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Bardem and Cruz don’t speak English well enough to understand ‘genocide’ — Saban

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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 THRVariety 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.

ADL ad signed by Sban

ADL ad signed by Saban

Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of

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20 Responses

  1. a blah chick on August 25, 2014, 12:18 pm

    Ah, the old “they don’t love their children” meme. Some classics do get dated, people. I guess those pictures of Gaza parents getting hysterical over their dead children was an act for the cameras.

    Really folks, that whole “we forgive them…” shtick went out in the sixties with bell bottoms. Butcher Bibi showed the way with his “eulogy” at the hitchhikers’ funeral. There it was Blood! Vengeance! Bialik! (Chaim, not Mayim). That’s the new theme, folks, get with the program.

  2. Maximus Decimus Meridius on August 25, 2014, 12:33 pm

    I also suspect the ADL was hoping for a higher calibre of signatures. Granted, I’m not American, but I don’t think I’ve heard of a single one of those people. Hardly movers and shakers in public life.

    Same with the belated list of Hollywood ‘stars’ who signed on to a silly pro-Israel letter a few days ago. The only really famous people on the list – Schwarzenneger, Stallone – are decades past their prime. The rest were mostly C listers. And given that the war on Gaza is nearly 2 months old, it’s amazing that it took them this long to come up with a statement. It’s so obviously a response to the Spanish letter of several weeks ago, which must have sent them into a bit of a tizzy. Israel just isn’t cool anymore. No young, hip Hollywooder would want their name tainted by Brand Israel. It’s just not worth it.

  3. joecatron on August 25, 2014, 12:41 pm

    Admittedly, I’m not such a big pop-culture guy.

    But am I the only one who would need to Google pretty much all the names in that ad?

    • annie on August 25, 2014, 12:50 pm

      i’ve never heard of any of them except saban. they are mostly ceo’s and big wigs in the industry, not stars.

      but seriously, if they think they can resurrect this grotesque racist quote into something acceptable by any normal persons standards, they are deluded.

      it’s likely this represents somewhat of a looming threat-reminder not to step on these guys feet if you want to work in hollywood. this is the bar they are setting, meir’s quote. how disgusting.

      • AbigailOK on August 26, 2014, 7:59 pm

        Mafia mentality. If you have the guts to have an opinion which is contrary to mine you eat dust. What a gross bunch of crappy racketeers. I don’t understand how they ever got there.
        And then the Saban comment: Not only arrogant and petty but also pretty dumb. How to get disliked in a second. But hey, money talks, he thinks. Cheap.

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius on August 25, 2014, 1:16 pm

      I said much the same thing above. I’m not American, so maybe that explains it, but I didn’t recognise a single one of those names. Of course, just because they’re not known to the general public doesn’t mean they don’t wield great power behind the scenes. Even so, I reckon the ADL was hoping for a more star studded list. But stars just don’t want to be tainted by toxic Brand Israel anymore.

  4. ckg on August 25, 2014, 1:47 pm

    I like the new MW format, but I see this excellent post by Phil from this morning has already been pushed off the front page by three newer posts under US Politics.

    • philweiss on August 26, 2014, 2:20 pm

      Thanks for the compliment ckg. We do want to figure out a way that the old “list” look, of that day’s posts, is easily accessible in the archives tab. It doesnt seem to function yet. But it’s on the list.

  5. just on August 25, 2014, 5:14 pm

    Haim and Indyk and Hillary and Bill, etc…..

    He’s part of the problem, not any part of a solution.

  6. WeAreAllMadeOfStars on August 25, 2014, 5:51 pm

    I love that ad … The other I was trying to prove to a friend of mine that the ADL was a farce, an intellectual bankruptcy … This ad is a perfect own goal. Tell you, I’m gonna keep it and tell you again but this time more clearly I love that ad soooo much

  7. WeAreAllMadeOfStars on August 25, 2014, 5:57 pm

    arrrghk …. where’s the edit button gone ? Anyway, it should read The other day and in the end there was a sarcasm-tag I love that ad soooo much end-of-sacrcasm-tag but it seems it was deleted. Sorry folk :-(

  8. chris o on August 25, 2014, 9:29 pm

    Needless to say, there are more than a few Jewish luminaries in Hollywood. Presumably they were all asked to sign this. I want to express my great thanks and appreciation to them all for not signing. Even if it was a business decision, I appreciate it.

  9. chris o on August 25, 2014, 9:33 pm

    Regarding the offensive Golda Meir quote, on Democracy Now, Chomsky quoted Amira Hass as describing it as “sadism disguised as compassion.”

    • AbigailOK on August 26, 2014, 8:02 pm

      Sadism disguised as compassion? Where is the compassion? Israel and as such the steely unconscionable Meir has no compassion, simply does not know what it is and sees it as weakness. To be destroyed probably. Like anything else they don’t like.

      • AbigailOK on August 26, 2014, 8:04 pm

        Due to the lack of an edit button (bring it back, please, people need to be able to edit whatever they wrote if only to get a typo out) : I am aware that Meir is no longer with us.

  10. Taxi on August 26, 2014, 2:35 am

    Let it be known that the geriatric action superstar Sylvester Stallone and his bff the lascivious and seedy Arnold Swartznigger are both staring in the franchise action flick ‘The Expendables’ – which is distributed by the notably uncharismatic Jon Feltheimer, CEO at LionsGate – his name noted on the list of signatures in support of israeli war crimes and infanticide in Gaza – big zionist maker and shaker.

    So we can plausibly say that the action boy-bimbos , Sylverster and Arnold, put their names on the list cuz their boss Feltheimer asked them to and they couldn’t say no cuz ‘The Expendables’ franchise is their last open gig in Hollywood and they need to curry favor with their zionist Hollywood ‘boss’.

    Needless to say, the fact that the dimming, wrinkled stars of Stallone and Shwartznigger are the biggest names on that list is a sign of the diminishing reputation of Netanyahu’s israel in the eyes of Hollywood proper. They may still love israel, but they sure ain’t supporting the current right-wing infanticidal israeli government.

    Hey… what I wanna say about mister Saban won’t get past moderation so I’ll leave it at that. (Like you need to know ‘good English’ to recognize genocide or infanticide!)

    It’s appalling: the poster that the ADL is using is disgustingly racist and I hope good Americans see through the utter prejudice and incendiary hatefulness of it. It is doubly disgusting that such a scary ogre-esque looking warmonger like dame Golda would say it too – yikes!. Man, that Golda sure is the ugliest politician in the history of mankind! Ugly on the outside, ugly war criminal on the inside!

    And regarding the so-called “most powerful woman in Hollywood”, Amy Pascal (her signature is on the list), well I’ve met the sweaty-handed dudette (at a friend’s wedding) and I used to hang with one of her assistants so I can tell you all about her personal dysfunctionalities and obsessions with liposuction and facelifts and breast augmentation, but I won’t. That would just be way too catty now, won’t it?

    • annie on August 26, 2014, 2:53 am

      amy who? this person? never heard of her.

      • Taxi on August 26, 2014, 4:57 am

        Yikes! Yeah that’s her alright. The desperate-for-youth hairdo says it all.

        You’d know her name if you lived in LA and knew a buncha film eggheads like I do.

        Point is: this must be the suckiest celeb list ever!

        Sign of the times.

      • AbigailOK on August 26, 2014, 8:08 pm

        LOL. Although my eyes needed adjustment. OK not very ladylike to comment on an ugly pic of someone looking like a great white shark ready to bite. Although, that’s an insult to any great white who are actually very intelligent creatures and not the murder machines Jaws would have them. OK, let’s compare her to the (fake, it was a robot they had made) robot Jaws. Nice lookalike. Ugly inside, ugly outside….

  11. DICKERSON3870 on August 26, 2014, 6:56 am

    RE: “Egyptian-born Saban, who immigrated to Israel with his family in 1956 . . .”

    MY COMMENT – According to Wikipedia (Haim Saban): “Saban was born to a Jewish family in Alexandria, Egypt, in 1944. In 1956, the Saban family immigrated to Israel along with most of the Egyptian Jewish community.”
    Apparently, the Sabans along with most other Egyptian Jews decided it was best to leave Egypt after Israel invaded Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula in 1956.
    It would be interesting to hear from Haim Saban what it was like for Jews in Egypt after it became known in the Summer of 1954 that Israeli military intelligence had recruited some Egyptian Jews to carry out terrorist attacks in Egypt like planting a bombs inside the Alexandria post office and numerous other locations.*
    According to Wikipedia (History of the Jews in Egypt), “[t]he Lavon Affair of 1954, in which an Israeli sabotage operation designed to discredit Gamal Abdel Nasser and perhaps also to derail secret negotiations with Egypt proposed by Moshe Sharett, blew up Western targets (without causing deaths), led to deeper distrust of Jews, from whose community key agents in the operation had been recruited.”

    * FROM WIKIPEDIA [Lavon Affair]:

    [EXCERPTS] The Lavon Affair refers to a series of failed Israeli planned and sponsored terrorist attacks, code named Operation Susannah, conducted in Egypt in the Summer of 1954. As part of the false flag operation,[1] a group of Egyptian Jews were recruited by Israeli military intelligence for plans to plant bombs inside Egyptian, American and British-owned civilian targets, cinemas, libraries and American educational centers. The attacks were to be blamed on the Muslim Brotherhood, Egyptian Communists, “unspecified malcontents” or “local nationalists” with the aim of creating a climate of sufficient violence and instability to induce the British government to retain its occupying troops in Egypt’s Suez Canal zone.[2] The operation caused no casualties, except for those terrorists of the cell who committed suicide after being captured.

    The operation ultimately became known as the Lavon Affair after the Israeli defense minister Pinhas Lavon was forced to resign as a consequence of the incident. Before Lavon’s resignation, the incident had been euphemistically referred to in Israel as the “Unfortunate Affair” or “The Bad Business” (Hebrew: עסק הביש‎, Esek HaBish). After Israel publicly denied any involvement in the incident for 51 years, the surviving terrorists were officially honored in 2005 by being awarded certificates of appreciation by Israeli President Moshe Katzav.[3]

    In the early 1950s, the United States initiated a more activist policy of support for Egyptian nationalism; this was often in contrast with British policies of maintaining its regional hegemony. Israel feared that this policy, which encouraged Britain to withdraw its military forces from the Suez Canal, would embolden Egyptian President Nasser’s military ambitions towards Israel. Israel first sought to influence this policy through diplomatic means but was frustrated.[4]

    In the summer of 1954 Colonel Binyamin Gibli, the chief of Israel’s military intelligence, Aman, initiated Operation Susannah in order to reverse that decision. The goal of the Operation was to carry out bombings and other acts of terrorism in Egypt with the aim of creating an atmosphere in which the British and American opponents of British withdrawal from Egypt would be able to gain the upper hand and block the British withdrawal from Egypt.

    According to historian Shabtai Teveth, who wrote one of the more detailed accounts, the assignment was “To undermine Western confidence in the existing [Egyptian] regime by generating public insecurity and actions to bring about arrests, demonstrations, and acts of revenge, while totally concealing the Israeli factor. The team was accordingly urged to avoid detection, so that suspicion would fall on the Muslim Brotherhood, the Communists, ‘unspecified malcontents’ or ‘local nationalists’.”[2] . . .

    . . . On 2 July the cell detonated bombs at a post office in Alexandria,[6] and on 14 July, it bombed the libraries of the U.S. Information Agency in Alexandria and Cairo and a British-owned theater. . . .

    . . . Several suspects were arrested, including Egyptian Jews and undercover Israelis. . .

    SOURCE –

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