Will & Grace actress Debra Messing slammed for ridiculing Motaz Azaiza's evacuation from Gaza

Will & Grace actress Debra Messing slammed for ridiculing Motaz Azaiza's evacuation from Gaza
The pro-Israeli actress posted a story on Instagram where she seemingly ridiculed the celebrated Palestinian photojournalist after he decided to leave Gaza.
3 min read
26 January, 2024
Messing has been very vocal about her support for Israel during its war on Gaza [Getty]

Actress Debra Messing has come under fire for her perceived mockery of a famed Palestinian photojournalist's departure from the Gaza Strip after covering Israel’s war there for over 100 days.

Motaz Azaiza evacuated Gaza for Qatar earlier this week, flown to Doha on a Qatari military jet. The 24-year-old rose to prominence after he documented the destruction wreaked on the Palestinian territory since Israel launched its offensive on October 7.

Messing, best known for her role in the hit American sitcom 'Will & Grace', posted to the Stories feature on Instagram about Azaiza’s evacuation.

"WATCH… GQ Middle East 'Man of the Year' and Gaza 'journalist' leaves for Qatar. Very interesting decision," she wrote, with a pondering emoji.

Some pro-Palestine social media accounts said the post "ridiculed" Azaiza's decision to leave Gaza.

Social media users were quick to hit back at Messing, who has been vocal about her support for Israel and visited the country as recently as December.

"It must be nice to mock someone who had to evacuate Gaza for his own safety. Motaz has lived through hell on Earth and this woman thinks it’s funny he had to leave for fear of dying like his friends, family members and other Palestinians. Scum!" read one post on X, the social platform formerly known as Twitter.

Others said it was easy for Messing to make such comments from the comfort and safety of the US.

Azaiza had been documenting everyday life in Gaza before Israel launched its war on the territory in October.

But after the Israeli onslaught began, Azaiza turned to capturing and sharing the horrors of Israeli bombardment.

Live Story

He was featured by GQ Middle East magazine as 2023 'Man Of The Year' in November. The New Arab interviewed him in Gaza in November, a month into the Israeli war on his homeland.

Azaiza explained on X that he had to evacuate "for a lot of reasons," only some of which were publicly known. Israel has previously threatened journalists directly, and is accused of deliberately killing over 100 journalists in Gaza.

He also shared a video of himself taking off his PRESS flak jacket.

Many have applauded his hard work and dedication to showing the world what crimes Israel was committing in its war that has killed over 26,000 people since October 7 and brought utter destruction to much of the territory.

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague ordered Israel on Friday to take all possible measures to stop the killing of Palestinians in Gaza, but stopped short of calling for an immediate ceasefire.

The ruling was made after South Africa filed a genocide case in December, accusing Israel of committing grave violations against the Palestinians.