University of Hertfordshire

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Star Power: Kirk Douglas, Celebrity Activism and the Hollywood-Israel connection

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)153-171
Number of pages19
JournalHistorical Research
Publication statusPublished - 21 Jan 2020


This article scrutinizes the actor Kirk Douglas’s pro-Israeli advocacy over six decades, both on the screen and off it, setting this within the contexts of the Arab-Israeli conflict and the links between Hollywood and Zionism. It looks at why and how Douglas supported Israel and considers what the star’s advocacy says about the history of celebrity activism and the interconnections between the American Jewish community, Hollywood and Israel. The article argues that Douglas was a major player in the special relationship that developed between Hollywood and Israel after 1948, one that, despite recent troubles, endures to this day.


© The Author(s) 2020. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Institute of Historical Research. All rights reserved

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