After Michael Douglas and his wife Catherine Zeta-Jones announced they would co-host the Genesis Prize ceremony, Israel-haters descended upon his Instagram post to blast the actor.
By United with Israel Staff and AP
Hollywood power couple Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones are set to return to Israel as co-hosts of this year’s Genesis Prize ceremony.
The Genesis Prize Foundation announced on Wednesday that the pair would co-host the June 18 event, where former Soviet dissident and Israeli politician Natan Sharansky is to be honored as the 2020 laureate.
After Douglas announced the news on Instagram, anti-Israel comments began to appear on the post almost immediately.
“Palestine you mean, Israel is a Zionist regime of occupation [that] was built over Palestinian bodies and blood,” posted a user who goes by the name Handala-Watan Nabali and claims to have gone to medical school in Cuba.
A woman named Yasemin Oruc from the Netherlands posted, “The Jews do the same as the Germans. The Jews are no better than the Nazis today. The European Jews and the Zionists have stolen the land from the Palestinians. Israel is the aggressor in the Middle East. Not a good word for Israel.”
“Israel don’t exist, it’s Palestine,” wrote Nairuz Charfedine.
Douglas, 75, was the 2015 winner of the prestigious $1 million Genesis Prize, granted each year in recognition of professional achievement, contribution to humanity and commitment to Jewish values and Israel. He is recognized for his cinematic work and advocacy for disarmament as a U.N. Messenger of Peace.
“Catherine and I look forward to returning to Israel, a country our entire family loves so much,” Douglas said in a statement. “We are particularly honored to have the opportunity to host the ceremony honoring a true Jewish hero, Natan Sharansky.”
Douglas said the visit will also be a way for his family to honor the memory of his father, Kirk Douglas, who died on Feb. 6 at the age of 103. Kirk Douglas, born Issur Danielovitch and raised in a religious home, reconnected with his Jewish roots in his later years and had a strong connection to Israel.
“His re-discovery of his Jewish faith, his passion for his heritage has been a guiding light for me, passed down to my children,” Douglas said.
The foundation said that during Douglas’ visit, it will hold a special event honoring his father’s cinematic legacy.
Douglas, who has acted and produced in dozens of films over a five-decade career, won the Academy Award for best actor for his role as ruthless financier Gordan Gekko in the 1987 movie “Wall Street.”
The Genesis Prize was inaugurated in 2014 and is run in a partnership between the private Genesis Prize Foundation and the chairman’s office of the Jewish Agency, a nonprofit that works closely with the Israeli government to serve Jewish communities worldwide.