Michael Douglas may be a legendary Hollywood star, but that doesn’t mean his family is above facing anti-Semitism.
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In an essay for the Los Angeles Times, Douglas writes of a moment last summer when his son, Dylan, faced it, too. (Dylan celebrated his bar mitzvah last May.).
The family was in “Southern Europe on holiday,” writes Douglas.
“During our stay at a hotel, our son Dylan went to the swimming pool. A short time later he came running back to the room, upset. A man at the pool had started hurling insults at him.”.
At first, Douglas thought maybe Dylan was misbehaving, but then he “suddenly I had an awful realization of what might have caused the man’s outrage: Dylan was wearing a Star of David.”.
After calming down Dylan, writes Douglas, “I went to the pool and asked the attendants to point out the man who had yelled at him. We talked. It was not a pleasant discussion. Afterward, I sat down with my son and said: “Dylan, you just had your first taste of anti-Semitism.”.
Douglas goes on to write of his dad, Kirk, who is Jewish, and his mother, Diana, who is not, and of his own first encounter with anti-Semitism in high school. A friend saw someone Jewish walk by, and with no provocation he confidently told me: ‘Michael, all Jews cheat in business.'”.
Douglas goes on to say it’s just as prevalent now, and urges that we must “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.