U.S. Weekly reports that Justin Timberlake was performing in Tel Aviv for his "20/20 Experience World Tour" earlier this week when he took the photo opportunity by the Wailing Wall. The pop artist tweeted the picture to fans saying, "The Holy Land... What an experience. I will never forget this day. #Israel."
The Wailing Wall is located in the Old City of Jerusalem, and both Jews and Palestinians have laid claim to the area in the past. Timberlake's hashtag upset several Palestinians, who proceeded to post comments like "There was never an Israel, there was always Palestine" and "I'm deleting his tunes off my iPod now" in response. The celebrity did not remove the tweet when fans made disparaging comments, however.
Christian evangelist Ray Comfort's co-hosts Emeal Zwayne and Brad Snow drew a parallel between Timberlake's situation and the proper Christian response to politically correct pressures on "The Comfort Zone" yesterday.
"Obviously there was a controversy over his choice to refer to the Holy Land as Israel," Snow said. He noted that Timberlake didn't later erase his tweet or try to smooth things over with his Palestinian fan base to make his comments more broadly acceptable, and related it to how Christians are called to stand their ground on the word of God, regardless of whether or not it is politically correct. Christians sometimes get backlash from others because we are submitted to the Bible as truth coming from God Himself, says Snow - "As Christians ... we're bound to the truth of God, and it's not an option for us to try to smooth things out - the things that we know are true because God has revealed them to us through His word."
Emeal Zwayne also commended Timberlake for sharing his views without giving into the pressure to be politically correct. "As Christians, we have a choice in this world: either we're going to march to the beat of the world's drum ... or we're going to stand up for the truth of the Gospel," he says.