Skip to main content

Home Film Film News

Steven Spielberg denounces antisemitism and anti-Muslim hate, warns against ‘rise of extremist views’

"We can rage against the heinous acts committed by the terrorists of October 7th and also decry the killing of innocent women and children in Gaza," said the director.

By Charisma Madarang

Steven Spielberg
Steven Spielberg. (Picture: Wikimedia Commons/Elena Ternovaja)

Steven Spielberg warned that “those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it,” during an award ceremony recognising of 30 years of the University of Southern California’s Shoah Foundation, which was founded by the director.

“We can rage against the heinous acts committed by the terrorists of October 7 and also decry the killing of innocent women and children in Gaza,” the filmmaker said on Monday, per The Wrap. “This makes us a unique force for good in the world. And here’s why we are here today to celebrate the work of the Shoah Foundation, which is more crucial now than it even was in 1994.”

Spielberg’s foundation, which he formed in 1994 after making Schindler’s List, preserves the stories of survivors and witnesses of the Holocaust with audio-visual interviews and has collected over 56,000 audio-visual testimonies from in 65 countries and in 45 languages. Survivors who shared their testimonies were honoured by the University Medallion at Monday’s event.

“We see every day how the machinery of extremism has been used on college campuses, where fully 50 percent of students say they have experienced some discrimination because they are Jewish. This is also happening alongside anti-Muslim, Arab and Sikh discrimination,” Spielberg continued. “The foundation of fascism has been dusted off and is being widely distributed today. I’m increasingly alarmed that we may be condemned to repeat history to once again to fight for the very right to be Jewish.

“Stopping the rise of antisemitism and hate of any kind is critical to the health of our democratic republic and the future of democracy all over the civilised world,” he added.

In December, following Hamas’ October 7 attack on Israel, Spielberg issued a statement shared by the Shoah Foundation, and wrote: “I never imagined I would see such unspeakable barbarity against Jews in my lifetime.”  At the time, the organisation began collecting testimonies from survivors of the attacks as part of their Countering Antisemitism Through Testimony Collection initiative, an initiative that documents post-Holocaust antisemitism. The director said the project is “an effort that will ensure that the voices of survivors will act as a powerful tool to counter the dangerous rise of antisemitism and hate.”