Homeland star Mandy Patinkin at Israel peace conference

By Jennifer Lipman, May 15, 2012
Mandy Patinkin and Claire Danes in Homeland

Mandy Patinkin and Claire Danes in Homeland

Homeland star Mandy Patinkin was the guest of honour at a peace conference in Jerusalem on Friday.

The actor, better known as his screen alter-ego CIA agent Saul Berenson, arrived in Tel Aviv on Wednesday to film scenes for the second series of the hit drama.

He was spotted with Claire Danes, who plays Carrie Mathison, filming scenes near Jaffa over the weekend.

Mr Patinkin, who sits on the board of Americans for Peace Now, took time out of his schedule to tour the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan, visit Hebron and address 600 Israeli peace activists at a Peace Now conference.

The Jewish American actor, who shot to fame as Inigo Montoya in the film The Princess Bride, is well known for his left-wing views on the Middle East. He said while in Israel that he wanted his grandchildren "to be able to have Hummus with their neighbors in Hebron".

Two years ago he was one of a number of artists to express solidarity with Israeli artists who refused to perform in the West Bank. Mr Patinkin told his audience that he had been attacked by American Jews for his support for the petition, but that the experience had only made him more determined.

"There were thousands of emails sent out to boycott Mandy Patinkin because he is a delegitimiser of the state of Israel," he said. "I was attacked not by anyone that I did not know, but by my own people in my own homeland and I was frightened."

But he added: "It is our job to walk into the face of everything we are frightened of not to be afraid."

In a 2009 interview, soon after Operation Cast Lead, he told the JC: "We just have to find a way of stopping this tragedy now. I'm not laying the responsibility at anyone's door, I'm not blaming the Israelis more then the Palestinians, I'm just saying that we have to find a way of stopping this thing."

Damian Lewis, who plays Sgt Brody, had previously told Digital Spy that he would not be joining his co-stars during their two week shoot in Israel.

"They're going to Israel to film for two weeks," he said. "I join [everyone else] at the end of the month, back in America."

Homeland, which is based on the Israeli series Hatufim, has been an international hit and earned Ms Danes a Golden Globe award. The second series is due to air in September in the US.

In the first series, Israel was used as a location double for Iraq, although there is speculation that this time it will stand in for Beirut.

After filming there, Ms Danes revealed that Tel Aviv was "the most intense party town" she had ever been to.

Last updated: 4:23pm, October 23 2012