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Gal Gadot: The Antithesis of Wonder Woman

Since the release of Wonder Woman, Gal Gadot has been hailed the superhero of 2017. On many accounts, she is considered the equivalent of her fictional counterpart, the Amazonian goddess Diana. From the front pages of magazines to internet blogs, Gadot has been called a feminist icon and role model for women everywhere.

There is no doubt that Gadot presents herself as a progressive feminist. When she transitioned from modeling to acting, she declared that she would only play strong women, not the damsel-in-distress trope most often seen in movies. In an article with Variety, she said, “I think that it’s so important that we have also strong female figures to look up to, and Wonder Woman is an amazing one.” Commendable enough. In fact, I think it is necessary to have strong women leading in Hollywood, and I applaud her for attempting to fulfill that role. Unfortunately, in spite of her attempts to be a real-life wonder woman, there are some serious issues with Gadot that need to be addressed.

Gadot was raised in Israel, and as most Israelis, she was conscripted to fight in the army. While many give her props to being a solider in real life (an impressive feat), it seems she has accumulated a nationalistic rhetoric, either by being a citizen of Israel or as a member of the armed forces.

The issue isn’t that Gadot is Israeli—not in the slightest—it is her position on the State of Israel and support for the IDF that presents a problem. Let’s be clear, while many people claim that being anti-Israel is anti-Semitic, that is not the case. One can support the Jewish people and disapprove of the establishment of the state of Israel and the crimes committed at the same time. They are two different things.

Wonder Woman presented a perfect opportunity for Gadot to bridge the divide as an Israeli actor; it gave her a platform that could be used as a way to support Israel and condemn acts against the Palestinian people. This would be especially beneficial in a western industry, one that tends to have a one-sided view of the Middle East. Yet Gadot decided the squander that chance. Even though she has not come out with any statements expressing an anti-Palestinian view, she has identified as pro-Israel and expressed her pride for their accomplishments. While not explicit, her Zionist rhetoric promotes her approval of the Palestinian Problem.

This is not an issue of politics and race, but rather one of morality. The Palestinian occupation is complex and deeply rooted in history and suffering. It is one that cannot be held by an absolutist mind set. There has been death and violence on both sides, but the method by which Israel is currently attempting to rid Gaza of Palestinians is unethical (recent acts vary from filling local wells to bulldozing Palestinian settlements in placement for Israel-only cities).

Supporting the Israeli government (and army) is in effect supporting the IDF’s acts against the Palestinians. Gadot has expressed her support for the IDF, but we have yet to hear any condemnation of other atrocious acts. It is clear from her statements so far that she is a proud Zionist, not a humanitarian. She has made the choice to endorse a system that is systematically oppressing a people—and she did it with pride.

Aside from her identification with the Israeli army, she has recently gone under blast for shamming a fellow model and friend that was raped. The allegations against her came after a statement was released that she refused to sign on Wonder Woman 2 if Brett Ratner, accused of sexual assault, continued to be the producer. A statement which Warner Brother said was “false”.

The accuser published an article detailing her rape and Gadot’s response to it (read the full article here). The story was originally posted on Medium but was redacted. The anonymous author claims to be a friend of Gadot and shared a space with her in Milan while they were pursuing modeling. It was in this context that one of Gadot’s male friends raped the author while she was unconscious. The author states that after the rape, the man, Yaniv Nahoum, said, “You told me no but your body told me yes.”

The author said that when she told Gadot about the rape, the Israeli actress exploded in anger and blame. “She made me feel ashamed, that the whole event had been my fault, and that I had brought it upon myself by being so naïve”, she writes.

Many people on social media have come out to say that the story is fake. While we do not know the identity of the author, her specifics on the people involved and the horror that unfolded are all too real—and sadly, too familiar. Until we know otherwise, we should stand by the victim. We need to believe.

Gal Gadot is not Wonder Woman. She is not a Hollywood revolutionary. Her actions are hypocritical and support causes that need to be condemned.

She is the antithesis of Wonder Woman.


Photo source 1, 2

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