Voight directed his anger at colleagues Penélope Cruz and her husband Javier Bardem, who signed the letter, saying that they should “hang their heads in shame, come forth with deep regrets for what they did, and ask forgiveness from the suffering people in Israel.”
Voight, the father of Hollywood star Angelina Jolie and an ardent supporter of Israel, decided to respond to the scathing letter in a guest column he wrote for The Hollywood Reporter.
“My name is Jon Voight and I am more than angry, I am heartsick that people like Penélope Cruz and Javier Bardem could incite anti-Semitism all over the world and are oblivious to the damage they have caused,” he wrote.
Penélope Cruz with husband Javier Bardem.
‘My only wish is that there will be peace both in Israel and Gaza’ (Photo: Reuters)
In their letter, the Spanish entertainment industry representatives called on the European Union to “condemn the bombing by land, sea and air against the Palestinian civilian population in the Gaza Strip.”
They also blamed Israel for the new round of violence in the Middle East and criticized the Jewish state for “continuing to advance into and invade the Palestinian territories instead of returning to the 1967 borders.”
In his response, Voight reviewed the historical circumstances of the State of Israel’s establishment, which he said Cruz and Bardem were “obviously ignorant of, ” including the Arab rejection of the UN Partition Plane for Palestine and the Arab countries’ attack in the War of Independence, as well as the sneak attack during the Yom Kippur holiday in 1973.
He added that Israel voluntarily gave the Palestinians all of the Gaza Strip as a peace gesture. ” What was the response?” he wrote. “The Palestinians elected Hamas, a terrorist organization, and they immediately began firing thousands of rockets into Israel.”
According to Voight, “After years of trying to make peace, the wars they had to fight, being attacked by their enemies, and still being attacked, and finally after years of running into bomb shelters and having hundreds of civilians killed by suicide bombers, civilians being killed in their sleep, stabbed to pieces, finding enough is enough and finally retaliating, instead of my peers sticking up for the only democratic country in that region, they go and take out poison letters against them.”
Even before Voight’s harsh response, Penélope Cruz attempted to clarify why she had signed the letter. “I don’t want to be misunderstood on this important subject. I’m not an expert on the situation and I’m aware of the complexity of it,” the Spanish actress said in a statement to USA Today.
“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. I wish for unity, and peace… I believe in a civilization that can be capable of bringing the courage to have a world where humans can live side by side.”
In an online video, Brand slammed Hannity and Fox for trivializing one of the “worst conflicts on the planet” and claimed Hannity’s “vitriol and propaganda” was only exacerbating the situation.
“To them,” Brand claimed about Fox, the conflict is ” just a game… just entertainment, that’s what I find most difficult,” he said in the video.
In what seemed like a true appeal to Hannity, Brand called on Fox anchor by his first name and pled: “Sean, you are a human being, come back to humanity. You’ve lost yourself mate … try and speak from a perspective of love not from vengeance and hatred.”
The spat between the two is not without context. According to HuffPost’s UK branch, Brand invoked the anger of the Fox anchor after claiming Hannity looked like a Ken doll in an earlier video rant in which he ridiculed Hannity’s interview technique.
In response, Hannity took to his program to call Brand “a D-list actor, better known for his failed marriage to Katy Perry.”
A group of Spanish film stars, directors, musicians and writers – led by actress Penélope Cruz, her husband Javier Bardem, and director Pedro Almodovar – has issued an open letter denouncing Israel over its invasion of the Gaza Strip and referring to its actions as “genocide.”
Other signatories include musician Nacho Campillo and actors Lola Herrera, Eduardo Noriega and Rosa Maria Sarda.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, the Spanish entertainment industry representatives called on the European Union to “condemn the bombing by land, sea and air against the Palestinian civilian population in the Gaza Strip.”
They also demanded a ceasefire by the IDF and urged Israel to “lift the blockade, which the Gaza Strip has suffered for more than a decade.”
The letter, which was published in several Spanish media outlets, said that “Gaza is living through horror these days, besieged and attacked by land, sea and air. 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.”
The Spanish artists blamed Israel for the new round of violence in the Middle East and criticized the Jewish state for “continuing to advance into and invade the Palestinian territories instead of returning to the 1967 borders.”
Actor Javier Bardem is a known political activist who frequently expounds on controversial issues, the Hollywood Reporter said. Together with Cruz and Almodovar, he is joining many other international artists who have condemned the Israeli operation in Gaza, including actors Mia Farrow and John Cusack and musicians Eddie Vedder and Annie Lennox.
Frontman Harry Styles is criticized for being too pro-Israel, while his band mate, Zayn Malik, is being bombarded for his pro palestine stance. Recently on twitter, Malik joined in on the Gaza conversation by tweeting “#freepalestine” to his 13 million followers and fans. As you can imagine, many of his followers were “ashamed” of this, one fan even mentioned: “It broke me that one of my idols wants me to die.”
In the midst of Operation Protective Edge, Malik and Styles are just a few of the many celebrities to voice their opinions, and there is no doubt there will be more from both sides.
The MMA and UFC champ returned to Israel on Sunday in order to join his unit in the fight against Hamas. Prior to his departure for Israel, Lahat was competing in a featherweight bout against Stephen Siler. It was after the match when Lahat announced that he would be returning home to fight on his own turf.
Although Lahat is passionate about his career in fighting, he shows more concern for his home country and would do anything to protect his people. In an interview with MMA weekly shortly after the match he says, “Just the thought of my grandma — she’s more than 80 years old — and she has 15 seconds to run to get shelter. My grandma. And I’m here, safe? It’s messed up, it shouldn’t happen, I should be here helping them.”
Best of wishes to Noad Lahat and the IDF.
We have been waiting so long to see her as , and now it’s finally happening: Israeli actress Gal Gadot on Saturday unveiled a picture of herself in the superhero’s outfit from the upcoming film “Batman v Superman.”
Gadot posted the photo on her Facebook page, adding the caption: “I’m ready… are you?”
Picture from Gal Gadot’s Facebook page
Gal Gadot with co-stars Henry Cavill (Superman) and Ben Affleck (Batman) (Photo: Gettyimages)
Less than two years before the expected release of “Batman v Superman,” the intended sequel of “Man of Steel,” director Zack Snyder is beginning to build the momentum with his film’s stars who are posing for photos in their characters’ outfits.
After Ben Affleck shared a picture of himself as Batman, it was Gadot’s turn to provide a first look at the new Wonder Woman, a picture which many in the world have been waiting to see due to the debate sparked by the former supermodel’s very slim body.
Over the weekend, Gadot came under fire over a Facebook post praising the IDF soldiers, condemning Hamas and calling for coexistence, which drew many anti-Israel comments.