Actor Jon Lovitz suggests Hollywood 'afraid' to condemn pro-Palestinian protests


Actor and comedian Jon Lovitz on Wednesday suggested Hollywood actors may be “afraid” to condemn the pro-Palestinian protests roiling college campuses across the U.S.

Lovitz, who is Jewish and has spoken out against the recent demonstrations, told Fox News host Jesse Watters he recently has been asked why he is speaking on the issue and why more Hollywood figures are not.

“People say, ‘Why are you speaking up? Why aren’t other people in Hollywood who are way bigger names than me not saying anything?’” he said on Fox News’s “Jesse Waters Primetime.” “And my answer is, I don’t know. I think either they’re afraid or they’re afraid they’re going to lose… that it’ll hurt their business.”

“But I feel like it’s so bad, like how can you not say something? Like you have to,” he continued.

Protests calling for a cease-fire in the Israel-Hamas war have broken out at several college campuses across the U.S. in recent days, prompting arrests and suspensions of several students and a heavy police presence.

Many of the protests have been reportedly peaceful, but concerns have been raised over the safety of Jewish students, especially during the Jewish holiday of Passover this week.

“To the students at @Columbia , and any other students at colleges across the United States, blocking Jewish kids from entering the school to go to class: You’re supposed to be smart. You’re blaming your 18 year old classmates from the US for the actions of the government of Israel?” Lovitz wrote on X on Monday. “What the hell are you being taught? Think logically and quit being sheep & being used by your professors.”

Columbia University was thrust into the national spotlight last week after hundreds of students occupied the center of campus, pushing for a cease-fire and a halt in U.S. military aid to Gaza. New York police officers, called in by university officials, arrested more than 100 student demonstrators.

Concerns have also been raised about the spread of antisemitic rhetoric, though several protest groups have rejected the characterizations of their recent demonstrations as antisemitic.

“We are frustrated by media distractions focusing on inflammatory individuals who do not represent us,” protest leaders wrote in a statement Sunday. “Our members have been misidentified by a politically motivated mob.” 

The protest groups pointed to the sizable number of protesters who are Jewish, with a large group on Monday holding a Passover Seder from the Columbia University protest camp.

“I don’t know how this can’t be upsetting to everybody,” Lovitz said. “And I also, I don’t understand because Israel is a democracy and Israel is our ally. So, what don’t you get?”

Antisemitic incidents have risen in the U.S. in the fallout from the Israel-Hamas war that was trigged by Hamas’s Oct. 7 attacks on southern Israel. About 1,200 people were killed and another 250 others taken hostage during the attacks, promoting Israel to bombard Gaza in retaliation.

More than 34,000 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza, according to the enclave’s Health Ministry, which does not differentiate between civilians and fighters.

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