Javier Bardem, Penelope Cruz backtrack on Israel-Gaza stance

When it comes to the Israel-Gaza conflict, everyone seems to have an opinion, including celebrities, who have been tweeting, ranting, and televising their beliefs. Among the Hollywood talent/aspiring political commentators are Madonna, Rihanna, Jon Voight, Selena Gomez, Joan Rivers, and even the new Wonder Woman, Gal Gadot. But not every celeb’s stance is set in stone. Following accusations of anti-Semitism, actors Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem are backtracking on their endorsement of an open letter, circulated by Spanish media outlets, calling Israel’s military action a “genocide.”

In a four-paragraph statement released by his representative, Bardem clarified, “While I was critical of the Israeli military response, I have great respect for the people of Israel and deep compassion for their losses. I am now being labeled by some as anti-Semitic, as is my wife — which is the antithesis of who we are as human beings. We detest anti-Semitism as much as we detest the horrible and painful consequences of war.” Read Bardem’s full statement below.

Earlier this week, Penelope Cruz also cleared the air regarding her signature on the petition: “My only wish and intention in signing that group letter is the hope that there will be peace in both Israel and Gaza. I am hopeful all parties can agree to a cease-fire and there are no more innocent victims on either side of the border.” ~Daniel Horowitz

Javier and Penelope:

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Do you agree with Bardem and Cruz? Let us know in the Comments section below.

Bardem’s full statement:
“This week, along with a number of artists in my home country of Spain, I spoke out about the conflict in Gaza urging all governments to intervene in this escalating crisis. My signature was solely meant as a plea for peace. Destruction and hatred only generate more hatred and destruction.

While I was critical of the Israeli military response, I have great respect for the people of Israel and deep compassion for their losses. I am now being labeled by some as anti-Semitic, as is my wife — which is the antithesis of who we are as human beings. We detest anti-Semitism as much as we detest the horrible and painful consequences of war.

I was raised to be against any act of violence, and the consequent suffering of humanity for it, regardless of religions, ethnicities and borders. Too many innocent Palestinian mothers have lost their children to this conflict. Too many innocent Israeli mothers share the same grief. There should not be any political reason that can justify such enormous pain on both sides. It’s my hope that leaders involved in this complicated struggle will heed the call of United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, “In the name of humanity, the violence must stop.

Palestinians and Israelis in the region deserve to have their safety and human rights recognized and respected so in the near future they may find peace and co-existence, for themselves and their innocent children. So generations to come could bring hope, forgiveness and compassion for each other. This is the most basic and necessary way to peace for all of us.”

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Comments & Discussion

  1. Susan • August 2, 2014 @ 10:03 AM

    Well this just goes to show how ignorant and uneducated Bardem,Cruz and that singer with “self-worth” issues truly are. Too bad we can’t ship them over to Hamas territory.

  2. justin • August 2, 2014 @ 2:17 PM

    why anyone who criticizes Israel is considered anti-Semitic or supporting terrorists. Yes Hamas a bunch of fools, but that does not rule out 1000 civilians death in Gaza.

  3. Mike • August 2, 2014 @ 2:43 PM

    Susan, your response displays ignorance and perhaps an attempt to avoid facing up to reality. What Israel has been doing in Gaza for the past several years been widely condemned in the international community and by human rights groups.

    Palestinians in Gaza have had to live under domination by Israel and a crippling blockade that has even prevented aid ships from landing. If you were paying any attention, you would know that – just as you would also know that the rocket fire that supposedly provoked Israel last month was preceded by Israel’s killing of six Hamas members by bombing. Those are facts. YOU are uneducated, or else you’re being dishonest.

  4. Noah • August 2, 2014 @ 7:37 PM

    Muhammad is Legion.
    The Prophet is False
    Long Live Israel.

  5. Ross • August 3, 2014 @ 6:22 AM

    Anti-Israel does not equal anti-semitic or anti-jewish (Arabs are semitic people too). Please stop conflating the two because they are not the same and it is the equivalent of playing the race card.

  6. Former fan • August 4, 2014 @ 11:02 PM

    Boycotting Cruz and Barden films. Psyched because now I’ve saved my time and $$$ for the rest of my life.

    Also the last movies they made are crappy!!! So their stupidity and insensitivity sealed the deal for me with respect to watching their future work.

  7. Mallorca • January 16, 2015 @ 4:14 PM

    The criticism of Hollywood with Javier Bardem and Penelope Cruz is comparable to Gaza supporters with another Spanish artist who to act in Israel by the singer Noa: Joaquín Sabina.
    Now the Pro-Palestinian group, to order anyone to buy their albums or go to their concerts and received all kinds of insults like fellow singer Joan Manuel Serrat.

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