as well as footage made by Hamas during the massacres. Testimony of sexual assault in captivity was also given by hostages who were released during a brief truce in November.

Cook also said that ZAKA’s members were lying about the rape, basing his accusation on them being what he described as “Jewish religious extremist men.” While most of the organization’s members are ultra-Orthodox, this does not mean they are extremist, and Cook did not explain how his description of them proved they were unreliable.

Another post shared by the actor was a Mark Twain quote saying, “I’ve never wished a man dead, but I have read some obituaries with great pleasure.” The poster wrote that this was his sentiment regarding “Zionist obituary notices.”

Cusack called Stop Antisemitism’s tweet about him it a “list of lies” in a comment he later deleted. In another comment, which he didn’t delete, the actor accused Stop Antisemitism of “trying to spread [things] to distract our attention.”

On Tuesday, Stop Antisemitism tweeted that it “unequivocally stands by its decision to spotlight John Cusack as its ‘Antisemite of the Week'” and that it was clear to the group that “he hasn’t learned a thing from his 2019 apology after he shared a comic that featured dangerous tropes about ‘Jewish control’ and money.”

That comic showed a giant hand with a Star of David on it crushing a group of people alongside the quote “To learn who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize.”

The quote, which is often misattributed to 17th-century French writer Voltaire, was actually said by white supremacist Kevin Alfred Strom.

Cusack also shared a video that Pink Floyd musician Roger Waters posted of himself calling for a “ceasefire [in Gaza] now, today, this morning.”

Roger Waters performs during a live concert in Bogota, Colombia, December 5, 2023. (Raul Arboleda/AFP)

Waters was recently dropped by record company BMG because of antisemitic comments he has made as well as inflammatory remarks in which he said Russia’s invasion of Ukraine was not unprovoked, according to an exclusive report by Variety on Tuesday.

Similarly to Cusack, Waters has posted tweets accusing Israel of genocide and celebrating South Africa’s petition in the International Court of Justice, which made the same accusation.

A month after the October 7 massacres, Waters still refused to condemn the attack, saying that “we don’t know what [Hamas] did do,” despite an abundance of evidence in the form of footage of the attack that Hamas members made and livestreamed online.

He also claimed that Hamas was justified and “legally and morally bound to resist the occupation since 1967.”

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