Skip to main content

Joan Rivers 'stands behind' Gaza quotes: 'War is hell'

By Alan Duke, CNN
August 8, 2014 -- Updated 1543 GMT (2343 HKT)
More than 80,000 people have <a href='http://www.cnn.com/2014/11/20/showbiz/tv/19-kids-counting-duggars-petition/index.html'>signed a petition</a> to cancel the TLC reality show "19 Kinds and Counting" for what the petition says is an anti-LGBT stance. According to the petition, Michelle Duggar's voice can be heard on a recorded call from this past summer urging the citizens of Fayetteville, Arkansas, to vote to repeal a law that forbids business owners and landlords from evicting and firing people based on gender identity. More than 80,000 people have signed a petition to cancel the TLC reality show "19 Kinds and Counting" for what the petition says is an anti-LGBT stance. According to the petition, Michelle Duggar's voice can be heard on a recorded call from this past summer urging the citizens of Fayetteville, Arkansas, to vote to repeal a law that forbids business owners and landlords from evicting and firing people based on gender identity.
HIDE CAPTION
Mouthing off: Celebs said what?!
Mouthing off: Celebs said what?!
Mouthing off: Celebs said what?!
Mouthing off: Celebs said what?!
Mouthing off: Celebs said what?!
Mouthing off: Celebs said what?!
Mouthing off: Celebs said what?!
Mouthing off: Celebs said what?!
Mouthing off: Celebs said what?!
Mouthing off: Celebs said what?!
Mouthing off: Celebs said what?!
Mouthing off: Celebs said what?!
Mouthing off: Celebs said what?!
Mouthing off: Celebs said what?!
Mouthing off: Celebs said what?!
Mouthing off: Celebs said what?!
Mouthing off: Celebs said what?!
Mouthing off: Celebs said what?!
Mouthing off: Celebs said what?!
Mouthing off: Celebs said what?!
Mouthing off: Celebs said what?!
Mouthing off: Celebs said what?!
Mouthing off: Celebs said what?!
Mouthing off: Celebs said what?!
Mouthing off: Celebs said what?!
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
>
>>
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Joan Rivers about Gaza dead: "You deserve to be dead. You started it"
  • She's "saddened and disappointed" her words were "totally taken out of context"
  • Her clarification: "War is hell and unfortunately civilians are victims of political conflicts"
  • Rivers compares Israel's actions against Gaza to the U.S. dropping atomic bombs on Japan

Los Angeles (CNN) -- Comedienne Joan Rivers says she will "stand behind" what she told a paparazzo about not feeling sadness for civilians killed in Gaza.

Rivers made her controversial comments at the Los Angeles airport Wednesday when a photographer for Splash News Online asked her about the nearly 2,000 Palestinian killed over the last month since Israel launched military operations in Gaza in response to Hamas rocket attacks.

Stars face backlash over Mideast remarks
Voight vs. Bardem-Cruz

"When you declare war, you declare war," Rivers said. "They started it. We now don't count who's dead. You're dead. You deserve to be dead. You started it. You started it. Don't you dare make me feel sad about that."

Rivers compared Israel's operations against Gaza to the United States' dropping atomic bombs on Japan 69 years ago.

"You were told to get out, you don't get out, then you know you're an idiot, and at least the ones that were killed were the ones with very low IQs," Rivers said.

Celebs step into Israel-Gaza PR minefield

Rivers posted what she called an "accurate clarification" of her comments on her Facebook page Thursday afternoon, but it was not an apology. Instead, she said she was "saddened and disappointed" that her words were "totally taken out of context" by the media.

"The media, as usual, has decided to only quote the most out of context and inflammatory non sequitur rather than giving an accurate account of what my intentions were behind the statement," Rivers said.

She's "tired of bearing the brunt of attacks by people who want to sell newspapers or gain ratings by creating a scandal about me that is non-existent," Rivers said.

"What I said and stand behind is, war is hell and unfortunately civilians are victims of political conflicts," Rivers said.

Rivers said she was "praying for peace" in the Middle East.

Jon Voight: Javier Bardem, Penelope Cruz 'ignorant' about Israel and Gaza

The Palestinian Ministry of Health said as of Thursday that 1,888 people, including 446 children, have died and 9,804 injured in Gaza in the past month. The United Nations has estimated that at least 70% of the dead were civilians. The Israel Defense Forces believes it killed about 900 militants -- roughly half of the dead.

Israeli officials have said 64 Israeli soldiers and three civilians in Israel died.

Clock ticking on Gaza truce talks in Cairo

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
Tensions in the Middle East
Here's a look at some of the most serious conflicts involving Israel and its neighbors -- conflicts that have spanned more than six decades.
August 20, 2014 -- Updated 1517 GMT (2317 HKT)
A video released by ISIS shows the beheading of U.S. journalist James Foley and threatens the life of another American if President Obama doesn't end military operations in Iraq.
August 19, 2014 -- Updated 0904 GMT (1704 HKT)
19-year-old Udi Segal explains why he won't join his country's military.
August 23, 2014 -- Updated 0028 GMT (0828 HKT)
The sights at the Gaza zoo couldn't be sadder, after it was nearly destroyed during recent Israel-Hamas conflict.
August 15, 2014 -- Updated 1611 GMT (0011 HKT)
Both Hamas and Israel have chosen conflict over real peace negotiations again and again in the past, writes Rabbi Yehiel Grenimann.
August 15, 2014 -- Updated 1505 GMT (2305 HKT)
Mohammed Najib says Hamas' objectives also include ending its political isolation.
August 8, 2014 -- Updated 2207 GMT (0607 HKT)
With so many conflicts, on so many fronts, here's a quick look at what's happening.
July 5, 2014 -- Updated 1429 GMT (2229 HKT)
Alan Elsner: How Israel reacts will be decisive turning point for both Israelis and Palestinians.
August 8, 2014 -- Updated 2059 GMT (0459 HKT)
The Israel-Gaza conflict impacts families on both sides. Karl Penhaul speaks to the family of a militant killed in Gaza.
August 7, 2014 -- Updated 0141 GMT (0941 HKT)
A sense of Egypt's historic role and the traditional animosity of their military toward Islamist radicalism have propelled Egypt to take a central role in the on-off cease-fire talks.
August 6, 2014 -- Updated 2150 GMT (0550 HKT)
If the Gaza truce holds and Israel's Operation Protective Edge comes to its conclusion, some things are certain.
August 6, 2014 -- Updated 1626 GMT (0026 HKT)
CNN's Tim Lister says, to secure peace, Israel needs to offer Gazans a better future.
August 5, 2014 -- Updated 2035 GMT (0435 HKT)
Tensions between U.S. President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu have been strained for years.
August 6, 2014 -- Updated 1316 GMT (2116 HKT)
Images from the conflict between Israel and Hamas depict apparent civilians, caught in the middle.
August 5, 2014 -- Updated 1306 GMT (2106 HKT)
Hamas must be tamed through politics, not the failed strategy of war, argues Ed Husain.
August 4, 2014 -- Updated 1355 GMT (2155 HKT)
It may have started as a TV debate about the Israel-Hamas conflict, but it's now turned into an online war of words.
August 4, 2014 -- Updated 1820 GMT (0220 HKT)
Hamas' political leader, who lives in Qatar, sits down with CNN for an exclusive interview.
August 4, 2014 -- Updated 1043 GMT (1843 HKT)
Nafoz Mohammed is living in a cramped two-room apartment with 16 other people, hours holed up in fear.
August 3, 2014 -- Updated 0454 GMT (1254 HKT)
Karl Penhaul visits a destroyed section of Gaza and learns how the bombing has affected one student's aspirations.
August 1, 2014 -- Updated 0615 GMT (1415 HKT)
The birth of a child is normally a joyous occasion, but it is tinged by sadness and anxiety in Gaza. Ian Lee reports.
July 31, 2014 -- Updated 1724 GMT (0124 HKT)
Amid the Gaza conflict, experts try to figure out who's in charge of "the resistance."
July 30, 2014 -- Updated 1010 GMT (1810 HKT)
The opening was so small that CNN's Wolf Blitzer -- no physical giant -- had to bend down to climb inside.
Follow CNNArabic for the latest news and analysis from the Middle East and rest of the world.
ADVERTISEMENT