Musician and social activist Tom Morello, best known as the guitarist for the band Rage Against the Machine, has expressed his strong condemnation of harm to children and a firm call for accountability in the context of a recent social media controversy.
The controversy began when Oscar-winning actress Jamie Lee Curtis shared a photo on her Instagram account in the aftermath of recent terrorist attacks in Israel. The image depicted children looking up at the sky as missiles passed by and was accompanied by the caption “Terror from the skies” along with an Israeli flag emoji.
Curtis intended to express her support for Israel following a large-scale attack launched by Palestinian militant groups, primarily led by Hamas, from the Gaza Strip on October 7. The attack resulted in tensions in the region and triggered a series of events. However, the image Curtis posted was later identified as a scene from Gaza, leading to a significant backlash.
A Slight Oversight
Viewers on social media quickly pointed out that the image showed Palestinian children observing rockets from Gaza, not Israeli children as Curtis had initially suggested. Comments and observations, such as the presence of Arabic signs in the background, clarified the actual location. In response to the criticism and accurate identification of the image, Curtis removed the photo from her Instagram account.
Curtis recently announced she would be auctioning off items from her Halloween movies to benefit the Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.
The photo was captured by Gaza-based photojournalist Samar Abu Elouf, who provided context for the image by explaining that Palestinian families had sought refuge in UNRWA schools inside Gaza City as a result of the events occurring near the Gaza Strip’s borders. Elouf’s post aimed to shed light on the fear and uncertainty experienced by children in the midst of the ongoing conflict.
The controversy further escalated when journalist Muhammad Shehada shared the photo on his social media account with the caption: “Cognitive Dissonance: Jamie Lee Curtis was deeply moved by this picture ONLY when she thought they were Israeli. As soon as she learned they were Gazan, she lost all feelings for them & deleted the picture. Suddenly, ‘terror from the sky’ became acceptable to her & her likes!”
In response to this, Tom Morello reshared Shehada’s tweet on his Twitter account and made a powerful statement: “I’d like to make the radical proposal that the harming of children, no matter who they are & no matter who does it, is always wrong and should be condemned.”
He added a crucial perspective by emphasizing that war crimes should be denounced and those responsible held accountable, regardless of who commits them. In his statement, Morello highlighted the critical importance of condemning acts that harm children and war crimes and holding those responsible to account.
The conflict in the region has resulted in a significant loss of life, with the death toll in Gaza exceeding 1,350 at the time of writing. Israeli authorities report that 1,300 people were killed in a surprise attack by Hamas on Saturday. The situation remains dire, with Israel continuing to conduct airstrikes in Gaza, targeting schools, hospitals, and residential areas.
Palestinian officials have raised concerns about a looming humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza, as Israel has cut off critical supplies, including electricity, fuel, food, and water. The ongoing conflict underscores the urgency of addressing the humanitarian crisis and working towards a peaceful resolution in the region.
Gigi Hadid, whose family was forced to flee from Palestine, recently spoke out against the conflict.
Tom Morello’s response to the controversy serves as a reminder of the moral imperative to protect children and denounce war crimes, reinforcing the significance of accountability in any situation, regardless of political or national affiliations.