‘Now is the time to avoid hyperbole’ says Avengers actor
He wrote in a Twitter post on Monday night: “I have reflected & wanted to apologize for posts during the recent Israel/Hamas fighting that suggested Israel is committing ‘genocide’.
“It’s not accurate, it’s inflammatory, disrespectful & is being used to justify antisemitism here & abroad. Now is the time to avoid hyperbole.”
Ruffalo, who has 7.5 million followers on Twitter, has posted several times in recent weeks about the conflict, and has also spoken about it in detail in the past.
In a 2020 interview with NBC, the 53-year-old actor referred to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as a “kind of apartheid” while speaking to host Mehdi Hasan.
He said at the time: “My connection to Palestine came through Palestinians and hearing their stories and then watching this asymmetrical warfare being enacted upon them. That kind of inequality, that kind of oppression, that kind of apartheid.
“There’s no reason why an ally of American should not be held to same the standard as we would hold any other nation in the world,” he said. “I was called an antisemite about it, for doing that – which was really tough to hear,” he added.
More recently, along with sharing a Bernie Sanders tweet about “understanding the war”, the actor wrote: “Bernie points out the depth of the problem and the beginning and end of the problem here. We need full equality and human rights for the Palestinian people to stop the rise of extremism on both sides. #PalestiniansLivesMatter.”
Ruffalo has also voiced his support for Arab residents who were being evicted in Sheikh Jarrah, one of the flashpoints that started the latest conflict.
But he has strongly criticised the hashtag #HitlerWasRight after it started trending on Twitter, and urged the platform to “stop antisemitism and anti-Muslim propaganda on this platform today”.
Ruffalo’s apology was quickly and widely shared on Tuesday morning, and met with a backlash both from those who accused him of watering down his criticism of Israel and those suggesting it took him too long to do so.
One user wrote: “If yall don’t have the guts to stand by what you say and believe in, please don’t bother speaking up and then backtracking. It invalidates their struggles and does more damage to the movement than not saying anything.”
Another said: “So you came to the conclusion that backing Hamas harms Jews? Why’d it take so long to realise that?”