"Ask Israelis to help u rebuild!"


Gerard Butler​ tweeted on Monday a video of his own California house succumbing to one of the multiple wildfires ravaging the state. Many of his liberal followers, not so keen on the star's openly pro-Israel position, think he had it coming.

"My heart aches for all those who lost their homes and their lives in California," Butler tweeted about the spreading conflagrations that has ​already ​taken 42 lives. "I was one of the lucky ones, my home was only partially destroyed."


Yet a good number of commenters saw little need to show sympathy to Butler. In fact, rather than weighing in on the Scottish actor's personal loss or, better yet, on the ongoing inferno that has already been ​pronounced as the deadliest in the state's history, many tweets were tellingly fixated on Butler's fondness towards the Jewish state, about which he has ​never been shy.

At best, these commenters judged the burning of Butler's home as a non sequitur.

But the more putrid comments carried the distinct stench of gloating proper.

"It's called KARMA," wrote one user. "The photo says it all." (Said incriminating photo is of Butler posing with soldiers of the Israeli Defense Forces.)

​​Those more inclined to the possibility of spiritual growth see the catastrophe as an opportunity for Butler to ​seek moral edification.

See, over the Summer Butler made his ​fifth visit to Israel -- the sight-seeing, sun-catching kind.

"I try not to get into politics too much," Butler told the Israeli Channel 2. "All I know is I love Israel, and I love visiting here." (In morose irony, he had also jokingly ​told Israeli news website Walla! that he loved Israel so much that one day he might "ask someone to burn my house down in Los Angeles so I won't have anywhere to go back to.")


​​That in itself probably crossed a line for a swath of Butler's audience. But for Israel's critics, his unpardonable offense was participating (alongside Pharrell Williams and Ashton Kutcher) in a ​fundraising gala earlier this month that had successfully raised more than $60 million in support of Israeli soldiers. Note the following tweet, which enjoyed the likes of almost 300 users who apparently agree that it is condign punishment for participating in the gala for Butler to have his home consumed by flame.

Twitter's intrinsic rot notwithstanding, it takes a special kind of zealotry to revel in the personal misfortune of an ideological enemy. It's the sort of pious sadism you might expect coming from religious fundamentalists, not from the supposed defenders of the oppressed. What a sorry excuse for moral resistance you are, if "karma is a bitch" is the best you can do.

Screenshot by Israellycool


Adaam James is a Pluralist founder and senior editor. You can argue with him on Twitter.


Cover image: Gerard Butler's Twitter.