- Noah Schnapp said: ‘I only want peace and safety for innocent people’
Schnapp, 19, who is Jewish, had been slammed for showing off stickers saying ‘Zionism is sexy’ in November and for saying ‘you either stand with Israel or you stand with terrorism’ in a separate statement in October.
Responding to the backlash today, Schnapp said his ‘thoughts and beliefs have been so far misconstrued from anything even close to what I believe’.
‘I only want peace and safety and security for all innocent people affected by this conflict,’ the Will Byers actor told his 32 million followers on TikTok.
Schnapp has openly supported Israel in the past and condemned Hamas terrorists who rampaged through the country and massacred more than 1,300 people and took 240 hostage. In response, Israel launched withering aerial bombardments on Gaza which have killed 24,000 people according to the Hamas-run Health Ministry.
But amid backlash over his comments and him showing off ‘Zionism is sexy’ stickers, Schnapp added: ‘I’ve had many open conversations with friends with a Palestinian background and I think they are very important conversations to have and I’ve learned a lot.
‘One of the takeaways I’ve had is that we all hope for the same things – that being those innocent people being held hostage in Gaza to be returned to their families and equally hope for the end to the war and the loss of innocent life in Palestine – so many of those people being women and children.’
The young actor added: ‘And I think anyone with any ounce of humanity would hope for an end to the hostilities on both sides. I stand against any killing of any innocent people.’
Referring to the criticism he has faced in recent months, Schnapp said: ‘I hope for 2024 that I will see people be a little more understanding and compassionate [online] and recognise that we are all human… we should stand together for humanity and for peace.’
Schnapp had faced backlash for showing off ‘Zionism is sexy’ and ‘Hamas is ISIS’ in a TikTok video where he is seen laughing next to friends in November.
A month earlier, he had been criticism for publishing a statement that read: ‘You either stand with Israel or you stand with terrorism. It shouldn’t be a difficult choice. Shame on you’ – which was seen as condoning Israel’s siege of Gaza.
Fans had branded the star ‘sick and twisted’ and urged viewers to boycott the new season of Stranger Things.
One fan wrote: ‘Damn killing innocent civilians is sexy. Stripping off people from basic necessities is sexy. Being the reason why people are displaced from their homes is sexy
Another wrote: ‘How is he not getting fired for spreading hate’ while a third typed: ”War crimes are sexy?’ and another wrote: ‘The levels of evil this is.’
Others wrote: ‘Having all those resources to learn about the occupation, thousands of people literally pointing him to that direction, and this is what he answers with’
‘He’s handing out stickers whilst Palestinians are being blown up. yeah Stranger Things is definitely cancelled in this household
‘He’s dumb and evil, the worst combination.’
‘Well get out of your cushy LA pad, give up your career and go live in Israel then if you love Palestinian genocide sooo badly.’
In an October 11 post Schnapp wrote: ‘As a Jewish American, I am afraid. Afraid for my brothers and sisters in Israel, who have been senselessly attacked by Hamas. I am truly heartbroken to see the brutal murders of innocent children, women and soldiers fighting to defend themselves.
‘I, like others, want peace for both Palestinians and Israelis. Let’s stop the rhetoric and choosing sides. Instead we must recognize that we are all on the side of the fight against terrorism. Choose humanity over violence.
‘I just reposted a beautiful picture of a young innocent girl whose life was taken by Hamas at a music festival. I was met with comments reading ‘no one cares free Palestine’ and ‘She deserves that, and every Israeli terrorist deserves that – Free Palestine.’
‘I am outraged by the justification and celebration of the death of a young girls life. Have people lost their minds??? STOP!’
‘This is one example of many posts, rallies, and petitions being signed attempting to justify the brutality against these innocent Israeli people,’ he continued. ‘You don’t have to be Jewish, you don’t have to be Israeli, you just have to have empathy and common sense to know that THIS is wrong.’
‘I hope we can agree that Hamas are a recognized terrorist organization: they don’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. It shouldn’t be a difficult choice. Shame on you.’
‘While you justify the murders and torture of our loved ones, we will hope and pray for safety, justice, liberation, and self determination in Palestine,’ he continued, addressing his pro-violence commenters.
It comes as Israeli tanks stormed back into parts of the northern Gaza Strip they had left last week, residents said on Tuesday, bringing back some of the most intense fighting since the New Year when Israel announced it was scaling back its operations there.
Massive explosions could be seen over northern areas of Gaza from across the border with Israel – a rarity over the past two weeks after Israel announced a draw-down of forces in the north as part of a transition to smaller, targeted operations.
The rattle of intense gunfire carried across the border through the night. In the morning, contrails snaked through the sky as Israel’s Iron Dome defences shot down rockets fired by militants across the fence, proof they retain the capability to launch them despite more than 100 days of war.
Israel said its forces had killed dozens of Hamas fighters overnight in clashes in Beit Lahiya on the northern edge of the Gaza Strip. Gaza health authorities said the last 24 hours of Israeli bombing had killed 158 people in the enclave, raising their toll for the war, now in its fourth month, to 24,285, with thousands more bodies feared lost in the rubble.
Israel launched the war to eradicate Hamas after militants stormed across the border fence on Oct. 7, killing 1,200 people and capturing 240 hostages. The war has driven nearly all Gazans from their homes, some several times, and caused a humanitarian crisis, with food, fuel and medical supplies running low.
Under pressure from Washington to reduce civilian casualties, Israel had said it was shifting tactics, transitioning from a full-scale ground assault to targeted operations against the Hamas militants that control the enclave.
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