Actor Michael Douglas in Israel: BDS is ‘Anti-Peace Movement’
Actor Michael Douglas called the boycott Israel campaign an “anti-peace movement” during a conversation with Israeli President Shimon Peres and Jewish Agency Chairman Natan Sharansky on Tuesday.
“The boycott is an anti-peace movement. The only solution that would guarantee stability for [Israelis and Palestinians] is the two-state solution,” Douglas told an audience of hundreds of young Jewish activists at the Peres Center for Peace in Tel Aviv-Jaffa.
“I respect the fact that I am not Israeli, but I am very concerned about the attempts of boycotting Israel and I am not comfortable with the response at the moment,” he said.
He said, “I hope Knesset parties will overcome internal differences and work together” on measures to counter the international Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, more commonly known today as BDS.
Douglas was in Israel with his actor wife Catherine Zeta-Jones to accept the Genesis Prize, a $1 million award for an outstanding Jewish role model who excels in his field. Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg received the award last year.
Douglas’ comments on BDS came as the issue of an Israeli boycott reached the Coca-Cola Co., French mobile giant Orange, college campuses in the U.S., and even musical performers canceling shows in Israel, most recently including Lauren Hill. A group of British film directors and actors recently attempted to persuade London cinemas to divest from hosting an Israeli film festival, albeit to no avail.
At age 70, the Academy Award winning actor and producer is also a United Nations messenger of peace, an honor shared by other prominent media personalities, such as author Elie Wiesel and South African actor Charlize Theron. His focus is disarmament.
Douglas said that “from my experience the biggest problem in the world are nuclear weapons,” adding that he was “very concerned” about the development of nuclear weapons in the Middle East.
Peres, 91, who sat alongside Douglas, quipped at one point that the septuagenarian is “still a baby,” with “all the future ahead of you.”