Michael Douglas Pens Op-Ed on Anti-Semitism: "We Can Stop the Spread of This Madness"
"Anti-Semitism, I've seen, is like a disease that goes dormant, flaring up with the next political trigger."
Michael Douglas' son encountered anti-Semitism while traveling in Europe, and the actor wrote an op-ed column for the Los Angeles Times about the experience.
Douglas recounted his trip last summer, when his son Dylan was insulted while wearing the Star of David. Douglas explained that he reconnected with Judaism, his father Kirk Douglas' religion, when Dylan began studying for his bar mitzvah. Douglas talked about the first time he heard an anti-Semitic remark as a child.
"With little knowledge of what it meant to be a Jew, I found myself passionately defending the Jewish people," writes Douglas. "Now, half a century later, I have to defend my son. Anti-Semitism, I've seen, is like a disease that goes dormant, flaring up with the next political trigger."
The actor listed the three reasons he thinks anti-Semitism is growing with "renewed vigilance": a poor economy, an "irrational and misplaced hatred of Israel," and an extremist fringe group of radicalized Muslims in Europe.
He outlines the responsibilities of religious leaders, political leaders and regular citizens to take action. "If we confront anti-Semitism whenever we see it, if we combat it individually and as a society, and use whatever platform we have to denounce it, we can stop the spread of this madness," writes Douglas.