Voight, a supporter of Israel, criticized the duo of “inciting anti-Semitism” in an open letter, published in Saturday’s issue of Variety.
“My name is Jon Voight and I am more than angry. 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," the letter kicks-off.
“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,” the actor wrote. “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."
Voight’s letter continues to list Israel’s efforts for peace, “It voluntarily returned the Sinai Peninsula to Egypt in return for peace, and gave the Palestinians all of Gaza as a peace gesture. What was the response? The Palestinians elected Hamas, a terrorist organization, and they immediately began firing thousands of rockets into Israel.”
“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 should hang your heads in shame,” the letter continues, “You should all come forth with deep regrets for what you did, and ask forgiveness from the suffering people in Israel.”
Before Voight’s letter was published by Variety, Cruz and Bardem issued statements to clarify their stance on the issue.
Bardem’s statement said, “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.”