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The celebrities risking worldwide scorn by supporting Israel
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By Andrea Peyser
August 4, 2014

The celebrities risking worldwide scorn by supporting Israel

One recent summer day, I led a young cousin who lives in another town My new heroes and heroines are not great leaders or deep thinkers. I’m inspired by the courage of comedienne Joan Rivers, radio shock jock Howard Stern, plus a small knot of uncommonly brave celebrities.

These awesome dudes and dudettes have risked worldwide condemnation by publicly supporting Israel’s right to defend itself from relentless rocket attacks by Hamas terrorists.

“If you are anti-Israel, you are anti-America,’’ Stern, 60, declared last month on his Sirius XM show. “It’s the only democracy over there. It’s the only friend we have who’s willing to fight and stand up for what’s right.’’

Rivers, 81, let ’er rip to “Let me just tell you, if New Jersey were firing rockets into New York, we would wipe them out,’’ she said

“If we heard they were digging tunnels from New Jersey to New York, we would get rid of Jersey.”

Well put.

Simon Cowell, 54, is the English-born music producer who rose to fame as Mr. Nasty on “American Idol,’’ “Britain’s Got Talent’’ and “The X Factor.’’

Last October, he did a mitzvah. In a bit of charity that came to most of the world’s attention only recently, Cowell donated $150,000 to the Friends of the Israeli Defense Forces, an organization formed by Holocaust survivors that pays for the education and care of Israeli troops and supports families of slain soldiers.

To say Cowell has been vilified is an understatement.

One man, Nicolas Helou, tweeted, “Simon Cowell I hope you burn in the pits of hell and your children and family suffer what Palestinians do under the hands of butchers.”

Legendary Canadian guitarist Neil Young, 68, and his band Crazy Horse canceled a concert in Israel’s Tel Aviv last month because of concerns over safety. Yet Young announced that he intended to reschedule the show, thereby antagonizing not only followers of the insidious Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, which aims to starve Israel by trying to remove all investment from its companies, but British bass player and leading Israel-hater Roger Waters, 70, of Pink Floyd fame.

Last year, Waters compared Israeli treatment of Palestinians to the atrocities visited on Jews by the Nazis. In May, he teamed up with Pink Floyd drummer and fellow Brit Nick Mason, 70, publishing an open letter in urging the Rolling Stones to cancel their first-ever concert in Tel Aviv.

But the Stones not only ignored the message, they delayed the start of their June 4 concert by 45 minutes to allow devout Jews, who don’t drive on holidays, time to arrive at the venue after sunset, when the Jewish feast of Shavuot ended.

Proving that she’s stunning both inside and out, Scarlett Johansson, now 29 and pregnant, earlier this year faced down international criticism after she refused to resign as brand ambassador of SodaStream. The company produces carbonation devices at a factory in the West Bank, which is claimed by Palestinians. Rather than bow to pressure, she resigned as global ambassador for Oxfam International, a humanitarian organization hostile to Israel’s West Bank presence. ScarJo rocks.

Many more know-nothing celebs who wield undeserved influence over their fans are hostile to Israel. Madonna, 55, last month posted on her Facebook page a picture of flowers that she compared to Palestinian children. “Who has the right to destroy them?’’ she wrote. “No one!’’

Actor Javier Bardem, 45, and his actress wife, Penelope Cruz, 40, joined other Spanish film types and musicians in signing a July 23 letter posted on a Spanish-language news wire decrying Israel’s “genocide.’’ Later, the pair said they only wanted peace in the Middle East. Actor Jon Voight, 75, slammed the “ignorant’’ Israel-bashing celeb crowd in an open letter posted on the websites of Hollywood trade publications.

Zayn Malik, 21, who sings in the Anglo-Irish boy band One Direction, last month tweeted “#FreePalestine.’’ Barbados-born singer Rihanna, 26, who performed in Tel Aviv last year, also tweeted “#FreePalestine,” then deleted it eight minutes later, saying she did it accidentally.

American actress and pop star Selena Gomez, 21, posted on Instagram the message, “It’s About Humanity. Pray for Gaza.’’ She followed it up with a post that said, “I am not picking any sides. I am praying for peace and humanity for all.’’

South African Nobel Peace Prize laureate and retired Anglican Archbishop Desmond Tutu, 82, has long compared the Israeli government to South Africa’s former apartheid regime. Rubbish. Israeli citizens who are Arabs enjoy the right to vote and hold political office. Israel is the only country in the Middle East in which homosexuals are not persecuted.

Yet Tutu has signed on to a campaign to drive investment from companies that, he claims, oppress Palestinians. In June, the general assembly of the Presbyterian Church (USA) voted 310 to 303 to pull $21 million of investments from three US companies that church leaders say harm Palestinians.

Israel could use a lot more people like Howard Stern and Joan Rivers. It needs more rock bands like the Rolling Stones. The country’s survival might depend on them.

©2007-2024 Andrea Peyser and; No Reuse without permission.
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