Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem have clarified their stance on Gaza, saying they “detest anti-semitism.”
The Oscar-winning couple, along with Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodovar, sparked controversy when they put their signatures to a statement expressing outrage and calling for an end to “the genocide perpetrated by the Israeli occupation army in the Gaza Strip against Palestinian civilians.”
Penelope later said: “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.
“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.”
Her husband Javier added: “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 – 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.”
He continued: “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.”