Richard Gere’s stunning pro-Palestinian hypocrisy

March 21, 2017 by Stephen M.Flatow -
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Diplomats never pretend to be experts on acting, yet for some reason actors constantly present themselves as experts on international affairs. Hollywood award ceremonies are now dominated by awardees delivering pretentious political diatribes.

The latest presumed fount of wisdom is Richard Gere, who visited Israel last week to promote a film in which he plays a character modelled on the American Jewish businessman from whom Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert accepted large bribes.

Hollywood actor Richard Gere (left), Israeli film director Joseph Cedar (center) and Israeli actor Lior Ashkenazi attend a press conference for the new movie “Norman”—which stars Gere and Ashkenazi—at the Jerusalem Cinematheque March 9, 2017. Credit: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90.

In an interview with Haaretz, Gere rattled off all the shallow slogans about Israel that he reads in The New York Times. “Obviously, this occupation is destroying everyone,” he proclaimed, even though Israel stopped “occupying” 98 percent of the Palestinians 22 years ago. “Settlements are such an absurd provocation,” he announced, even though settlements take up less than 2 percent of the Judea and Samaria territories. Jewish settlements are “certainly in the international sense, completely illegal,” declared the actor, who obviously knows nothing about international law, under which the settlements are, in fact, completely legal.

Naturally, no Hollywood monologue about the Middle East would be complete without a dose of moral equivalency. “I denounce violence on all sides of this,” Gere asserted, demonstrating his inability to distinguish between the aggressor and the victim. “Violent” Israelis who dare to defend themselves against Palestinian stabbers and bombers are no different from the guys with the knives and the explosive vests.

But the interview took a very odd turn when Gere suddenly began heaping praise on the corrupt, disgraced, and still-imprisoned Ehud Olmert. “I certainly liked him as a human being and actually felt there was enormous hope and promise with him as prime minister,” said Gere. “He didn’t seem to be owned by settlers, he didn’t seem to be owned by the dark forces, he understood compromise.”

What about Olmert’s corruption? No problem, since he was willing to give up land. According to the interviewer, Gere indicated he believes “the value of the peace deal that Olmert might have been able to make would have outweighed the immorality of the corruption that brought him down.”

Hollywood actor Richard Gere (left) meets with Ahmed Qurei, then the prime minister of the Palestinian Authority, June 5, 2004. Credit: Flash90.

In the film, Gere’s character bribes the prime minister with pairs of very expensive shoes.

“Frankly, if someone creates a lasting peace in the Middle East, a pair of shoes is not a big deal,” according to Gere.

Fascinating! Principles, values, morality—all suddenly become irrelevant so long as Olmert was promoting Gere’s pro-Palestinian agenda.

In between a lot of embarrassing gushing over Gere’s leading-man good looks—“still impossibly handsome at 67”—interviewer Allison Kaplan Sommer asked a very pointed and insightful question: “Does [Gere] feel as forgiving about expensive cigars and pink champagne?”

Current Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is being accused of improperly accepted gifts of cigars and champagne. If Gere thinks Olmert’s corruption is no big deal, then surely he would not be bothered if the charges against Netanyahu are true, right?

Wrong. “The context is completely different,” Gere replied. How so? “The sympathy with which [Gere] views Olmert’s downfall would in any case only apply to the current prime minister ‘if Netanyahu was working toward a genuine peace process.’”

It’s simple. A corrupt politician who does what Gere wants on the diplomatic front (i.e. gives in to the Palestinians) is a swell guy. A politician who doesn’t surrender to the Palestinians is a rotten scoundrel. The funny thing is that Gere is so full of himself that he didn’t even realise that what he was saying represents the grossest form of hypocrisy. I guess when you’re “impossibly good-looking,” you can get away with anything.

Stephen M. Flatow, a vice president of the Religious Zionists of America, is an attorney in New Jersey. He is the father of Alisa Flatow, who was murdered in an Iranian-sponsored Palestinian terrorist attack in 1995.


8 Responses to “Richard Gere’s stunning pro-Palestinian hypocrisy”
  1. Adrian Jackson says:

    Was the more liberal former Israel PM set up by the US Jewish businessman?

  2. Adrian Jackson says:

    Gere follows the Buddhist tradition I understand.

    If Gere is dogmatic and a hypocrite so is the author of this article too.

  3. Liat Kirby-Nagar says:

    Agree with you 100% on Israel allowing the PA to win the propaganda war hands down. Israel needed to come out assertively and with the facts on the table every time years ago. Needed a concerted campaign. So much damage now done and the lie having been repeated so often and for so long by the PA and the Palestine Advocacy Network all over the world that it’s accepted as a given.

    Gere, though, is one of the ones duped, albeit willingly so. As Lizzie said, far too intellectually lazy to check facts or do research. He’s not an ‘intellectual’, just a celebrity following the fashion.

  4. LIZZIE MOORE says:

    Great article, thanks. “The dark forces”, indeed! What an ignorant dingbat, far too intellectually lazy to get at the truth of Yehuda/haShomron. [Lizzie, via Bendigo Vic]

    • Gil Solomon says:


      I’m sure Gere would no doubt know the truth but doesn’t care. To me, he and “intellectuals” like him are brainwashed total leftists who will support the PA position no matter what and will not let facts get in the way of their opinions.
      The real tragedy is that when it comes to Hasbara (public relations etc.), Israel is pathetically silent and is akin to a ship adrift on the high seas without a rudder, without a captain but with a motley crew that can agree on nothing, thus letting the PA win the propaganda war hands down.
      Quite a remarkable feat considering there was no country called Palestine and the so called “Palestinian narrative” uttered by the PA ad nauseum is total fiction.

  5. Gillian Miller says:

    Actors have to have giant egos otherwise they would not want to step in front of the camera and take huge payments to do so. Their egos make them think that they are right in everything and that the public are interested and will follow their every word as if they are prophets from the bible.

    News flash, no, we aren’t. However, if an actor presents a well reasoned view, like Tim Allen has done, then it is worth listening to as if s/he is our next door neighbour. The trouble is that people worship celebrities but, quite frankly, my kind of celebrity is someone who proves that they care like Robert Redford who speaks out for wildlife or Audie Murphy who was one of the most decorated American combat soldiers of World War II, receiving every military combat award for valor available from the U.S. Army, as well as French and Belgian awards for heroism. My kind of hero.

  6. Liat Kirby-Nagar says:

    Good article, Stephen Flatow. What a self-obsessed egomaniac Gere is, giving his expert advice and shallow judgements WHILE IN ISRAEL on Israeli issues. How absurdly arrogant, and what’s worse, he doesn’t know it. The same old judgements made without research or thought, based on no premise whatsoever except the quick assumptions of a history illiterate.

    The entitlement so many Americans take for granted as to their self-imposed right to pronounce on the world is breathtaking.

  7. Gil Solomon says:

    The only thing I can say is what’s so “stunning” about Gere’s hypocrisy?
    He’s just another leftist Hollywood actor who thinks he knows best. It’s a great pity that the Government of Israel is so pathetically lame that it doesn’t read this guy (and the vast numbers of people like him) the riot act and put him on the next plane back to Los Angeles.

    But then we all know this will never happen.
    For that, Israel needs a strong Government that puts its sovereignty first and Israel first, something the Jewish leadership of the Jewish nation seems incapable of ever doing.

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