16 March '17..
Diplomats never pretend to be experts on acting, yet for some reason actors constantly present themselves as experts on international affairs. Hollywood award ceremonies are now dominated by awardees delivering pretentious political diatribes.
The latest presumed fount of wisdom is Richard Gere, who visited Israel last week to promote a film in which he plays a character modeled on the American Jewish businessman from whom Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert accepted large bribes.
In an interview with Haaretz, Gere rattled off all the shallow slogans about Israel that he reads in The New York Times. “Obviously, this occupation is destroying everyone,” he proclaimed, even though Israel stopped “occupying” 98 percent of the Palestinians 22 years ago. “Settlements are such an absurd provocation,” he announced, even though settlements take up less than 2 percent of the Judea and Samaria territories. Jewish settlements are “certainly in the international sense, completely illegal,” declared the actor, who obviously knows nothing about international law, under which the settlements are, in fact, completely legal.
Naturally, no Hollywood monologue about the Middle East would be complete without a dose of moral equivalency.
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Stephen M. Flatow, a vice president of the Religious Zionists of America, is an attorney in New Jersey. He is the father of Alisa Flatow, who was murdered in an Iranian-sponsored Palestinian terrorist attack in 1995.
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