Steven Van Zandt, the actor and musician most famous for his work with Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band, drew love from the editor of the Times of Israel after smacking down Israel boycotters as “politically ignorant obnoxious idiots.”
Times of Israel founding editor David Horovitz declared in a Tuesday op-ed, “Little Steven, I could kiss you,” using Van Zandt’s nickname.
Van Zandt’s Twitter exchange started Monday when a North Carolina-based fan called his state legislature “backwards” over the new law that requires people to use public bathrooms that line up with their biological sex. Springsteen last month canceled a concert in Greensboro to protest the law.
Van Zandt — known also for his acting work in "The Sopranos" and more recently "Lillyhamer" — said the band would “be back” in North Carolina after they “had to take a stand” against discrimination.
Sorry Brother. Had to take a stand. We'll be back. Discrimination of any kind is unAmerican. And I Am A Patriot. https://t.co/5vl6XEzbNe— Stevie Van Zandt (@StevieVanZandt) May 2, 2016
Another commenter seemed to accuse Van Zandt of hypocrisy, writing, “Yet you tour and support other countries which do much worse. You only hurt your fans.”
Van Zandt replied, “That's different. They are not OUR country. We are Americans. America is supposed to be better. To set an example.”
When another fan told him to “quit justifying” and hashtagged the exchange #hypocrisy, Van Zandt wrote, “Ok a**hole it's time for you to go f*** yourself. Justify that.”
After being called a “progressive,” Van Zandt wrote, “I am an Independent. Not progressive not conservative. Not democrat not republican. Logic and Reason win everytime.”
The conversation then veered into “Sun City,” Van Zandt’s 1985 song protesting South African apartheid.
A user whose Twitter bio describes him as “one issue human rights for Palestine people” wrote:
@StevieVanZandt well we still in the apartied business supporting the rouge state of Israel wen will there be a Gaza city concert— patrick (@alonaq2009) May 2, 2016
Van Zandt called him and other Israel boycotters “politically ignorant obnoxious idiots.”
You and the other Israel boycotters are politically ignorant obnoxious idiots. Israel is one of our two friends> https://t.co/jfLX5bAzyc— Stevie Van Zandt (@StevieVanZandt) May 2, 2016
<in the Middle East. In addition to the fact that a boycott in that case would accomplish nothing. Go get educated. https://t.co/jfLX5bAzyc— Stevie Van Zandt (@StevieVanZandt) May 2, 2016
Van Zandt explained in several tweets that the situation in Israel was more “complicated” than South African apartheid.
Trust me I am at least as aware of most of the injustices around the world as you are. One solution does not fit all https://t.co/ltIFARSRFq— Stevie Van Zandt (@StevieVanZandt) May 2, 2016
The problems there have existed for a thousand years and you want the solution in 140 characters? https://t.co/JyrBwgWMLc— Stevie Van Zandt (@StevieVanZandt) May 2, 2016
I understand how it might appear that way but your analysis is incorrect. It's a lot more complicated than SA. https://t.co/RfQXimfwE8— Stevie Van Zandt (@StevieVanZandt) May 2, 2016
“’Complicated.’ Little Steven, I could kiss you. Yes, it is complicated. Complicated. Complicated. Complicated,” wrote Horovitz, the Times of Israel editor.
“Most of us don’t want to rule the Palestinians. We don’t want to send our kids to the army, to risk their lives in conflict with the death cult Islamists. But our country is nine miles wide at its narrowest point,” Horovitz wrote.
“This region, with Hamas and Hezbollah and Islamic State and that terrifying regime in Iran, is hostile and ruthless. We are strong in our imperfect, gutsy little democracy, we’re defiant, we’re hanging in there. But meeting the challenges we face is complicated,” Horovitz added.