Madonna on Israel-Hamas conflict: “How can human beings be so cruel to one another?”

Madonna took a moment to address the current Israel-Hamas conflict while on stage at The O2, expressing her exasperation at how human beings are capable of “being so cruel to one another”.

The artist urged the crowd to “remember we are human beings here” because “we cannot lose our humanity” and to make a difference by bringing “light into the world”.

Madonna had addressed the conflict briefly in the early shows of her four-night run of ‘Celebration’ shows at the London arena, saying on the opening night that “watching what’s happening in Israel and Palestine” breaks her heart. On the third show on October 16, however, she expanded on her comments.


“Nobody wants to see what’s happening,” she said. “I turn on social media and I want to vomit. I see children being kidnapped, pulled off motorcycles; babies being decapitated, children at peace raves being shot and killed. What the fuck is going on in the world? How can human beings be so cruel to one another? It’s just getting worse. It frightens me.”

Paraphrasing a quote by her “great inspiration”, the author James Baldwin, she continued: “The children of the world belong to all of us, each and every one of them. I don’t care where they’re from… what the colour of their skin is, what their religion is – the children belong to us. And we are responsible for them.”

[embedded content]

She also addressed the killing of 6-year-old Wadea Al-Fayoume in Chicago on October 14, which detectives have alleged is a possible hate crime connected with the current Israel-Hamas conflict. Joseph Czuba, aged 71, has been charged with murder after allegedly stabbing the young boy and attacking his mother.

Madonna claimed that the alleged attack was “a hate crime because he was Muslim.”

“We have to remember we are human beings here, we cannot lose our humanity,” she continued. “Our hearts can be broken, but our spirit cannot. No one can break our spirit. And you might look at what’s going on in the world and say, what the fuck? What can I do? I’m just one person, I’m helpless. No, you are not. Each and every one of you have the power and ability to turn light on in the world.”


Earlier this week, over 2000 figures from the entertainment world, including Tilda SwintonSteve Coogan and Massive Attack’s Robert Del Naja, signed an open letter calling for a ceasefire in Gaza.

The letter condemns various governments for “not only tolerating war crimes but aiding and abetting them” amid the current conflict between Israel and the Palestinian group Hamas, as well as “every act of violence against civilians and every infringement of international law whoever perpetrates them”.

Hamas’ terror attacks on October 7, which included massacres at the Be’eri kibbutz and Kfar Aza kibbutz in Israel, was met with a deadly retaliatory response by Israel’s national military, the IDF, largely with missile attacks.

A reported 260 attendees at Supernova Sukkot Gathering, a music festival that was held a few miles from Gaza in Israel, were killed in an early morning attack by Hamas militants. The organisers of the festival have since released their first statement over the “unspeakable tragedy”.

Currently, the Palestinian Health Ministry says the death toll in Gaza has reached 4,137 since October 7, and over 13,000 people have been injured there. That includes around 500 people who lost their lives in a hospital bombing on Tuesday (October 17).