US TV names Penelope Cruz ‘idiot of the week’

Spanish film star Penelope Cruz has been called 'Fool of the Week' by Fox News as she and her husband Javier Bardem continue to suffer the consequences of speaking out against Israel in an open letter they signed together with other Spanish artists.

US TV names Penelope Cruz 'idiot of the week'
Actor John Voight has also called Cruz and Bardem "ignorant" over their criticism of Israel. Photo: Leon Neal/AFP

Fox TV presenter Eric Bolling named Cruz ‘Fool of the Week’ in his programme The FIVE for “trashing our great ally”: Israel.

The American broadcaster’s name-calling was preceded by actor John Voight’s comments towards the Spanish acting duo, who he called “ignorant” and accused of “inciting anti-Semitism around the world” after they signed an open letter slamming the Israeli government’s Palestinian 'genocide'.

Together with Spanish director Pedro Almodovar and other big names in Spanish showbiz, Bardem and Cruz called for the EU to halt Israel’s military attack in Gaza.

Cruz wrote a clarifying letter in USA Today newspaper in the face of the barrage of criticism she was receiving, with many opponents calling her an "anti-Semite".

"I don't want to be misunderstood on this important subject," Cruz wrote.

"I'm not an expert on the situation and I'm aware of the complexity of it. My only wish and intention in signing that group letter is the hope that there will be peace in both Israel and Gaza."

Cruz’s response wasn’t enough for Hollywood executive Ryan Kavanaugh, who told the Hollywood Reporter: "All those Jews who think another Holocaust couldn't happen should go visit Spain and many parts of Europe."

"As the grandson of Holocaust survivors, anyone calling it Israeli 'genocide' vs. protecting themselves are either the most ignorant people about the situation and shouldn't be commenting, or are truly anti-Semitic," The Relativity Media CEO added.

The UK’s Guardian newspaper wrote recently: "It is perhaps the last taboo in Hollywood but the carnage in Gaza is prompting an increasing number of artists and celebrities to do the unthinkable: criticize Israel."

Jewish institutions in Spain have estimated the current number of Jews in Spain is 15,000 in a country of 47.2 million people.

Spain had a large Jewish population in the Middle ages until Catholic Kings Fernando and Isabel kicked them out along with the country’s Muslim population in 1492. 

In November 2012, however, the country announced Spanish citizenship would be granted to all Sephardic Jews regardless of where they lived as long as they could provide evidence of this background and of links to the country.

The Spanish government is now planning to bring in changes which will mean those Jews of Spanish background will be able to have dual citizenship.

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Penelope Cruz: ‘I have my personal war with technology’

Hollywood star Penelope Cruz warned Sunday that technology was driving high anxiety that would one day make "all our brains explode".

Penelope Cruz: 'I have my personal war with technology'
Penelope Cruz on the red carpet at the screening of the film "Wasp Network" in Venice. Photo: AFP

Hollywood star Penelope Cruz warned Sunday that technology was driving high anxiety that would one day make “all our brains explode”.   

The Spanish mother-of-two said she was worried about how children's mental health and development were being affected by the ubiquity of tech.   

“I have my personal war with it,” she told reporters at the Venice film festival.

“I wish we could have lived in the 1990s for a little longer. For mental health issues that would have helped a lot, because I think things are going at a speed that we are unprepared for,” said the actress.   

Cruz, 45, who is starring in “Wasp Network”, a thriller about five Cuban undercover agents who became heroes for infiltrating radical exile networks in Florida, said tech was coming to utterly dominate children's lives, hogging their time and imaginations.   

“This might seem like an exaggeration to other people, but I am convinced that we were raised with a different relationships with technology,” she said.   

“Right now children and teenagers are in contact so much with electronics and it takes the time away from children to learn to play, to have conversations, to be at a table having dinner talking to their family, or to be bored — which is something important we all should learn as children.”   

Cruz, who has an eight-year-old son and six-year-old daughter with fellow Spanish star Javier Bardem, said our lives were being swallowed up by it.   

Tech's daily dominance was “not only affecting children, but all of us…. It is something that is creating a lot of general anxiety and I wonder if this continues all of our brains are just going to explode,” said the actress, who made her name in “Jamon, Jamon” when she was only 15.   

Cruz said that she hoped that rising fears about what we are doing to the planet would chime with a harder look at what tech was doing to us.   

“I hope that there will be a movement for people to live in a different way, that will value a different pace, which leads us to the other big issue, what happens to the environment,” she added.

By AFP's Fiachra Gibbons 

READ ALSO: There are still 16,000 public telephones in Spain