Jon Voight: Angelina Jolie’s father accuses Penelope Cruz of 'inciting anti-Semitism' with Gaza 'genocide' letter
'You should hang your heads in shame,' the veteran actor concludes in his own open letter to Cruz and husband Javier Bardem
The couple, along with some of Spain’s biggest entertainment names, signed a group letter calling for a stronger response by the European Union to stop Israel's military operation – ‘Protective Edge’ – in the Gaza strip.
It stated that Israel "humiliates, detains, and tramples on the rights of the Palestinian population in all of the West Bank every day, also causing many deaths" and destroying homes while "the international community does nothing".
After receiving a barrage of criticism and being labelled an ‘anti-Semite’ for pledging their support, Cruz and Bardem issued a clarifying statement a day later, explaining that her "only wish and intention" in signing the group letter was to promote "peace in both Israel and Gaza".
But Voight, the veteran actor and father of Angelina Jolie, is yet to have been appeased by their comments.
The screen star, who is pro-Israel, decided to pen a strongly worded open letter of his own in response to the acting couple, published in full on Variety.
"My name is Jon Voight and I am more than angry," it begins. "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.
“They are obviously ignorant of the whole story of Israel’s birth, when in 1948 the Jewish people were offered by the UN a portion of the land originally set aside for them in 1921, and the Arab Palestinians were offered the other half.
Video: The latest from Gaza
"The Arabs rejected the offer, and the Jews accepted, only to be attacked by five surrounding Arab countries committed to driving them into the sea."
He goes on to claim that Israel, after years of being at war with the Palestinian people, gave them the Gaza strip as a gesture of peace.
"What was the response?" he writes. "The Palestinians elected Hamas, a terrorist organization, and they immediately began firing thousands of rockets into Israel.
"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."
Jon Voight and Angelina Jolie in 1986 "You have forgotten how this war started. Did Hamas not kidnap and kill three young teenagers for the sake of killing, and celebrated after the killing? What a travesty of justice."
He ends the piece by pleading for famous names in the entertainment industry to re-address their anti-IDF stances.
"I am asking all my peers who signed that poison letter against Israel to examine their motives. Can you take back the fire of anti-Semitism that is raging all over the world now?
"You have been able to become famous and have all your monetary gains because you are in a democratic country: America. 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.
"You should hang your heads in shame," he concludes. "You should all come forth with deep regrets for what you did, and ask forgiveness from the suffering people in Israel."
Cruz and Bardem are yet to respond to his letter.
Voight isn’t the only famous person who has pledged their support for the IDF. Wonder Woman Gal Gadot stirred some controversy with this post, while Bill Maher shocked with this Twitter quip. Joan Rivers defended the Israeli government’s military offensive with this.
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