Noah Schnapp criticized for Zionist views


NOAH SCHNAPP: shares his views on the Israel-Palestine war via social media. (Variety)

Jordyn Banks | Writer

January 24, 2024

Amid Stranger Things season 5 production, Netflix star Noah Schnapp has taken to social media to express his views on the Israel-Hamas war, prompting many Stranger Things fans to call for a boycott against the television show. 

Schnapp initially faced extreme backlash after a video surfaced on social media in which he was seen at a restaurant laughing and holding stickers saying, “Hamas is ISIS” and, most notably, “Zionism is Sexy.” Similarly, Schnapp stated, “You either stand with Israel or with terrorism” on Instagram.

But what is Zionism, and why are people so upset over this statement?

Simply put, Zionism is a cultural and political movement that arose in the 19th century, which advocates for the establishment of a Jewish homeland in Israel. However, Gaza and Israel have been fighting over land in Israel for hundreds of years, harboring intense resentment for each other. Israel has made continuous and relentless efforts to push the Palestinians in Gaza out of Israel, and Palestinians have relentlessly fought back to maintain what they feel is their homeland. In October, Hamas militants invaded Israel from the Gaza Strip by air and land—killing over a thousand Israelis and abducting hundreds. The strike included thousands of rockets fired out of the Gaza Strip and an attack on a music festival in Israel, where roughly 260 bodies were found.

In retaliation, Israel declared war on Hamas and subsequently launched an attack on Gaza. Zionists believe that Israel is correct in asserting their control over the area and supporting the removal of Palestinians from Gaza using any method at their disposal, including extreme violence (The Washington Post). 

APOLOGY: Schnapp apologizes for his Zionist views, calling for peace among Israelis and Palestinians. (Tiktok)

“I understand Schnapp using his platform to advocate for what he believes in,” said senior Marissa Gilbert. “But to treat something that has been hurting, killing, and abusing many people like it’s a joke is just insensitive. Especially when Zionism has been recently used to justify human rights violations,” she explained.

Others share a similar sentiment, calling out Schnapp for his insensitivity, and despite him posting a two-minute explanation on TikTok claiming his “views have been misconstrued” and calling for “peace,” he still turned off his comments due to intense debate.

Some felt that Schnapp was pressured by outside sources, like Netflix producers, to apologize and did not feel like his apology was sincere. Others felt that nothing he said was misconstrued and that the inconsiderate rhetoric he chose to engage in was very clear. Fellow Stranger Things actor Brett Gelman came to Schnapp’s defense when he told TMZ that he “saw nothing wrong with what [Schnapp] originally said,” (NewsWeek).

“I believe that the public is asking for more than just a two-minute speech but a change of perspective on the situation,” senior Roxana Hernandez stated. “I also think that it’s irresponsible for someone with a large platform to promote something like this in the manner that he did. Presenting something like Zionism as lighthearted dismisses its complexity,” she added. 

On October 7th, Hamas massacred roughly 1200 Israeli civilians, and Israel massacred 25,000 Palestinians in response. The death toll rises daily. This is no laughing matter, Noah Schnapp (CBS News).

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