By Shmuley Boteach
What do Javier Bardem and Penelope Cruz know about genocide? Well, apparently enough to know that Israel is committing one in Gaza against the Palestinians and Hamas.
But seeing their public declaration to that effect, I wondered about their immersion in the subject.
What, for example, is their position on Erdogan’s Turkey, and why it is against the law to acknowledge the 1.5 million Armenians slaughtered by the Ottomans during the First World War?
And what of the Holocaust? Are Penelope and Javier, who are married, concerned about the repeat of the genocide of the Jews, especially since the Hamas charter explicitly calls for the murder of all Jews wherever they may be found, which is in fact a true call for genocide?
And what of the Cambodians. Have Penelope and Javier studied the killings fields where one third of the Cambodian population was murdered by Pol Pot and the Khmeier Rouge? Have they at least read Samantha Power’s excellent book on genocide, A Problem from Hell, and if so, why have we not heard anything from them on the subject until now? Where, for example, were Penelope and Javier in April of this year during the twentieth commemoration of the Rwandan Genocide? I, of course, saw Samantha in Kigali. I knew she would never miss it, even if she were not the American Ambassador to the UN. But Penelope and Javier were absent. Perhaps they were making a movie. Or perhaps they were tanning in Malibu. Regardless, are they familiar with the Interahamwe Hutu militias that macheted the Tutsi to death? Is this the first time they’ve heard the word? Have they ever reached out to President Kagame of Rwanda to ask him what a true genocide looks like, and how to define it?
For that matter, did Penelope and Javier travel to the former Yugoslavia to gain a better understanding of the genocides that took place, there, in Bosnia, Srebrenica, and Kosovo?
In other words-- before they parroted the obscene, depraved, repulsive lie that the Jews are committing a genocide of the Palestinians – a charge laid out by arch anti-Semites Roger Waters and Recep Tayipp Erdogan, both of whom compared the Jews to the Nazis – did they bother to even study the Arab-Israeli conflict?
Are they aware that Arab leaders, stretching back to the Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin Al-Husseini, and going all the way up to Hamas and Iran in the present day, call for the total annihiliation of the Jewish State of Israel with its six million inhabitants?
If Israel wants a genocide against the Palestinians, then why does it allow 1.5 million Israeli Arab citizens to live with total human rights as citizens of Israel, with more freedom than Arabs anywhere in the Middle East?
If Israel seeks a genocide of the Palestinians, why did it withdraw fully from Gaza in 2005? And why, with Hamas firing rockets at most of Israel’s cities, doesn’t Israel just carpet bomb Gaza? After all, it’s what the British and we Americans did to Germany and Japan when they fired rockets against London and other British cities. Churchill’s response was Hamburg and Dresden, both flattered to the ground. Roosevelt and Truman’s response was Berlin, Tokyo, Hiroshima, and Nagasaki, all of which were pulverized.
Indeed, didn’t Penelope and Javier ask themselves why Israel, widely assumed to possess stockpiles of thermonuclear warheads, didn’t just decide to nuke Gaza if they want a genocide?
And whoever heard of a genocidal power that uses text messages, phone calls, leaflets, and other alarms to warn civilians to leave buildings being used by Hamas to fire rockets? Did the Nazis warn the Poles that they were going to bomb Warsaw? Did the Hutu warn the Tutsis they were about to unleash an orgy of killing?
And if it is the Jews, rather than the Hamas who wants dead Palestinians, then why is Hamas turning Palestinian children into human shields, walking rocket silos, and human bomb bunkers?
No, one must simply conclude that Penelope and Javier are very talented actors and dismal students of history. Yet another Hollywood couple whose talent lies in impersonating characters and who are now trying to impersonate human rights activists and historians.
That’s bad enough. But when accusing Israel specifically of genocide, Penelope and Javier have crossed the line from vacant and hypocritical Hollywood human rights grandstanding into unforgivable anti-Semitism.
And that’s pretty tragic.