Jack EngelhardJack Engelhard’s classic international bestselling novel Indecent Proposal, which later became a worldwide hit movie, has been republished to meet readers’ demands. His other major works include Compulsive: A Novel, his award-winning post-Holocaust Montreal memoir Escape from Mount Moriah, plus Slot Attendant: A Novel About A Novelist. His website: www.jackengelhard.com
Richard Gere arrives in Israel rude, tactless and boorish
When you come as a visitor to another country the first rule is to behave respectfully and politely.
After all, you are a guest in someone else’s home.
Richard Gere, on a trip to Israel this week to promote his latest film, chose rudeness. All that money, all that fame, and no class.
He lectured the Israelis. Why not? When it comes to Israel, everybody has a say, everybody has a plan, everybody is an expert, and nobody worries about insulting the Jewish people. We expect it from France, the UN and most of the world anyway. But Richard Gere, last I heard, is still a practicing Buddhist.
That’s supposed to be about calm reflection, embracing wisdom and practicing compassion (which sounds so very Jewish to me).
The Palestinians came along as a “people” somewhere in the 1960s – that’s the 1960s AD – so why they get half the Land, as people insist, beats me.
So what’s his beef, Richard Gere? Says in the media that he demands “an end to the Occupation.”
He also wants an end to one people “ruling over another people.”
Poor guy is confused. He’s talking about China and Tibet. Israel is occupying nobody – certainly not Jerusalem, which Gere wants for the Palestinian Arabs.
Must I really go over the entire history? I’ve done so a thousand times in columns and books. I am so tired of this. The minute the news came out about Richard Gere and his problem with the Jews, I started getting phone calls – “Jack, you have to answer this.” I have. I have. Haven’t you been reading?
Apparently I am not read in Hollywood as much as once upon a time when I took on Spielberg and that one, well that one everybody was talking about…and despite being a Hollywood Guy (wrong!) because of “Indecent Proposal” and other films done and in the works, I do not speak the language.
I am not a screenwriter, as they keep saying, I am a novelist and we do not mix well with that crowd. Ask Hemingway. Ask Fitzgerald.
Nor am I an actor who makes it to Page Six and gets to walk the Red Carpet with the latest eye candy.
So Richard Gere was never a name I could drop. We never lunched at The Ivy. But if we had, I would explain that the actor who starred in a movie about King David – meaning you, Richard Gere – ought to know better. You ought to know that King David united Jerusalem.
That is the opposite of divide and the Israelis, surrounded by enemies on all sides, cannot afford to live in a world of celluloid pretend.
That was 3,000 years ago when King David made Jerusalem the eternal capital of the Jewish State of Israel.
Wasn’t that in the script?
Well it’s in the Bible…where, by the way, those “Palestinian people” never show up. They did not exist, even for cameo shots.
Cecil B. DeMille may have gotten so much wrong, but he sure had it right when he cast those slaves leaving Egypt toward The Promised Land as Hebrews. That was more than 3,500 years ago and Hebrew is the very language they speak in Israel to this day.
To buy a cup of coffee anywhere in Israel, people use the same mother tongue that availed David to write his psalms. That ought to be a clue as to the rightful owners of the Land of Israel. The Palestinians came along as a “people” somewhere in the 1960s – that’s the 1960s AD – so why they get half the Land, as people insist, beats me.
What gets me is the parade of people who go to Israel emboldened with a sense of ownership, as if it’s their business and their task to correct the Jews.
Politicians and journalists do it all the time. Now it’s actors getting into the act and no wonder Director David Lean refused to talk to actors as equals.
They come with proposals to best squeeze in millions of Arabs into a land no bigger than Vermont.
Which would then rope the Israelis into ghettos as hapless tenants. That would be ancient history all over again and a scenario like that can never sell.
In a word, they offer Israel terms of surrender. Enough of this and enough of preaching to one of the world’s oldest civilizations…from Hollywood.
If nothing else, arriving as a guest and then lecturing a host nation, and so disrespectfully, is simply bad manners.
King David would not approve and neither would Buddha.
New York-based bestselling American novelist Jack Engelhard writes a regular column for Arutz Sheva. New from the novelist: “News Anchor Sweetheart,” a novelist’s version of Fox News and Megyn Kelly. Engelhard is the author of the international bestseller “Indecent Proposal.” For books like his award-winning memoir “Escape from Mount Moriah,” he is the recipient of the Ben Hecht Award for Literary Excellence. Website: www.jackengelhard.com