Typically, when we write articles surrounding Disney, they’re filled with ultimately meaningless jargon that rarely impacts the day-to-day lives of our readers around the world. Sadly, this isn’t one of those stories. As the world reels painfully from the horrifying attacks in Gaza, many organizations are stepping in to make a difference as citizens of Israel have found themselves the target of inhumane attacks by the Islamic group Hamas.
As the Israeli-Palestinian war rages on in the West Bank, many who are still alive have found themselves homeless due to bombings, fear of death, or evacuations made mandatory by the government of Israel. As horrific terrorist attacks rage in the area, where Jews and Muslims have territory disputes that have led to blood-shed for ages, things have taken a disgusting turn, with Hamas, an Islamist militant movement identified as one of Palestine’s two major political parties, murdering thousands of innocent non-combatants.
The Walt Disney Company Steps In
Although not directly involved in the conflict, The Walt Disney Company, being one of the most recognizable brands in the world, has stepped in to provide aid to those in need due to the conflicts currently waging in the West Bank. Late on October 12, just hours before the 13, in which the former Hamas chief, Khaled Meshaal, called for global jihad against those of the Jewish faith, Disney CEO Bob Iger made it known that the large entertainment company would not sit idly by without providing some support and relief to those impacted by what he calls “horrific terrorist attacks targeting Jews in Israel this past weekend, we must all do what we can to support the innocent people experiencing so much pain, violence, and uncertainty – particularly children.”
As the world, including many popular Disney personalities, get behind Israel in its ongoing efforts to stop the senseless killings in Gaza, The Walt Disney Company has made its stance very clear, condemning the awful terrorist actions of Hamas, as well as promising to continue their support in the region.
“We condemn these attacks, the hate that motivated them, and all acts of terrorism, and we will continue working to find more ways to provide support in the region, and to honor the victims, their families, and all those affected by this war.” – Iger said in a prepared statement.“
Disney to Donate Millions to Humanitarian Efforts in the Region
Disney, no longer an organization to sit quietly to the side, has promised an impressive $2 million to organizations working closely with refugees and others impacted by the violence in Gaza. In a prepared statement, Bob Iger explained that $1 million will be donated to an affiliate of the International Federation of the Red Cross, providing emergency medical services and blood banking within Israel. Disney will also donate another million to non-profit organizations within the region, specifically those providing care and aid to children impacted by the war.
NEW: The Walt Disney Company is donating $2 million to organizations that are providing humanitarian relief following the deadly Hamas terrorist attacks in Israel. pic.twitter.com/9q4KGlVYbZ
— Scott Gustin (@ScottGustin) October 13, 2023
At the end of the statement, Iger also noted that employees of The Walt Disney Company have been making donations to Disney’s Matching Gifts program, which The Walt Disney Company then matches up to $25,000. It’s safe to assume that the donated funds are most likely coming from this program run by Disney.
Disney and War
It may seem out of place for Disney to throw their hat in the ring of a centuries old war between Hebrews and Muslims taking place thousands of miles away. However, as Hamas, much like ISIS and ISIL, is considered a violent terrorist organization, with their leaders calling for jihad (or holy war) on Jews and Americans in all corners of the globe, they do present a unique threat to all non-Muslim life on the planet, especially women and children, whom they’ve targeted during their latest string of attacks in Israel.
Disney, being such a large and influential brand, often makes its support known for global causes, especially during times of war, as seen during WWII, when a global threat presented the need for marketing and promotion. Walt Disney wasted no time utilizing his prowess and influence to support ongoing war efforts. Although this doesn’t feel like an American war that requires the support of an American-based company’s support, it is.
What’s Next for the United States
The United States, an unofficial leader in policing policies globally, is viewed through the lens of a peacekeeper. The United States often calls when NATO affiliates find themselves at arms with invaders or terrorist attacks. This plays out throughout history, specifically in Vietnam and the first Gulf War when Iraq invaded Kuwait. However, playing that role often makes you the enemy of many, hence the propensity for worry regarding terrorist attacks post-9/11 on American soil.
As well, for those who don’t understand the concept of jihad, the term can be used interchangeably to describe an internal, spiritual battle with oneself or (how it’s most often used) to describe a call to arms against enemies, typically associated with unimaginable violence when used by extremist groups such as Palestine’s Hamas. This type of calling almost always requires a show of support and force from America, as the country’s Western principles, progressive thinking, and freedom to practice whatever religion, opinion, or sexual identity you wish is condemnable under the extremist rule, often punishable by death.
Disney’s Humanitarian Efforts Have Little to Do With Politics
Although global conflict often finds its roots in political undertones, what many have to understand about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is that it has less to do with political gain and more to do with religious demand and power through the process of gaining physical ground. Hamas and other groups like them, although they cite violence against Palestine on behalf of Israel (which is true), are very vocal regarding their views of bringing Islam into every home around the world, crushing the American idea of religious freedom.
This is why attacks and killings done in the name of Allah by extremist groups are referred to as jihad or holy war. Disney’s involvement in aiding those impacted by the latest news coming out of the Middle East has little to do with either political affiliation or religious backing. Instead, despite their recent political battle with the State of Florida and its governor, Ron DeSantis, Disney’s relief efforts are sided with just being decent human beings. In fact, The Walt Disney Company’s quick action in sending millions of dollars in relief identifies well with DeSantis’s latest condemnation of the war in Gaza.
We Hope and Pray for an End to Needless Violence
War is a terrible thing, ultimately unnecessary in many cases. As I’m certain Bob Iger and The Walt Disney Company feel, we also hope that an end comes to the senseless bloodshed in the Middle East and that somehow our world, which is wildly fractured, can find a way to heal. However, despite Disney often creating magical worlds in which others are able to find an escape from the harsh realities of life, it’s comforting to see the organization step up and provide much-needed relief when the real world insists on impeding the magical escapes that the company is so well known for. As the death toll rises, my thoughts and prayers are with anyone impacted by the terrible events that are occurring in Israel.