‘Use Your Celebrity for Good’

by Jay Nordlinger

The other day, we were sitting around, discussing what to editorialize on. Someone said, “Let’s do the celebrities and what they’re saying about Gaza.” I said, “No, who cares about these bims? They get enough attention as it is.” My colleague said, “No, they’re important. People listen to what they have to say, whether we like it or not. And we should praise the ones who are stepping up to the plate.”

My colleague was quite right. Jon Voight, the actor, is one who has stepped up big-time. He responded to a group of celebs who had signed a letter calling Israel’s actions “genocide.” Voight said, “I am asking all my peers who signed that poison letter against Israel to examine their motives. Can you take back the fire of anti-Semitism that is raging all over the world now?” He continued, “You have been able to become famous and have all your monetary gains because you are in a democratic country: America. Do you think you would have been able to accomplish this in Iran, Syria, Lebanon, et cetera?” Voight added, “You had a great responsibility to use your celebrity for good. Instead, you have defamed the only democratic country of goodwill in the Middle East: Israel.”

Joan Rivers, the comedian, has stepped up too. Of a couple of anti-Israel (and trashy) starlets, she said, “These girls should shut up and put on pretty clothes and get themselves off of drugs.” Great advice. (Not just for two, but for millions.)

P.S. I have referred to Joan Rivers as a “comedian.” I once heard Phyllis Diller talk about the differences between a “comedian,” a “comedienne,” and a “comic.” She liked “comic,” as I recall. I’m afraid I can’t remember the reasoning.

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