Oprah Winfrey will be arriving in Israel for a solidarity visit in the near future, the queen of American talk shows announced Monday during an event at Manhattan’s Waldorf Astoria Hotel.
In the event, Winfrey was honored by the Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity for her contribution to promoting humanitarian issues.
Wiesel called on Winfrey to visit Israel, where “the major war against terror is currently taking place.”
In her speech, Winfrey said she sympathized with the suffering of the people of Israel, and that she intended to accept Wiesel’s invitation and come with him to Israel.
Israel’s UN Ambassador Danny Gillerman, who attended the event, said that a visit of a figure with such influence on the international media could help bring an end to the indifference towards the terror threat faced by Israelis.
In the abstract, of course, there’s nothing wrong with Oprah visiting Israel. Moreover, as strongly as I disagree with Wiesel in this area, I give anyone who lived through what he did a free pass to be as crazy as they wish.
But. If there’s one thing confused America doesn’t need, it’s Oprah giving them a one-sided presentation of this issue. In particular we better hope the Oprah Army doesn’t learn Israel is where “the major war against terror is currently taking place.”
So, peace groups in Israel are asking everyone to take a minute and write to Oprah to ask her to also visit the West Bank and Gaza…and then pass it along to as many friends as possible. Here’s what I said:
Dear Ms. Winfrey,
I’m writing to ask you to please visit the West Bank and/or Gaza as well as Israel during your upcoming trip to the area.
I commend you for your sympathy with the suffering of regular Israelis. However, it’s important to remember the even greater suffering of regular Palestinians. I urge you to use your program to give a platform to the many people on both sides who wish to live together in peace.
(Thanks to Dennis for telling me about this.)