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Celebrities Wear Red “Ceasefire” Pin to Oscars, Prompts Controversies

On March 10 in Hollywood, CA, 1,000 protesters calling for a ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas war surrounded the Dolby Theater before the 96th Oscars award ceremony. The protest disrupted traffic and forced several streets to close, making it difficult for attendees to enter safely and on time. 

Inside the theater, some celebrities advocated for a ceasefire as well; artists including Billie Eilish, Finneas O’Connell, and Mark Ruffalo wore red pins created by a group called Artists4Ceasefire. The pins consisted of a red hand with a black heart in the middle, an image that bears an alarming resemblance to an infamous symbol of a lynching that occurred during the Second Intifada.

Olivia Levine

On Oct. 12, 2000, a horrific act of terrorism known as the Ramallah Lynching was committed by a crowd of Palestinians who brutally and publicly murdered two IDF reservists. Two days prior to the attack, a Palestinian teen named Halil Zahran was killed by an IDF soldier. On the same day as Zahran’s funeral service, two IDF reservists, Vadim Norzhich and Yosef Avrahami, were driving a civilian vehicle when they made a wrong turn and reached a Palestinian roadblock, where a Palestinian Authority policeman arrested them. A crowd of Palestinian mourners heard about the detained Israelis, and a mob proceeded to break into the police station and murder the two detainees.

A photo of a Palestinian man, who was involved in the murder, showing off his red, blood-soaked hands while a large crowd cheered at the sight of the Israelis’ blood became incredibly well-known. The photo of the red hands has since become a symbol of the Second Intifada and the murder of the two Israelis. 

Although the Artists4Ceasefire group denies that their pin has anything to do with the Ramallah Lynching, it bears an unsettling resemblance to those blood-soaked hands from 24 years ago. So, one must ask: What does their image symbolize, if not bloody hands? And what does a heart represent, if not love and support for the image it is printed upon? The Artists4Ceasefire group claims that the isolated hand represents community, though I find this unlikely.

Ultimately, whether the symbol was intentionally chosen to remind people of the Ramallah Lynching is almost beside the point; using a red hand, which is widely known to be a reference to the lynching, was reckless, disturbing, and insensitive. Many Israelis describe this imagery as disturbing and emotional, as they recall the origin of the red-hand symbol. If this group wants to advocate for the unrealistic notion of a complete, permanent, and immediate ceasefire, they ought to have at least done their research and considered the background of their symbol, as this has caused a lot of pain for Israelis who continue to mourn the IDF reservists.

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About the Contributor
Olivia Levine, Editor-In-Chief

Olivia Levine ’25 is an Editor-in-Chief of the Heschel Helios. Olivia joined Helios in ninth grade, and in the spring of 2023, she became an Editor-in-Chief. Her favorite part of Helios is watching writers develop their journalism skills, creativity, and leadership abilities, with the help of other club members. Aside from Helios, Olivia is also the President of the Environmental Club, Head of the Blood Drive Committee, a member of the Hesed Council, a member of the basketball and hockey teams, and a student ambassador. Outside of school, Olivia enjoys listening to music and walking on the pier with her dog.

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