Israeli President Isaac Herzog came out swinging Monday against actress Angelina Jolie’s statements on the Israel-Hamas conflict, joining her own father in the pile-on.
In a three-minute video posted to social media on Friday, titled “Truth and lies,” veteran Hollywood star Jon Voight sat in front of an American flag as he said he was “disappointed” in his daughter for calling for a humanitarian ceasefire, accusing her of spreading “lies” over social media.
“I am very disappointed that my daughter, like so many, has no understanding of God’s honor, God’s truths,” Voight began, speaking to the camera. “This is about destroying the history of God’s land, the Holy Land, the land of the Jews.”
“This is justice for God’s children of the Holy Land,” he continued. “The Israeli army must protect thy soil, thy people. This is war. It’s not going to be what the left thinks—it can’t be civil now.”
The Midnight Cowboy actor, who was raised Catholic, went on to denounce Hamas’ attacks on Oct. 7, calling the militants “animals” looking to “wipe out Jews and Christians.”
Jolie, who is estranged from her conservative father, first spoke out against the war late last month, writing in a lengthy Instagram post that she was “sick and angry” at the Oct. 7 assaults, which she characterized as an “act of terror.”
But, she continued, that “cannot justify the innocent lives lost in bombing a civilian population in Gaza that has nowhere to go, no access to food or water, no possibility of evacuation, and not even the basic human right to cross a border to seek refuge.”
Jolie spent more than two decades campaigning alongside the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, first as a goodwill ambassador and then as an envoy. (She stepped down from the latter role last year, saying she wanted to work on refugee issues beyond the remit of the UN.)
The actress emphasized in her statement that her focus, because of her work, “is on the people displaced by violence in any context.” The lack of aid, fuel, and water reaching Gaza at that point, Jolie said, was “collectively punishing a people.”
“Humanity demands an immediate ceasefire,” she added. “Palestinian and Israeli lives—and the lives of all people globally—matter equally.”
Days later, Jolie posted a fiercer statement alongside a photo of what appeared to be the aftermath of an Israeli airstrike on Gaza.
“This is the deliberate bombing of a trapped population who have nowhere to flee,” she said. “Gaza has been an open-air prison for nearly two decades and is fast becoming a mass grave.” Saying that residents were being deprived of their rights “against international law,” she condemned world leaders for their complicity “in these crimes.”
In an interview Monday with British presenter Piers Morgan, Herzog condemned Jolie’s words, saying she hadn’t seen “the facts on the ground.”
Asked by Morgan for a response to Jolie “accus[ing] Israel of committing war crimes,” Herzog responded, “I totally reject her claims. I think she’s never been in Gaza…. to visit and see the facts on the ground. In Gaza now there is war, but there is no humanitarian crisis that does not enable them to survive.”
Jolie, the president continued, was denying Israel its right to defend itself. “And Gaza is a jail not because of Israel,” he added, alleging that the territory was “an Iranian base filled with terror.”
Morgan asked if there would be any ceasefire or humanitarian pause if the remaining hostages held by Hamas were not released.
“I care about Gazan children. I truly do,” Herzog said. “But with all due respect, first and foremost, I have to defend our people. We did not want to go to war.”
“And we get missiles on our heads, and hypocritical comments by all sorts of figures from around the world who’ve never been here one day, never looked in the eyes of families who’ve gone through the worst of atrocities.”
An outspoken conservative and avowed supporter of Donald Trump, Voight was estranged from his daughter for years before her acrimonious split from Brad Pitt led to their reconciliation. Jolie told Vanity Fair around that time that Voight had been “very good” at playing the “cool grandpa” to her six children.
Subsequent details on their nature of their relationship have been sparse since then, but the tabloid Radar Online reported in May that the relationship had once more become strained. “They’ve lost contact again,” a source said.