Rosie O’Donnell Is Selling Anti-Israel Artwork, but There’s One Problem

Update: A check of the products for sale on O’Donnell’s website showed that the controversial items described below were removed and are no longer available for purchase.

Original story:

Rosie O’Donnell is selling artwork on her website embossed with messages acutely critical of Israel’s actions during this summer’s hostilities with Hamas.

The photo she’s using, however, was taken in Syria.

Two collage-like pieces created by O’Donnell currently for sale on her website include a photo implied to have been taken in Gaza this summer — but is actually from Syria in February.

One of the pieces, titled, “Israel Begins Bombing Gaza,” includes a description with this quote from O’Donnell: “This man carries a baby about the same age as the one I sit next to, watching Frozen.”

Image source: Rosie.com
Image source: rosie.com

Another piece, embossed with the words “stop and think,” is also presented as describing “Israel and Gaza.” This second piece is displayed on O’Donnell’s website with the quote: “The death of innocent children never fails to kill a part of my soul.”

Image source: Rosie.com
Image source: rosie.com

The merchandise section of O’Donnell’s website displays other offerings created by the “View” co-host, and says proceeds from sales will go to charitable arts education causes. The only two items with a political message are the anti-Israel pieces.

The pro-Israel blog IsraellyCool discovered the Syrian provenance of the photo, detailing it in a post Thursday.

The photo of the man holding the girl was taken by Getty Images photographer Khaled Khatib in Aleppo, Syria, in February.

This is the caption that appears on the Getty Images photo archive: “An emergency response member carries a wounded child following an airstrike attack by government forces on the northern Syrian city of Aleppo on February 22, 2014. More than 140,000 people have been killed in Syria’s conflict since March 2011, and millions more have fled their homes.”

An emergency response member carries a wounded child following an air strike attack by government forces on the northern Syrian city of Aleppo on February 22, 2014. More than 140,000 people have been killed in Syria's conflict since March 2011, and millions more have fled their homes. (Photo: Khaled Khatib/AFP/Getty Images)
An emergency response member carries a wounded child following an airstrike attack by government forces on the northern Syrian city of Aleppo on February 22, 2014. More than 140,000 people have been killed in Syria’s conflict since March 2011, and millions more have fled their homes. (Photo: Khaled Khatib/AFP/Getty Images)

The blogger, who writes for IsraellyCool under the pseudonym Aussie Dave, wrote after discovering the artwork, “My first reaction was equal parts disappointment and ‘WTF?’”

“We are already used to ignorant celebrities pushing their political beliefs to their followers and fans. What makes this example more egregious than many is how she is cynically using false imagery to influence their hearts and minds,” the blogger told TheBlaze Thursday.

Responding on Twitter, O’Donnell said she obtained the image from a newspaper and that “the point” of the message was showing “the image of a dead child.”

 

 

A photo industry professional who asked not to be named told TheBlaze that any time an image from a photo service such as Getty Images is used, a license is required, even for noneditorial use such as artwork.

O’Donnell said on Twitter she did not purchase the photo for use in her pieces, which are on sale for $20 each.

 

In a message to TheBlaze, O’Donnell said she has “tons of pieces [with] collaged images from newspapers about the horror of war. All money raised is matched by me and given [to] charity … that one was done the day Israel began bombing Gaza.”

O’Donnell has in the past lent her voice to criticizing Israel, including defending the late White House correspondent Helen Thomas, who in 2010 said on camera that Israelis should “get the hell out of Palestine” and “go home” to Germany, Poland or the U.S.

O’Donnell defended Thomas on her radio show shortly after, saying, “Now, I think, in the year 2010, what she was saying was not, ‘Go back to the ovens.'”

“What she was saying was, the homeland was originally Palestinians’ and it’s now occupied by Israel and Palestinians should be afforded human and civil rights. That’s what I think she was saying, but I don’t know,” O’Donnell said, according to the Huffington Post.

Over this past summer, O’Donnell used Twitter to link to interviews by other personalities criticizing Israel.

(H/T: IsraellyCool)

Editor’s note: This post has been updated with comment from O’Donnell.

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