Thursday, February 28, 2008


Hollywood Supports Sderot?

Well, some people in Hollywood do, anyway:

Los Angeles is proving to indeed be a "city of angels’". A host of Hollywood stars, including Paula Abdul, Sylvester Stallone and Jon Voight, will be participating Tuesday in a charity and solidarity concert for the rocket-battered town of Sderot in Beverly Hills. also covered the event itself:
Dozens of Hollywood stars attended Tuesday the "Live for Sderot" concert, which was held in Los Angeles and dedicated to the children of the Qassam-battered town. City Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa also participated in the glamorous event, organized by the Israeli consulate as an opening ceremony for Israel's 60th anniversary celebrations, and US presidential hopefuls Barak Obama, Hillary Clinton and John McCain all sent their warm wishes to Sderot via videotaped messages.

The show was hosted by Israeli actress Noa Tishby, and included performances by Ninet Tayeb, violinist Miri Ben-Ari, Israeli-born American singer Elliot Yamin, Mike Burstein, Aki Avni and Oscar-winning actor John Voight.
Hmm. Did Stallone make it? It's hard to tell; right now I can't find any press coverage of the event, except on Ynet.

My hat's off to the people who were there. In a just world, this would be a non-partisan event -- how political is it to deplore the launching of unprovoked rocket attacks against women and children? But it apparently does take courage to stand up with the people of Sderot.

It would have been nice for one or another of the Presidential candidates to actually be there, but this isn't high on their campaign calendars, and I can understand that. It's nice that all three sent messages:
In Obama's message, which was broadcast during the event, the Democratic candidate said that as a father of two girls, he "could only imagine the terror that these rockets cause." Senator Clinton voiced her sympathy for the people of Sderot, saying she was overwhelmed by the town's residents' courage and sacrifice.

Republican candidate McCain stated that the world must not remain passive in view of the Qassam fire on the Israeli town. "It’s an outrage that this violence is claiming innocent victims but is not condemned by world nations. Everybody is entitled to live in peace," he stressed.
It's a pity that both Sen. Obama and Sen. Clinton could offer only sympathy. McCain's call to action is much more what I'd expect to hear from a Presidential candidate.

(Or is it a uniquely Republican message to say "everybody is entitled to live in peace"? It shouldn't be.)

Keep an eye on Sen. Obama with respect to his courting of the Jewish vote. He has quite a bit to answer for in his past; reconciling his past sympathy for the Palestinians, and his need to portray himself now as pro-Israel, ought to be interesting to watch.

For the record, by the way -- it's perfectly possible to be pro-Palestinian and pro-Israeli. There's nothing wrong, or even controversial, with wanting Palestinian children and Israeli children to grow up in peace.

The problem is that such an attitude is much closer to the mainstream Israeli position than to the mainstream Palestinian position. (Most Israelis would be fine with a Palestinian state next door, if we could count on them to keep the border quiet. The Palestinians, it seems, can't even allow a neighboring Israeli town to live without daily rocket attacks.)

(Hat tip: Solomonia.)

UPDATE: The guys at Powerline had the same thought about Sen. Obama's courting of the Jewish vote, but they say it better:
Obama doesn’t necessarily favor Iranian interests over Israel’s per se; he favors military inaction against Iran and Syria over military action. But when that bias leads to a double standard under which Israeli intelligence that counsels in favor of military action is discounted on principle, while intelligence that counsels against military action towards a power that threatens to destroy Israel gets a pass, Israel and its supporters are justified in doubting Obama’s claim that he is “a stalwart ally of Israel.”
By all means, read the whole thing.


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