Hollywood actor Jon Voight penned a guest column in The Hollywood Reporter in which he lashed out at fellow actors Javier Bardem and Penelope Cruz for attacking Israel.
“My name is Jon Voight and I am more than angry,” he writes. “I am heartsick that people like Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem could incite anti-Semitism all over the world and are oblivious to the damage they have caused.”
He said Bardem and Cruz were “obviously ignorant” of the history of the formation of the state of Israel, the attempt to destroy the fledgling state upon its inception in 1948, and its attempts to seek peace with its neighbors.
The 75-year-old Voight is a staunch supporter of Israel and has made comments in its favor numerous times in the past.
“[Israel] voluntarily returned the Sinai Peninsula to Egypt in return for peace, and gave the Palestinians all of Gaza as a peace gesture,” Voight said. “What was the response? The Palestinians elected Hamas, a terrorist organization, and they immediately began firing thousands of rockets into Israel.”
“Instead of my peers sticking up for the only democratic country in that region, they go and take out poison letters against them,” he said, referring to Cruz and Bardem’s open letter in which they described Israel’s actions as “genocide” and called for a lifting of the siege on Gaza.
“You had a great responsibility to use your celebrity for good,” Voight said. “Instead, you have defamed the only democratic country of goodwill in the Middle East: Israel.”
“You should hang your heads in shame,” Voight said. “You should all come forth with deep regrets for what you did, and ask forgiveness from the suffering people in Israel.”
Cruz and Bardem, as well as acclaimed Spanish director Pedro Almodovar and dozens of other artists from the country, last week signed their names to an open letter castigating Israel’s three-week incursion into the Gaza Strip.
The letter was published in a number of Spanish newspapers. It made no mention of the actions of Hamas which led to the Israeli operation.
Debra Kamin contributed to this report.