December 21, 2023 – 12:41 PM PST
JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Fashion designer and Netflix reality star Julia Haart toured Israeli communities this week, joining a growing roster of celebrities who have visited to show their support in the wake of the Oct. 7 attack by Hamas.
Haart, star of the Netflix series “My Unorthodox Life”, said it was important to offer a clear sign of solidarity with Israel as its war with Hamas continues into its third month and incidents of antisemitism have risen across the world.
A succession of celebrities, both Jewish and non-Jewish, including comedian Jerry Seinfeld and actors Michael Rapaport and Debra Messing, have been visiting Israel to show their backing following the most deadly attack on the country in its 75-year history.
“I had to physically be here to show my support,” Haart told Reuters, following a visit to Kibbutz Be’eri, one of the communities worst hit by the Hamas assault, in which some 1,200 people were killed and more than 200 taken hostage.
Since the attack, Israel has unleashed a relentless bombardment of Gaza to crush Hamas, with around 20,000 people killed and two thirds of the blockaded enclave’s 2.3 million population forced to flee their homes.
Amid growing international pressure to call a halt to the fighting, Haart said the plight of more than 100 hostages who remained in Gaza following a week-long truce and exchange last month remained paramount.
“No one has seen them. The Red Cross has not gotten to them. They have not received medical treatment. We don’t know if they’re alive or dead,” she said.
Haart, who has described her Jewish identity and heritage publicly in both print and television, said she was disturbed by a global uptick in antisemitic incidents.
“If we don’t speak up now,” Haart said, “there will be a conflagration that will spread across the world.”
Reporting by Emily Rose Editing by Leslie Adler