He’s known to many as the father of superstar and international do-gooder Angelina Jolie, but Jon Voight is also recognized as a longtime supporter of Israel. The actor made a Chabad-sponsored trip over the weekend to Israel, surprising victims of last week’s terrorist attacks and the ongoing missile barrages from Gaza with a visit to Soroka Hospital in Beer Sheva.
Voight told reporters who met up with him at the hospital, on his way to cheer up the critically wounded victims, that this was his third visit to the country, and his second to the South. He specifically mentioned that he had been in Sderot last time and had to take cover there when an alarm sounded, so he knows what the security situation for residents of the Negev is like.
The actor emphasized that Israel needs friends, and that he thought that the U.S. should be Israel’s best friend. He has been a vocal advocate for Israel, having appeared at a rally in Los Angeles last year condemning Turkey’s role in the Flotilla incident, and having written a letter to President Obama accusing the Administration of abandoning Israel.
Keeping things in humble perspective, he said on video, “My being here maybe isn’t important, but at least it gives an understanding that there are people who really care and want to help.”
Ynet reports that Voigt was surprised to learn that Palestinian patients from Gaza and the West Bank are being treated at Soroka (as is the case in many Israeli medical centers).
“People from abroad do not understand the reality in Israel until they come here,” Voight concluded. “The American public thinks Israel is strong, tough, and smart, but needs to remember that it is also humane, vulnerable, and surrounded by enemies,” he said.