"A man at the pool had started hurling insults at him," Douglas writes. It wasn't because of anything Dylan did, he continued: "Suddenly I had an awful realization of what might have caused the man's outrage: Dylan was wearing a Star of David."
Douglas went to talk to the man -- "it was not a pleasant discussion," he writes -- and the incident has stayed in his mind. The 70-year-old actor, who was raised by a Jewish father, Kirk Douglas, and a non-Jewish mother, said he didn't identify as Jewish while growing up but noticed anti-Semitic remarks others made.
"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," he writes. "Anti-Semitism, I've seen, is like a disease that goes dormant, flaring up with the next political trigger."
Douglas, who is also a United Nations messenger of peace, observes that anti-Semitism has been on the rise due to a number of factors, including income inequality, religious extremism and hatred of Israel.
"Some find Jews to be a convenient scapegoat rather than looking at the real source of their problems," he says.
He praises leaders such as Pope Francis, French Prime Minister Manuel Valls and Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York for their efforts at reconciliation and community-building.
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