Rivers retracts ‘Palestinians deserve to die’

U.S. television host Joan Rivers told a TMZ reporter that ‘at least the ones that were killed were the ones with very low IQs’

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U.S. television host Joan Rivers described her inflammatory comments on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict in which she said “Palestinians deserve to be dead” as taken out of context in a statement published Friday.

Rivers, known as comedian, made headlines when she unleashed her comments after she was approached by a reporter working for U.S. entertainment website TMZ asking about her opinion that more than 2,000 Palestinians were killed so far by Israeli airstrikes in the Gaza Strip.

“They started it. We now don’t count who’s dead. You’re dead, you deserve to be dead... Don’t you dare make me feel sad about that... You don’t get out, then you know you’re an idiot.”

She said the Palestinians who re-elected Hamas, the Islamist group in charge of Gaza, are “stupid people,” adding “then at least the ones that were killed were the ones with very low IQs.”

Soon after her comments, Rivers was in hot water, pushing her to retract what she had said.

“I am both saddened and disappointed that my statement about the tragedy of civilian casualties was totally taken out of context. What I said and stand behind is, war is hell and unfortunately civilians are victims of political conflicts... The media, as usual, has decided to only quote the most out of context and inflammatory non sequitur,” U.S. and international media circulated Rivers’ statement on Friday.

She added: “I am praying for peace. It is stupid and wrong and I am 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.”

But Rivers’ retraction did not help stem angry comments on social media.

“The never classy @Joan_Rivers denounces suffering of Palestinians and says ‘they started it,’” one Twitter user said.

While another Twitter user said: “There are many who have long hoped for @Joan_Rivers’s career to die. Let’s hope her #Gaza comment finally kill it off.”

Some joked that the 81-year-old’s Botox could have cause ill thoughts.

“Side effect of Botox: genocidal thoughts. See: Pam Geller Joan Rivers -- Palestinian Civilians ‘Deserve to Be Dead’,” one wrote.

In some tweets, it looks like Rivers has lost some fans.

“Was such huge fan of @Joan_Rivers but #omg how shocked I was 2see she wears #fur & doesnt even acknowledge or apologize for cruelty,” one lady said, and another joked that he had lost his role model.

“Oh no, Joan Rivers was always my moral compass, who shall I turn to now?”

Celebrities have expressed different opinions on the conflict. Please read this: Hollywood stars and Israel: Is the relationship fading over Gaza?