Earlier this week, I topped this blog with a picture of Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger speaking at an Israel Independence Day Celebration in Van Nuys, California three years ago–not thinking that I would actually post another picture of him this week and focus a blog on him.
But in the Independence Day celebration hosted by the Israel Consulate in Los Angeles yesterday, Schwarzenegger recalled how he has visited Israel many times and has seen the country “from a bodybuilding point of view, from a tourist’s point of view, from an entertainer’s point of view, and from the governor’s point of view. . . I have been a long-time friend of Israel.”
Schwarzenegger went on to say: “I love Israel. When I became governor, Israel was the first country that I visited.” The former governor then continued with his characteristic bluntness: “When I had the chance to sign a bill calling on California pension funds to divest their money from companies that do business with Iran, I immediately signed that bill. I knew that we could not send money to these crazy dictators who hate us and threaten Israel any time they have a bad day.”
He concluded by wishing Israel “another 63 years of great joy, peace and a thriving economy and everyone being happy.”
I know that many of you dear readers will ask “Why should I care what Arnold Schwarzenegger says?” My answer is simple: Israel needs all the friends it can get–and especially ones who are willing to stand up and talk straight about what Israel brings to the world. There are precious few politicians willing to do that, and Arnold deserves our thanks.
Addendum: I had the pleasure last night of introducing the Israel Consul General for the Pacific Northwest Region, Akiva Tor, to a warmly receptive audience in Northern California. A consummate diplomat, Tor gave an excellent overview of Israel’s perspective regarding the democracy movements in various Arabic countries. His talk was a mixture of pessimism (Arab democratic movements usually do not end well for Israel–witness what happened when elections took place in Gaza), and optimism (Israel is strong and can weather the coming Palestinian diplomatic tsunami at the United Nations). He also thanked us for successfully stopping the BDS attempt to boycott Israel Israeli products at our local Food Co-op. Remember the name of ‘Akiva Tor’–he will go far in the Israeli government in coming years.
israelstreet fact of the day:
Despite years of efforts including hundreds of rabidly anti-Israel speakers on campuses throughout the United States, the BDS movement has failed to induce any North American college or university to divest from Israel. More than this, with one small exception, they have been defeated in every attempt at Food Co-ops and food chains. But we should not be complacent; BDS is still around and fighting harder than ever to spread its perverted message. If they appear in your community, don’t just sit there–get up and do something to stop them!