Politically active Jewish celebrities have remained silent regarding Israel’s right to defend itself after the recent raid on a pro-Palestinian aid flotilla headed for the Gaza Strip.
A pro-Israel rally in Los Angeles on Sunday brought out almost 3,000 people, according to the Los Angeles Police Department. Twenty-five speakers stood in support of Israel, including California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. The only “Hollywood type” there was conservative actor Jon Voight.
Traditionally (and especially throughout Barack Obama’s presidential campaign), celebrities use their ability to reach out to the general public to influence culture and politics. So why are stars who often proclaim their love of Israel failing to educate the public on the nation’s right to exist?
Some think that those in the entertainment industry remain silent because of conservative support for Israel. Could speaking in support of Israel be seen as a lack of support for the Obama Administration? Do they fear a blacklist?
Israeli born actress Natalie Portman is well known for being politically active. With past videos supporting democracy and Barack Obama, it’s clear Portman isn’t afraid to share her point of view. Portman has been vocal in interviews about her love for Israel and even made her Broadway début starring in The Diary of Anne Frank. Why has Portman not spoken out in defense of her homeland?
In a town where leftism is the orthodoxy and the orthodoxy is good business you want to stick with it,” said author and screenwriter Andrew Klavan. “It’s hard to isolate Hollywood from the left, because in some ways Hollywood is the left.”
“Take Woody Allen for example. How is it that Woody ‘Obama Should Be a Dictator’ Allen has vanished in the cause of Israel? It has to be because the orthodoxy on the left is that Israel is wrong.”
Natalie Portman, Sasha Baron Cohen, Jerry Seinfeld, Scarlett Johansson, Gwyneth Paltrow, Barbara Streisand, Sarah Silverman, Woody Allen, Steven Spielberg, and Maggie Gyllenhaal are just 10 in the entertainment industry that are politically active and Jewish.
Can they make a difference? Of course. Look at the wonders they did for the Obama campaign.
“Unfortunately,” said Klaven, “I think there are a lot of Jews who don’t realize that the left has left the building.”
“I’m hearing from Jewish friends in show business ‘Gee I went to my theater group’ or ‘a movie set and I heard this horrible anti-Israel stuff, what’s going on?’ and they don’t quite get yet that the political left has left Israel behind.”
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