Actor Richard Gere is working hard to get-out-the-vote — among Palestinians in their upcoming Presidential elections, and they’re dismayed.
Don’t the Palestinians hate the U.S. enough already? Is there a danger Osama bin Laden will consider Gere’s TV spots an unspeakable outrage against the Arabs? You know what they say about the road to hell being paved with (fill in the rest yourself). But we digress:
Well known for his vocal support of Tibet’s Dalai Lama and celebrated for his captivating good looks, Gere urged Palestinians in a television commercial broadcast ahead of Sunday’s poll in the West Bank and Gaza to get out to vote for a new president to succeed Yasser Arafat , who died in November.
"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 says in the English-language advertisement. He repeats the phrase, "Get out and vote" in Arabic.
However, Palestinians are less than impressed by Gere coming into their region and telling them what they need to do. Part of it is: a lot of them don’t know who he is:
But many voters, already struggling with the labyrinthine politics of the West Bank and Gaza, say they have never heard of the actor who swept Debra Winger off her feet as a dashing Navy officer in the 1982 film "An Officer and a Gentleman" and were even less interested when they were told he’s an American.
"I don’t even know who the candidates are other than Abu Mazen (Mahmoud Abbas), let alone this Gere," Gaza soap factory worker Manar an-Najar told Reuters Wednesday.
"We don’t need the Americans’ intervention. We know who to elect. Not like them — they elected a moron."
Hey: they DO know what democracy is all about…