Richard Gere, Pretty Ignorant


In Pretty Woman, Richard Gere plays a guy who really wants to end the occupation of his love interest – a prostitute played by Julia Roberts.

In real life, Richard Gere plays an ignorant actor who wants Israel to end the so-called “occupation” of their own indigenous lands.

Photo: Avi Moalem

Hollywood star Richard Gere is in Israel promoting his new movie Norman, by Israeli director Joseph Cedar. However, the question of how he will be received by the Israeli public is a matter of uncertainty.

“In my past visits to Israel, I always heard all the viewpoints. Now it has become almost impossible. I know many people will not like what I have to say, but these are things that need to be said,” said Gere.

“The occupation must end. The occupation is ruining everyone on both sides. A bi-national state won’t solve anything, and it will only turn Israel into an apartheid state. There needs to be two states for two peoples, with Jerusalem as the capital of both nations.

In his comments, Gere also referred to the issue of settlements, saying, “Why do you need all these provocations? How is it that the settlers are running the government? And how could it be that Israel, of all nations, controls another nation? Many Israelis that I know say the state has lost its way and I think that every Israeli knows that.”

During his visit to Israel, Gere is also planning on meeting members of Breaking the Silence. He knows that this will be poorly received, but he remains undeterred. “I recently spoke to someone from the organization who served in the army, a wonderful young woman with a big heart, and they’re labeling her an enemy of the state. It breaks your heart.”

An appalling display of ignorance of the history and nature of this conflict. Not a word about terrorism and incitement. For Gere, the red herring of “settlements” is what he dines on.

I am seeing so many people voice their shock that Gere would open his piehole like this. I assume they were not aware of his politics. For example, I blogged about this in 2003:

“All the people here are involved in action for peace between Jews and Arabs in Israel,” Ms. Tamir [Israel’s former absorption minister, Yuli Tamir] told Gere, “but we are also working hard on dialogues with Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza.”

For a moment, Mr. Gere threw Ms. Tamir off balance when he asked whether she trusted Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s commitment to peace.

Or friends.

How rich of Gere to hang with Hanan Ashrawi – who runs the antisemitic MIFTAH organization – and Holocaust denier Mahmoud Abbas, whose Fatah party disseminates antisemitism to this day – while complaining about antisemitism and Donald Trump.

In regards to reports of increased anti-Semitism in the United States, Gere said, “I don’t know if there is an increase or if it is just out in the open more. That is Trump’s fault. The moment he decided to run for president, he opened Pandora’s Box and gave people permission to let all their hate out. ‘If the president can say anything, then so can I.’ It’s a wonder anti-Semites feel better now.”

Richard Gere may have played King David once, but he seems well and truly on the side of Goliath.

He should stick to acting. And masking tape.

(To tape his mouth, of course).

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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