'Homeland' star Mandy Patinkin pleas for refugees
LOS ANGELES - AFP
The 65-year-old Chicago native, best known for playing CIA operative Saul Berenson in Showtime spy drama "Homeland," welcomed an Iraqi refugee to the event and implored the crowd to recognize the plight of the dispossessed.
"I want you to think about these people, who are the most vulnerable among us all over the world, who need our attention, more attention than you can imagine, so that they can have quality lives and bring their children up in a healthy, not war-torn, atmosphere and grow and live and prosper," he said.
Patinkin, whose grandfather fled the Nazis in German-occupied Poland, and whose grandmother escaped the Russian pogroms, has traveled extensively to witness the plight of displaced people since going to Greece in 2015 to help refugees from war-torn Syria.
He said noticing the ethnic diversity of the US squad at the Winter Olympics in South Korea had reminded him of the contribution immigrants had made to the country.
"They are our heroes and our athletes for all time. They represent us," he went on. "Let us learn to welcome other immigrants without fear, without worry, and learn to trust them and not be guided by fear. They are our teachers."
Patinkin has portrayed Saul Berenson, now the CIA's Middle East Division Chief, on "Homeland" since 2011, earning three Emmys nominations, but it was for CBS medical drama "Chicago Hope" that he won the award in 1995.