TORONTO — Stars Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem are feeling the heat for referring to the situation in Gaza as “genocide.”
Actor Jon Voight, an unabashed conservative, said in an open letter he is “heartsick” that Cruz and Bardem could incite anti-Semitism.
Voight called them “ignorant” of the region’s history and suggested they “ask forgiveness from the suffering people in Israel.”
Story continues below
Bardem, Cruz condemn “genocide” in Gaza
One Direction’s Zayn Malik sparks 桑拿会所 war
The Simpsons get political in art pieces
“You have been able to become famous and have all your monetary gains because you are in a democratic country: America,” Voight wrote in The Hollywood Reporter. “Do you think you would have been able to accomplish this in Iran, Syria, Lebanon, et cetera?
“You had a great responsibility to use your celebrity for good. Instead, you have defamed the only democratic country of goodwill in the Middle East: Israel.”
Cruz and Bardem put their names on a letter published in Spanish newspapers that read: “Palestinians’ homes are being destroyed, they are being denied water, electricity [and] free movement to their hospitals, schools and fields while the international community does nothing.”
Also attacking Cruz and Bardem is Hollywood executive Ryan Kavanaugh, CEO of Relativity Media.
“It makes my blood boil,” he told The Hollywood Reporter. “Anyone calling it Israeli ‘genocide’ vs. protecting themselves are either the most ignorant people about the situation and shouldn’t be commenting, or are truly anti-Semitic.”
Other stars who have publicly supported Palestine include Mark Ruffalo, Mia Farrow, Anthony Bourdain and director Jonathan Demme.
“Bombing civilians is not self defense,” actor John Cusack tweeted. Comic Rob Schneider tweeted about “the ugly inhuman siege of Gaza.”
Singers Zayn Malik of One Direction and Rihanna have tweeted “#FreePalestine” and Selena Gomez asked her fans to “Pray for Gaza.” She later said she is “not picking any sides.”
On Facebook, actress Mayim Bialik wrote: “God bless America for letting us have our own opinions and God bless Israel for allowing jews to have a home. I pray for a peaceful state for Palestinians who also seek peace and want to pursue it.”