Michael Douglas on Anti-Semitism


…by Jonas E. Alexis


Michael Douglas
Michael Douglas

Michael Douglas, the man who bragged about playing “darker parts” in subversive movies such as Basic Instinct, is now whining that he and his family are being bullied by anti-Semites.

“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.”[1]

As Jim W. Dean would have said, you just can’t make this stuff up. Douglas does not tell us exactly what the so-called anti-Semite did say to his family, but let us suppose for a moment that the story he produced in the LA Times is completely true.

There are so much suffering in Gaza, so much pain and hunger in places like Afghanistan, so much chaos in places like Syria, so much destruction and wounded lives in Iraq, and now this man, who has millions upon millions of dollars at the bank, is lamenting that he is scared because some “anti-Semites” are out to get him and his family!

If Douglas is worried about a few words that people might say, why does he not write about the real issue? Why does he not worry about the anti-Arab that is astronomically vibrant and real in the Zionist camp? Is he telling us that he is completely oblivious of what is happening in the Middle East and the vibrant racism in Israel?

Bob Dreyfuss of the Nation published an article in 2013 in which he said,

“Fully one-third of Israelis say that unlawful, vigilante violence against non-Jewish African immigrants is fine with them.

“Equally, 86 percent of Israelis who voted for the right-wing Shas party and 66 percent of Likud voters agree with the statements of far-right Israeli politician Miri Regev that African immigrants, mostly from Sudan and Eritrea, are a ‘cancer’ in the Israeli body politic.

“Israel is building refugee camps—let’s not use the loaded term ‘concentration camps’—for many of the estimated 55,000 Eritrean, Sudanese and other African refugees from civil wars and conflicts who’ve entered Israel, mostly undocumented, over the last decade or so.”[2]

Israeli lawyer Dov Weissglass declared that Israel aspires to “put the Palestinians on a diet” so that they cannot reproduce by leaps and bound. If Israel starves those Palestinians to death, Weissglass suggested, that would be viewed as inhumane.[3] So he has to use a draconian and covert operation, namely, “diet.” Did the Palestinians ask for his advice on this?

Douglas lists three reasons as to why he believes that “anti-Semitism” is “appearing with renewed vigilance,” but only two of which deserve attention here:

“The first is that historically, it always grows more virulent whenever and wherever the economy is bad. In a time when income disparity is growing, when hundreds of millions of people live in abject poverty, some find Jews to be a convenient scapegoat rather than looking at the real source of their problems.

“A second root cause of anti-Semitism derives from an irrational and misplaced hatred of Israel. Far too many people see Israel as an apartheid state and blame the people of an entire religion for what, in truth, are internal national-policy decisions.

“Does anyone really believe that the innocent victims in that kosher shop in Paris and at that bar mitzvah in Denmark had anything to do with Israeli-Palestinian policies or the building of settlements 2,000 miles away?”[4]

Is he serious? Perhaps Douglas spends too much time corrupting young people with movies such as Basic Instinct and therefore does not have even a few hours to crack-open a historical book. Perhaps he needs to visit his local library and check out Norman Finkelstein’s recent book, Method and Madness: The Hidden Story of Israel’s Assaults on Gaza.

Now here is an interesting quote, which we have provided numerous times in the past:

“A Jewish state would not have come into being without the uprooting of 700,000 Palestinians. Therefore it was necessary to uproot them. There was no choice but to expel that population.

“It was necessary to cleanse the hinterland and cleanse the border areas and cleanse the main roads. It was necessary to cleanse the villages from which our convoys and our settlements were fired on.”[5]

Who said that? Some anti-Semites? A member of the KKK? Perhaps the late Yasser Arafat? Hezbollah?  A neo-Nazi?

Those words came from Israeli and Zionist historian Benny Morris. My questions to Douglas are simply these: would it be anti-Semitism to fight against this kind of madness? Would it be anti-Semitism to reject perpetual wars in the Middle East?

Would it be anti-Semitism to say that the Jewish neoconservative movement, which is Trotskyism in its ideological orientation, bled America and the Middle East in one useless conflict after another in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, and then sent the six-trillion dollar bill to the American people? Is it not accurate to say that Goldman Sachs sacked the economic lives of its customers?

If the answer is yes, then Douglas inexorably and reluctantly shows that “anti-Semitism” is basically rational. If the answer is no, then why isn’t Douglas addressing these issues? Perhaps if he stops prostituting himself in movies such as Basic Instinct, then he will have some time to think about those issues a little deeper.

Fredrick Toben
Fredrick Toben

Finally, if Douglas wants to talk about “anti-Semitism,” then he will have to explain to us why people have been literally persecuted for holding “illicit” thoughts about the Holocaust.

My good friend, Dr. Fredrick Toben, has spent 7 months at the Mannheim prison, Germany, in 1999, for challenging key aspects of the Holocaust narrative.  He also spent two months at Wandsworth Prison (London) in 2008 and three months at Cadell Training Centre (Australia), which he described as “a low security prison farm.”

At Wandsworth Prison,” he told me, “I was sharing a cell with a Nigerian national who was being deported – I was advised this was done deliberately because I was judged to be a racist, etc. Every morning my cellmate would sing Christian hymns, which I preferred to the rubbish I could have watched on TV for breakfast.”

Toben had to pay no less than $200,000 for his Holocaust sins and thought crimes. “A few years ago,” he said, “I had my YouTube channel cancelled because Mr. Jeremy Jones, Executive Council of Australian Jewry complained about a particular clip that I had taken off YouTube and re-badged – it was about the Jewish Bolshevik Holocaust – I linked it to Talmudic thought structures.”

Like Douglass, who has the political advantage to talk about “anti-Semites” in the LA Times, reporters and journalists all over Europe have deliberately misrepresented Toben’s views and have mercilessly and sophomorically attacked him in the press.[6]

The Sydney Morning Herald for example declared that Toben, through his website, “offended, insulted or humiliated Jewish people on the basis of their race…”[7]

How stupid can this be? If the statement were true, then Toben “offended, insulted or humiliated” people like Norman Finkelstein! This is worse than the idea that the earth is flat.


What is worse, Toben received serious death threats:

“Throughout the years I have received death threats per email and per telephone. One call from Canada involved an individual who was known to other Revisionists – his pattern of threatening language proved that.

“Usually when my matter was aired in the media, then threats would start – but to date this has remained verbal only. It comes with the territory. Only once did I report a phone call to the local police but was advised little can be done.

“However, I do know that our Australian security services monitor my communication traffic, which I see as a security issue, i.e. it protects me but it also means that I am not a security threat to Australia’s social fabric.”

Based on what he had experience over the years, he came to the conclusion that “The only freedom we have in the west is the freedom to go shopping.”

We can name numerous individuals who have been stripped of their academic positions simply because they had the audacity to challenge the Zionist power. Denis Rancourt, as we have seen in the past, was an eminent physicist at the University of Ottawa and who made important contributions in his field. But being a tenured professor did not help him from being fired.

So, if Douglas wants to talk about “anti-Semitism,” then we can talk about real Jewish racism. Douglas reminds me of Jewish satirist Chaim Weizman, who declared in back in 1977:

“There is the story of the Jew on a train who kept moaning: ‘Oy, have I got a pain…Oy, have I got a pain…Oy, have I got a pain…Oy…’ Finally one of the passengers, who could stand it no longer, jumped to his feet, searched the length and breadth of the train and came back with a doctor, who gave the Jew a pill, and all was quiet for a minute or two till the voice began again: ‘Oy, did I have a pain…Oy, did…’”[8]

Bermant commented, “It is perhaps time for an end to oying. A sense of guilt does not make for a healthy relationship between ex-persecutor and ex-victim.”

Perhaps Douglas should take Berman’s point seriously here. Perhaps he needs to look at himself in the mirror and realize that throwing words such as “anti-Semitism” in the air is not as attractive to readers or viewers as prostituting in movies such as Basic Instinct.


[1] Michael Douglas, “Michael Douglas finds Judaism and faces anti-Semitism,” LA Times, March 14, 2015.

[2] Bob Dreyfuss, “Racism in Israel,” The Nation, December 23, 2013.

[3] Mouin Rabbani, “Israel Mows the Lawn,” London Review of Books, Vol. 36, No. 15, July 31, 2014.

[4] Douglas, “Michael Douglas finds Judaism and faces anti-Semitism,” LA Times, March 14, 2015

[5] Ari Shavit, “Survival of the Fittest?: Interview with Benny Morris,” Counter Punch, January 16, 2004.

[6] See for example “George Brandis Says Holocaust Denier Frederick Toben Is ‘a Nutcase,’” Sydney Morning Herald, May 28, 2014.

[7] Harriet Alexander, “Holocaust Denier Found Guilty of Contempt,” Sydney Morning Herald, April 17, 2009.

[8]  Chaim Bermant, The Jews (New York: Times Books, 1977), 2.


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Jonas E. Alexis has degrees in mathematics and philosophy. He studied education at the graduate level. His main interests include U.S. foreign policy, the history of the Israel/Palestine conflict, and the history of ideas. He is the author of the new book Zionism vs. the West: How Talmudic Ideology is Undermining Western Culture. He teaches mathematics in South Korea.