Penelope Cruz, Javier Bardem Denounce Israeli 'Genocide' in Open Letter
UPDATED: Pedro Almodovar and other Spanish industry representatives join them in urging the European Union to condemn the bombing of Palestinian civilians.
MADRID – Dozens of Spanish film stars, directors, musicians and writers, led by Oscar winners Penelope Cruz, Javier Bardem and Pedro Almodovar, have denounced Israel's incursion into Gaza.
In an open letter referenced by Europa Press and other Spanish media, they described Israel's actions as "genocide."
They also called on the European Union to "condemn the bombing by land, sea and air against the Palestinian civilian population in the Gaza Strip."
In the open letter, they demanded a cease-fire by the Israeli military and urged Israel to "lift the blockade, which the Gaza Strip has suffered for more than a decade."
The letter also said: "Gaza is living through horror these days, besieged and attacked by land, sea and air. Palestinians' homes are being destroyed, they are being denied water, electricity [and] free movement to their hospitals, schools and fields while the international community does nothing."
Others who signed the letter include directors Montxo Armendariz and Benito Zambrano; actors Lola Herrera, Eduardo Noriega and Rosa Maria Sarda; and musicians Amaral and Nacho Campillo.
The entertainers blamed the new round of violence in the Middle East on the occupation of Palestinian land by Israel, which, the letter said, "continues to advance into and invade the Palestinian territories instead of returning to the 1967 borders."
Almost 1,100 Palestinians and 56 Israelis have died since the Israeli military began its bombardments of Gaza three weeks ago, according to the latest reports.
Bardem, who won the Oscar for supporting actor in 2008 for his role in No Country for Old Men, is a known political activist who frequently expounds on controversial issues.
Cruz won an Oscar in the best supporting actress category in Woody Allen's Vicky Cristina Barcelona in 2009.
The two are married and are good friends with Almodovar, who has won two Oscars: one for best foreign language film for All About My Mother (2000) and one for best original screenplay for Talk to Her (2002).
THR has reached out to reps for Bardem, Cruz and Almodovar and will update with any additional comment.