The stars came out to support for Sderot this week. The L.A. Jewish Journal’s Dikla Kadosh was at the “Live For Sderot” concert/fundraiser at the Wilshire Theater in Beverly Hills. Also in attendance, she reported, were Sylvester Stallone, Mayim Bialik, Maria Conchita Alonzo, Valerie Harper and Hollywood’s No. 1 Judeophile, Jon Voight.
(Ha’aretz has video from interviews with Stallone and other participants here.)
But politics were also a part of the mix. Kadosh reports:
Presidential candidates Hillary Clinton, John McCain and Barak Obama each recorded statements addressing the situation in Sderot as well as Israel’s 60th anniversary of independence. Hillary was articulate as always. Obama was booed loudly, much to my surprise. And McCain, who received roaring cheers, pronounced Sderot “sharat” and seemed to be having trouble making eye contact with the camera.
I wouldn’t take it too personally if I were Obama. I recall being at a New York pro-Israel rally shortly after the outbreak of the intifada in 2000 at which then-Senate candidate Hillary Clinton was vigorously booed. The fact is there’s a certain right-wing subset of the pro-Israel activist crowd that’s unforgiving of any transgression (actually, what was Obama’s transgression again?), doesn’t have much use for common courtesy (or diplomacy, for that matter), happens to be very vocal and is determined to let no good deed go unpunished. (That will teach you to show your face at a pro-Israel event, potential future president of the United States of America!)
Still, ultimately, as Kadosh notes, the evening wasn’t about politics or celebrity:
The most poignant moment of the entire affair was when one of the teenagers from Sderot spoke on behalf of the delegation of children who came to L.A to tell their stories.
Clearly nervous and visibly emotional, he said, “I don’t know for how long I will have to endure this reality, but I do know that I will never be alone. Here, I found you. Here, I found a family.”
The crowd stood in a prolonged, thunderous ovation, nearly moved to tears; moved to internalize the plight of Sderot. Which was precisely the point of “Live for Sderot.”
See Kadosh’s full post on the event.