Arnold Schwarzenegger to receive courage award for fighting antisemitism

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Arnold Schwarzenegger talks during a pre-show BMW keynote at CES 2023 Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2023, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)

The former actor and California governor is being honored by the Holocaust Museum of Los Angeles.

By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

World-famous actor and former politician Arnold Schwarzenegger is to receive the inaugural courage award for combatting antisemitism from the Holocaust Museum of Los Angeles.

“The first Award of Courage embodies all the lessons of the Holocaust, the spirit of educating and elevating humanity to fight hate in all forms,” said museum CEO Beth Kean. “Arnold, by speaking out publicly, embodies our museum’s essence of inspiring humanity through truth.”

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Aiming at his fan base and beyond, he has posted messages online decrying Jew-hatred. In a March video, he specifically addressed people who “heard some conspiracies about Jewish people or any race or gender and thought, ‘That makes sense to me.’”

“There has never been a successful movement based on hate,” he declared to them. “Nazis? Losers. The Confederacy? Losers. The Apartheid movement? Losers – and the list goes on and on. I don’t want you to be a loser. I don’t want you to be weak.”

“What strength that woman had,” he said.

In an effort to combat the recent sharp uptick in antisemitic hate crimes in the U.S., the two-term California governor also organized a conference in April – titled “Terminating hate: Breaking the cycle of extremism” – through his Schwarzenegger Institute for State and Global Policy at the University of Southern California. He joined media figures and academics to discuss the rise in hatred around the world and how to address it.

Schwarzenegger has been known for using his fame to help push back against bigotry in general and antisemitism in particular for decades. In 2004, he attended the groundbreaking for a Museum of Tolerance to be built in Jerusalem, declaring that because he was born in Austria, “a place where intolerance and ignorance led to tragedy and heartache,” he wanted to do what he could  “to promote tolerance around the world.”

The museum, a project of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, a Holocaust education and human rights organization, has had many funding and bureaucratic problems, but its website says that it is slated to open this year.

The 75-year-old Schwarzenegger has spoken in the past about how he used a body-building career as a way to escape his father, who had been a card-carrying Nazi as well as an abusive parent. His mindset, he said, was that “generations can be different. I don’t need to do the same things my dad did. I don’t need to be prejudiced. I don’t need to be an alcoholic. I don’t need to beat my kids. I can make a break.”

Schwarzenegger left Austria as a teenager for the United States, became a seven-time Mr. Olympia champion for his physique, and then became a hugely successful actor before parlaying his fame into a successful career as governor of the third-largest state in the Union.

The Courage Award will be presented at the museum’s 15th annual gala on November 6 at the Beverly Hills Hotel.

Source: World Israel News

 

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