SIMON WIESENTHAL CENTER Goldberg Gets Honored For
Going Whoopi For Tolerance
Text and Photos by Tim Boxer
HAT Whoopi Goldberg has brought to ABC’s daytime talk show, The View, is tolerance. "She finds a way to use humor with an underlying theme of tolerance," said David Muir, anchor of ABC’s World News Saturday and co-anchor of Primetime.
Muir served as emcee at a dinner at New York’s Plaza Hotel where the Simon Wiesenthal Center, a Jewish human rights organization, presented its Humanitarian Award to Goldberg.
Israeli Consul General Asaf Shariv approved wholeheartedly, saying that Whoopi is the most famous Goldberg in Israel.
Muir said he was in northern Israel two years ago when katyusha rockets were falling all over the place. Two Jews were killed. "It was hard to imagine how any of these families could look beyond the horror. But they asked if anything can be done to help other families. A doctor said the eyes could be saved.
The eyes were donated to an Israeli Arab. The next morning the Arab was able to see. A Jew said, "You have my brother’s eyes. You are now my brother."
"I’ll never forget the Jewish man meeting the Arab who got his brother’s eyes," Muir said. "It was a remarkable story of tolerance. We have to do more stories like that on the air."
Nelson Peltz, head of the Trian hedge fund and co-chairman of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, said that children have the most amazing talent to imitate. "If they see teachers challenging racist and anti-Semitic remarks, they will do the same. I have 10, so I can tell you."
Michael Fuchs, who created HBO’s original programming and founded Comic Relief for HBO, noted that only two of Fuchs’ 10 children were at the dinner. "Nelson, what kind of example is that?" Fuchs demanded.
In introducing the guest of honor, Fuchs said that some people think she’s Jewish. "Clearly then her name would be Choopie Goldberg, not Whoopi."
Goldberg cleared up the confusion by revealing she’s "a mutt."
"I have Chinese, Jew, some Spanish – I got a lot of stuff in me," said. "My mother, in her quest to better my life, gave me three names that were in our family to choose from because my name, Whoopi Cushion, was just not working. Goldberg was one of them and her favorite. She said no one would ever suspect it was me."