A-list American actor Robert De Niro on Wednesday spoke at the annual President's Conference in Jerusalem. A veteran of many "tough guy" movie roles, De Niro said he had a lot of admiration for the aggressive "tough guy" Israeli character.
"Israelis are warm, they’re energetic people. Forthright. Very smart. I always like smart people. They’re nice people, you know. Aggressive, and I respect that aggressiveness because you need it in their situation," he said.
De Niro is one of only many international celebrities and political figures attending the "Tomorrow" presidential conference, an annual gathering started by Israeli President Shimon Peres several years ago.
On Thursday, the last day of the conference, the podium was dominated by the CEOs of the world's technology and communications giants, who all unanimously crowned Israel as the most innovative hi-tech nation on earth.
The star-studded turn-out at the conference was seen locally as a major defeat for the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, which aims to put pressure on Israel to surrender to Arab demands by getting a-listers like De Niro to shun the Jewish state.