American Actor John Cusack came under fire Tuesday night for a tweet widely denounced as anti-Semitic.
The Say Anything star tweeted an image of a hand emblazoned with a blue Star of David crushing a crowd of people. It was accompanied by the quote "To learn who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize," which the tweet attributed to Voltaire, but actually belongs to white supremacist and neo-Nazi Kevin Alfred Strom. The image also states, "Is it not obvious?"
"Follow the money," Cusack wrote above the picture. Instead of manually retweeting it through Twitter, he uploaded the image himself, attributing credit to New Jersey-based twitter user Mahmoud AbuYusef Tamimi and tagging Bernie Sanders supporter "GottaBernNow."
Although Cusack deleted the tweet, journalist Yashar Ali posted a screenshot to his own account, condemning the message. Cusack attempted to shirk blame, saying "A bot got me – I thought I was endorsing a pro Palestinian [sic] justice retweet – of an earlier post – it came I think from a different source – shouldn't have retweeted."
In tweet replies, though, he continued to defend the tweet and the "follow the money" remark, urging users to see the film War, Inc., which he wrote, produced and starred in. He also attempted to call attention for his past anti-Fascist and pro-Palestinian endeavors. When a self-proclaimed anti-Zionist Jew responded to the tweet and told him not to use the Israeli flag in his imagery, Cusack asked, "What's the alternative?" and "was retweeting FYI."
As criticism mounted, Cusack posted an apology, saying that "In reaction to Palestinian human rights under Israeli occupation, an issue that concerns anyone fighting for justice, I [retweeted] and quickly deleted an image that's harmful to both Jewish and Palestinian friends, and for that I'm sorry."
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He added, "the use of the [Star of David], even if it depicts the state of Israel - committing human rights violations – when combined with anti-Jewish tropes about power – is anti-Semitic and anti-Semitism has no place in any rational political dialogue.