VOICE OF THE JN: The politicisation of charitable intentions

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VOICE OF THE JN: The politicisation of charitable intentions

This week's editorial reflects on how the actress Kate Winslet has been unwittingly dragged into the bitter PR war surrounding the Israel-Hamas conflict.

When our screens show us children dying, it’s impossible not to pay attention. Such images transform a war in a faraway land into something that is agonisingly relatable to any viewer, especially a parent. They might inspire some to learn more about what is driving the violence. Others may feel they might even help, in some small way, to stop it.

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Surely the latter was one of Kate Winslet’s motivations in agreeing to narrate Eleven Days In May, a new film out this week that documents some of the children killed in Israeli air strikes on Gaza last year.

But as readers of this newspaper know all too well, that IDF mission did not happen in isolation. There were thousands of rockets indiscriminately fired at Israel from the Gaza Strip and scenes of awful cross-communal violence in Israeli cities. It was all part of a bitter flare-up in the decades-old Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

It was with charitable intentions and complete trust in a longstanding director friend that Winslet waded into an arena that is the most fiercely scrutinised in the world. She is far from the first recognised celebrity to do so – Roger Waters, Radiohead, even Ben & Jerry’s ice cream have become embroiled in recent years, willingly or otherwise.

Where Winslet calls war a tragedy for all and that children have no voice in conflict, she is absolutely right.

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