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Rich to the Rescue

Ha’aretz reports on Richard Gere’s new endeavor:

“Hi, I’m Richard Gere and I’m speaking for the entire world. We’re with you during this election time. It’s really important: Get out and vote,” Gere said, according to a transcript of the announcement obtained by The Associated Press.

Contrary to popular belief, he is not speaking about the JIB Awards.

A pro-peace group is hoping that a potent mix of Hollywood glamour and religion will motivate Palestinians to vote in next week’s PA chairmanship elections – and their star attraction is actor Richard Gere. 
 
Gere, together with an Islamic cleric and a Greek Orthodox Church official, recorded a public service announcement calling on the Palestinians to vote in the Jan. 9 election to replace Yasser Arafat.

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Gere ended the 80-second announcement produced by the pro-peace group, “One Voice,” with an appeal in Arabic: “Take part in the elections.”

 

The ad is to be aired on Palestinian TV and Arabic satellite channels in the next few days, said Fathi Darwish, a Palestinian director of “One Voice.”

 

The group tries to harness the power of ordinary citizens to push for creation of a Palestinian state to live peacefully next to Israel. The people power is backed by Hollywood stars like Danny DeVito and Rhea Perlman. Its Internet Web site claims support from actors Brad Pitt, Jennifer Aniston and Edward Norton.

 

“We chose Richard Gere because he believes that freedom and liberty are for everyone,” Darwish said. “He is a known supporter of the Palestinian people,” he said.

I really don’t have too much of a problem with Richard Gere, or any other celebrity for that matter, promoting democracy in the PA controlled areas. Democracy amongst PLO Arabs is a good cause, which could facilitate peace. I just have to question the company he keeps (no, I am not talking about this, which is blatantly false):

Joining Gere in the announcement are Sheik Taissir Tamimi, the head of the Islamic court in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, and Atallah Hanna, the spokesman of the Greek Orthodox Church in Jerusalem.

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Even though he evidently is not familiar with Hollywood superstars, Hanna has his own heroes, according to the Jerusalem Post, which quoted him as praising suicide bombers: ‘These martyrdom freedom fighters are the heroes of the people and we are proud of them. We categorically reject suspicious attempts to cast suspicion on their deeds. They are not suicidal, as some are claiming. Nor are they terrorists, as others are claiming. They are resisting the occupation.’ According to the report, he also called for the liberation of Palestine ‘from the [Mediterranean] sea to the [Jordan] river.’

 

One of Gere’s co-stars, Sheikh Tamimi, was quoted in 1994 as saying: “the Jews are destined to be persecuted, humiliated and tortured forever,and it is a Muslim duty to see to it that they reap their due. No petty arguments must be allowed to divide us.Where Hitler failed, we must suceed.”

I wonder if Gere knows what his co-stars stand for. (I also wonder if he knows what his old friend stands for).

 

For their part, his co-stars are not familiar with him:

While Gere was chosen for his star appeal, it’s not clear how much celebrity status he has among the Palestinians.

 

“I’ve never heard of him before,” Hanah said of his co-star.

I guess they are not familiar with Gere’s films, which include American Infidel, An Occupation Officer and a Gentleman, and Jihad Woman.

 

Update: Harry has the inside scoop about word on the Ramallah streets. Here’s a preview:

Yusef: Who is Richard Gere?

 

Ahmed: At least we can agree on Pretty Woman.

 

Muhammad: Indeed we can my brother. It’s one of the few romantic comedies of the past 15 years that actually works. Few films have captured that amazing chemistry since.

 

Ahmed: Yes, It’s as shamelessly irresistible as the Roy Orbison oldie that accompanies the credits. You know something? Richard Gere is right. Let’s vote.

 

Yusef: Pretty Woman? Sounds vaguely familiar.

 

Ahmed: The Arabic name was “A Harem of One.”

 

Yusef: Yes, this one I know. However, I believe that the whore should have been killed to perserve the family honor.

I’ve always felt that Harry is destined for blogging greatness.

About the author

Picture of David Lange

David Lange

A law school graduate, David Lange transitioned from work in the oil and hi-tech industries into fulltime Israel advocacy. He is a respected commentator and Middle East analyst who has often been cited by the mainstream media
Picture of David Lange

David Lange

A law school graduate, David Lange transitioned from work in the oil and hi-tech industries into fulltime Israel advocacy. He is a respected commentator and Middle East analyst who has often been cited by the mainstream media
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