Penelope Cruz's letter on Israel is 'poison,' says Jon Voight

"You had a great responsibility to use your celebrity for good," Voight says. "Instead, you had defamed the only democratic country of goodwill in the Middle East."
By Annie Martin Follow @littlemannie   |  Aug. 4, 2014 at 10:05 AM
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LOS ANGELES, Aug. 4 (UPI) -- Jon Voight has slammed Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem for their recent criticism of Israel.

The 75-year-old actor and father to Angelina Jolie penned an open letter on The Hollywood Reporter in response to the letter Cruz and Bardem wrote last week. The couple and several other Spanish stars condemned Israel's attacks on Gaza as "genocide" in the note, and blamed the country for the renewed violence.

Voight said he is "more than angry" and "heartsick" over the letter, and accused the authors of ignorance. He asserted Israel "has always labored for a peaceful relation with its Arab neighbors," and "finally" retaliated in the past month after "years of running into bomb shelters and having hundreds of civilians killed."

"You have forgotten how this war started," the actor declared. "Did Hamas not kidnap and kill three young teenagers for the sake of killing, and celebrated after killing? What a travesty of justice."

"I am asking all my peers who signed that poison letter against Israel to examine their motives," he continued. "Can you take back the fire of anti-Semitism that is raging all over the world now? ... You have defamed the only democratic country of goodwill in the Middle East."

Voight ended by saying Cruz, Bardem and those who signed the letter should "hang [their] heads in shame" ands "ask forgiveness from the suffering people in Israel." The couple had issued statements previous to the actor's response to proclaim the letter "was solely meant as a plea for peace."

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