Javier Bardem and Penelope Cruz denounce Israel over Gaza

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#1 Edited by thebest31406 (3775 posts) -

In an open letter, some of Spain's biggest film personalities call on EU to condemn Israel's military actions against Gaza.

A group of Spain's biggest film personalities, including Penélope Cruz, Pedro Almodóvar and Javier Bardem, have written an open letter in a Spanish newspaper denouncing Israel's bombing of Gaza.

The letter calls for the EU to "condemn the bombing by land, sea and air against the Palestinian civilian population in the Gaza Strip... 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."

They lamented the "physical, moral, psychological" effect that the attacks are having on the people of Gaza, and also called for an end to the Israeli blockade that restricts what can be taken across the Gaza border.

It's one of the most strident messages from any global cultural figure regarding the current conflict. During the Jerusalem film festival, a group of Israeli film-makers recently wrote a statement that was actually less partisan than the Spanish collective, saying: "A dialogue must be established, an acknowledgment of the suffering of the other. Today, we want to direct those cameras to the suffering of Gaza residents, men, women and children killed during the last few days."

Javier Bardem, who is married to Cruz, has been outspoken elsewhere in the Spanish media about the conflict. In an op-ed for the newspaper El Diario, he characterised the war as one of "occupation and extermination against a people without means, confined to a minimum of land, without water and where hospitals, ambulances and children are targets and alleged terrorists... In the horror happening right now in Gaza there is no place for distance or neutrality... I cannot understand this barbarism, even more brutal and incomprehensible considering all of the horrible things the Jewish people have gone through in the past."

Aside from the various (often hastily deleted) #FreePalestine tweets from cultural figures, a group including Ken Loach, Mike Leigh, Aki Kaurismäki, John Berger, Brian Eno, Roger Waters, Liz Lochhead, Michael Ondaatje and Caryl Churchill recently joined lawyers, politicians and others in calling for "a comprehensive and legally binding military embargo on Israel, similar to that imposed on South Africa during apartheid."

Not long after that, the couple released a statement "clarifying" (see:backpedaling) their statements.

The Spanish actor Javier Bardem has released a statement clarifying his position on the current Gaza conflict, after he co-signed an open letter in the Spanish press condemning Israel's actions, which called on the EU to "condemn the bombing by land, sea and air against the Palestinian civilian population in the Gaza Strip."

He also wrote his own thoughts in the newspaper El Diario, saying: "I cannot understand this barbarism, even more brutal and incomprehensible considering all of the horrible things the Jewish people have gone through in the past."

In his new statement, headlined 'Plea for Peace', Bardem writes:

My signature was solely meant as a plea for peace. Destruction and hatred only generate more hatred and destruction.

While I was critical of the Israeli military response, 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 [Penélope Cruz] - 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.

I was raised to be against any act of violence, and the consequent suffering of humanity for it, 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.'

Palestinians and Israelis in the region deserve to have their safety and human rights recognized and respected so in the near future they may find peace and co-existence, for themselves and their innocent children. 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.

It follows a statement by Bardem's wife Penélope Cruz, who also restated her feelings about Israel' actions. "I wish for unity, and peace," she wrote. "I believe in a civilization that can be capable of bringing the courage to have a world where humans can live side by side."

Cruz, Bardem and Almodóvar denounce Israel over Gaza: http://www.theguardian.com/film/2014/jul/30/penelope-cruz-javier-bardem-pedro-almodovar-israel-palestine-gaza

Javier Bardem clarifies position on Israel and Gaza with 'plea for peace' http://www.theguardian.com/film/2014/aug/01/javier-bardem-israel-palestine-gaza-penelope-cruz

I think this is the first time in my generation I've witness such A-list celebrities - damn near "icons" - condemning Israel's crimes. Perhaps Oliver Stone would qualify as well...maybe. The backpedaling is disappointing but not surprising; Hollywood does pay their way after all. Regardless, they've certainly gained my respect; though maybe they've bitten off more then they could chew?

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#2 Posted by LJS9502_basic (156864 posts) -

Just another reason why celebs should be seen and not heard....

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#3 Edited by airshocker (31700 posts) -

Didn't those two also say they didn't know what they were talking about after they were confronted about this?

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#4 Posted by dave123321 (35178 posts) -

@LJS9502_basic: nah. We moved into talkies for a reason. This ain't the roaring twenties

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#5 Posted by LJS9502_basic (156864 posts) -

@dave123321 said:

@LJS9502_basic: nah. We moved into talkies for a reason. This ain't the roaring twenties

Pst....they don't use their own words in movies. Someone writes them for them....

Avatar image for Randolph
#6 Edited by Randolph (10542 posts) -

I do not understand why any celebrity's view, regardless of how ill informed it is, is given special treatment. Javier Bardem's view on this matters as much as Joe The Plumbers.

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#7 Edited by LJS9502_basic (156864 posts) -

@Randolph said:

I do not understand why any celebrity's view, regardless of how ill informed it is, is given special treatment. Javier Bardem's view on this matters as much as Joe The Plumbers.

I do not understand why celebrities are given any consideration beyond their actual work product. Really I don't get the fascination.

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#8 Posted by byof_america (1742 posts) -

Reminds me of the celebs in "Team America: World Police"

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#9 Posted by dave123321 (35178 posts) -

@LJS9502_basic: but we hear them just the same, friendo

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#10 Posted by LJS9502_basic (156864 posts) -

@dave123321 said:

@LJS9502_basic: but we hear them just the same, friendo

Dave are you being difficult tonight? I know you know that I know that you know what I meant....

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#11 Posted by dave123321 (35178 posts) -

@LJS9502_basic: i am just being a bit friendful goading

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#12 Edited by LJS9502_basic (156864 posts) -

@dave123321 said:

@LJS9502_basic: i am just being a bit friendful goading

It's okay....I'm just messing with you. Don't be a sad panda.:(

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#13 Posted by Masculus (2878 posts) -

And on to the Blacklist!

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#14 Posted by dave123321 (35178 posts) -

@LJS9502_basic: polar bear, mister

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#15 Edited by Master_Live (18139 posts) -

Damn near icons lol, maybe in Spain.

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#16 Posted by LJS9502_basic (156864 posts) -

@dave123321 said:

@LJS9502_basic: polar bear, mister

Oh I should feel like a polar bear
like a polar bear

it's impossible

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#17 Posted by indzman (23834 posts) -

@LJS9502_basic said:

Just another reason why celebs should be seen and not heard....

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#18 Posted by SUD123456 (4675 posts) -

Not quite as damning as Arendt, Einstein, et al in opposing Begin and rising fascism in Israel, but still interesting. And having to respond to the immediate 'anti-Semitic label' is always amusing and predictable.

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#19 Posted by thegerg (17823 posts) -

@LJS9502_basic said:

@Randolph said:

I do not understand why any celebrity's view, regardless of how ill informed it is, is given special treatment. Javier Bardem's view on this matters as much as Joe The Plumbers.

I do not understand why celebrities are given any consideration beyond their actual work product.

Because they're human beings. They're given consideration beyond their profession for the same reason that teachers, cooks, soldiers, and bartenders are.

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#20 Posted by jasean79 (2593 posts) -

I remember back during the presidential elections when GW Bush was running for his second term, actors like Tim Robbins were saying that if he got elected they were gonna pack up and move to Canada.

And yet he never left the country...

I think actors just look for reasons to get their names in the news again.

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#21 Posted by Darkman2007 (17929 posts) -

I find this line rather hilarious

"I cannot understand this barbarism, even more brutal and incomprehensible considering all of the horrible things the Jewish people have gone through in the past."

who does this fool think he is? so because his ancestors among others wouldn't stop in their slaughter and attacks on us (and my family has history in Spain), means that the Jews have to somehow be overly nice or adhere to some (mostly Christian inspired it seems) perception of war , peace and morals? were we supposed to learn something? was it a university course? if so does he require payment for this service?

seriously though , if he wants to stick his nose into an affair or issue, he has a right to express his opinion , no matter how dumb it is.

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#22 Posted by Boddicker (4233 posts) -

@LJS9502_basic said:

Just another reason why celebs should be seen and not heard....

HUUUUUGE +1

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#23 Posted by ferrari2001 (17570 posts) -

In other words, two washed out celebrities condemn Israel as a way to try and stay relevant.

Avatar image for LJS9502_basic
#24 Posted by LJS9502_basic (156864 posts) -

@thegerg said:

@LJS9502_basic said:

@Randolph said:

I do not understand why any celebrity's view, regardless of how ill informed it is, is given special treatment. Javier Bardem's view on this matters as much as Joe The Plumbers.

I do not understand why celebrities are given any consideration beyond their actual work product.

Because they're human beings. They're given consideration beyond their profession for the same reason that teachers, cooks, soldiers, and bartenders are.

Even for you this is idiotic. Way to be confused dude....

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#25 Posted by dave123321 (35178 posts) -

Celebrities views are to me the same as any view on OT. Some have stuff to add that's worthwhile. Some don't. The world moves on.

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#26 Edited by indzman (23834 posts) -

@thegerg said:

@LJS9502_basic said:

@Randolph said:

I do not understand why any celebrity's view, regardless of how ill informed it is, is given special treatment. Javier Bardem's view on this matters as much as Joe The Plumbers.

I do not understand why celebrities are given any consideration beyond their actual work product.

Because they're human beings. They're given consideration beyond their profession for the same reason that teachers, cooks, soldiers, and bartenders are.

What the does a celebrities know about poverty , war and people dying all around ? They live in luxury ,thier opinion sucks. Real critiques to be noted are authors / journalists , politicians and common people.

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#27 Edited by indzman (23834 posts) -

Reminds me of this most idiotic comment by Tom Cruise " "being an actor is like serving in Afghanistan."

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#28 Posted by ferrari2001 (17570 posts) -

@indzman said:

Reminds me of this most idiotic comment by Tom Cruise " "being an actor is like serving in Afghanistan."

HA! I remember that, Tom Cruise in everyday life is an utter crazy, but damn can that man act.

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#29 Posted by indzman (23834 posts) -

@ferrari2001 said:

@indzman said:

Reminds me of this most idiotic comment by Tom Cruise " "being an actor is like serving in Afghanistan."

HA! I remember that, Tom Cruise in everyday life is an utter crazy, but damn can that man act.

He is a good actor i give you that , but commenting his life is hard as a marines really proves he's crazy ( *cough* Scientology *cough* ) HeHe.

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#30 Posted by dave123321 (35178 posts) -

I thought the Afghanistan comment had been cleared up as some miscommunication

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#31 Posted by SaudiFury (8709 posts) -

Reminds me of Sean Penn for the Iraq War. best summarized as Team America put it

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#32 Posted by MrGeezer (58417 posts) -

@indzman said:

What the does a celebrities know about poverty , war and people dying all around ? They live in luxury ,thier opinion sucks. Real critiques to be noted are authors / journalists , politicians and common people.

Wait, what? If you're disregarding a celebrity's comments because "what would they know about it", then what the **** do "the common people" know about it either? Most "common people" aren't in crippling poverty and have never been in a warzone. What makes their opinion worthy of consideration over a celebrity's?

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#33 Edited by indzman (23834 posts) -

@MrGeezer said:

@indzman said:

What the does a celebrities know about poverty , war and people dying all around ? They live in luxury ,thier opinion sucks. Real critiques to be noted are authors / journalists , politicians and common people.

Wait, what? If you're disregarding a celebrity's comments because "what would they know about it", then what the **** do "the common people" know about it either? Most "common people" aren't in crippling poverty and have never been in a warzone. What makes their opinion worthy of consideration over a celebrity's?

Common people i meant by poor or average people who struggle in life regularly or are affected by rising taxes , poverty , war , corruption or anything. In here Gaza or Israel common people themselves.

Example : i'd rather hear from a affected gaza or israel civilian has to say themselves on the situation than what Javier Bardem or Penelope Cruz got to say .

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#34 Posted by MrGeezer (58417 posts) -

@indzman said:

Common people i meant by poor or average people who struggle in life regularly or are affected by rising taxes , poverty , war , corruption or anything. In here Gaza or Israel common people themselves.

Example : i'd rather hear about a affected gaza or israel civilian has to say than what Javier Bardem or Penelope Cruz .

I'm all for listening to the opinions of the people affected, but it's not as if living in poverty makes one an expert on poverty. You can listen to them talk all day about what it's like to be impoverished, and chances are that's the extent of what they know. They most likely won't know jack shit about the causes of poverty, how to solve poverty, or the broad-reaching ramifications of poverty. Anyone can cry about rising taxes, and the vast majority of them aren't gonna know shit about whether or not those rising taxes are necessary. Everyone has an opinion and most of them (common man or not) are woefully unqualified to give an intelligent and informed opinion. Why is the plumber or the fry cook's narrow viewpoint any more valid than the actor's?

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#35 Posted by indzman (23834 posts) -

@MrGeezer said:

@indzman said:

Common people i meant by poor or average people who struggle in life regularly or are affected by rising taxes , poverty , war , corruption or anything. In here Gaza or Israel common people themselves.

Example : i'd rather hear about a affected gaza or israel civilian has to say than what Javier Bardem or Penelope Cruz .

I'm all for listening to the opinions of the people affected, but it's not as if living in poverty makes one an expert on poverty. You can listen to them talk all day about what it's like to be impoverished, and chances are that's the extent of what they know. They most likely won't know jack shit about the causes of poverty, how to solve poverty, or the broad-reaching ramifications of poverty. Anyone can cry about rising taxes, and the vast majority of them aren't gonna know shit about whether or not those rising taxes are necessary. Everyone has an opinion and most of them (common man or not) are woefully unqualified to give an intelligent and informed opinion. Why is the plumber or the fry cook's narrow viewpoint any more valid than the actor's?

What does a celebrity knows about war also exactly ? Javier Bardem and Penelope cruz should try concentrating on movies than making idiotic comments on countries without understanding jackshit.

I personally care about peoples plight over a celebritys rambling FYI.

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#36 Edited by sibu_xgamer (340 posts) -

What I find funny is the anti-semitic label to those who oppose the massacre of the civilian population. I never considered myself nor many people around me anti-semitic, but now I feel more and more people are becoming fed up with Israel and their apologists generating true hate towards them. I guess the main source of anti-semitism nowadays is Israel itself and those apologists who defend murdering innocent people. Well I just hope they don't come whining in the future when more people start wearing the anti-semitic label with pride.

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#37 Posted by MrGeezer (58417 posts) -

@indzman said:

What does a celebrity knows about war also exactly ? Javier Bardem and Penelope cruz should try concentrating on movies than making idiotic comments on countries without understanding jackshit.

I personally care about peoples plight over a celebritys rambling FYI.

I'm sorry, but does being in a warzone put one in a unique position to research the complexities of the situation? Also note that wars tend to have at least two sides, and being personally involved tends to inhibit people's ability to understand the viewpoints of the OTHER side. What the hell kind of sense does it make to give preferential validity to the arguments of someone who's already biased? Having a bomb drop onto your house doesn't tell you jack shit about the nature of the conflict within a broader perspective. Do you think that suffering somehow makes people experts on economics and politics? Please explain to me exactly how being poor qualifies a dude to intellligently comment on wage issues or taxes.

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#38 Posted by Darkman2007 (17929 posts) -

@MrGeezer said:

@indzman said:

What the does a celebrities know about poverty , war and people dying all around ? They live in luxury ,thier opinion sucks. Real critiques to be noted are authors / journalists , politicians and common people.

Wait, what? If you're disregarding a celebrity's comments because "what would they know about it", then what the **** do "the common people" know about it either? Most "common people" aren't in crippling poverty and have never been in a warzone. What makes their opinion worthy of consideration over a celebrity's?

the comments common people make (which are indeed no worse or better than that of some celebrity actor , model , footballer or whatever) don't get published in the newspapers , nor do they attract attention.

If nobody paid attention to what they said regarding issues they know little about, it wouldn't be different.

But of course people will scrape the floor for whatever comment they find to support their particular arguments, no matter the source. Its one of the reasons I think why some people choose to follow the Middle Eastern narrative of someone like Chomsky (who by training is a linguist and alot of what he says sounds like nonsense detached from reality), over somebody like Bernard Lewis who studied the Middle East, its language and culture all his life. I think its more a matter of preaching to the choir as opposed to wanting an actual opinion.

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#39 Edited by thegerg (17823 posts) -

@LJS9502_basic: It's not idiotic. Do you feel your thoughts should only be considered when they are in relationship to your profession?

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#40 Posted by MrGeezer (58417 posts) -

@Darkman2007 said:

@MrGeezer said:

@indzman said:

What the does a celebrities know about poverty , war and people dying all around ? They live in luxury ,thier opinion sucks. Real critiques to be noted are authors / journalists , politicians and common people.

Wait, what? If you're disregarding a celebrity's comments because "what would they know about it", then what the **** do "the common people" know about it either? Most "common people" aren't in crippling poverty and have never been in a warzone. What makes their opinion worthy of consideration over a celebrity's?

the comments common people make (which are indeed no worse or better than that of some celebrity actor , model , footballer or whatever) don't get published in the newspapers , nor do they attract attention.

If nobody paid attention to what they said regarding issues they know little about, it wouldn't be different.

But of course people will scrape the floor for whatever comment they find to support their particular arguments, no matter the source. Its one of the reasons I think why some people choose to follow the Middle Eastern narrative of someone like Chomsky (who by training is a linguist and alot of what he says sounds like nonsense detached from reality), over somebody like Bernard Lewis who studied the Middle East, its language and culture all his life. I think its more a matter of preaching to the choir as opposed to wanting an actual opinion.

Then your issue isn't celebrities making comments, your issue is with the media giving attention to comments which are irrelevant.

Don't criticize a celebrity for speaking his mind when "common people" speak their minds every day and their comments are just as irrelevant. Arguing that the news shouldn't give attention to stupid comments is a vastly different thing than arguing that actors should stop commenting about things not related to acting.

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#41 Posted by MrGeezer (58417 posts) -

@thegerg said:

@LJS9502_basic: It's not idiotic. Do you feel your thoughts should only be considered when they are in relationship to your profession?

That's really a disturbing line of thought, really. Hell, it wouldn't be so bad if people were criticizing celebrities for making comments that are stupid or wrong, but they aren't even doing that. They're saying that celebrities shouldn't be making those comments because they're celebrities. Now it's no longer about the validity of the comment, it's about who says it. The implication is that even if a celebrity does have something important or profound to say, that they should still just shut the **** up.

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#42 Posted by Darkman2007 (17929 posts) -

@MrGeezer:

I never said they should or shouldn't say anything, as I said in my first comment they have a right to say what he wants even if its stupid (and frankly insulting), the problem is that people & the media pay attention to them as though they are either knowledgeable or even smart.

Avatar image for indzman
#43 Posted by indzman (23834 posts) -

@MrGeezer said:

@indzman said:

What does a celebrity knows about war also exactly ? Javier Bardem and Penelope cruz should try concentrating on movies than making idiotic comments on countries without understanding jackshit.

I personally care about peoples plight over a celebritys rambling FYI.

I'm sorry, but does being in a warzone put one in a unique position to research the complexities of the situation? Also note that wars tend to have at least two sides, and being personally involved tends to inhibit people's ability to understand the viewpoints of the OTHER side. What the hell kind of sense does it make to give preferential validity to the arguments of someone who's already biased? Having a bomb drop onto your house doesn't tell you jack shit about the nature of the conflict within a broader perspective. Do you think that suffering somehow makes people experts on economics and politics? Please explain to me exactly how being poor qualifies a dude to intellligently comment on wage issues or taxes.

Celebrity comments are for free publicity for themselves and more fodder for media who highlights them , they shouldn't be taken seriously man. They never ever actually care about war or anything , they only care about how to come into limelight or money, its showbiz for them.

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#44 Posted by MrGeezer (58417 posts) -

@indzman said:

Celebrity comments are for free publicity for themselves and more fodder for media who highlights them , they shouldn't be taken seriously man. They never ever actually care about war or anything , they only care about how to come into limelight or money, its showbiz for them.

Um, how do you know what celebrities do or do not care about? If anything, that seems like the kind of comment that would only be made by someone who doesn't care about anything.

Here's an exercise for you. Write down five things that you care deeply about. Now imagine that you got rich and famous. Are you honestly telling me that you'd suddenly stop caring about all of those things just because you got rich and famous? If so, that says more about you than it does about any celebrity. And if not, then why would it be any different for celebrities? Are you under the impression that celebrities are somehow less human than you, and somehow incapable of caring about things?

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#45 Posted by Randolph (10542 posts) -

@indzman: Do yourself a favor man. Don't bother. Seriously wasting your time.

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#46 Posted by indzman (23834 posts) -

@Randolph said:

@indzman: Do yourself a favor man. Don't bother. Seriously wasting your time.

Yep, will do that :)

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#47 Posted by thebest31406 (3775 posts) -

@mrgeeezer: You reckon you'd be having this conversation if Bardem and Cruz said something different?

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#48 Edited by thebest31406 (3775 posts) -
@Masculus said:

And on to the Blacklist!

Eh...maybe not. Perhaps if they showed their willingness to pander to the narcissists by way of say...a 2 hour Dateline interview?

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#49 Posted by dave123321 (35178 posts) -

Geezer's so very fucking right on this.

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#50 Edited by dave123321 (35178 posts) -

Saying that all celebrities don't give a shit about stuff other then themselves is such a silly thing to think