Michael Douglas Writes Op-Ed About Rise in Anti-Semitism, Attack Against His Son
A friend saw someone Jewish walk by, and with no provocation he confidently told me: “Michael, all Jews cheat in business.”
“What are you talking about?” I said.
“Michael, come on,” he replied. “Everyone knows that.”
– With little knowledge of what it meant to be a Jew, I found myself passionately defending the Jewish people. 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.
Europe, and France in particular, has seen a rise in anti-Semitic violence in recent years. Just last month, French President François Hollande was forced to speak out to reassure France’s Jewish population. “Nothing will be tolerated,” Hollande urged, the day after 300 graves at a Jewish cemetary were desecrated. In January, a gunman associated with the Charlie Hebdo attack stormed a Jewish supermarket, killing four people and taking others hostage. The month before that, a Jewish couple was held hostage in their own home and the woman was raped. According to France’s interior minister, the perpetrators chose the couple believing that Jews have money. In fact, data gathered by the French government shows that anti-Semitic crime between January to July 2014 in France was double what it was during that same period in 2013. And half of all racist attacks in the country target Jews, who account for less than one percent of the French population.