Monday, March 12, 2007
DiCaprio Makes Israel Feel Good
The Israeli media have been having a field day with the visit of actor Leonardo DiCaprio, who accompanied his girlfriend, top model Bar Rafaeli, to her homeland. Since yesterday morning, the media has been tracking the Hollywood star's visit. Today print and broadcast media reported that Rafaeli and DiCaprio ventured to Yad Vashem, the Holocaust museum and memorial centre in Jerusalem, as well as other important sites in the country.
What is interesting is the excitement that this visit is generating in Israel. Since the second intifadah broke out, Israelis have been feeling deserted. There is a sense of loss and longing for the days when peace seemed very near. Stars from all over the world flocked to Israel during that time period. Many American artists came to Israel to perform before the outbreak of the intifadah, which brought everything to a standstill. There was a brief time period after the intifadah died down which seemed to revive what had been happening before. But the tensions were never far away, and with the Hezbollah-Israel war, the expected return of concerts and shows didn't materialize. This was exemplified by the Depeche Mode concert, scheduled for August 2006; 40,000 people had bought tickets for the show which was ultimately cancelled.
After so much negative press in the international media, Israelis are hungry for some positive attention for once. As much as Israelis pride themselves on their self-sufficiency and toughness, they seem to have a craving for external validation, which the blond-haired and blue-eyed DiCaprio delivers.