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Woody Allen Says He’s ‘appalled’ by Treatment of Rioters

January 29, 1988
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Film director Woody Allen sharply criticized Israel on Thursday for the harsh measures it is using to quell the unrest in the Gaza Strip and West Bank.

He called on all those who care about Israel and its future “to speak out and use every method of pressure — moral, financial and political — to bring this wrongheaded approach to a halt.”

Writing in an op-ed piece published Thursday in The New York Times, the famed director said: “As a supporter of Israel, and as one who has always been outraged at the horrors inflicted on this little nation by hostile neighbors, vile terrorists and much of the world at large, I am appalled beyond measures by the treatment of the rioting Palestinians by the Jews.”

Continuing, Allen ironically asked: “I mean, fellas, are you kidding? Beatings of people by soldiers to make examples of them? Breaking the hands of men and women so they can’t throw stones? Dragging civilians out of their houses at random to smash them with sticks in an effort to terrorize a population into quiet?”

Allen said he has “no sympathy for the way the Arabs have treated the Israelis. Indeed, sometimes you get the feeling you want to belt them — but only certain ones and for very specific acts.”

The film director said that he “can’t believe” Israel’s actions. “Are these the people whose money I used to steal from those little blue-and-white cans after collecting funds for a Jewish homeland?” he asked, adding “I don’t know exactly what is to be done, but I am sure pulling out my movies is again not the answer.”

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