Simon Wiesenthal Center Reacts to Letter from 100 Spanish Celebrities Accusing Israel of Genocide

July 29, 2014

The Simon Wiesenthal Center called a recently published open letter signed by actors Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem, and other notable Spanish figures that accused Israel of genocide, "completely one-sided, biased, and false."

"This letter ignores the indisputable fact that Israel did not start this war, but did what every country on this planet, including Spain, would do if hundreds of rockets were hurled at their population centers by an internationally known terrorist organization," said Rabbi Marvin Hier, founder and dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center.

"When Israel unilaterally withdrew from Gaza in 2005, Gazans could have charted a new course in the history of the Middle East by converting their land into a viable destination; but instead they elected Hamas, a known terrorist organization, to head their government," Hier said. "Since then, Hamas has used billions of dollars contributed by the EU and other nations, to construct terror tunnels rather than rebuild the economy and infrastructure of the impoverished citizens of Gaza," he continued.

"Deliberately ignoring these historic facts is like arriving in Berlin in April 1945 and blaming the Allies for what happened there," Hier concluded.

Rabbi Marvin Hier is a two-time Oscar™ winner for best documentary and is a voting member of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences.

For more information, please contact the Center's Public Relations Department, 310-553-9036, join the Center on Facebook, www.facebook.com/simonwiesenthalcenter, or follow @simonwiesenthal for news updates sent direct to your Twitter page or mobile device.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center is one of the largest international Jewish human rights organizations with over 400,000 member families in the United States. It is an NGO at international agencies including the United Nations, UNESCO, the OSCE, the OAS, the Council of Europe and the Latin American Parliament (Parlatino).