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
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.”