We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
In 2000, Elizabeth Taylor was recognized by Queen Elizabeth as a “Dame”, the equivalent of knighthood.Like a good Dame, she lived her life fully, with gusto and passions. Today, at 79, her heart gave out. Before then, it stood firmly with Israel.
In 1959, Elizabeth Taylor converted to Judaism. Some said at the time it was because of her marriage to famous Jewish entertainer Eddie Fisher.Elizabeth Taylor denied that, saying she had been long attracted to Judaism. During and following her marriage to Fisher, Elizabeth Taylor was unwavering in her support for Israel.
The Zionist Organization of America issued this eulogy:
The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) mourns the passing of legendary American actress and ardent Zionist, Elizabeth Taylor, who has passed away, aged 79. Ms. Taylor, who enjoyed a long and hugely successful career in Hollywood, was converted to Judaism in 1959 by the Rabbi Max Nussbaum, who served as National President of the ZOA from 1964 to 1966.
Among Elizabeth Taylor’s outstanding work on behalf of Israel and Jewish causes was her participating in raising $840,000 for Israel in a 1967 London gala and purchasing personally $100,000 in Israel Bonds in 1959. The same year, she cancelled a visit to Moscow after the Soviet Union lashed out at Israel after the June 1967 Six Day War. In 1975, she was one of 60 prominent women to sign a statement to then-U.N. Secretary General Kurt Waldheim, condemning the U.N. General Assembly’s infamous Zionism-is-Racism resolution. Taylor offered herself as a hostage when 104 hostages aboard an Air France airbus were hijacked by PLO terrorists and held at Uganda’s Entebbe Airport, from which they rescued in a spectacular Israeli commando mission on July 4, 1976, America’s 200th birthday. Taylor frequently visited Israel and met with its leadership, including Prime Minister Menachem Begin in 1983. In 1987, she signed a petition seeking the release from Soviet incarceration of leading refusenik, Ida Nudel.
Elizabeth Taylor’s pro-Israel activism led to the banning of her films in several Arab countries. After purchasing $100,000 in Israel Bonds in 1959, the United Arab Republic (now Egypt) banned all her movies. Gen. Essam Elmasri, head of the Cairo regional bureau of the Israel Boycott Office, said that Miss Taylor would not be allowed to come to Egypt because she has adopted the Jewish faith and “supports Israeli causes.” Her movie, Cleopatra, was not permitted to be filmed in Egypt, but in 1964, Egypt dropped her from its blacklist when it decided that Cleopatra, which mentions Egypt 122 times, would be provide good publicity for Egypt (Ami Eden, ‘In the JTA Archive: Liz Taylor says trade me for Entebbe hostages,’ Jewish Telegraphic Agency, March 23, 2011).
ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, “Elizabeth Taylor was not only a wonderful actress but a wonderful Zionist. In the days of vicious Arab boycotts stronger than those today, she could have taken a self-interested line, as have many Jewish actors today, and failed to speak up or support Israel or, worse, engaged in anti-Israel slanders and other activities that harm Israel and aid its enemies, but she didn’t. The ZOA is proud of its connection to Elizabeth Taylor and expresses heartfelt condolences to her family and friends at her passing. Her rabbi was Rabbi Max Nussbaum, of Temple Israel, Hollywood, who was also a past National President of ZOA. Members of Temple Israel included Al Jolson, Sammy Davis, Jr., Eddie Fisher, Eddie Cantor, George Jessel and Leonard Nimoy, among numerous other Hollywood celebrities. ”
Maybe. I was going by memory. Yes, I am that old!
Todd's airplane crashed and he died in 1958, though.
The next year, when she converted, she also married one of Todd's best friends, Eddie Fisher, so maybe she was honoring both Jews, and as well -- according to her and her later interest in Israel -- Judaism.