Richard Dreyfuss criticizes Zionism: ‘I am less Jewish than I have been’

“I think the Jews are a great moral template… I’m very proud of being a cultural Jew,” Richard Dreyfuss told The Hollywood Reporter.

By World Israel News Staff

Actor Richard Dreyfuss says that he once asked his father: “Why don’t we practice Judaism?”

His father, says the actor, replied: “I don’t have to practice, I’m very good at it.”

Dreyfuss told of the exchange with his father in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter in response to a question of whether he has become more spiritual in older age or was always deeply rooted in Judaism.

The interview with the Hollywood magazine coincided with the upcoming release of Dreyfuss’ newest movie, “Astronaut,” but the actor also talked about politics and religion.

“I am more spiritual and less Jewish than I have been,” Dreyfuss replied. “Because I’m not a temple Jew,” he added.

“I think the Jews are a great moral template. So I’m very proud of being Jewish and I’m very proud of being a cultural Jew,” the actor told the magazine. “But most Jews are willing to celebrate their own history of being oppressed, and then they’ll get up and oppress other people. So, I don’t want Jews to do that,” he said.

Asked by The Hollywood Reporter about “the rise of anti-Semitism around the world, and the parallel rise of anti-Zionism,” Dreyfuss acknowledged that “anti-Semitism is on the rise, yes, but we should be more afraid of Jews not behaving like Jews.”

In a reference to the relationship between Jews and the State of Israel, the actor continued with his critical tone of the Jewish State, arguing that “we’ll sound very much like our own worst enemies in trying to protect Zionism and protect our own reputations. We really do need to explore what it means to be Jewish and not let it go away.”

Asked whether it is true that he is a distant relative of Alfred Dreyfus, a French Jewish artillery officer whose trial and conviction in 1894 on charges of treason, before his ultimate complete exoneration, was said to have inspired journalist Theodor Herzl to become a leader of the modern Zionism movement, actor Richard Dreyfuss told The Hollywood Reporter: “Yes. And even if it wasn’t true, it would be true and I would claim it because it’s such a great story.”