Stars Try to Influence Israeli Election
By: Henry Levy
The day before the recent election in Israel on May 28, 1996, 23 American movie and TV stars took out an ad in Israel largest newspaper, Yediot Achronot, supporting the election of Shimon Peres. Although Peres is never mentioned in the ad, the headlines declare : "With you on the Road to Peace" and "Tomorrow an Entire Generation Votes for Peace" which is a takeoff on the slogan "An Entire Generation Demands Peace" which has been used by the Peace camp consisting of Peace Now, the Labor Party, Meretz, Atoni and Arab groups.
In Israel these stars are all very famous personalities since the shows these stars perform in are among the most popular on Israeli television. These people have great appeal to the Israeli public. Whether they influenced people to vote for Peres or created a backlash, causing outraged voters to select Netanyahu is unclear.
What is clear is that in this election there were major forces outside of Israel that tried to sway a foreign election. Not only were these stars involved in a last ditch effort to sway the election (when there was no time left to respond to this ad) but Bill Clinton, an American President was openly supportive of Peres as well.
If tactics such as these were used by outsiders to affect an American election the outrage from our citizens would be widespread, and of a great intensity.
How do you, our readers, feel about this. Please tell us, we would love to know.
The people in the ad standing from the right (#1) are:
- Jason Alexander (Seinfeld)
- Jillian Anderson
- David Faustino and Christina Applegate (Married with Children)
- Jerry Seinfeld
- Gabriel Curtis and Ian Ziering (Beverly Hills 90210)
- Alexandra Poll (Baywatch)
- Matthew Perry and David Schwimmer (Friends)
- Tony Danza
- Dafna Zoniger (Mellrose Place)
- Noach Weill and Juliana Margolis (ER)
- Denniz Franz (NYPD Blue)
- Sela Ward (Sisters)
- Richard Dreyfus
- Goldie Hawn
- Kurt Russell
- Norman Lear
- and Michael Bolton
The translation of the text of the advertisement geared to the Israeli public, is presented below.
We the entertainment people usually deal with powerful images. We still remember the powerful and tearful pictures taken six months ago when you wept for Prime Minister Rabin and when you dedicated yourselves by lighting candles at night to his peace vision. At that time you had inspired us with your eagerness for peace and it still influences us to this day. Because so many of you still believe in a brighter tomorrow and still don't let terror and Katysha rockets prevent you from singing peace songs in city squares, parks and in school courtyards. Because you're lighting a road to a better future when you're ready to face the present challenges. We are people for whom Israel is precious to our hearts but you are the people who will inherit the land.
Sitting where we are (in the U.S.) we can't see that Israel can be given into better hands.
Our prayers and our hopes are always with you while you confront fear and prevent terror from winning, while you don't allow those who immortalize violence and spread hysteria to loosen your hands.
Your bravery strengthens our heart while you still continue to believe in the vision of Yitzhak Rabin and we hope that our support will strengthen you in what you are doing.
Return to News ArchivesBack to Top