Bardem and Cruz laid the entire blame for the fighting on Israel.

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By Hugh Ash

In her ignorance, Penelope Cruz probably best summed up a tranche of opinion of the latest Israel-Hamas war, admitting in a letter to USA Today, ‘I’m not an expert on the situation and I’m aware of the complexity of it.’
   This mea culpa was a backtrack on an earlier, incendiary open letter she’d co-signed – along with other Spanish showbiz luvvies – written by her actor husband, Javier Bardem, which essentially laid the entire blame for the fighting on Israel and lambasted Europe for ‘allowing genocide to happen.’
   Renowned for his radicalism, Bardem damned the conflict as ‘a war of occupation and extermination against a people without means, confined to a minimum of land, without water and where hospitals, ambulances and children are targets and alleged terrorists.’
   Without understating the unimaginable horrors suffered by Gaza’s innocents, the actor’s sanctimonious rant was as misguided as the countless Hamas missiles that fell on their own people and a shameful distortion of reality.
   Why, for instance, didn’t Bardem mention nearly 3,000 rockets fired at Israeli civilians, deliberately intended to incite retaliation; the millions of dollars of Israeli-supplied cement, electricity and water meant for civilian purposes, but diverted to construct a labyrinth of terror tunnels; Hamas using civilians – even reporters – as human shields and hospitals as HQs; ambulances hijacked to ferry fighters and missiles launchers; or that there’s nothing ‘alleged’ about Hamas being a gang of homicidal terrorists, because the UN, US, EU long judged them so?
    At least, the gobby thespian fell short of seconding Spanish writer, Antonio Gala’s viciously anti-Semitic tirade in El Mundo, reprising the 1492 expulsions by proposing Spain’s 50,000 Jews be kicked out, since ‘it is though they were not made to co-exist’.
   Bardem’s inflammatory bombast, however, still provoked worldwide outrage, not least from fellow Oscar winner, Jon Voigt, who accused the Spaniard of ‘stupidity’ and fanning the flames of anti-Semitism.
   Using the platform of the Hollywood Reporter, he provided Bardem, Cruz & Co with a history lesson about Arab attacks on Israel since 1948 ‘when the country was created through the United Nations, including the 1967 and 1973 wars. And when Israel was not fighting a major war, it was defending itself against terrorist campaigns.’
   Voigt, a non-Jew and father of Angelina Jolie, called on the purblind celebs who signed ‘that poison letter against Israel’ to ‘examine their motives’, adding, ‘Can you take back the fire of anti-Semitism raging all over the world now?’
   And, for extra measure, he reminded them, ‘You had a great responsibility to use your celebrity for good. Instead, you have defamed the only democratic country of goodwill in the Middle East: Israel.’
   Days later, then, Bardem followed his repentant wife in performing verbal acrobatics, saying he regretted using the word ‘genocide’, claiming his diatribe was only directed at Israel’s government and military.
   ‘I have great respect for the people of Israel and deep compassion for their losses,’ he added, hoping to wipe the plate clean of slurs.
   At least it dawned on him to withdraw any allusion to ‘genocide’, a highly emotive and abused term that – quoting Chambers dictionary – specifically refers to ‘the deliberate extermination of a racial, national, religious or ethnic group.’ Nothing diminishes the carnage of Gaza… lifeless children, weeping parents, buildings reduced to rubble. But, despite Hamas’s unverified claim of 1,875 deaths – 430 of whom they said were under 15 – it was not a genocide.
   Meanwhile, the terror group’s arithmetic is being contested by Israel and independent arbitrators, whose initial estimate states at least 900 Hamas fighters perished in Operation Protective Edge. So onlookers shooting from the lip, while ignoring – or, in the case of Cruz, being ignorant of – salient facts make a mockery of their own, ill-informed opinions.
   As the fog of war clears others, too, might be rueing their rush to judgement, including the Obama administration.
   Last week its kneejerk reaction to an Israeli attack on a rocket launcher, said to have killed 10 in a UN school, was to brand it ‘disgraceful’.
   New evidence, backed by photos, strongly points to the missile strike hitting the road outside, where a crater is plainly evident and that dead bodies were moved into the school by Hamas – with the corpse of a small girl added to hype the PR impact.
   After the two, previous Hamas-Israel wars, it should be patently obvious to fair-minded folk that there are no depths to the terror gang’s skulduggery. Even Judge Richard Goldstone was forced to retract the ‘findings’ of his notorious report on the 2009 conflict, admitting later, ‘If I had known then what I know now, the Goldstone Report would have been a different document.’
    However, the blinkered Left – and its dimwit celeb cheerleaders – only see and hear what they want to, blurring fallacy into ‘fact’.
    And their abiding, pathological, obsessive prejudice against Israel now openly spills over into old-fashioned Jew-hatred, as the forest of placards spelt out so unambiguously in so-called ‘peace marches’ and attacks on Jews across Europe during recent weeks.
   Bizarrely, I find it implausible how the saintly bigots can defend Islamo-fascists, like Hamas, whose cherished wish is to slaughter Christians, Jews and gays, subjugate women and refashion the world according to a loony, 7th Century religious dogma.
   Also, I have to wonder why these principled do-gooders, dressed in their ‘terrorist chic’, kefir scarfs, don’t give a hoot about Christians crucified in ISIS’s new ‘caliphate’ across Iraq and Syria, Russia grabbing a huge chunk of Ukraine, China murdering Tibetans wholesale or Iran persecuting opponents of its crackpot regime.
   If they do, then where are the demos?  And, lest I forget the useful-idiot apologists for Islamic savagery – Jimmy Carter, Paddy Ashdown and Baroness Warsi take note – forever claiming Israel’s defence of its citizenry only serves as a recruiting sergeant for Muslim extremism, the simple answer is: it doesn’t, as history is my witness.
   Maybe they should share their judgemental folly with relatives of the victims of 9/11 (2001), the Madrid bombings (2004), 7/7 (2005) and the countless other terror outrages to see how their inanity is viewed.   
   So, yes, certainly protest the hideous death toll in Gaza, but, instead of continually castigating Israel, point an accusing finger at who’s really to blame – Hamas.  

 To read more of Hugh Ash’s comments, follow his award-winning, online blog – Views From The Mallorca Pier – at hughash.wordpress.com