Javier Bardem says he and Penelope Cruz have been misunderstood, rejects anti-Semite label.
More explanations today, this time from Javier Bardem, about that anti-Israel/pro-peace open letter he and wife Penelope Cruz signed this week.
We are not anti-Semites, we’ve been misunderstood, they protest.
Cruz herself issued a statement yesterday clarifying her views, following fierce blowback on social media from people who called them names ranging from “idiots” to “anti-Semites.”
The two Oscar-winners, Bardem and Cruz, along with Pedro Almodovar and dozens of other Spanish artists, film stars, directors, musicians and writers, signed the letter accusing Israel of “genocide” and “state terrorism” in its ongoing conflict with Palestinians in Gaza. The letter demanded an immediate ceasefire.
“My signature was solely meant as a plea for peace,” Bardem said today in a statement sent to USA TODAY by his publicist. “Destruction and hatred only generate more hatred and destruction.”
Bardem says he was critical of Israel’s military response in Gaza, not Israelis.
“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.”
Bardem said he was raised to be against any act of violence against anyone, 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.’ ”
Both Palestinians and Israelis deserve safety, human rights, peace and co-existence, for themselves and their children, he concluded. “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.”
Will any of these clarifications help minimize whatever damage has been done? Will the 140-character polemics roiling Twitter subside?
Did not look promising judging from initial tweets.