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Wiesenthal Center Memo to Los Angeles Times: Judah Ben Hur Was A Jew!

September 27, 2011

The Simon Wiesenthal Center is urging the Los Angeles Times to correct for the record a Los Angeles Times news brief on the DVD release of the classic "Ben Hur" film that inexplicably describes the title character (played by Charlton Heston) as a “Palestinian”.

The 1959 classic, directed by William Wyler was based on Lew Wallace's epic historic novel that relates the struggle of the Jews against the yoke of the occupying Roman Empire. “As anyone who has seen the movie or read the book knows, this is the story of a Jew, Judah Ben Hur,” said Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the Los Angeles-based Wiesenthal Center. “The land he fought for was known as Judea. There was no Palestine, nor Palestinians back then. The term “Palestina” was the name imposed by Rome after they crushed the Jewish revolt more than 100 years after the death of Jesus,” added Cooper.

“It’s bad enough that Mahmoud Abbas deleted any references to Jews in the Holy Land from his UN speech last week. We don’t need the LA Times joining the revisionist bandwagon,” Rabbi Cooper concluded.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center is one of the largest international Jewish human rights organizations with over 400,000 member families in the United States. It is an NGO at international agencies including the United Nations, UNESCO, the OSCE, the OAS, the Council of Europe and the Latin American Parliament (Parlatino).

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