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Fact Check: Rumor Alleges Angelina Jolie Said 'the World Should Unite Against Israel' and 'Arabs and Muslims Are Not Terrorists.' Here Are the Facts

A rumor claimed that Angelina Jolie said Arabs and Muslims are not terrorists and that the world should unite against Israel.
Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty Images for RFF

Claim:

Angelina Jolie said, "Arabs and Muslims are not terrorists. The world should unite against Israel."

Rating:

Rating: Misattributed
Rating: Misattributed

The protracted, often bloody Israeli-Palestinian conflict exploded into a hot war on Oct. 7, 2023, when the militant Palestinian group Hamas launched a deadly attack on Israel and Israel retaliated by bombarding the Gaza Strip. More than 20,000 people, the vast majority of them Palestinians, were reportedly killed during the first two months of the war alone. The violence is driven by mutual hostilities and territorial ambitions dating back more than a century. The internet has become an unofficial front in that war and is rife with misinformation, which Snopes is dedicated to countering with facts and context. You can help. Read the latest fact checks. Submit questionable claims. Become a Snopes Member to support our work. We welcome your participation and feedback.

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On Nov. 20, 2023, X user Dr. Anastasia Maria Loupis (@DrLoupis) – who in the past was identified as a medical doctor by ResearchGate.net and has promoted anti-transgender rhetoric and COVID-19 vaccine misinformation – posted (archived) a quote meme that claimed Oscar-winning actor Angelina Jolie had once posted or said, "Arabs and Muslims are not terrorists. The world should unite against Israel."

However, Snopes found no credible evidence that Jolie ever said these words, nor did she say anything that closely resembles the sentiment. The quote was first reported (archived) as being fake by BBC Verify journalist Shayan Sardarizadeh.

A rumor claimed that Angelina Jolie said Arabs and Muslims are not terrorists and that the world should unite against Israel.
A rumor claimed that Angelina Jolie said Arabs and Muslims are not terrorists and that the world should unite against Israel.

A Community Note was added to the post by other users who clarified that the quote was fake. Loupis did not appear to take any responsibility for misleading her more than 1.1 million followers, just as she didn't take responsibility for previously promoting a false rumor that claimed Microsoft announced plans to disable computers of users who shared "non-mainstream content" online.

Snopes contacted Jolie via her open messages on Instagram to ask if she had any reaction about the fake quote being promoted online. We will update this article if a response is received.

In this story, we'll lay out all of the facts regarding the history of the quote, as well as Jolie's genuine thoughts regarding the Israel-Hamas war.

2015: Another Quote Meme with Jolie's Photo

The fake quote has appeared online for many years alongside Jolie's name. For example, a search of Google found a similar quote meme that was tweeted (archived) in 2015.

Another person replied (archived) to the tweet to ask for proof that Jolie said this but received no response.

2009: 'I Got This in an Email'

One clue to the origins of this quote appeared in a Jan. 18, 2009, blog entry (archived) on Israellycool.com. An author with the blog said that a user on an internet forum mentioned that an email message was circulating at the time. The Israellycool.com author called it the "funniest fake Hollywood views on Middle East conflict of the day." The fake Jolie quote was included in the list:

Dear Friends,

I got this in an email. No source was available (gee, I wonder why- ed.).

"If Arabs are strong enough, they will destroy the whole world, Therefore we should annihilate them." - Keanu Reeves

"Arabs are dirtier creatures than animals and we Jews are the chosen people. There is no comparison." - Harrison Ford

"I don't know much about the subject but the war should end to stop the bloodshed on both parts." - Sandra Bullock

"Take a look at Israel's history and you would know who the terrorist is." - Al Pacino

"Humanity seized to exist when Israel was established." - Dustin Hoffman

"WE are living now in a jungle where the strong eats the weakest. We are not better than the Arabs to despise them." - Ralph Fiennes

"The Arabs are the source of terrorism. They don't spare anyone without attacking them. I hope that Israel destroys all of them." - Tom Cruise

"Israel means war and destruction and we Americans are behind this war. I am ashamed of being American." - Anthony Hopkins

"Both sides are wrong and the killing must be stopped." - Will Smith

"Bush, Sharon, Blair and Rice are names that history will d*mn." - George Clooney

"Arabs and Muslims are not terrorists. The world should unite against Israel." - Angelina Jolie

"Arabs are a burden on the world and should be annihilated." - Richard Gere

"We are talking from a point of strength, what if we were the weak ones?" - Sean Connery

"Zionists are the source of destruction. I wish I could fight against them." - Mel Gibson

Snopes found no evidence whatsoever that any of these quotes were real.

The author on Israellycool.com added, "Actually, the Mel Gibson quote I can believe" – an apparent reference to disparaging remarks that Oscar-winning actor Mel Gibson had previously made about Jewish people.

2006: 'A Poll' of '15 Prominent Hollywood Stars'

According to Google, the oldest-known posting of the fake Jolie quote was in an Aug. 23, 2006, article on IkhwanWeb.com (archived). The article also included some of the same fake quotes posted by Israellycool.com in 2009. The IkhwanWeb.com website bills itself as the Muslim Brotherhood's official English website.

The article cited "a poll conducted [that] included 15 prominent Hollywood stars" but did not include any sources. This appeared to be similar to the purported email that was mentioned by Israellycool.com in 2009. Snopes contacted the staff of IkhwanWeb.com via email and will update this story if we receive a response.

Jolie's Genuine Thoughts about the Israel-Hamas War

Leaving aside the fake quote that mentioned Jolie's name, the actor truly has made remarks about the Israel-Hamas war.

In an Oct. 28, 2023, Instagram post that contained three slides of text, Jolie called Hamas' Oct. 7 attack in Israel "an act of terror" and said she was "praying for the immediate, safe return of every hostage, and for the families who carry the unimaginable pain of a murder of a loved one." She also said that Hamas' attack "cannot justify the innocent lives lost in bombing a civilian population in Gaza," and added that she believed, "Humanity demands an immediate ceasefire."

Days later, in another Instagram post on Nov. 1, Jolie posted a picture of the bombed Jabalia refugee camp and said, in part, "By refusing to demand a humanitarian ceasefire and blocking the UN Security Council from imposing one on both parties, world leaders are complicit in these crimes."

Sources:

Al-Mughrabi, Nidal, and Emily Rose. "Israel Strikes Dense Gaza Camp, Says It Kills Hamas Commander." Reuters, 31 Oct. 2023, https://www.reuters.com/world/middle-east/hamas-says-it-fires-israeli-troops-pressing-gaza-ground-assault-2023-10-31/.

"Angelina Jolie." Instagram, https://www.instagram.com/angelinajolie/.

Lange, David. "Operation Cast Lead Sun Jan 18th, 2009." Israellycool.com, 18 Jan. 2009, https://www.israellycool.com/2009/01/18/operation-cast-lead-sun-jan-18th-2009/.

"Mel Gibson Addresses Accusations of Anti-Semitism." ABC News, 12 Oct. 2006, https://abcnews.go.com/GMA/LegalCenter/story?id=2557656&page=1.

"Survey: Over Half of Hollywood Stars against Israeli Aggression." IkhwanWeb.com, 23 Aug. 2006, https://ikhwanweb.com/survey:-over-half-of-hollywood/.

Tugtekin, Elif. "Angelina Jolie Decries Global Injustice, How Some Groups Have Rights and Others Have None." Anadolu Agency, 22 Dec. 2023, https://www.aa.com.tr/en/middle-east/angelina-jolie-decries-global-injustice-how-some-groups-have-rights-and-others-have-none/3090268.