Outlander star Sam Heughan issues grovelling apology for ‘inadvertently’ signing controversial luvvies letter on Israel-Gaza conflict that failed to condemn Hamas terror attacks
- The letter was signed by actors, musicians and artists in the UK
Outlander star Sam Heughan has rowed back on his involvement in a letter condemning Israel for its attacks on Palestine and said he ‘inadvertently signed something’ that does not reflect his beliefs.
The letter was signed by more than 2,000 actors, musicians and artists, and accused the British Government of ‘not only tolerating war crimes but aiding and abetting them’. It led to criticism the authors have failed to condemn terror attacks by Hamas.
But Heughan, 43, said he didn’t ‘fully understand’ the document’s intentions, adding that he ‘stood against terrorism and evil’ and was ‘appalled by the recent horrific actions by Hamas’.
In a post on Twitter yesterday, the actor wrote: ‘I inadvertently signed something that does not reflect my beliefs. I believed it was a simple call for peace. It wasn’t.
‘I condemn violence in any form. I stand against terrorism and evil and am heartbroken and appalled by the recent horrific actions by Hamas. It’s haunting to the core, my heart goes out to all affected.
‘I don’t know nearly enough and [I am] trying to educate myself on the conflicts in the Middle East. I feel helpless and wish I could help in some way. I pray for compassion, for all the innocent people affected. Peace and love to you all.’
Sam Heughan has rowed back on his involvement in a letter condemning Israel for its attacks on Palestine
The Outlander star said he wrongly thought the letter was a ‘simple call for peace’
Heughan with his Outlander co-star Caitríona Balfe. He plays Jamie Fraser in the hit show
The original letter was written by Artists for Palestine UK and co-signed by a raft of celebrities including Tilda Swinton, Miriam Margolyes and Steve Coogan.
The group criticised Israel for ‘reducing much of Gaza to rubble’ and said they condemn ‘every act of violence against civilians and every infringement of international law whoever perpetrates them’.
It read: ‘Gaza is already a society of refugees and the children of refugees.
READ MORE – Met braces for another weekend of protests in the capital – as leaders of pro-Palestinian activist groups are revealed to have links to Hamas
‘Now, in their hundreds of thousands, bombarded from air, sea and land, Palestinians whose grandparents were forced out of their homes at the barrel of a gun are again being told to flee – or face collective punishment on an unimaginable scale.’
Referencing Israeli Minister of Defence Yoav Gallant’s depiction of Palestinians as ‘human animals’, the signatories say Palestinians ‘have become people to whom almost anything can be done’.
They cited the UN’s undersecretary for humanitarian affairs Martin Griffiths, who has said that ‘the spectre of death’ is hanging over Gaza, and they are calling for ‘an immediate ceasefire and the opening of Gaza’s crossings to allow humanitarian aid to enter unhindered’.
But there was no mention of Hamas or its assault on Israel on October 7.
The Hamas-run Gaza health ministry said on Wednesday that 3,478 Palestinians have been killed and more than 12,000 injured in the past 11 days.
More than 1,400 people in Israel have been killed, mostly civilians killed during Hamas’s deadly incursion on October 7.
This includes 260 revellers who were gunned down by Hamas terrorists at a music festival.
Armed Palestinian terrorist leading a man during the Supernova music festival, near Kibbutz Reim in the Negev desert in southern Israel
Noa Argamani, 25, a university student, screams ‘Don’t kill me! No, no, no,’ as she is seized by Hamas at the Nova electronic music festival in southern Israel. On October 7, Hamas terrorists attacked the festival in the desert near the Gaza-Israel border, killing at least 260 people
Heughan’s post revealing his concerns about the letter received more than 5,300 likes and hundreds of comments.
READ MORE – Ground invasion looms as Israeli tanks line up on Gaza border and aerial bombardments continue after troops exchanged fire
One person wrote: ‘You’re an honourable man. A man of integrity, Sam. The humanitarian inside you will always shine through.’
Another said: ‘You know your heart and your true fans know your compassion, as you show it to us consistently in the charity work you do.
‘I’m sure you will find a way to help. That’s never been a challenge for you. We stand with you and those affected. Remember, you are allowed to make mistakes too.’
A third commented: ‘Peace is the most important thing. Fear is omnipresent in the current situation worldwide.’
A fourth added: ‘Oh, Sam. I feel for you. Honestly, I do, as you can’t even apologize without the haters coming forward.
‘I have signed things in error too, nobody cared, life moved on.
‘You make a mistake, you own it when most wouldn’t dream of it, and the haters still hate. Keep being you and don’t let this eat at you.’
The letter was signed by actors, musicians and artists in the UK, including Steve Coogan (pictured) and Miriam Margolyes
Maxine Peake was among the list of famous names to sign the statement
Tilda Swinton was also among the signatories. The letter states: ‘Our governments are not only tolerating war crimes but aiding and abetting them’
On Monday, Actor Riz Ahmed called for ‘an end to the indiscriminate bombing of Gaza’s civilians’ amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas.
The British actor, 40, who was nominated for an Oscar for the film The Sound Of Metal, said ‘staying silent is not an option’ as he blasted the ‘morally indefensible war crimes’.
Sharing a lengthy statement on social media, he wrote: ‘We are told there are two sides to what is happening in Israel and Palestine.
‘But in my heart, I know there is only one – the side of our humanity.’
THE LUVVIES’ LETTER IN FULL
We are witnessing a crime and a catastrophe. Israel has reduced much of Gaza to rubble, and cut off the supply of water, power, food and medicine to 2.3 million Palestinians. In the words of the UN’s undersecretary for humanitarian affairs, ‘the spectre of death’ is hanging over the territory.
Gaza is already a society of refugees and the children of refugees. Now, in their hundreds of thousands, bombarded from air, sea and land, Palestinians whose grandparents were forced out of their homes at the barrel of a gun are again being told to flee – or face collective punishment on an unimaginable scale. Dispossessed of rights, described by Israel’s minister of defence as ‘human animals’, they have become people to whom almost anything can be done.
Our governments are not only tolerating war crimes but aiding and abetting them. There will come a time when they are held to account for their complicity. But for now, while condemning every act of violence against civilians and every infringement of international law whoever perpetrates them, our obligation is to do all we can to bring an end to the unprecedented cruelty being inflicted on Gaza.
We support the global movement against the destruction of Gaza and the mass displacement of the Palestinian people. We demand that our governments end their military and political support for Israel’s actions.
We call for an immediate ceasefire and the opening of Gaza’s crossings to allow humanitarian aid to enter unhindered.
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