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.”
“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.”
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.”