Last month film stars Javier Barden and Penelope Cruz did the unpardonable: accused Israel of genocide in Gaza in a letter they signed along with many other folks in Spain. Cruz and Bardem both walked the statement back later. And the stars’ careers have either suffered, or not, accounts vary.
But Haim Saban, the media mogul and ardent supporter of Israel inside the Democratic Party, is fighting back. Saban told the Hollywood Reporter that if Cruz and Bardem only knew “the facts,” they wouldn’t have said that about Gaza. Most people in Hollywood have only a superficial understanding of the situation.
Then there are Cruz and Bardem’s language skills:
“Maybe their English is not good enough to understand the meaning of ‘genocide.’” [Saban said]
That’s a ridiculous statement on its face: the letter was written in Spanish. Is “genocidio” really a different concept in Spanish than what it is in English? Here’s a portion of the Spanish:
Los firmantes de este comunicado, pertenecientes al mundo de la cultura, declaran su indignación por el genocidio que está perpetrando el ejército de ocupación israelí en la Franja de Gaza contra la población civil palestina.
More from the Hollywood Reporter:
Egyptian-born Saban, who immigrated to Israel with his family in 1956, was among the 18 leading Hollywood executives who this week broke high-level silence on the Gaza crisis, and lent their names to an Anti-Defamation League ad calling on world leaders to force Hamas to disarm. The somber black-and-white ad, which ran in THR, Variety and the Jewish Journal, was built around the late Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir’s famous remark that, while Israelis could forgive Palestinians for killing Jewish children, they never could forgive them for forcing Israelis to kill Arab children and that there could be no peace until Palestinians love their own youngsters more than they hate Jews.
Saban told THR that when he was approached by ADL about signing the ad, he replied “with pleasure” and revealed that Meir’s famous quote adorns the wall of his office lobby. “That statement really reflects reality,” he said. “If the Arabs start loving their children more than they hate the Jews, then maybe we will have an opportunity for some sort of dialogue, some sort of peace.”
So if you had a deeper understanding of the situation, you’d understand that Arabs don’t love their children as much as they hate Jews.
Here’s that ad. I have to believe that the ADL is disappointed by the number and weight of its signatories.