Actor Richard Gere is still getting praise & opprobrium for expressing objections to Israel’s most egregious human rights crimes against Palestinians when he toured the West Bank last March. He was in Israel to promote his film by an Israeli director & despite equivocations about how Israel would use him to legitimize itself.

Gere is a long-time supporter of Israel & since he’s around my age has had decades to inform himself if he’s serious about justice & human rights. What about we hold the praise till we see what Gere does now that he’s witnessed the apartheid conditions first hand? Will he speak out & honor the cultural boycott? Or keep double-talking & trying to play both sides of the street? Is it unreasonable to ask him to take a firm stand? Not at all, since he presents himself as a defender of human rights. You can’t make that claim if you do the equivocating thing about Israel.