Gal Gadot sparks social media firestorm with statement on violence between Israel and Palestine

Gal Gadot's history with the Israeli army has stirred up controversy in the past, especially after her breakout role as Wonder Woman in 2017.
Gal Gadot's history with the Israeli army has stirred up controversy in the past, especially after her breakout role as Wonder Woman in 2017.PHOTO: AFP PHOTO / HFPA

Wonder Woman star Gal Gadot, who was born in Israel and one of its most successful actresses, unwittingly ignited a firestorm on Twitter with a post on Wednesday (May 12).

Her statement on the recent violence between Israel and Palestine said: "My heart breaks. My country is at war.

"Israel deserves to live as a free and safe nation. Our neighbours deserve the same."

The 36-year-old actress added: "I pray for the victims and their families, I pray for this unimaginable hostility to end, I pray for our leaders to find the solution so we could live side by side in peace. I pray for better days."

The backlash was swift and fierce on social media, with tweets calling her out for her use of the word "neighbours" instead of referencing Palestine by name and for not mentioning the Palestinians who have been killed.

Others labelled her a Zionist, brought up her two years of mandatory service in the Israel Defense Forces from 2005 to 2007 and called for her to be replaced in the upcoming third Wonder Woman film.

Gadot's history with the army has stirred up controversy in the past, especially after her breakout role as Wonder Woman in 2017.

That year, the superhero movie was banned by Lebanon's Ministry of Economy over her role in it and the country's war with Israel.

Tensions between Israel and Palestine have been mounting recently over the eviction of Palestinians from East Jerusalem. Israel launched several air strikes on Palestine's Gaza Strip and rockets were fired from Gaza at Israeli capital Tel Aviv, the city of Ashkelon and the main airport.

Not all Twitter users were against her, with some praising her call for peace. Others called out her detractors for antisemitism and misogyny.