Mandy Patinkin speaks his truth

Watch and listen to this impassioned speech by Mandy Patinkin at the Peace Now Conference in Tel Aviv today. He tells a story of a journey to Hebron 30 years ago with his pregnant wife. They blessed their unborn child by rubbing her belly on the stone of Isaac’s tomb and he contrasts this with the pain he felt by what he witnessed returning on this trip.

That’s only the beginning of the story. Listen to him talk about his fears, facing his fears and finding strength. There are times his anger and frustration comes thru. After signing the petition of support for Israeli artists refusing to perform in the settlement of Ariel he got slammed:

I call myself an American Disneyland Jew… safe never attacked… we live in freedom, I was attacked in my own homeland, by my own people.

 Patinkin hosted the conference.

(Hat tip Dena Shunra)

About Annie Robbins

Annie Robbins is Editor at Large for Mondoweiss, a mother, a human rights activist and a ceramic artist. She lives in the SF bay area. Follow her on Twitter @anniefofani
Posted in Activism, Israel/Palestine | Tagged

{ 28 comments... read them below or add one }

  1. W.Jones says:

    At :56 he says most people at Nor Samaia were discouraging his production. What is Nor Samaia?

    • wjones, he says at :49 he was studying at the Ohr Somayach yeshiva. link to

      • W.Jones says:

        Why wouldn’t they want him to make a movie?

        • wjones, as he explains he was doing research for his role in the movie yentl.

          it probably had to do with the content of the film. it was considered very controversial at the time and the interpretation of the movie from the book was disputed.

        • Hostage says:

          Why wouldn’t they want him to make a movie?

          We are talking about a country that legally persecutes Jewish women for praying with a Torah Scroll in violation of its Supreme Court rulings. See Police arrest Women of the Wall leader for praying with Torah scroll link to

          Yentl also involved a violation of the commandment contained in Deuteronomy 22:5:

          5. A man’s attire shall not be on a woman, nor may a man wear a woman’s garment because whoever does these [things] is an abomination to the Lord, your God.

          The story also portrayed a Rabbi who taught his daughter the Talmud, or Oral Law. The Mishnah contains a passage which advises against that: . . .R. Eliezer says: whoever teaches his daughter Torah teaches her obscenity. R. Joshua says: a woman prefers one kab and sexual indulgence to nine kab and continence. He used to say, a foolish pietist, a cunning rogue, a female Pharisee, and the plague of Pharisees bring destruction upon the world. — See Sotah Folio 20a link to

          FYI, apparently Eliott Gould is starring in a video series in support of the Haredi values taught at Aish HaTorah.
          link to

  2. bigbill says:

    ” I was attacked in my own homeland, by my own people.”

    Shocking! Imagine how Americans feel being attacked in their homeland by Jews, a foreign people from a foreign homeland.

    Maybe Mandy should go back to his people and his homeland.

    I am sure the American Disneyland can do without him, and he would have a wonderful chance to mend fences with his people in his homeland instead of living a luftmensch life in Galut with real Americans (aka goyim).

    So rise up from the shmutz and dreck of Exile among the shgotzim and make Aliyah, Mandy!

  3. eljay says:

    That was a beautiful, thoughtful and moving speech by Mr. Patinkin. Nicely done!

  4. W.Jones says:

    Inigo Montoya joins Peace Now.

  5. W.Jones says:

    I liked his story about Hebron. Are there similar stories of celebrities going back to Israel proper after 1948, going to some Palestinian villages, and asking “Where is everybody”?

    • i liked it too. he is a natural storyteller and a beautiful human being. i’m sure there are some stories of celebrities going back although there careers probably took a hit for it.

  6. chuckcarlos says:

    Sounds like one really pissed off dude who is trying his best to be rational in the face of the Israeli BS campaign…

    it’s guys like him who have to get out in front condemning of the Israeli Fascist Regime…so that all Jews do not get tagged with the Netanyahu nutball label…

  7. Les says:

    Israel’s supporters can be asked a simple question, can they name anyone who supports the occupation and ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians who is not a racist?

  8. RE: “After signing the petition of support for Israeli artists refusing to perform in the settlement of Ariel he [Patinkin] got slammed: ‘…I was attacked in my own homeland, by my own people’ ” ~ Robbins

    MY COMMENT: Patinkin is yet another “crack” letting the light in!

    A MID-SPRING AFTERNOON’S MUSICAL INTERLUDE, brought to you courtesy of the makers of new Ziocaine Über-Xtreme®: It’s guaran-damn-teed to blow your effing mind!™

    “The birds they sang
    at the break of day
    Start again
    I heard them say
    Don’t dwell on what
    has passed away
    or what is yet to be.
    Ah the wars they will
    be fought again
    The holy dove
    She will be caught again
    bought and sold
    and bought again
    the dove is never free.
    Ring the bells that still can ring
    Forget your perfect offering
    There is a crack in everything
    That’s how the light gets in. . .”

    ~ from “Anthem” on ‘The Future’ album by Leonard Cohen

    Anthem, Leonard Cohen (VIDEO, 09:33) – link to

    P.P.S. FROM

    The line “a crack in everything” seems to come from a book by Jack Kornfield on buddhism. The story is that a young man who had lost his leg came to a buddhist monastary thing, and he was extremely angry at life, and always drew these pictures of cracked vases and damaged thing[s], because he felt damaged. Over time, he found inner peace, and changed his outllook, but still drew broken vases. His master asked him one day: “Why do you still draw a crack in the vases you draw, are you not whole?” And he replied “yes, and so are the vases. The crack is how the light gets in” ~ neptune235, 04-17-2005

    SOURCE – link to

  9. gingershot says:

    So few major artists in Hollywood have the guts to do with Patinkin just did – he really is a brave man and the world needs a lot more like him (well – perhaps just a few or ‘enough’ more)

  10. American says:

    Very,very impressive. His name didn’t register with me at first but then I recognized him when the video started.
    The contrast between whatshername,” I love Israel to death” and Patinkin is so apparent…he could be talking/appealing to anyone really, not just or specifically to Jews, in the basic human values he’s expressing… and his telling people to step up and stand up for right…it’s universal.

    • his face (sans the beard) is much more recognizable than his name. he’s been in lots of movies and tv, but mostly he’s known as a great stage actor/singer (i think).

      link to

      • chuckcarlos says:

        Very Recent FBI Profiler TV Show CBS? He was the chief thinker and they had the obligatory two babes, one muscular black, one goofy intellectual, one white guy who looked good and one goofy computer hacker girl…He was replaced by Joe Mantegna who might be Chaz Palmantiere…Solved Serial Killer deals…

        Think he made enough dough off that deal and split…

        “Princes Bride”…He played the Val Kilmer part…

        also Che in “Evita” on Broadway? don’t know about the movie

  11. eljay says:

    The Zios cried
    at the ones who dared:
    Submit or die,
    you’ll not be spared!
    The Arabs lost
    the Jews well fared
    the Promised Land reborn.
    Ah, the Righteous crow,
    it’s ours to take!
    The Holocaust
    give us the right to make
    a tribal home
    of justice fake
    and love and kindness shorn.
    Strike the man who peace demands
    kill him and cut off his hands.
    Fill up the cracks, retain the hate
    that is the Jewish state.

  12. Nevada Ned says:

    I had a memory that Mandy Patinkin put out an album of songs in Yiddish. (I just verified it on Wikipedia.)
    Talk about a specialized audience! Almost nobody speaks Yiddish anymore.
    Until now, I had no idea of where Patinkin stood on I/P policy issues. Whatever one’s opinion about J Street, there definitely are worse organizations.

  13. Shingo says:

    Wow, now that is a speech I could listen to without feeling nauseous. This speech puts Hogue’s speech to shame. It wasn’t about him and his needs, it actually dealt with the humanity of the Palestinians. Other than Hogue’s oratory masturbation, this was a true display of regard and empathy for humanity ratehr than just one’s delusional tribal fixation.

  14. Daniel Rich says:

    Q: I was attacked in my own homeland, by my own people.

    R: How may homelands can one have?

  15. pabelmont says:

    Great speech, however, possibly tainted (at one perhaps insignificant point) by Peace Now party-line (I’m guessing), because he says the peace must come from negotiations between the two parties — and he thereby omits the possibilities of action by international civil society (present-day BDS) and governments (nation-state BDS, hoped for but not yet present).

    If a small bird living as captive in a bird-cage wants to get out and fly to freedom, the cage must be opened from outside: the bird itself is powerless.

  16. OlegR says:

    He kind of missed those
    30 years of Peace Process 2 Intifada’s and a few wars.

  17. i come back here and listen to him when times feel stressed. he gives me courage to keep pushing forward. i love him. i love his heart and his passion and his integrity. we need more humans like him, and when i say that i do not mean (just) others with his passion for i know there are many of us out there, most people really, i do believe, have passion for life, truth, peace and justice..what i mean is we need more who share with us and inspire us, who will get up in front of us and express what a person should and not hold it inside. who will light a fire under us and remind us what…. who we are, what we can be, not to be afraid, how to overcome our fears and keep going.

    so, i come back and listen to mandy.