March 23, 2011, - 3:33 pm
Earlier today, I posted an item about actress Elizabeth Taylor, who died today at 78, and how she successfully fought in court to keep the relatives of a Holocaust survivor from getting back their Van Gogh painting plundered from the Nazis. But reader/attorney Jonathan Grant commented that Taylor auctioned off jewelry to help Israel in one of Israel’s wars. I have been unable to find anything on that (at one auction to which she and Richard Burton contributed a large amount of money for Israel, others donated jewelry–so pretty close), but I’ve found several other things that cause me to revise how I will remember her. Sounds like she was pretty courageous most of the time when it comes to Israel and the Middle East. The same goes for Facebook friend Alice Lemos (join me on Facebook), who pointed out some things I’ve looked into, including Taylor’s ban by Muslim countries. Here are a few things Elizabeth Taylor did, which deserve to be remembered and recognized (all of which, except the last one, are from the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, a very liberal organization not usually trustworthy, but in this case, it seems accurate):
Elizabeth Taylor & Richard Burton @ Israel’s Western Wall
* Fought for the release of Soviet Jewry, including Refusenik Ida Nudel, from persecution in the Communist USSR;
* Condemned U.N. “Zionism is racism” resolution;
* Visited Israel repeatedly and was close to Prime Minister Menachem Begin of Likud;
* Sold Israel Bonds and was banned (along with her movies) in most Arab/Muslim countries because of it–she also purchased over $100,000 in Israel Bonds, in the late ’50s when Israel badly needed the capital;
* Canceled a trip to Moscow because of the Soviet Union’s anti-Israel stand;
* Offered herself up as a hostage instead of the Jewish hostages being held in Entebbe. She did this when she was in Israel raising funds for JNF–Jewish National Fund–which at the time was a great organization, which reclaims land and plants trees. Now, it has been compromised by pro-Palestinian activity and appeasement.
* Gave a lot of money for one of her three favorite major charities, Israel War Victims Fund. When Taylor auctioned off her jewelry at Christie’s, the money went to her various favorite charities, so maybe this is what Jonathan Grant was referring to.
Because of all of these things, I will adjust my view of Liz Taylor. Sounds like she mostly tried to do the right thing, though the fighting the family of Holocaust survivors to keep them from their Nazi-plundered Van Gogh is, indeed, a huge black mark.
Thanks Jonathan and Alice for enlightening me! When I’m wrong, I’m wrong.
Elizabeth Taylor, Rest In Peace.
Tags: Elizabeth Taylor, Entebbe, Ida Nudel, Islam, Israel, Israel Bonds, Israel War Victims Fund, Jewish, Jewish National Fund, Jews, JNF, Muslim countries, Muslims, pro-Israel, Soviety Jewry, Zionism