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Leonard Nimoy Invokes Classic Star Trek Episode In Plea For Middle East Peace June 6, 2011

by TrekMovie.com Staff , Filed under: Celebrity,Nimoy,TOS,Trek Franchise , trackback

Today Star Trek’s Leonard Nimoy has taken on a big issue, that of peace in the Middle East. In plea to help move things forward between Israelis and Palestinians, Nimoy invoked the classic Star Trek episode "Let That Be Your Last Battlefield." Details below.

 

Nimoy invokes Star Trek for Middle East peace

Today Leonard Nimoy issued a letter in support of Americans For Peace Now, an organization dedicated to peace in the Middle East. The letter calls for a return to negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians and endorses the two state solution to the decades long stalemate. To help illustrate his point, Nimoy invoked a classic episode of Star Trek, saying:

You might recall the episode in the original Star Trek series called, "Let That Be Your Last Battlefield." Two men, half black, half white, are the last survivors of their peoples who have been at war with each other for thousands of years, yet the Enterprise crew could find no differences separating these two raging men.

But the antagonists were keenly aware of their differences–one man was white on the right side, the other was black on the right side. And they were prepared to battle to the death to defend the memory of their people who died from the atrocities committed by the other.

The story was a myth, of course, and by invoking it I don’t mean to belittle the very real issues that divide Israelis and Palestinians. What I do mean to suggest is that the time for recriminations is over. Assigning blame over all other priorities is self-defeating. Myth can be a snare. The two sides need our help to evade the snare and search for a way to compromise.

This is the message that Americans for Peace Now seeks to spread. I’m a strong supporter of APN and the work it does. It is a leading voice for Americans who support Israel and know that a negotiated peace will ensure Israel’s security, prosperity and continued viability as a Jewish and democratic state.

The season 3 episode "Let That Be Your Last Battlefield," written by Gene Coon (under the pseudonym Lee Cronin), is often cited as an example of how Star Trek would use allegory to take on big issues. In this case the issue of racism, which was hotly debated in 1960s America. Here is the key scene as described by Nimoy.

You can read Leonard Nimoy’s full letter at peacenow.org/leonard_nimoy.

 

Comments

1. John E. Kirk - June 6, 2011

Love this episode, much more than I did at 12 years old.

2. Phil - June 6, 2011

Leonard, you are a great guy, but please….don’t.

3. Punkspocker - June 6, 2011

God, I worship this man

4. Commodore Mike of the Terran Empire - June 6, 2011

That was the Best Ep of season 3 of TOS. Also the top 5 of all of TOS.
But in the Middle East it will pretty much be up to Palastine to call for peace. Israil has many times tried for peace but Palastine or at least the hard liners won’t stop till Isreal is wiped out.

5. Michael Hall - June 6, 2011

Sorry, Mr. Nimoy. I respect you and Trek’s overall legacy in promoting peace through subtle allegory enormously. . . but “Let That Be Your Last Battlefield” was about as subtle as a sledgehammer, almost entirely bereft of real wit or the complexities of America’s intractable issues regarding race. Good intentions may count for a lot, but what this episode demonstrates more than anything else is that by Trek’s third season even as gifted a writer/producer as Gene L. Coon was essentially running on empty.

(That said, as a fellow Jew I heartily concur with Nimoy’s urgent plea for sanity to return to the Middle East peace process. As heavy-handed as it is, LTBYLB is correct about this much: both sides will learn to live together, or they will certainly die together.)

6. Andy Patterson - June 6, 2011

While it’s never been one of my favorite episodes it had the great Frank Gorshin in it. It was fun watching Frank run through the halls of the Enterprise at the end. Deck after deck, all exhausted in a very Gorshin way.

7. Thomas Jensen - June 6, 2011

I respect Mr. Nimoy, but this call for peace is completely simplistic with regard to the episode. Historically, this land belongs to Israel and dividing the capital of the country won’t bring peace, but further calamity and destruction.

8. Andy Patterson - June 6, 2011

Was Bele in danger of committing the ‘man act’ by transporting Loki across galaxy lines? Is that why his request was denied?

9. Generally Pleased - June 6, 2011

I think this sweet. A sweet attempt.

10. ThisGuy - June 6, 2011

Thomas Jensen, your view of history is narrowsighted

11. jas_montreal - June 6, 2011

The approach the United States always holds is one of taking sides. If the peace process is to move forward, then it has to be a multilateral focus and not a “taking sides” process.

Hopefully a peaceful solution can be found without offending both sides. But it seems like an impossible task.

12. rm10019 - June 6, 2011

The ‘Holy Land’ should be a neutral site belonging to no one state. make it the Organia of our planet.

13. Red Dead Ryan - June 6, 2011

Actually, for a number of years now, the U.S has called for a two-state solution. The problem is Iran, who continues to arm Hezbollah and Hamas and vows to wipe out Israel with a nuclear bomb. I don’t think peace can exist until Iran is dealt with.

14. RobertZ - June 6, 2011

Peace and Hope for the Future depends on each of us maturing beyond our pasts and our forebears shortsightedness.

Partly what STAR TREK is about.

15. Magic_Al - June 6, 2011

The allegory may be simplistic, but is that not the point? To encourage people to let go of group identity and see the people on the other side of the divide as being alike in humanity? Identity politics are always based on misplaced priorities and lies. Conflicts continue because we choose for them to continue.

16. Jerry Silber - June 6, 2011

Hi folks: Seems to me many times actors and other people who are notable in the public’s view express their political views. I think it’s in bad taste. I won’t publicly take sides with what’s going on in the Middle East. I do know the cultures there are thousands of years old and are different than ours. It’s not just about borders. A lot of these cultures and peoples go beyond borders. I think the government of the United States has been wrong to interfere for so long since the 1950s and 60s and from then on in the 70s. We were wrong to think we could get petrol from there cheap and the peoples there were stupid and uncivilized. I think the government of the United States was very stupid to underestimate them and then give them weapons etc. This had a domino affect which added to the problems. It was no good for the Middle Eastern countries, including Israel. Slapping on democracy for to get petrol was wrong. Maybe we could have avoided 9/11. How many people have to die before we stop exploiting? Maybe Israel and the rest of the peoples of the Middle East have to solve their problems together without the US interfering and making things worse.
As much as I applaud Leonard Nimoy’s intentions, he should keep his opinions to himself as a private citizen. If one wants to do what they can to help out in a humanitarian way in Middle East, that wonderful. Other than that, stay the hell out of influencing their politics. They have enough to deal with as it is. As the great George Carlin said, Keep thy religion – I add – politics. to thy self.

17. Nylan - June 6, 2011

Read all of the above posts, look in a mirror and tell yourself that we are not an insane species. Doomed for so many reasons that they are without measure, we will never learn to live together in peace. For some, including me, this is sad, tiring and depressing.

18. Basement Blogger - June 6, 2011

“Let That Be Your Last Battlefield” is one of the episodes I cite to demonstrate that Star Trek is intelligent, that it has something important to say. Yes, it’s too literal. It’s not perfect. But the show was striving to say something important about prejudice. If we don’t deal with our hatreds, learn to get along, we may end up killing ourselves.

I applaud Leonard Nimoy for lending his voice to Americans For Peace Now. Peace in the Middle East could stem the tide of terrrorism.

19. Harry Ballz - June 6, 2011

As soon as religious belief becomes involved, logic goes out the window.

20. Keachick (rose pinenut) - June 6, 2011

“16. Jerry Silber – June 6, 2011
Hi folks: Seems to me many times actors and other people who are notable in the public’s view express their political views.
As much as I applaud Leonard Nimoy’s intentions, he should keep his opinions to himself as a private citizen.”

Unbelievable! I am not an American, but I have heard that you have a Constitution(?) which guarantees all its citizens right of freedom of speech and expression. I am also able to express my opinions about politics and religion in my country, even though we do not have the US Constitution here. Just what are you saying, Jerry Silber? That Leonard Nimoy should not say anything about an issue that causes him great concern, because it is “in bad taste”. What has his being an actor got to do with anything?

Perhaps I have this wrong, but I thought that the USA was supposed to be a democracy, similar to Britain or NZ.

Please – correct me if I am wrong.

Anyway, my meagre understanding is that the divisions began with the Romans burning down the Jewish temple in Jerusalem in about 70AD and kicking out the indigenous Jewish inhabitants from their land, causing the diaspora…
The increasing need for oil in the last 50 years, most of which comes from the Middle East, has complicated things, but whatever the problems have been/are between the Jews and Palestinians, I’m not sure they have much, if anything, to do with oil.

21. chrisfawkes.com - June 6, 2011

If the Palestinians lay down their weapons there would be peace. If Israel lay down their weapons there would be bloodshed.

22. Iowagirl - June 7, 2011

Conflicts, even the most complicated ones, originate from simple human motivation. In this respect, “Let that be your last battlefield” may have been a blatant, but nevertheless spot-on episode. And it shows how topical TOS was then and how prevailing its message is today.

23. thebiggfrogg - June 7, 2011

“Let that Be Your Last Battlefield” was one of the times where low budget paid off as it suited the allegory. In the TNG era it would involve some variation of ridges.

It was not subtle, but it hit the underlying stupidity of these perceived differences and what they result in. The ludicrous makeup went a long way into illustrating the ludicrous ideas.

That said I won’t get political here as I’m sure this thread will erupt into a flame war shortly. Needless to say there is plenty of blame to go around on both sides of the I-P conflict in my opinion.

24. thebiggfrogg - June 7, 2011

16. Carlin reference=AWESOMENESS (I love the Ten Commandments bit!)

25. steve - June 7, 2011

Wise words from Leonard Nimoy. A radical change in US foreign policies benefitting Israel would also help…

26. CmdrR - June 7, 2011

When this ep first aired, the Six Day War was still fresh in the minds of all. Of course, the underlying conflict and bloodshed was already 3,000 years old (give or take a millennium.)
While I would be overjoyed to see a real peace process come to the region, I find it hard to believe it will happen. Netanyahu is not a peacemaker. He’s a soldier. The Palestinians hold too great a love for those who embrace terror tactics. It’s not a place for doves.
Having said all that, I can only wish all sides (including the idiots here in the US who have so much to lose from terror attacks and shooting wars) the best.
Whatever that is.

27. Victor Hugo - June 7, 2011

I think they all could move here to Brazil, where´s there´s plenty of land.

Besides, all those “hystorical” people they babble about never existed anyway. :P

28. rogue_alice - June 7, 2011

I am not convinced that the episode was that lightweight.

The early ’60′s represented some of the best and worst of our history.

In a time when blacks only got half a bus (the backend), could only use segregated water fountains, could not sit at lunch counters…and on and on…maybe we needed a heavy handed message to get a point across.

Sometimes you have to use a railroad spike and sledge hammer instead of a pushpin.

29. Schiefy - June 7, 2011

#19–Harry, I am afraid the Middle East has very little to do with religion…it is much more basic than that: hate.

While I am no expert (and obviously even the experts have no clue here) religion in the region has little bearing on either sides views (being a Jew does not mean you embrace the Jewish religion any more than being Arab means you follow Islam or either ethnic group follows any religion at all).

As with most social/political issues this goes beyond religion in that we often share the same goals (in this case, peace) while disagreeing on how to achieve the desired goal. Religion may inform one’s opinion toward how to arrive at the stated goal (and in this case, most religions would agree peace is a good goal–individuals may not express their religion well but even atheists can be “irrational” if I understand your comment) but it is usually only a small part of the problem.

I have known many families where there is no “peace” and religion does not have to have anything to do with it–so why expect nations or people groups to be any different. My faith teaches me that we all are flawed and contribute to the problems of the world…but it also teaches me that we can be a part of the solution and in that shared value I find Star Trek offers that same hope or ideal (although I might differ on how or why we get there).

While there is no denying some awful things have happened in the name of some religion I think we must always ask whether it is the cause or merely the dressing used to cover up a more simple motivation such as hate, selfishness, or even plain evil (if you are inclined to accept such a concept).

If Mr. Nimoy can use his stature to influence or challenge people in the Middle East (and we in our own country) then I say allow him to speak out. Because of our freedoms we can choose to agree or disagree (respectfully I hope) and offer our own opinions to further mutual solutions in the spirit of Trek (and/or your own personal religious beliefs).

30. DS9 Rocks - June 7, 2011

The end of Nimoy’s letter says: “…that a negotiated peace will ensure Israel’s security, prosperity and continued viability as a Jewish and democratic state.”

You know that in “diplomatic-speak” calling Israel a “Jewish state” already takes Israel’s side in the negotiations (i.e., by denying Palestinians the right of return, one of their cornerstone issues)? If that were solved, we’d be half way to peace (which may still be far, but closer).

For the record, I support Israel as a Jewish state (so, Nimoy’s letter is fine by me). But want to point this out.

31. DS9 Rocks - June 7, 2011

I also want to point out that this is probably the most civil discussion of Middle East and race on the Internet that I have ever seen.

Bravo, TrekMovie users!!

32. trekker 5 - June 7, 2011

I support Israel!!

33. trekker 5 - June 7, 2011

i also think it is very awesome that Mr.Nimoy would do this.

34. Phil - June 7, 2011

Why all the chatter about losing group identity? The lesson of WWI, which was applied after WWII, is that to avoid conflict we need to engage the people and move beyond looking at different groups as enemies. The Palastinian people need a brave leader who will stand up, speak for all their people, and say “no more missles, we have decided that peace is the better path”. It’s just silly to assume that the various ethnic identities of the world will collectively decide to discard who they are, it’s reasonable to expect that they will want to embrace the good, while leaving the bad behind. Those who fought world wars in the 20th century have figured it out, with different degrees of success, it’s not an unreasonable expectation for the Israelis and Palastinians, either.

35. RenderedToast - June 7, 2011

The bias in his statement towards Israel being a Jewish state is significant. Why is it that no voices have ever stood up and said that Israel is an inherently flawed concept, conceived and executed at a time when the opinions and rights of those who were in that land – whether you believe them to be rightful residents of that land or not – did not matter, and it was more important for the religious right in the halls of US Government to ensure that Israel existed so that the Rapture could happen as prophecy dictated, as well as just wanting to have a base of operations in the area.

That doesn’t mean Israel should be shut down, god knows that can never happen now, but it might be a step in the right direction to admit that this has never been and still isn’t only about creating a Jewish nation.

36. The Geek that Gets Laid Often - June 7, 2011

Until the rest of the world agrees to view the government of Israel as just that; a government – not a creed and not a religion and not an extension of a people who were grossly disenfranchised in the first half of the last century, it will not be held accountable by much of the Western world who will continue to see any opposition to their policies as anti-Semitic or pro-Islam, pro-terrorist, etc. Indeed, many Palestinians who take up arms feel justified as their Apartheid-like existence seems A-OK with most of us here in the happy, democratic west, that continues to enable Israel’s government and turn a blind eye to its aggressive subjugation of all Palestinians.

Are there terrorist forces within the Palestinian community? You betcha, but history has shown time and again that meeting such resistance with oppressive force just fans the flames of hatred. If Israel’s government ever gets tired of sending kids out to fight an unending struggle, it’s going to have to make concessions. Then again, they could just say f*ck it and kick-start some old-fashioned genocide. Hmmm… decisions, decisions…

37. DS9 IN PRIME TIME - June 7, 2011

thats a good one

38. Desstruxion - June 7, 2011

That episode was crap.

39. Greenberg - June 7, 2011

“Historically, this land belongs to Israel”

BZZZT, wrong.

40. Tanner Waterbury - June 7, 2011

You know, I had an interesting thought: Suppose Bele and Loki arrived during the DS9 period, and Sisko were to settle the dispute. You’d think he’d react as calmly as Kirk when he found out that Bele was a hard driven racist?

41. roy - June 7, 2011

Perhaps the United States should threaten to cut off financial aid to Israel. Then perhaps the Israelis would be more willing to realistically negotiate with the Palestinians instead of one road block issue after another such as Israeli settlement incursion into Palestinian areas, the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their ancestoral homeland. These are only some of the burning issues, but Nimoy none the less isn’t the first celebrity to talk about the Arab/Israeli conflict and he certainly wont be the last.

42. factchecker - June 7, 2011

Enemies on all sides calling for your destruction…

…Iran going nuclear…

…a betrayal by the U.S. President….

…God help you Israel.

43. DAK - June 7, 2011

Nothing wrong with any persons-famous or not bringing, up any issue and putting it out there for all of us to think about.

I like to read what everybody said/wrote. And I read them all.

In the theater Broadway Show piece called “Rent” it was said…”The opposite of war is not peace, it is creativity”.

As an artist I relate.

We all need to create our Peace as individuals and societies.

In the case of Israel there is great history to show who was there, evidence to prove what was real, and agreement of those facts. But Peace can not be found there due to those who choose to ignore History and rewrite it as an insult to us all. Knowledge is power. We ALL need to have all the information at the same time so we can ALL agree and recognize right from wrong.

P.S.-
when the U.N. returned Israel to the Jews at the end of WWll it was the idea/plan/intent to give the defined shape/form/measured whole of Israel back to the Jews who lost it by enemies who forced them out like the Babilonians & the Romans. In the past when Israel was lost to the Jews and the Jews returned no one said block them or its ours not theirs. Everybody knew the Jews lost Israel and would be back for it when they could. And there was no challenge to Jews or Israel.

Why is there such Arab hostility today when they called each other “Brothers” at times in the past?

They choose to bother the Jews instead of getting respect from the huge amount of Arab related people/land in Africa & Middle East area.

There are no unanswered questions. History is recorded and accepted by those who wish to learn. Those who deny or rewrite history are hurting us all.

Time for the Human Race to “Grow Up” and create Peace.

Make it so!

44. Battle-scarred Sciatica - June 7, 2011

@19

I am with you there Ballzy.

No matter what people say, religion always has something to do with everything. either that or claims of land ownership.

We truly are a royally screwed race who have set about the destruction of our only home and there are no other-worldly beings out there about to come and save us.

How wonderfully miserable.

But on the plus side my football team (Norwich City) got promoted to the Premiership. See- there is a light at the end of the tunnel!

Nimoy is a good bloke. I’d like to buy him a beer and talk about his hit “Bilbo Baggins”. Great stuff.

45. RetroWarbird - June 7, 2011

Leonard’s always been a classy guy, and I’ve always appreciated that Trek Actors tend to be more than actors … they really tend to embody the same spirit and idealism that Roddenberry’s vision set out to use.

On an aside … man I loved Frank Gorshin in that episode. I recently re-watched some old ’66 Batman and had forgotten just how cool he was. Guy stole scenery from Cesar Romero’s Joker and Burgess Meredith’s Penguin like it was easy … you know he’s doing something right.

46. Think again - June 7, 2011

Wow……I now respect this guy even more — if that’s possible. I especially appreciate how this respected Jewish American called for Israelis to stop building settlements on the land of a future Palestinian State. Israeli settlements are a serious obstacle to peace.

Live Long and Prosper

47. Jerry Silber - June 7, 2011

Hi folks:
It was perceived I was trying to gag Mr. Nimoy on his opinion of the situation with Israel, the Palestinians, Middle East, and the organization he feels represents his point of view. We are fortunate to have the freedoms in the United States and other countries with democracies. We can anything we damned well please. Still, I feel there is a level of responsibility someone such as Leonard Nimoy has in his position. If he were Leonard Nimoy – ordinary person, we wouldn’t care as much. Mr. Nimoy is a public figure and has a responsibility to not take sides. As I mentioned in my post, there are so many people “popping off” thinking what they have to say is so important. I have my P.O.V, but the point is the situation in the Middle East is very precarious. As it is in Israel, not all Israelis agree on how to solve their situation with the Palestinians. The Israeli government is trying to make a decent attempt. Israel is a democratic country. Not all Israelis are angels, murderers, crazies, etc. Same holds true for the Palestinians. Countries outside of the Middle East should not complicate things with their own agendas. All parties involved should be held accountable equally. If Mr. Nimoy feels he wants to endorse something in particular, do it as a private citizen. Don’t throw in an episode of Trek to think it’s the way to solve the situation. No – it isn’t. Sorry – it isn’t all that simple. There are so many parties involved in the Middle East wanting to undermine peace and sanity which have nothing to do with Israel. These are people who use religion to cover their schemes and agendas and stir up trouble. This has to stop. If Iran’s government is reckless, causing problems for its people, and countries around it, this is something for the UN to address. Some people consider the UN to have ” no teeth”. That’s an in excusable cop out. Sorry!!. This organization exists to do good for all parties involved, than it should do it. It’s being dysfunctional is inexcusable. If they are going to be biased and attack Israel,and not see all sides of what’s going on,this needs to be addressed.Iran’s government needs to be warned by the UN. It should not be just the US or Israel alone.

48. Keachick (rose pinenut) - June 8, 2011

“Still, I feel there is a level of responsibility someone such as Leonard Nimoy has in his position. If he were Leonard Nimoy – ordinary person, we wouldn’t care as much. Mr. Nimoy is a public figure and has a responsibility to not take sides. As I mentioned in my post, there are so many people “popping off” thinking what they have to say is so important.”

“…so many people “popping off” thinking…”

Yes. That’s the nature of democracy, for better and/or worse. What about the level of responsibility Nimoy, or anybody else for that matter, may feel he has that means he has a need to speak out on issues that cause him great concern? It is just as possible that he (Nimoy) may feel he is abrogating his responsibility as a Jew, as a citizen living in a democracy and indeed of the world, not to say something, not to seek to find a way of helping solve problems even if it is using an episode from a television programme that is relevant to what is happening now.

It is extraordinarily difficult for anyone to remain completely and resolutely neutral, unless they chose to remain totally ignorant of anything to do with an issue. Most people will naturally lean towards one side or another and it is only natural that Leonard Nimoy’s concern would be for Israel, first and foremost, a nation he shares a history, a racial, cultural and religious ancestry. However, I also think he is aware of the needs, problems and concerns of the other party involved and is seeking a way through, an acceptable compromise that both parties can live with, and a way of helping people on both sides to let go of past hatreds, sorrows and vengeful desires.

I am sorry to have to say this – I find the Middle East and Africa two very *boring* places…from the time I can barely remember all I have heard is that there has been conflict, fighting, refugee camps, suicide bombers etc (Israel/Palestine etc) and famine, draught, starvation, violent tribal conflicts and evidence of genocide, more refugee camps, “birth place” of HIV/AIDS (African continent). Very sad and troubled (as well as troubling) places.

49. Phil - June 8, 2011

@48. Don’t think I’d agree that a celebrity has an obligation to remain neutral. I say “celebrity” because we have lots of examples of famous people spouting off about a subject they know nothing about, or are horriblly mis-informed about the topic they profess to embrace. Having said that I doubt that Mr. Nimoy falls into that catagory, and as such I respect his opinion. I have no issue supporting Israel, for one reason only, they are the only functioning democracy in the reason. Likewise, there is reason for thoughtful people like Mr. Nimoy to speak out now – to engage those involved in the “Arab Spring” uprisings, to encourage them to also embrace democracy. Sure, the transition will have problems, but everyone in the reagion will be better for it in the long haul.

Oh, and the UN is fairly dysfunctional. Case in point, NPR pointed out a few days ago that Syria was supposed to assume a leadership role on the UN’s Human Rights Council. Enough said.

50. The Geek that Gets Laid Often - June 8, 2011

The UN was robbed of much of its clout when the US, under George W. Bush, basically told the world that the collective opinions of its member states didn’t matter (in regard to the Iraq War).

The UN as a body is only as powerful as we perceive it to be. If we all say it’s worthless, then it is, and the word is a much poorer place for it.

51. Red Dead Ryan - June 8, 2011

50.

The U.N lost all credibility long before George. W. Bush became president. The oil-for-food scandal and U.N peacekeepers mass raping the women of the Congo. Plus the U.N supports the Syrian leadership and has done little for poor people around the world. The U.N is inherently anti-Semitic, allowing itself to become a forum for Iranian President Ahmadinejad’s anti-Israeli hate propaganda.

As for Leonard Nimoy, being a Jew born in Israel DOES give him the clout as well as the right to speak up about the subject of peace in the Middle East. I’m certain Mr. Nimoy had family members who were killed during the Holocaust and as such knows all too well what hatred does to people.

52. Vultan - June 8, 2011

#51

I agree with you, RDR, but Nimoy was born in Boston, not Israel.
That’s according to his bio on wikipedia anyway…

53. Jerry Silber - June 8, 2011

Hi folks:

Some of you are of the opinion there is nothing wrong for Mr. Nimoy to be expressing his opinion. I agree as far as Mr. Nimoy – the private citizen. My concern is to for the parties involved – Israel, Palestinians, other Middle Eastern countries around her – where it’s life and death – not just politics. I think we can all agree we are dealing with cultures going back thousands of years. The region there is not just determined by boundry lines of nation -states. We have Sunnis, Shiites, Druis, Jews, etc. Americans and western countries getting impatient because peace isn’t happening fast enough there isn’t going to make things better there. Why are they getting impatient? Is it because they want the petroleum? Let’s try to stop exploiting. being “wise asses” thinking our culture is”better than theirs” etc. IMHO – part of why 9-11 happened is because we took our freedoms for granted and got kicked on our asses for it. We need to understand the cultures and peoples of the Middle East when dealing with them.

What gets me it the criticism of the UN, but no solution to fix a dysfunctional organization. Say what you want, but if we don’t want the United States to be the police of the world, than lets make something work. What ticks me off the most is criticism, but no attempt at a constructive approach. The role we should all play is to tell our politicians our concerns, make sure their ethics aren’t compromised, and help to provide a forum where all parties involved can work their problems out without outside interference.

54. Keachick (rose pinenut) - June 8, 2011

“@48. Don’t think I’d agree that a celebrity has an obligation to remain neutral…”

Do or don’t agree?

Anyway, all sorts of people come out and say all sorts of stuff about all sorts of things. Quite often, the people are uninformed and just mouthing off or are clearly very prejudiced/biased. Then, other times, what a person may say is worth taking note of, because they are better informed and don’t harbour the same strong prejudices that others may have on the same subject.

I do not see what being an actor/celebrity has to do with his exercising his constitutional right to either speak or be silent. They are, presumably for the most part, law abiding voters like everyone else. Why can’t people afford them the same rights as we expect them to afford us? There is no obligation on anyone to be neutral, nor necessarily to have a view or (strong) opinion on any issue either. It is about individual choice and expression.

55. Keachick (rose pinenut) - June 8, 2011

Jerry Silber – The issues surrounding the problems facing the Middle East are, in many ways, no different to the issues surrounding the abortion controversy. For many, if not most, that is also a life and death issue.

So, what you are saying is that a private citizen, who may also be well known by public, should refrain from expressing his opinions on an issue because it is complex and difficult. No, I do not accept that.

I note that you have not remained silent in expressing your view of the Middle Eastern problems either. Why should you be afforded an audience for your viewpoint (because, presumably, you are *nobody*), while, at the same, expecting Leonard Nimoy to be neutral/SILENT?

56. Jerry Silber - June 8, 2011

I have not made statements of “in favor” or “against” one side or the other. If you read what I was pointing out, being extremist and not seeing all sides of the issue isn’t helping any. At least I’m trying to show it’s important to not hinder the parties involved. Again – Sure, Mr Nimoy can say what ever he wants. A person in his position does have his influence. I know he wants the best. Wouldn’t it be better to not interfere with the parties involved and to help the peace process along when help is asked for. Sorry, but you can’t deny he isn’t in a position of power and influence. So what do we want folks? Do we want to see the parties involved to have a forum where they can work out their problems in a rational way? When Bill Shatner went to Israel in the last few years, I don’t think he got into the politics of the situation. He went to Israel to help out children, no matter where they were from, with horses in equine therapy. I think that goes a hell of a lot further than spouting off.

57. Phil - June 8, 2011

@54. I do not agree that a celebrity has an obligation to remain neutral……….further, I agree that they have freedoms of speech that all of us enjoy. Given the position presented here, if it comes out of the mouths of both Mr. Nimoy and Snooki, from whom does it carry more weight or meaning?

@53. Calling the UN dysfunctional is being polite. It’s corrupt. These guys belong in prison, not pretending they run the world. I, for one, would be thrilled to see the US take what it gives the UN and hand it over to the IRC instead. That solves two problems – it gets humanitarian aid to those who need it without the Blue Helmets of Corruption skimming their 20% off the top, and the UN goes bankrupt. Everyone wins….

58. MrChristian1982 - June 8, 2011

*You* have personally vouched… for *me?!*

59. FAB - June 8, 2011

if Roddenberry thought that people in show business should keep their opinions to themselves, then most of the original episodes wouldn’t exist. The ones that do would not be very good. And Star Trek today would be no more than a forgotten failed TV show of the 60′s.
Celebrities should use their inluence in any way they can to make the world a better place. Go Nimoy!

60. Shatoupee - June 8, 2011

Leonard Nimoy is a wise, wise man.

61. Keachick (rose pinenut) - June 9, 2011

#56 – “When Bill Shatner went to Israel in the last few years, I don’t think he got into the politics of the situation. He went to Israel to help out children, no matter where they were from, with horses in equine therapy. I think that goes a hell of a lot further than spouting off.”

I don’t recall ever hearing William Shatner give any opinion as regards politics or religion. He seems to want to invoke his constitutional right to be silent. That is his decision/right and should be respected. He is not the only actor/celebrity to say little, if anything, in the area of politics and/or religion.

However, I am not sure that helping children with equine therapy will necessarily do much to solve the Israeli/Palestinian question. I doubt that William Shatner set out with that aim in mind anyway. He just wanted to help all children in that region, which is great in itself.

Leonard Nimoy seems to be more politically minded than William Shatner. That does not mean one is better than the other – just different and they, quite possibly, complement each other, in this instance.

62. VulcanFilmCritic - June 9, 2011

Perhaps “The Alternative Factor” would be a better metaphor for the situation in the Middle East than “LTBYLB.” It is sickening to read daily about two cultures locked in battle apparently for all eternity, each convinced that he is dealing with his mortal enemy,when in fact they are brothers.
But really, this is not about politics. It’s not about religion either. It’s about control of the last remaining significant reserves of fossil fuels on this planet. Take away the oil and what do you have? Endless killing in the name of ancient hatreds and half-remembered myth. Two nations we wouldn’t care a hoot about were they located in Africa or Southeast Asia.
With apologies to the man who has played a Vulcan all these years, I think Mr. Spock would think that it is illogical that people who profess to be the most religious are often the most blood-thirsty. It is often the agnostics and atheists who want peace the most.

P.S. As an American, Mr. Nimoy has a RIGHT, no make that a RESPONSIBILITY, to engage in the political discourse of this country. Just because someone is an actor, or a celebrity, that doesn’t mean you stick your head into the sand of “no comment.”
I’m guessing that most of the people posting here are too young to remember what the word “injustice” meant in the 1960′s. And even as late as the 1980′s should we all agree not to mention that apartheid in South Africa was unjust? Should we all remain neutral because to express an opinion would be in bad taste? When people are dying?
That is what being a citizen is all about, and you don’t put your citizenship on hold when you go on stage or in front of a camera. Guys who wear make-up to work are the same as those wearing hard hats, or lab coats, or bullet proof vests. They are all citizens of the United States and they have a right to their opinions regardless of how many or how few listen to them.
If you think that is weird, just remember that two actors, both celebrities, have felt so strongly about their political beliefs that they became governors of California. Now I’m neither a fan of the politics of Ronald Regan, nor of Arnold Schwarzenegger but I would defend (to the death) their right to express their political views.

63. Saing hello - November 18, 2011

Nimoy should read a little bit more alternative media, blogs etc instead of mainstream media.

Of course there exists desinfo too. But everyone gets more a clue about the backgrounds, of new world order stuff, wars etc.

Anyhow it´s quit shocking- and we get out of time, because manhood refuses informations which make them worry.

Living long and prosper seems ridiculous for manhood if they don`t recognize the psychopathic patterns erverywhere. Our naivity was in the most time not our fault, because nobody could really imagine the deep abyss of the minds of people in power.

Anyhow – best regards and good luck for all normal people everywhere, and mr Nimoy of core, whom i always liked very much.

64. Jes - February 1, 2012

He should have nodded at “Day of the Dove” a much better illustration. The evil specter causing all these people to unreasonably hate and fight each other= ideology.

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