The actor is often very outspoken on issues like climate change on social media. While he’s often steadfast in the political opinions and causes he champions online, he took to Twitter on Monday night to walk back previous posts he shared that he now believes were “inflammatory” and “disrespectful.”
“I have reflected & wanted to apologize for posts during the recent Israel/Hamas fighting that suggested Israel is committing ‘genocide,’” he wrote. “It’s not accurate, it’s inflammatory, disrespectful & is being used to justify antisemitism here & abroad. Now is the time to avoid hyperbole.”
Although the “Avengers: Endgame” actor did not specify which of his past posts he was apologizing for, he’s likely referencing a pair of tweets shared days apart that likens the actions of the Israeli government to apartheid in South Africa, which saw the government uphold a system of segregationist policies directed at every non-white in the country.
“1500 Palestinians face expulsion in #Jerusalem. 200 protesters have been injured. 9 children have been killed,” he wrote on May 11. “Sanctions on South Africa helped free its black people – it’s time for sanctions on Israel to free Palestinians. Join the call. #SheikhJarrah.”
The actor’s words came alongside a petition that used similar language to call for international sanctions on Israel.
He shared a similar post with the same petition again on May 15.
As the fighting continued and tensions over the conflict made their way to the United States, Ruffalo spoke out about the rise in anti-Semitic behavior stemming from heated opinions over the conflict.
“Dear people, despite our frustration over the fighting in Gaza and our anger, that is no excuse to attack or intimidate innocent people,” he wrote on May 19. “Assaults of Jewish people or attacks on others won’t bring justice to anyone, only perpetuate more injustice and hate.”
Israel and Hamas agreed to a cease-fire after days of conflict that followed Hamas launching a barrage of rockets into Israel earlier this month, targeting Jerusalem, southern Israel and Tel Aviv. Israel responded with a series of airstrikes. At least 181 Palestinians were killed in Gaza, including 52 children and 31 women, with 1,225 wounded while eight Israelis were killed, including a 5-year-old boy and a soldier.