Javier Bardem Clarifies Gaza Support Statements

Javier Bardem Palistinian Support
Carlos R. Alvarez/WireImage

Javier Bardem has now joined Penelope Cruz in attempting to clarify his position on the crisis in Gaza and Israel. Several entertainment figures including Bardem, Cruz and Pedro Almodovar had released a letter earlier this week describing Israel’s actions as genocide, but were met with charges that their statement amounted to anti-Semitism.

Bardem now says that though he was critical of the Israel military response, he has “great respect for the people of Israel and deep compassion for their losses.”

On Tuesday, Cruz issued a statement saying she was “aware of the complexity of the situation.” The situation in Gaza is a tricky one for the entertainment business to navigate. While many celebrities are quick to decry the violence in Gaza, they now find themselves pitted against those who have long supported Israel. While a few entertainers such as Joan Rivers, Howard Stern, Bill Maher — and Israeli actress Gal Gadot — have spoken strongly in favor of Israel since the conflict began in early July, other previous Israel supporters have felt that it is more difficult to decide which side is in the right in the current situation.

A video and photo project in support of Palestinian rights released Monday with the #Gazanames label attracted support from figures including Jewish American actor Mandy Patinkin, Tony Kushner, Jonathan Demme, Gloria Steinem, Wallace Shawn and Brian Eno. The project was co-produced by the Jewish Voice for Peace organization.

Bardem’s complete statement is as follows:

PLEA FOR PEACE

Javier Bardem

This week, along with a number of artists in my home country of Spain, I spoke out about the conflict in Gaza urging all governments to intervene in this escalating crisis. 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.

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 coexistence, 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.

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  1. stylinred says:

    It’s amazing how Hollywood is deeply entrenched in supporting Israel..that when its actors speak their mind they get black listed…yet Holocaust survivors are also against Israels actions and that story barely gets play..shame shame on those in Hollywood for oppressing democracy and supporting fascism…was Gibson right?

  2. Alex Schlesinger says:

    Badem discovers too late that: a stone once cast, cannot be recalled.

  3. jan riemersma says:

    Barely credible.

  4. Israel is under attack. It’s citizens are running to take shelter from rockets multiple times a day. If your country was being attacked, what action would you want your government to take? Israel has not “fired” first. They are responding. I would want my government to defend me and my family. End of discussion.

    • stylinred says:

      Israel fired first when during the ceasefire before the kidnappings took place they assassinated Hamas members, which sparked the killing of those teenagers which sparked the torture murder of the gazan child…strike first? do you really want to go back to when this mess all started and see who started it? european israelis did with the Irgun etc. which committed terrorist acts against all in the area including the ashkenazi

    • Lorna Greenberg says:

      Bardem is now back tracking on his initial position in the open letter comment that he was “critical against Israel’s military response” Now he’s taking a tactic by defending Isreal’es military response. Which is it???
      Perhaps, he and Cruz, along with their other Spanish comrades should ponder more deeply their views with a fairer balanced approach before they impulsively blast Israel.

      • Lorna Greenberg says:

        Bardem is now back tracking on his and Cruz’s initial position in the open letter comment that they were “criticall against Israel’s military response” as “genocidal”
        Now Bardem’s latest tactic is defending Israels military response
        Which is it??
        Perhaps he and Cruz, along with their Spanish commrades should ponder more deeply their views with a fairer balanced approach before they impulsively blast Israel.

  5. charla hawkins says:

    Backpeddling to cover your career. May I ask, if your home was attacked over and over would you be fine with the danger to your family. You or I do not live in their situation. Israel is being attacked by terrorist and you support them. Shame on you! I am sure your Hollywood friends will exalt you , but I a average person will not. Hollywood people do not live in the real world and you are in their ranks.

  6. Glenn says:

    I’ll find you a whole lot more convincing when you issue a statement first condemning the Hamas rockets, use of human shields, and using schools, mosques, and hospitals as weapons stores and launch sites, then regretting the Israeli response. To focus just on Israel is either willfully ignorant of the facts or amounts to support for Hamas terror.

  7. Sherry Jones says:

    World peace sounds really pretty, Javier, but you seem to be totally ignoring the fact that Israel did not start this conflict. Hamas started it, and has declared quite openly their desire and intent to “exterminate all Jews”. Israel has every right to defend itself. And for those people whining about the poor civilian casualties in Gaza, has it occurred to you that all those civilian casualties wouldn’t exist if Hamas wasn’t attacking Israel then hiding behind the civilians and using them as shields?

  8. AC says:

    I read it in Spanish, He is an anti-semitic piece of trash who is upset that Americans are bi-lingual enough to see him for the bigot he is

  9. icant says:

    Hell, hamas doesnt care what you want or think! How complicated is that??!!

  10. Jose Cunha says:

    Maybe Mister Bardem should lift his head up from the scripts he is reviewing, you like “No Country for Old Men”, those scripts he portrayed that perfectly illustrate how he was “…raised to be against any act of violence”. In that time perhaps he should inform himself who the true warmongers in the region are, who is fighting to attain peace and who is fighting with the clearly expressed purpose of exterminating their enemy. He might also want to look into who makes every effort to spare non combatants and who uses them as shields and a propaganda tool to forward their goal of genocide. While he’s at it, he might want to look at the governments in the region who clamor to his side in this issue, examine their record on freedom and human rights, and then do the same to the country he is condemning. He will find Israel to be the only ray of hope for humanity, freedom, tolerance, and peace in the region, the only hope for those people he CLAIMS to be so concerned for to have anything close to the life of freedom, peace and luxury he enjoys. And incidentally the only country that welcomes those people to be a part of their nation and society in peace in spite of their stated goals to destroy Israel and exterminate all Jews. I side with those who’s actions, not their words, divulge their true desire for peace. You have chosen the politically correct route, to do what is popular instead of what is right. Now you think some carefully chosen words straddling both sides of the fence will make you right? No sale. Do your homework, grow some balls, and if you truly decry violence and stand for peace and coexistence, stand with those fighting to achieve the same.

  11. jorgerubenstein126 says:

    IDF does not intent to kill any child or any innocent civilians, because as you saying “small piece of territory” should not be the excuse for them bombarding Israel constantly. Ariel Sharon give land for peace Israelis left industrial unities and other facilities and the leadership of Hamas has destroyed everything and you know why? Left by the Jews
    Do you know IDF have hospitals which are treating injured Palestine’s side by side with Jews/IDF and after sending them to Israel hospitals? The problem is not Israel but Hamas where their doctrine is for the completion Israel and the killing of Jews.
    We praise the life and them the death.
    Do you know money given by ECC (Europe) as grant mainly is used in printing books for young children’s, from 5 years of age teaching how to kill a JEW?
    Monaco is small piece of territory and do you see any unusual behave towards to France and French? Or the Scottish and Welch are against England?
    IRA used to be funding or trained by terrorist/countries, Libya Syria Iraq etc and now we are living in very fragile peace but we workings towards full peace, because they realize was the only way for all of us living together.
    Keep in mind we do not to want fight, hundreds of years fighting to survive and now because we protecting ourselves we should not fight and let to be killed for the pleasure of the others.
    Put yourself on shoes of people as the Israelis and Jews and then let me know your best solutions for the Peace

  12. Lorna Greenberg says:

    Having recently read the Simon Wiesenthall Center’s Response to the open letter from 100 Spanish celebrities including Javier Bardm and Penelpe Cruz, I feel compelled to respond to your Variety article also..

    Why were Bardem and Cruz now attempting to clarify their criticism of Israel’s “Genocidal” military response to being attacked by a internationally recognized terrorist group? The people in Gaza elected this terrorist organization and they are now being used by the Hamas as human shields for a political ploy
    I concur with the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s response to the ridiculous open letter signed by Bardem and Cruz. They are at a minimum illiterate or Anti Semitic.
    Why have they and their 100 Spanish celebrities etc.not been critical and outraged by the missiles hurled at Israel and the totally unacceptable tunnels whose sole purpose were made to attack and kill innocent Israelis or abduct Israels as bargaining chips?
    What government other than Israel makes advance communications to targeted areas of imminent attack?
    How does Hamas rationalize the use of millions of dollars donated by the European Union, Quater etc and other formerly sympathetic Arab countries for the purpose of destroying Israel rather than for building schools, hospital and infrastructure?
    With mounting civilian losses, it’s outrageous that Hamas will only resolve this disastrous conflict on their terms and will not yield until their goals are met.
    Cruz’s statement of “being aware of the complexity of the situation” is a lame and cowardly comment to back track on her tru anti Israel sentiments..
    This is not a complex but clear situation; Israel like any other country being attacked is responding militarily.
    Bardem and Cruz have not cited any direct criticism of Hamas and the other terrorist factions such as the Islamic Brigades, but only target Israel’s” genocidal” actions.

    The anti Israel bashers need a lesson in education: The Covenant of Hamas is clear: Israel’s annihilation and destruction

  13. carolina says:

    Its more than political, its religious, its for land. These celebrities speak as if the minimum of information is enough to,come out and accuse the others and their reasons for war… First inform yourselves, talk to real people, understand the conflict, define your position, think before,you speak (in reference to the first letter he and his ‘spanish friends’ publishes) and then say something useful and accurate or stay quiet. The fact that he and his wife had to write a letter defending themselves proove they need to take this advice.

  14. Beauchard says:

    Genocide means the “intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such”. Pretty heavy stuff. The Holocaust and Rwanda were genocide.
    Bardem accused Israel of genocide. That is in this situation the intent to destroy all Palestinians. An extreme accusation.
    Now he says it was only meant as a “plea for peace”. Anyone want to buy the Brooklyn Bridge?.

  15. Kaktuss says:

    Celebrities should just shut the h*ll up. The vast majority of them are not nearly educated enough to understand the complexity of this conflict and the impossible choices facing both sides.

    • Brett says:

      My thinking exactly. The conflict – and the people affected by it – deserve so much more then a simple hashtag.

  16. Dan says:

    Mr. Bardem, do you really want to know what will satisfy the Palistinians and their leadership, Hamas (a terrorist organization)? The end of Israel. And the end of all Jews.

    Think that’s a crazy statement? Learn the history of the state of Israel (e.g. when the U.N. voted Israel to be official, every Arab nation voted against it, and attacked the country the moment it was formed).

    This new conflict is akin to a person (Palestinians) sticking a foot in the road, only to have it run over by a car (Israel). The news media then captures the pain and agony of the person, drawing sympathy from the world.

    • jorgerubenstein126 says:

      You right with your comments, ignorant people talking rubbish as Mr whatever is called. I am proud Jew and make me angry listen and reading comments of many idiots as the ones made by certain celebrities.
      35 years ago my family was to be killed because were Jews and such country is named Portugal and the leaders were supported by certain fellows/friends of Mr. Bardem.
      He should look Spain before talk about Israel

  17. harry georgatos says:

    The killing of Palestinian children is just going to create a new generation of hate and reprisal attacks. The cycle will continue as Palestiinians are fenced off in their small piece of territory that is a breeding ground for terrorism. Israel belongs to Israelis but failed policy with the Palestinian situation has,made the situation worse. Seeing young Palistinian children blown up by missiles is not going to win the heart and souls of humanity.

  18. Harold Friedman says:

    Mr. Bardem, Ms. Cruz and the others who blame the conflict in Gaza on Israel’s occupation of Palestinian territory should bear in mind that although Israel still occupies the West Bank, it has NOT occupied Gaza for many years. The people of Gaza have utilized the non-occupation by electing Hezbolah as its governing body; sending rockets into Israel; and building tunnels for the purpose of sneak attacks on non-combatant Israelis. It should therefore not be surprizing that the Israeli people are hesitant to end the occupation which resulted from an attack by the Palestinians and their allies on Israel. The Israelis may have failed to “turn the other cheek”, but they do have reason, supported by centuries of experience, to be concerned by what people who hate them for being themselves have done in the past and have threatened to do again if give the opportunity

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