Israeli Gal Gadot’s SNL Appearance Moves US Forward
By Samantha Dubrinsky,
BJF Director of Community Impact
Gal Gadot, the Israeli woman who starred in the recent film Wonder Woman, hosted Saturday Night Live, a show that has provided laughs on Saturday nights since the 1970s. The week that Gal Gadot hosted SNL was a week that culminated with a desperate need for comedic relief.
Just a few days before Gal Gadot guest-starred on SNL, the tragic shooting at a country music festival that resulted in the death of 58 with hundreds of others injured occurred. And in the two weeks leading up to her spot on SNL, our country was pummeled by multiple hurricanes, leaving thousands without homes.
The show started on a somber note. The opening act included Jason Aldean, the country singer who was performing when the shooting in Las Vegas started, singing Tom Petty’s famous “I Won’t Back Down,” a fitting melody after the week’s events. Â Tom Petty passed away earlier in the week, also adding to the hurt that America felt.
Though Gal received mixed reviews on her performance, I think it is fitting that an Israeli be featured on SNL the week after a tragic event occurred. During that week, I feel like many Americans, myself included, said, “It can’t get any worse” only to wake up to the death toll of the Las Vegas shootings rising and the realities of the rebuilding of cities hit by hurricane sank in.
However, as an Israeli who has served in the Israel Defense Forces and who has lived in a country that has absorbed terror attack after terror attack, Gal knows that life goes on. Yes, there should be time for reflection and understanding of lessons that can be learned from such tragedies. But at the heart of overcoming these misfortunes is being able to move on – to not let evil prevail over good. And Israelis know this lesson better than anyone else.
So, while it may have felt a little uncomfortable to laugh that Saturday night, Gal helped us as Americans move forward. We still have a lot of healing to do; there is no doubt about that. However, the ultimate way to rise above all that has happened to us as a country is to move on, better because of the lessons we have learned. And, while it may seem as though there are no lessons to be found in the senseless killing of innocent lives, it is a reminder to us that in this time of despair we must be unified — as Americans and as human beings.
Thank you, Gal, for those laughs.