In what is probably the funniest "straight" news story of the young year, Actor Richard Gere goes on Palestinian television to get out the vote and instead is greeted ridicule:
Many Palestinian voters, already struggling with the labyrinthine politics of the West Bank and Gaza, say they have never heard of Richard Gere who has been recruited to urge them to vote in elections this weekend.
"Hi, I'm Richard Gere and I'm speaking for the entire world. We're with you during this election time. It's really important. Get out and vote," Gere said in the advertisement. He repeated the final phrase in Arabic.
"I don't even know who the candidates are other than Mahmoud Abbas, let alone this Gere," Gaza soap factory worker Manar An Najar told Reuters.
"We don't need the Americans' intervention. We know who to elect. Not like them - they elected a moron."
And here's a ringing endorsement of celebrity spots:
The Gere spot, sponsored by grassroots Israeli-Palestinian peace lobby One Voice, recalled ads put out by Hollywood notables to support Democratic candidate Senator John Kerry in November's US elections.
He lost to President George W Bush.
Yes he did.