On December 6, actress Cynthia Nixon appeared on the ABC daytime television show The View, where she promoted a clear falsehood about Gaza casualties, weaponized her children’s Jewish identity against the Jewish state, and engaged in Holocaust inversion.
Portions of her appearance can be seen here. (CAMERA obtained and reviewed the longer version.)
Yesterday I went on The View and discussed why we desperately need a permanent ceasefire to save innocent lives and bring the hostages home safely.
— Cynthia Nixon (@CynthiaNixon) December 7, 2023
Close to the beginning of the segment, Nixon repeated a claim that she has made during previous public appearances: “in the last very short eight weeks, we’ve seen the deaths of over 16,000 civilians, Palestinians in Gaza, which include over 7,000 children and to put that in some kind of a context, that is more civilians than were killed by the U.S. and its allies in almost 20 years of war in Afghanistan.” This claim is categorically false, and obviously so.
On November 6, the AP reported that “the [Hamas-run Gaza Health] ministry never distinguishes between civilians and combatants,” and that “the Health Ministry doesn’t report how Palestinians were killed, whether from Israeli airstrikes and artillery barrages or other means, like errant Palestinian rocket fire.” All numbers coming from Hamas include civilians and fighters together, and include those killed by misfired rockets from the Palestinian side, as happened, for example, in the Al Ahli hospital. Therefore Nixon’s claim that 16,000 civilians were killed is false.
Even setting that aside, it’s also categorically false that 16,000 killed is more that the number the U.S. killed in Afghanistan. A Brown University report estimated over 46,000 Afghan civilians were killed in Afghanistan. (Notably, this figure has been called “likely a significant underestimation.”) Since, however, as noted, the 16,000 Gaza figure included both civilians and fighters, the more apt comparison would be to the almost 100,000 that the same Brown report estimated of civilians plus fighters killed. If Iraqis and Pakistanis are included, the number becomes somewhere around 400,000.
Since Nixon has made the claim before, her hosts on The View should have been prepared to push back on it. Yet none of them did. Nixon was simply permitted to promote this blatant falsehood unchecked.
But what was even more disturbing about Nixon’s comments was her manipulative invocation of not only her children’s Jewish identity, but their grandparents’ experience as Holocaust survivors to attempt to legitimize her claims and her call for a ceasefire. In fact a November poll showed that only sixteen percent of American Jews support a ceasefire, so the statements made by her own children (over whom she presumably has a great deal influence) are clearly not representative of the American Jewish community.
And when Nixon says her “oldest son … has been reaching out to my wife and I and asking us, imploring us really to say, use your voice to affirm as loudly as you can that never again means never again for anyone,” she is engaging in Holocaust inversion – and to much applause. “Never again,” of course, is a reference to the Holocaust, so the claim that is being made is that a new holocaust is being perpetrated by Israel against the people of Gaza. In other words, Nixon’s grotesque claim is that Israel’s defense against a group that has killed, raped, tortured, and dismembered Israeli adults and children en masse and that took 240 hostages including children and a baby, and that pledges to do it again, is the perpetration of another holocaust. Holocaust inversion involves the “perverse use of the Holocaust as a stick to beat ‘the Jews.’” All moral people should rebel against such a claim, but Nixon’s hosts on The View said nothing.
In light of the obvious falsity of her comparison of Gaza casualties to those in Afghanistan, Nixon also should have been asked to substantiate her claims about child casualties, both her claim about the number of them and her claim that “the amount of [Palestinian] children who have been killed … is now twice as many children as were killed across two dozen war zones in all of last year in just eight weeks.” Even if that’s accurate (which seems unlikely), it should have been pointed out that in making these claims, Nixon has taken into account neither Hamas’s use of human shields nor its use of child soldiers.
One of the hosts on The View did challenge Nixon about the actions of Hamas. Nixon responded:
Every time I speak on this, I say really loudly that the atrocities committed by Hamas, they’re brutal, they’re devastating, they’re unforgiveable, all people of conscience must condemn them, but I, at the same time, I don’t think that is any justification for the starvation and slaughter of thousands upon thousands of Palestinian children who had nothing to do with the events of October 7th and I think, I think this is really a moment for moral clarity and I think we need to look into our hearts and ask ourselves, do Palestinian children deserve the same safety as all other children do?”
Nixon condemns Hamas’s atrocities – “really loudly” – but she has no plan to avoid a repeat of them. Without such a plan, her condemnation is not enough. She asks whether Palestinian children deserve safety, but seems to have forgotten to ask about Israeli children. On October 7, Israeli children were kidnapped, tortured, murdered, and orphaned. Since then many have been displaced. Doesn’t Nixon think they deserve to live without the threat that Hamas will repeat the attack of October 7?
If Nixon really cares even about only Palestinian children, she would do better to call on Hamas to surrender. This would provide safety for both Israeli and Palestinian children. A letter signed by 682 Rabbis – who are surely more representative of American Jewish opinion that Nixon’s own children – stated “the majority of pro-Israel Americans, especially clergy of all denominations, believe that a ceasefire before the eradication of Hamas leadership and a return of all hostages, is a grave danger to global security. … The fastest way to end the bloodshed in Gaza is for Hamas to surrender, lay down their weapons and return all the hostages they continue to hold.”