Actor Khalid Abdulla joins wave of celebrities calling for Gaza ceasefire
Taking to the red carpet at London’s Royal Festival Hall on Tuesday night, Abdulla made an appearance to promote the newest series of Netflix hit The Crown.
Abdulla was seen posing in front of cameras as showed a message written on his hands.
"Permanent ceasefire,” read the writing on the back of his hands. The text on his palms read: "Return the hostages, end the occupation."
Abdulla has since commented on his public stunt, reiterating his stance for an end to months-long hostilities, and ultimately the end of Israel’s occupation of Palestine.
“This will never end until the occupation is over. We must have peace within this generation. We owe it to our children, and to the thousands of children and people who have died already,” he wrote in a Thursday post on X.
The Crown star also responded to reports of fellow actors who have faced consequences for expressing their support for Gaza.
In an interview with Arab News, Abdulla stated that he was initially fearful to make the public gesture.
We must hold each other’s grief, through truth and justice.— Khalid Abdalla (@khalidabdalla) December 6, 2023
We must step into difficult territory.
Because all lives are sacred.
This will never end until the occupation is over.
We must have peace within this generation. We owe it to our children, and to the thousands of… pic.twitter.com/aJwGBq7n71
However, the dire circumstances of the ongoing war propelled him to remain vocal.
“I felt that in the circumstances of the thousands of deaths that we have seen and continue to see, I could not step out onto a red carpet and allow myself not to be seen with the fullness of who I am. I hope that would embolden others to do the same,” Abdulla told Arab News.
“I do not want the price of any fame that I might have to be at the expense of who I am and the causes that I believe in.”
Abdulla joins several celebrities who have chosen to break their silence amid Gaza’s escalating war.
Since Israel launched its war on Gaza, Germany has responded by massively repressing pro-Palestinian solidarity.— The New Arab (@The_NewArab) December 8, 2023
We spoke to Nomi Sladko, a pro-Palestine activist in Berlin who's been one of the few white Germans consistently protesting against Germany's support of Israel. ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/sXs7TRE12D
More than 1,300 artists recently signed an open letter to accuse the arts and culture industry of its complicity in the silencing of Palestinian voices during Israel’s ongoing bombardment.
The letter was backed by the likes of Oscar-winning actor Olivia Colman, Bridgerton star Nicola Coughlan and film director Ken Loach.
However, many pro-Palestine critics in the media and entertainment world have called out on the ‘double standards’ for public figures that have paid the price for showing solidarity to Gaza.
Celebrities who publicly discuss the conflict have "a lot to lose and little to gain", Nicolas Vanderbiest, a founder of the public relations firm Saper Vedere in Brussels, told French news agency AFP.
Producers and sponsors have little appetite for mixing geopolitics and business, he added.
Among those who have nonetheless continued raising their voice in the Western world’s art scene include Sex and the City star Cynthia Nixon and Oscar winner Susan Sarandon- both of whom have also built visibility for their political activism off-screen.
Other notable names, including Drake, Bradley Cooper, Mo Amer, Janelle Monáe, Lupita Nyong’o, Jenna Ortega, Joaquin Phoenix, Mark Ruffalo and Ramy Youssef were among over 260 signatories of an open letter that urged US President Joe Biden and Congress to call for a permanent ceasefire in Gaza.
Supermodel sisters, Bella and Gigi Hadid, have also been outspoken in their support for the Palestinian cause in the past.
Since the outbreak of the war on Gaza, the Palestinian-Dutch American sisters have both denounced Israel’s ongoing attacks in the besieged territory- and called for the end of hostilities.
"I believe deep in my heart, that no child, no people anywhere, should be taken away from their family either temporarily or indefinitely," Bella Hadid previously wrote in a poignant post on Instagram.
"That goes for Israeli and Palestinian people alike."