I was looking forward to seeing Wonder Woman. She has always been one of my favorite DC characters. Her history and evolution has been one the most fascinating in the DC universe. I was all set to go see it the first week it was out. But then I started to read about Gal Gadot, who plays Wonder Woman.
For those who don’t know, Ms. Gadot is Israeli, and has served in the Israeli Defense Force (IDF). That in and of itself might not have stopped me from enjoying the film, I tend to do well at separating an artist from their politics. It was her very public restatement of Israeli government propaganda about Gaza that has put me off. In 2014 she tweeted a photo of herself praying with her daughter along with the following message:
“I am sending my love and prayers to my fellow Israeli citizens. Especially to all the boys and girls who are risking their lives protecting my country against the horrific acts conducted by Hamas, who are hiding like cowards being women and children.”
I am no supporter of Hamas, or any terrorist actions, but let us be clear about what is happening in Gaza. This small strip of land (25 miles x 5 miles) has been invaded 3 different times in the past 9 years. Thousands of Palestinian civilians have been killed by the Israeli airstrikes and incursions into Gaza. The infrastructure of Gaza has been effectively destroyed and the Israeli blockade has prevented the importation of basic rebuilding supplies like concrete and fuel. Electricity is available for between 2 and 4 hours a day. The hospitals barely function, and many patients with serious issues have been denied permits to transfer to hospitals outside of Gaza. This is the attempted genocide of Palestinians in a collective punishment for the actions of Hamas.
The Palestinian issues in Israel go back to The Nakba, Israel’s original sin. The Nakba was the forced removal of Palestinians from their land when Israel was formed in 1948. Hundreds of Palestinian villages were destroyed and almost a million Palestinians were became refugees in bordering countries. Ever since Arabs in Israel have been second class citizens. Today, the expansion of settlements in the West Bank has basically guaranteed that the idea of a “two state solution” will never happen. In order to remain a “Jewish state,” Israel will continue to solidify itself as an apartheid state. Its military will continue to brutalize Palestinians. Its government will continue to incite Palestinians, looking for a response that will, in my opinion, give them a “justification” to try and remove Palestinians from all of Israel, the West Bank and Gaza.
Wonder Woman has always been a symbol of strength and independence for women. From the start she has been THE superhero who rarely kills, but uses her brain and her tools to capture the bad guys. She has fought to protect women and children. Now she is tied to a woman who is strong and a fighter and who celebrates the murder of women and children in Gaza.
So when Gal Gadot posts support of the IDF and its role in occupying Gaza and the West Bank, I find it difficult to separate her from her character. I cannot watch her without seeing the brutality inflicted on Palestinians every day. So I have been unable to go see Wonder Woman, and I will probably pass up Justice League also.