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Richard Gere and His Co-Stars

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Peace activist/actor Richard Gere has appointed himself spokesman for the entire world, and in that capacity he’s urging Palestinians to get out the vote: Actor Richard Gere, ‘speaking for the entire world,’ urges Palestinians to vote.

A pro-peace group is hoping that a potent mix of Hollywood glamour and religion will motivate Palestinians to vote in next week’s presidential elections — and their star attraction is actor Richard Gere. …

Gere, together with an Islamic cleric and a Greek Orthodox Church official, recorded a public service announcement calling on the Palestinians to vote in the Jan. 9 election to replace Yasser Arafat.

“Hi, I’m Richard Gere and I’m speaking for the entire world. We’re with you during this election time. It’s really important: Get out and vote,” Gere said, according to a transcript of the announcement obtained by The Associated Press.

Gere ended the 80-second announcement produced by the pro-peace group, “One Voice,” with an appeal in Arabic: “Take part in the elections.”

Gere’s co-stars in this public service announcement, presumably also speaking for the entire world, have previously urged Palestinians to wipe out Israel and finish the work of Adolf Hitler:

Joining Gere in the announcement are Sheik Taissir Tamimi, the head of the Islamic court in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, and Atallah Hanna, the spokesman of the Greek Orthodox Church in Jerusalem.

In the broadcast transcript Tamimi said, “To the Palestinian people, it is a vital process, national necessity and religious obligation.”

“We want democracy in our country, a place with freedom, and freedom of speech,” Hanna said in the ad. …

Even though he evidently is not familiar with Hollywood superstars, Hanna has his own heroes, according to the Jerusalem Post, which quoted him as praising suicide bombers: ‘These martyrdom freedom fighters are the heroes of the people and we are proud of them. We categorically reject suspicious attempts to cast suspicion on their deeds. They are not suicidal, as some are claiming. Nor are they terrorists, as others are claiming. They are resisting the occupation.’ According to the report, he also called for the liberation of Palestine ‘from the [Mediterranean] sea to the [Jordan] river.’

One of Gere’s co-stars, Sheikh Tamimi, was quoted in 1994 as saying: “the Jews are destined to be persecuted, humiliated and tortured forever, and it is a Muslim duty to see to it that they reap their due. No petty arguments must be allowed to divide us. Where Hitler failed, we must succeed.”

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