(NEW YORK) — After signing an open letter denouncing Israeli military action in Gaza, Javier Bardem has written another letter clarifying his position, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Bardem says his intention with the letter was to call for peace.
The open letter, which was printed in multiple Spanish media outlets earlier this week, was signed by a number of artists, including Bardem’s wife, Penelope Cruz. The letter described Israel’s military action against the Gaza Strip as “genocide.” Cruz issued a clarification of her own on Wednesday.
In his clarifying letter, Bardem states, “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 writes, “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.”
Bardem concludes, “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.”
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