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Mel Gibson: Antisemitic Jew-Baiter?

Posted by Rick · August 3rd, 2003 · 30 Comments

Someone sent me a link to a New York Times story indicating that Mel Gibson is possibly antisemitic, is producing a film that will inflame the world against the Jewish population and is involved in baiting Jews and sowing religious conflict.

Is Mel Gibson—and the movie he is producing named The Passion—antisemitic?

For some time now, stories have been circulating in which it sounds like he—and/or a group of his publicists, depending on how you want to read things—is either baiting Jews or attempting to scapegoat them. The link I was sent points to a New York Times recently published online (page two is the most interesting).

Gibson has always appeared to me to be a decent man. And, indeed, both his film and Gibson have their share of supporters regarding this issue, some of whom merely appear to be christians with Jewish surnames [1, 2], but some of whom are reportedly Orthodox Jews.

The majority of the criticism of the film, however, appears to have come from Catholic scholars who obtained a copy of the script for the movie. (An article originally written for The New Republic and supposedly written by one of those involved in that review can be found online.) The group has apparently created quite a stir in Gibson’s camp, leading to accusations of theft, prejudice (on both sides) and numerous contradictions. Unfortunately, the evidence so far presented online appears to indicate a desperate attempt on the part of the Gibsonians to re-write not just biblical history, but also the history of the debate over the script evaluation by a group of biblical scholars organized by Eugene Fisher, associate director of the Secretariat for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).

Fisher’s group—there is reason to differentiate between the group that wrote the report and the USCCB itself—privately delivered a report detailing some concerns over historical accuracy and potential implications of antisemitism to a Gibson representative with whom they had been in contact. After Gibson’s people began to make the details of the Fisher group’s report public, Gibson’s attorney apparently took the group to task for working with a purloined script and insisted that they return (and, apparently, stop talking about) it.

[ASIDE: I am reminded of Pearson v. Dodd, a 1969 D.C. Court case in which Drew Pearson and Jack Anderson were sued for publishing information about the misdeeds of Senator Dodd. The court below had granted a motion for summary judgment against Pearson and Anderson for “conversion” (theft). In other words, they agreed with Dodd that Pearson and Anderson, who used the copies that were given to them to write an article exposing Dodd’s misconduct, were guilty of stealing and thus liable to Dodd for conversion. Dodd’s goal, of course, was to punish them for having published something negative about him. But the D.C. Court of Appeals ruled that, according to all the evidence given, the documents were copied by someone other than Pearson and Anderson and all they did was read them and publish the information. There was thus no possibility of action against them for conversion. (Incidentally, I believe another technical point was that conversion requires that the original owner be deprived of use of the item which was converted. Since these were copies and Dodd still had the originals, that was another point against conversion. However, in this case, the reason the D.C. court sided with Pearson/Anderson was that they were not involved in the taking of the document. And even though they knew the document was obtained under suspicious circumstances, as I recall, the information was newsworthy and they were reporters, thus protecting them, I believe, under New York Times v. Sullvan.)]

The Gibsonians were apparently well aware that this group was reviewing the script and even appeared to engage in discussion with them about it until the group’s report turned out to be critical of the historical accuracy of the events in the script and of the fact that the script apparently depended so much on antisemitic writings.

At any rate, the thing that’s confusing here is the reaction of the Gibsonians to the commentary on the script. They are supposed to have repeatedly put forth conspiracy theories to the press about who is behind the attempts to smear The Passion. This is part of what makes the whole mess confusing to me. If there is no antisemitism behind the film, then why try to characterize the complaints of a few (non-Jewish) biblical scholars as a conspiracy and then quietly allow others to draw conclusions that it is the Jews who are trying to silence the film?

Every comment I have seen thus far from the Jews that Michael Medved (who appears to have confused the Fisher group with the ADL) and David Klinghoffer state are “attacking” the film don’t appear to do that at all. They only appear to ask questions and state that if rumors being circulated are true about how the film addresses certain issues, this is of great concern. It is bizarre how some of the comments are being misinterpreted. Even an article by David Treiman, in one breath, says “heads of the Anti-Defamation League and the Simon Wiesenthal Center questioned Gibson’s motives,” but then goes on to quote them quite clearly as addressing fears about “classical standard stereotypic images of blaming the Jewish people for the crucifixion of Christ.” This doesn’t sound like a questioning of Gibson’s motives, if “questioning…motives” is taken as a synonym for “impugning integrity” as seems to be implied. It sounds like they’re talking about concern over “classical standard stereotypic images of blaming the Jewish people for the crucifixion of Christ.” Or did I misread something? Treiman even notes that the UCCSB’s Fisher said, “he does not know enough yet to judge what Gibson is going to do with the film.”

In the end, I personally agree with David Klinghoffer, who writes in The Forward that “we Jews need to learn some deep breathing and relaxation techniques”—although I’m confused because his statement is apparently a response to the comments of a christian scholar. I’m also puzzled by the fact that he characterizes others, including Orthodox Jews, as blindly attacking Gibson and stirring up (among Jews, in particular) unwarranted hysteria. All I’ve seen after the last four or five hours of scouring the Internet for stories on the topic are statements saying “If the new film seeks…” followed by comments about beliefs that some others are circulating about the content and intent of the film. So how does this translate into the ADL, the Wiesenthal Center or any other Jewish group “attacking” the film without having seen it?

Regarding The Passion, I say, “Let’s wait and see the movie.” Regarding Mel Gibson, I say, “Let’s wait and see what Gibson has to say.”

Meanwhile, I’m going out to work in the yard and take a few deep breaths.

Categories: Religion

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30 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Stephen Malm // Aug 3, 2003 at 10:23 pm

    People lied and Gibson died for Scotland. What relevance that has here I donno….. 🙂

  • 2 Peter Sean Bradley // Aug 11, 2003 at 8:38 pm

    If you’re interested in following through this discussion, go to my site and follow the links to Mark Shea and Bill Cork both of whom have followed this discussion. Gibson apparently has connections with an irredentist Catholic group – the SPPX – and has used the writings of a mystic to inform his version. What I find interesting is how different the treatment is of this movie and the Last Temptation of Christ.

  • 3 LadyLawyer // Sep 17, 2003 at 8:30 pm

    The article in the Forward is by Daniel Treiman, not David. Click on the link and it is the first thing you see. If you cant get that right, how do we expect you to get any of your information right.

  • 4 Rick // Sep 17, 2003 at 9:48 pm

    Well, dang. You got me. My entire argument just collapsed. Not one of the premises will hold up now. Nor can the argument possibly be sound. You have utterly defeated me.

    I’ll probably have to stop writing altogether, because anything I’ve ever written before or ever will write is clearly now questionable. Now that you’ve convincingly shown that putting “David” instead of “Daniel” for the first name is indicative of a total lack of ability to get anything right, I’ll probably have to get a job flipping burgers.

    But wait! You left the apostrophe out of “can’t” in your post!

    If you can’t spell right, how do we expect you to properly critique any of the things I say?

    I’m saved! I can continue to build actual arguments full of premises, subpremises, subconclusions, conclusions and (dare I say it!) information! I can still write articles for my blog!

    I just hope I don’t ever misspell anything, because I’d hate to have to shut down after all that good money I spent on domain names, servers, software and all that other stuff.

  • 5 R.C. // Dec 6, 2003 at 3:40 pm

    Apropos of this controversy, there’ll be a new piece in “Counterpunch” (by me) addressing it:

    “Mel Gibson’s Passion”
    “The New Anti-Semitism” or Old Jewish Behavior

    As a Jew, it’s easy to see the knee-jerk reaction certain professional Jewish watchdogs took to mel Gibson’s “Passion” of Christ as a kind of legitimate foolishness. All this huffing and puffing about “stereotypes”, and the Catholic front group underwritten by Jewish agencies purporting to condemn the movie’s scholarship sight unseen- it stirred up ten times the anti-semitism than if the ADL and N.Y. Times had just kept their counsel.

    Mel Gibson is a giant movie star/producer/director, a creative artist, fine actor, hard-working guy, exemplary family man, and proven moneymaker in an Industry that still sells its products around the world. Gibson’s reputation in Hollywood is stellar. Reaction to the controversy was necessarily muted, despite the fact the Industry is still, after all, a predominantly Jewish business. Rumors have circulated that Gibson is a member of Opus Dei, the mysterioso, fundamentalist Catholic sect. If he is, he’s not saying. He built a Catholic church in Malibu whose services are strictly in Latin, pre-Vatican II.

    (forgive me, but I’m acquainted with Mel Gibson. our young daughters attend the same school, and I work in the business, blah, blah, blah)

    The problem for Jews who’ve been swayed into thinking that Mel Gibson’s a “Jew-baiter” or the dread *anti-semite is:

    A) They’re know-nothings
    B) They’re completely insensitive to believing Catholics. Catholics are supposed to dance to the music when organized Jewry starts playing the violen badly.

    There are a growing number of Catholics and *goyim in general who are sick and tired of what
    they regard as the Jewish Thought Police. Like it, lump it, whatever- it’s a fact. This resentment applies to premptive attacks on worthy films, the enforcement of no-smoking ordinances a la Myor Bloomberg, criticism of Israel, anger at Wall St., displeasure with rude, pushy behavior, and all on down the line.

    The cry of *anti-semitism is for all intents and purposes now The Boy Who Cried Wolf. It’s been so watered down by hysterical, neurotic Jews, shrill taunts of it so willy-nilly, that it’s almost gotten to the point where all non-Jews are perceived as *anti-semites until proven otherwise. It’s sad, pathetic, and ludicrous.

    Freud said that Jews would always have an abiding interest in weakening and destroying Christianity. Christ’s legacy is a painful embarrassment to Jews. Christ, a Jew himself, was rude and argumentative in the Temple, and he castigated his fellow Jews for their narrow-minded intolerance, their soulless materialism, their greed, and their rank hypocrisies. Who needs to be reminded of that shit?

    Mel Gibson’s “Passion” introduces the values of Jesus Christ to a world sorely in need of them. If a bunch of carping Jews don’t like it, Mel Gibson has, by not kowtowing to them, in effect, told them where to go.

    Discretion is not the only thing valor’s the better part of. Silence would have been golden.

  • 6 Rick // Dec 6, 2003 at 10:09 pm

    I’m going to leave this comment (immediately above) untouched. It’s a perfect example of exactly WHY Jews should continue to be wary and upset about antisemites. R.C. — if he really is a Jew as he appears to claim — aspires to make Noam Chomsky proud.

    The comment starts off with a failure to have read what was written and complains that the Jews should have kept their mouths shut. It’s only mention of the Catholic scholars who criticized the script (and I noted quite clearly that they had not seen the film) is that these Catholics were obviously hired by Jews. Naturally, if the neurotic Jews hadn’t hired them, these Catholics would have kept quiet, nu? After all, we Jews own or control everyone and everything! The Catholics who wrote couldn’t have had their own opinions.

    R.C.’s not-so-veiled antisemitism also appears to ignore my notes that the Jews who DID comment upon the movie indicated quite clearly that they were asking questions and were concerned because they did NOT know about the content of the movie. They were worried about it because of historical treatments of the situation, not because of anything they knew the movie to contain. (In fact, as I recall, Michael Medved — a Jew — actually said quite emphatically in his own articles that other Jews and Jewish organizations should wait until the film came out before making any judgments.)

    When you go to a golf course and someone yells “Fore!,” you duck. Why? Because you’ve learned to associate that with incoming golf balls. When a wife-beater yells, “Hey, bitch!” right before beating his wife, she immediately goes tense the next time she hears him (and possibly anyone else) yell “Hey, bitch!” Why?

    Because human behaviors often fall into predictable patterns.

    So, too, when certain groups of people start bleating about the Jews and the purported Messiah, Jews have learned that trouble is LIKELY to be coming. I think the restraint exhibited by the majority of Jews — asking questions rather than making condemnatory remarks — is a nice counterpunch to the blathering bigotry of folks like R.C. (R.C. prefers to say the criticism was “muted” in spite of the fact that, according to him, Jews still control not just Hollywood, but “the Industry” just like we still control Wall St., making a growing number of Catholics and non-jews [which I assume is what he meant by using the insulting term “goyim”] resentful.)

    Apparently the only Jew such bigots can half-way tolerate is the one they unthinkingly declare as their Messiah. The rest of us are neurotic, pushy, hysterical, shrill, narrow-mindedly intolerant, soullessly materialistic, greedy (you left out money-grubbing, by the way, which isn’t quite covered just by “greedy”), rude, and apparently DESERVING of anti-semitic sentiments (after all, we brought it on ourselves; no wonder people have wanted to kill us through the ages; it’s our own damn fault).

    Not to mention, of course, that we’re insensitive to believing Catholics who wish merely to point out these sorts of things.

    And, of course, none of us can even play a goddamn “violen” well!

    For what it’s worth, I haven’t seen the movie myself. Consequently, I haven’t said anything negative about the movie. I HAVE asked how people asking questions equates to Gibson-bashing (and I could now ask how that equates with being insensitive to believing Catholics). In fact, at the end of MY post which apparently inspired R.C.’s bigoted response, I said,

    “Regarding The Passion, I say, ‘Let?s wait and see the movie.’ Regarding Mel Gibson, I say, ‘Let?s wait and see what Gibson has to say.'”

    Yep, that’s right. Me, one of those sad, pathetic, ludicrous, whiny little Jewish Thought Police who fails to understand where R.C. came up with the stuff he posted, said, “Let’s wait and see the movie” and “Let’s wait and see what Gibson has to say.”

    R.C. provides a perfect shining example of WHY real Jews get nervous over the idolatry surrounding some mythical anti-Jew who — if he existed and if words ascribed to him and interpreted by folks like R.C. throughout the years are even half true — could at best be seen as turning his back on Jewish philosophy and practices and at worst as having apparently set out to destroy Judaism.

    I STILL don’t know whether the movie is good, bad, or indifferent. And I STILL don’t know if Gibson is an antisemite or just some guy with a movie.

    But I know this much: With friends like R.C., Gibson doesn’t NEED any enemies.

  • 7 R.C. // Dec 7, 2003 at 11:56 pm

    Venomous and fatuous at the same time. C’est bon, Rick!

    1. If I really were a (Gypsy, Eskimo, Jew), I couldn’t possibly hold to the views I expressed, because it would show that a link in the great chainlink fence of Jewry had loosened, wich would mean Jewish civilization itself was doomed.

    I’m a damn sight prouder of being a Jew than you are, if your comments reflect your character. I’d hate to call you a narrow-minded schmuck without having met you, but you sure sound like one.

    2. Spirit, and Soul, hard as it may be for you to believe lives within some human beings hearts. Some of these humans are Christians, some Catholics, and for inexplicable reasons, they are moved and mystified by Christ. Showing what a lass guy you are, you labeled it braying.

    3. Quick, give us the cynical shlimiel’s take on Buddha. “A fat fuck shitting in the middle of the road? oscar Wilde said: ‘A cynic knows the price of everything, and the value of nothing.

    4. Foxman, and the Times, The New Republic, the usual suspects whining about Mel Gibson’s “Passion” stirred up a lot more anti-semitism than if they had said zippo. That’s a fact. The ADL got a shitload of hostile letters and calls. Who here thinks it would’ve been worse if they had never made a fuss?

    So, everything I said was true. If you really cared about curtailing anti-semitism, you’d stop acting like an asshole, start treating non-Jews with some measure of seriousness and dignity. You’d be more open to honest fellowsip or femaleship whatever the fuck, with the goyim. There’s a saying going around now, and I can assure you- it ain’t just resonating with guys who watch Himmler videos at Motel 6:

    The “new anti-semitism” is just the old Jewish behavior.

    The point is, like it or lump it- that thought is on the minds of many Gentiles, now, including the USA. Media doesn’t report it. Quite the contrary, the hefty number of Jews on-air would lead one to believe that post-Seinfeld, post-Lieberman, America loves its Jews like never before. Unfortunately, the news media, particularly TV 2003-American style bears an awful close resemblance to Russian TV in the Brehznev era. The talk and images were always of “the glorious happiness the Russian people have for the Soviet Union”, when the truth was most Russians had had it up to here with all the drab, stagnant State bullshit. Anti-semitism is growing in America, incrementally perhaps, but the longer the war in Iraq goes on, the longer the economy is hurting people- the bigger it’ll get. It’s a given. Any cursory study of Jewish History will show so. And the *Cabal (as they self-mockingly call themselves) of neoconservative Jews who pushed Dubya into war, will be spotlighted more and more, the worse things get in Iraq. It’s inevitable.

    The Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld relationship with these yutzes (Wolfowitz, Perle) is a classic anti-semitic one. Despots throughout time have employed odious and wicked “Court Jews” to spur them on to do more bad things. (Wars, Greed, Treacheries undreamt of). And, when the shit hit the fan, who do you think caught the hell? The Emperor? Jews have always and always be the scapegoat par excellence. The reasons are manifold, but Jews and genocide go together like ham and eggs. Jews have been thrown out of every country they’ve ever settled in en masse. If there’s one certainty in History, it’s that. Does anyone really imagine that it was all the filthy goyim’s fault? That, time after time, poor innocent Jews bothering nobody, doing nothing wrong , the sweet little angels who bring joy and wisdom to humanity and ask nothing in return…are set upon by an hysterical mob of psychotic goyim out of the basest of motives? Anyone still believe that bullshit?

    Consider this- there’s only two advanced consumer societies on the planet that within the last twenty years has experience the phenomenon of wage slaves working longer hours for less pay:

    A. Israel
    B. USA

    Israel is “The Jewish Homeland”. America’s Establishment (media ownership, capital equities, high finance, high Governmental positions) is about 40% Jewish, now, at least. No lie, G.I. It’s really surged in the past twenty years, and so have the homeless, the out of work, the barely getting by, and the two-parent breadwinner home just staying afloat. Can one correlate the greed quotient with the Jewish Establishment quotienr, really nail it down, graphs, studies, flow-charts? No fucking way. But, it’s there nonetheless. Greed is a Jewish paradigm. Are all Jews greedy? Ha. Are all Jews soulless materialists? Ha, ha. But are they paradigmatic traits, valid sterotypes? You bet.

    One of the reasons Christ movies like Gibson’s agitate Jews, is that when folks see them, they have a tendency to remind them what (too many) Jews are like.

    Over the centuries, European Jews understood not to flaunt their wealth. It was dangerous to do so. But, American Jews, ensconced in their new land for perhaps 90 years now- have had such a good run- that they’ve lost sight of the founding father of Zionism, Theodor Hertzl’s sage admonition:

    “We (Jews) must always be aware of the terrible power of our purse.”

    That’s what you’ve lost sight of, Rick. How rich the Jewish community is. How much richer they’ve gotten in the past fifteen years. Does anyone really think it’s a coincidence that 80% of all professional sports teams are Jewish-owned? Those things cost, and Jews got the shekels. There’s been a series of bids for the L.A. Dodgers this fall/winter, and all the serious candidates are Jews. Look the fucking thing up if you don’t believe me. It’s reaching critical mass. And, contrary to what you or any other Jew thinks- this shit does not go unnoticed. For TV, it’s the same.

    Ask yourself this- does anyone think in retrospect that adding Joe Lieberman to the ticket was good for the Democrats? Gore/Lieberman lost the ENTIRE South, including W. Virginia, and Arkansas. As bad a candidate as Gore was, does anyone think having that happen was all his fault. In the voting booth down yonder, a lot more Gentiles
    And, it can’t all be the filthy goyim’s fault, n’est-ce pas?

    p.s. I’m writing a piece on Mel Gibson for “Counterpunch”. It’s a hobby. They don’t pay you a dime, but it’s respected and gets read. Be my third one published

  • 8 Rick // Dec 8, 2003 at 1:42 am

    I won’t bother to address the constant stream of antisemitic comments you provide. If, as I believe you said, you are a Jew, you’re an incredibly odd one at best, based on the global vitriolic comments you continue to make about Jews. I was pleased, however, to learn from you that not only do we control Hollywood and “the Industry” (apparently the ENTIRE entertainment industry) and Wall Street, but we’ve now taken over — or at least are ABOUT to take over — sports. Soon, our domination of the world will be complete. I only hope NASA gets some of those Martian cities built before we get bored here. (Note to self: Buy NASA tomorrow. Speed up Martian timetable.)

    At any rate, I don’t believe you’ll find anywhere in my post where I said Christians were braying when they were “moved and mystified” by their god. In fact, you won’t find anywhere in my post — nor anywhere else on my blog — where I’ve ever used the word “braying” to describe anyone or anything. Even more, I never made a negative comment about Christians being “moved and mystified” by their god or anyone else. (Note: My use of “their god” is not intended to be disparaging, either; it is only recognition that this is not MY G-d we’re talking about here.)

    What I did say — and it was primarily aimed at you and people like you — was that “when certain groups of people start BLEATING about the Jews and the purported Messiah, Jews have learned that trouble is LIKELY to be coming.” [Emphasis on “bleating” added here; it was used in lowercase form in the original.] The difference between “bleating” and “braying” isn’t all that significant (except that I was calling you and your ilk “sheep” and not “asses”; sheep bleat, asses bray).

    The point is that I was not talking about Christian discussions of their god. I have neither need nor desire to insult them over that. What I said was when (especially when) apparent jew-haters such as yourself begin to talk about the connection between Jews and Jesus, some Jews naturally get nervous.

    As near as I can tell, the rest of your post merely indicates that you think the problem with Jews is that they won’t disappear. You appear to think that antisemitism is not just deserved, but WELL deserved, and that until Jews get the message and stop trying to live, it’s going to continue.

    THAT’S not going to happen.

    But I’ll make you a deal: If YOU shut up and go away, I’ll quit pointing out what a bigoted idiot you are.

  • 9 FrancoAmer // Dec 9, 2003 at 9:52 pm

    To R.C.
    I’m not a Jew and even I find your rhetoric anti-Semitic. Perhaps you should switch religions if you are in fact Jewish. By the way, your lame attempt to hid your true religion by injecting yiddish “catch” words into the text fails miserably. Everyone here in LA knows those words, Jew or “goy”.

    En fait, tu connais le francais? C’est bon, mais tu dois utilizer des autres phrases! La prochaine fois, tu peux ecrire la reponse entierement en francais, et il sera tres bien fait! Je sais qu’en france il y a beaucoup d’autres gens qui ont la meme philosophie, et si tu ecriveras en francais, les gens qui sont a l’internet peuvent trouver tes reponses. Chouette.

  • 10 Rick // Dec 9, 2003 at 10:31 pm

    FrancoAmer: THANK you for the response. I was hoping someone else was not going to sit idly by and have my response be the “voice in the wilderness” on this issue.

    By the way, I don’t read French, but I have studied (and forgotten, unfortunately) several other languages. I made a try to understand what you said and told my wife what I thought the translation was. She pointed me to a resource (I won’t say where; let R.C. hunt for his own) and we were quite pleased to see that I’d figured it out (and the resource we used didn’t even give as “nice” a translation).

    Fortunately, I think, R.C. will be unable to follow your advice. For my way of thinking, that’s all the better. Let them find some other way to advance a meeting of the mind(less).

    Anyway, I thank you for your visit to my blog and for your comments.

  • 11 R.C. // Dec 11, 2003 at 6:20 pm

    Well, Rick, you’ve got your shabbas goy (Franco-Amer)

    By your definition of *anti-semitism (a refusal to acknowledge the neocons, the new world order, Israel, greed,etc., etc.), you make anti-semitism a moral obligation. As it is, it is now clearly the contemporary version of the boy who cried wolf. No one takes it seriously anymore whether shabbas goy’s jump on board or not.

    I hate to say it buddy, but you’re the kind of Jew who corrupts and endangers other Jews.

  • 12 harry // Dec 12, 2003 at 2:35 pm

    What an odd dialogue.

    The idea that the definition of anti-semitism is “(a refusal to acknowledge the neocons, the new world order, Israel, greed,etc., etc.)” amuses me.

    For a start, the neocons, in particular the religious right, are perhaps the most dangerous anti-semetic group around. Their support of Israel comes from the belief of “dispensationalism” – that by bringing around the Christian idea of a second coming, they can avoid physical death and be taken up to heaven in the Rapture. To this end, they want Israel to prosper since they see it as part of the end-times. The fact that, according to their beliefs, have the Jews will be wiped out and the other half converted, is of little consequence. The death of millions or billions to immanentize of the Eschaton (as Wilson and Shea put it) is a small price for these religious fanatics.

    Many times in history, powers have pointed the fingers as the Jews to distract from failures of their own (Hitler, Hostile Arab states with internal problems), to unite against a common “enemy” (even when no threat exists) or to distract the public attention (York circa 1300). The fundamentalist religious right are doing the same thing right now. Middle-east peace is constantly sabotaged by these people’s control of American policy to bring about Armageddon – not something Jewish people particularly aspire to, but certainly the goal of some fanatics.

  • 13 cbl // Dec 26, 2003 at 9:34 am

    I’ve always liked Mel Gibson and can’t really believe he would intentionally make this film for the purpose of promoting antisemitism and the middle ages myth of the “blood libel”. But nonetheless, if Mel is truly as interested as he is quoted as saying that this film is based on historical fact, then why not us the opportunity to expose the “blood libel” for the 1700 year old lie that it is.

    On the other hand one does have to consider his father, Hutton Gibson who is a notorious Holocaust denier and who claims the the World Trade Center was destroyed by remote control and not by al Queda; that the Second Vatican Council was a Masonic plot backed by the Jews and that all popes going back to John XXIII have been illegitimate “anti-popes”.

  • 14 Anon3030 // Jan 25, 2004 at 9:16 am

    As I see it to be Jewish can mean three things.
    Belonging to a race and or a religion and or a nation. Many say they are “proud” to be a Jew.
    To me pride is a sense that something is better than all other comparable things. This is a very different notion than to not being ashamed of something. So in the above case we would think that our race, religion or nation was better than all others(not just some others as this would then be an ignorant and false pride). This is why I believe that if one is proud of something it has to be accepted and supported by reason and logic to be superior to all other comparable things to be justified. Thus, to be proud to be human would be just, as it would be accepted and supported to be the best race or being. Some would argue our cruelty puts us in a lower category than the hyena but I think we would all agree that the above assertion would be supported by most academic argumentation. As a Canadian I am not proud of my country completely but I am proud that my country as a whole believes that every citizen deserves the same access to healthcare regardless of wealth, race, religion etc. I believe the vast majority would accept and support this as a superior ideal. There is much I am ashamed of as a race, religion, nation and person but I am justly proud of little. It may seem that I am rambling but my assertion is that much of the world?s problems are caused by pride. So when you say you are proud to be a Jew (or other race etc.), do you mean you are unashamed? What do you mean?

  • 15 Richard // Jan 30, 2004 at 11:03 pm

    I haven’t seen the film yet, but I intend to.
    From excerpts I have read, e.g., the cross for Jesus being prepared by Jews in an area just outside the Jewish Holy Temple; many scenes of Jewish throngs perpetuating violence on Jesus;
    and so on, it doesn’t seem like the kind of film
    that will promote religious harmony between Jews
    and Christians… Indeed, during the film I have
    read that the Romans are portrayed as being urged
    on by demons while they flog and crucify him; but
    the Jews need no such demonic motivation to order
    to indulge in evil –

  • 16 Matt // Feb 14, 2004 at 12:09 am


    Why is it important to you that Jews “own a lot”?

    Are you concerned by everything that Christians own?

    Only someone with true antagonism for Jews would even make such a point. If you dislike Jews and resent them, just say so — we’re all friends here, and will really support your coming out of the closet.

    However, when you simplify – or mistate – history, people will hopefully begin ignoring you, not matter if you’ve had three whole pieces published.

    Jews are kicked out of every country? Since you think they are deserved of the treatment they get, what was it exactly that they were doing in Russia, to get the “treatment” – execution – they got? What exactly were they doing in Germany in the 1940’s to get the “treatment” – execution – they got? Oh yes, they killed Christ!

    Or is it money-grubbing ways you prefer?
    Jew noses?
    Jew money?
    Jew ownership?
    Jew influence?

    Oh yes, the Merchant of Venice-
    Oh yes, the Great Zionist World Conspiracy-
    Oh yes, ‘80%’ Jewish-ownership of sports teams
    (take a look Rick, it’s true!!!!!)

    Where do you come from? I come from the Catholic Church. In Mass, the Preist says we have a lot to learn from Jewish practices and religion.
    But it looks like you’ve learned it all. When I was young, my Sunday school teacher said Christ was supposed to die – that’s what are faith is based on. The Jews were in on it – of course!
    But so were the Romans! Are we gonna break it down. 60% Jews/ 40% Romans? What difference does it make. And what difference does Gibson’s version make? It happened the way it was SUPPOSED to happen — God wanted it that way.

    But I was at an inter-faith retreat for Jews and Catholics in my early 20’s, and I learned that everything that has happened to Jews SINCE God died, was NOT PLANNED. It happened by history; it happened by actions of men and rulers/politicos. Hatred of Jews is misplaced theologically as well as historically. You wanna hate something so dearly, then try hating your confused rhetoric.

  • 17 Christopher // Feb 14, 2004 at 12:21 am


    What a joke – you a Jew!!???

    No RC, what you are is a 1st-class twat!!

    And not very accurate in your historical assertions of Jews in Europe, as Matt pointed out. Get a life loser, and go scribble your asshole column on your autographed copy of Mein Kempf!!


  • 18 David // Feb 20, 2004 at 1:46 pm

    Peggy Noonan, a Catholic journalist, asked Gibson “You’re going to have to go on record. The Holocaust happened, right?” Gibson responded:

    “I have friends and parents of friends who have numbers on their arms. The guy who taught me Spanish was a Holocaust survivor. He worked in a concentration camp in France. Yes, of course. Atrocities happened. War is horrible. The Second World War killed tens of millions of people. Some of them were Jews in concentration camps. Many people lost their lives. In the Ukraine, several million starved to death between 1932 and 1933. During the last century, 20 million people died in the Soviet Union.”

    That is typical Holocaust-Denier bullshit. Not once does Gibson actaully acknowledge that the Holocaust happened, and not once does he state that the Nazis tried to exterminate the Jews because they were Jews. Instead, he uses some fancy footwork that is common among sophisticated Holocaust Deniers. Holocaust Deniers, at least the sophisticated ones, don’t deny that Jews were sent to concentration camps, and don’t deny that Jews suffered during the war, and perhaps suffered a bit disproportionately because they were Jews. What they do deny was that the Germans singled out the Jews for genocide, that millions of Jews were murdered, and that Jews were sent to death camps, not simply to labor or concentration camps. Gibson also said something else interesting during the interview:

    Of his dad, Gibson says, “My dad taught me my faith, and I believe what he taught me. The man never lied to me in his life.”

    I wonder if that includes statements about the Jews and about the Holocaust?

    I hear mixed things about the movie so I will not judge it until I have seen it. But from things that Mel Gibson has said, he definitely comes off as an antisemite. You can’t be a holocaust denier and not be an antisemite. So if it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it’s probably a duck.

    In response to RC….you bring us Jews only good news. It just keeps on getting better and better. I hate reading about the Palestinian homicide bombings, the spread of antisemitism, intermarriage and all sorts of problems of the Jewish people. I’d rather read the good news that you and people like you bring to us…ya know like…we’re gonna take over the world, we own Hollywood, we own The Industry….hey guess what RC…if you REALLY want people to believe in you…change your initials to JC. They’ll love you, and I’m sure that the Church of Rome would love to nail you to a tree trunk, or at least go to Home Depot for a neatly trimmed post and post hole digger.

    Anyway, many Christians are completely oblivious to the brutal 2000 year history of Christianity. I think that after this Passion film, a movie should be made about the Crusades, or the Spanish Inquisition….just to get the message across that yes…Jesus was a nice guy…but look at what people have done in His name. And most tragically…these crimes were committed by people baptized in His name.

    In the words of Pope John 23rd: “We now recognize that for many centuries our eyes were blinded, so that we could no longer see the beauty of your chosen people or recognize in your people’s countenance the features of our firstborn brother. We recognize the mark of Cain on our forehead. For centuries, Abel was lying prostrate in blood and tears because we had forgotten your love. Forgive us the malediction we imprecate falsely upon the name of the Jews. Forgive us for having crucified you for a second time in their flesh”

    –Pope John XXIII

  • 19 Rick // Feb 20, 2004 at 2:47 pm

    This post has surprised me in that it continues to be one that produces comments. And some of the folks — not all, so don’t all of you be offended by this comment as I might not mean you — don’t entirely get the point. The point of the original post was not to label Gibson an antisemite.

    In fact, it was because people were saying he was and were saying that Jewish organizations were opposing him because of it, that I wrote the post originally. At that time, I found no evidence to show he was an antisemite — I still find none. At that time, I also noted that Jewish organizations which had commented on the film were expressing justifiable concern and not stating that the film was actually antisemitic. I thought then and think now that the jury was still out on that issue.

    Again, the point of the post was that there was no real evidence one way or another on the question. The movie, which many people have tried to say indicates he is antisemitic, so far as I know, does no such thing. It MAY (MAY MAY MAY) be the case that the movie will inspire some antisemitism. But that’s no more an indictment of the movie than is the fact that the Christian Bible itself inspires some to antisemitism. And it says nothing at all about Gibson’s own belief.

    In a recent television interview, Gibson was asked point blank about antisemitism. His comments showed some slight amount of confusion, but no more than for anyone who is not well-educated about Judaism. And, after all, Gibson never claimed to be a Jew, so one cannot hold this against him. He may (or may not; again, I don’t know) know as much about Judaism as many Jews know about his particular brand of Catholicism.

    Gibson responded by indicating that “racism of any kind” was wrong and specifically stated that antisemitism would be wrong. Obviously, as I said, he’s a little confused: antisemitism is not racism, because Jews are not a “race” of people; Judaism isn’t even really a religion — it’s a culture. And so far as the concept of “race” has any validity at all, Jews are found in a variety of different races.

    Now, of course, people CAN be something they deny being. But I’ve seen no evidence myself to believe that Mel Gibson is an antisemite. I’m not saying he isn’t one; I’m not saying he is one. I’ve seen no evidence that he is, though, and so I tend to doubt it.

    Lastly, I think the assertion that one cannot be a Holocaust denier without also being an antisemite is not true. Certainly there’s nothing logically that requires saying “All Holocaust deniers are antisemites.” I’ll grant you that hearing that someone is a Holocaust denier would be a pretty good indicator that they are probably antisemitic, but it’s not a requirement. Such persons would obviously be poor, ignorant historians and possibly even deluded. And yet they could — perhaps honestly — love Jews, or at least harbor us no ill will.

    Similarly, one can be antisemitic, but still believe the Holocaust actually happened. For example, I’ve known people who told me that they were just sorry Haman’s ideological descendant failed. Obviously, they believe that Hitler tried to exterminate the Jews and they also demonstrate by the statement that they hate Jews themselves.

    The bottom line for me right now on the Gibson thing is that he may not be totally clear-headed about religion — but then, who is? One of the things religion does is cloud people’s minds. There’s a large element of the illogical just in harboring anthropomorphic beliefs in some great personal Master of the Universe. He may be, for all I know, a Holocaust denier and he may even be antisemitic. The words from his own mouth, though, controvert that last charge and there is no evidence to show that he’s lying.

    So, for now, I think the man should be given the benefit of the doubt. After all, saying someone is an antisemite is the same as telling the world that he is one of the lowest forms of life in the known universe.

    That’s a serious charge that should not be bandied about lightly.

  • 20 David // Feb 21, 2004 at 2:35 pm

    The problem I have with Mel Gibson, is that he never denounced his father’s antisemitism and racism, and he never acknowledged the fact that during the Holocaust, Jews were singled out for genocide, and that more than 6 million were murdered. He never said that. Of course there is no evidence really that he’s an antisemite, or that he’s a Holocaust denier, but he’s a member of a Church that rejects the Second Vatican’s statements. I don’t know what to make of him, and actually…I don’t care. I really don’t want to know what he is. I respect him as an actor. That is all. The difference between him and Shwarzanegger, is that Shwarzanegger denounced his father’s antisemitism, (his father was a nazi), and he even gave donations to the Wisenthal Center.

    It is very touching that Gibson is standing up for his antisemitic, racist, and bigoted father, but that is no excuse for not denouncing antisemitism, and for not acknowledging the Holocaust and the significance that the Jews had in it.

  • 21 David // Feb 21, 2004 at 2:39 pm

    I also believe that Holocaust denial is a form of antisemitism, but there’s no point in arguing about that.

  • 22 Peter Sean Bradley // Feb 22, 2004 at 11:09 pm

    Geez, I go away for a few months and all hell breaks out over here.

    If anyone is interested, there has been an altogether healthy discussion going on among the Catholic bloggers about the Passion. Again, you might want to check out Bill Cork who has posted about some generally subtle anti-semitic tropes in the movie. Other bloggers think that Cork is being too sensitive. Make up your own mind.

    Also, you might want to think about the value of keeping an open mind. The fact is that one construction of the Gospels is that the Temple shopped Jesus to the Romans “for the sake of the nation,” lest civil unrest lead to Roman reprisals. Therefore, were “the Jews” responsible?The modern and traditional Catholic view is that we are all responsible – the sins of each one of us drove those nails into His flesh. In John, Jesus specifically says that it’s His choice and no one else’s. Accept it or not, but from what I’ve read, that’s precisely what Mel is saying and precisely what my co-religionists will understand. I don’t think that theology is going to cause a revival of anti-semitism. If you want anti-semitism, look elsewhere. These days the real threat is from the Left. But until you make an attempt to understand Mel’s theology on its own terms before projecting your views, I don’t think you can have a fair or balanced opinion. I do think the discussion has been fruitful over at “St. Blogs” and my sense is that there is far less anti-semitism among Catholic bloggers than among any other group.

    Some of these comments, though, are weirdly misguided. Make a movie about the Inquisition? Heaven’s above, we live in an Anglo-Saxon Protestant culture. Don’t you think the English have done enough to spread the “Black Legend” as it is? If you think that our culture gives Catholics a free pass on their history, take this quick survey – (a)who was “Bloody Mary?” (b)what percentage of the population did Henry VIII murder because they wouldn’t accept Protestantism? As a Catholic who has had the Inquisition thrown in my face far more times than I care to remember, and recently has had to listen to slurs about “Hitler’s Pope” by people who don’t know the encyclical Mit Brennender Sorge, I can assure you that the failings of the Catholic Church have been more publicized than any other institution in the history of the world. (For that matter, you can go down to Blockbuster right now and rent a movie based on The Deputy. I can also recommend a lengthy list of Catholic-bashing movies and books if you prefer.) I have no idea what the comment about the Church of Rome sending out to Home Depot for a post hole digger meant, but I suspect it wasn’t complimentary.

    So who is going to see the movie this Lenten season? Who is going to see it with an open mind? Treat it like a sociology project. Then condemn it.

  • 23 Rick // Feb 22, 2004 at 11:52 pm

    I doubt I’ll see it, because it’s not my style of fiction. BUT, I think you’ll also note from my posts on the topic that a) I’m not in agreement with those who have been bashing Gibson or the movie here and b) I don’t think there’s any evidence to indicate to me that either Gibson or his movie are antisemitic.

    I think my own view is pretty much summed up in my comment immediately above your comment (which would make it two comments above this one here).

    Oh, and I’m not into bashing Catholics, either!

    For the others who might be interested, you may wish to go ahead and post the link here to the websites you mentioned that are discussing it. I’ve nothing against that. (I *do* delete spammers who post their links, but I wouldn’t delete a link that was posted as part of a relevant discussion.)

    Thanks for showing up again! I’ve missed you over the months!

  • 24 David // Feb 26, 2004 at 3:50 pm

    I think instead of debating weather Mel is an antisemite or not, we should just go to blockbuster, rent Lethal Weapon, with a bottle of beer and enjoy ourselves.

  • 25 Matthew R. // Feb 29, 2004 at 3:49 pm

    I am a college student at Bard who writes a conservative column for the campus newspaper, “The Observer”. I was recently assigned to see “The Passion of the Christ” and to write a review about it, which will be coming out in two weeks. For the record – and this isn’t really germane to any of the discussion going on here but is an interesting sidenote – I am a conservative at a college that was labelled by the Princeton Review to be the most left-wing in the country, and my column is generally reflected as possessing such views. That aside, I have pasted the column beneath this paragraph for the blog. It sums up my views on anti-Semitism, Mel Gibson, The Passion, and Christianity perfectly, and will be my little contribution to this discussion. Forgive me for its length:

    Anti-Semitism is alive and well. Most people will acknowledge that it is widespread throughout the world, but I would even go so far as to argue that it is still quite present within our own country, the United States of America.
    Take the occurance at Washington Lake, a little hotel resort in the middle of the New York Catskill Mountains. It was there that, in 1997, a twelve-year-old boy was nearly murdered by a mob of his elementary school peers because he was Jewish. The incident took place while the boy was attending a 6th Grade picnic, along with the other sixtysomething students in his class. Supposedly the incident began when a group of kids poured a bucket of pondwater over his head, prompting him to go to the nearby lake to fetch some water of his own. When he did this, a mass of at least two dozen students converged around him, throwing pebbles and coins and shouting “Christ-killer!” and “Devil-worshipper”. The young man was used to these insults, he later claimed; he had lived in the small Catskill mountain town of Eldred, NY, for over three years, and had undergone more than his fair share of anti-Semitism within the small and closely-knit community during that period. But what happened next nobody could have expected, as a group of approximately half a dozen kids waded into the lake, forced his head so far under the water that it sank into the sand, and held it there for approximately five minutes while the prepubescent mob chanted “Drown the Jew!”.
    The little boy was eventually saved by one of his friends, and after vomiting up sand and water was immediately left to his family to cope. The parents were advised to wait at least 24 hours before contacting the police, and afterwards were asked not to inform any media sources of the event so that the town – which already had a struggling economy – would not receive any negative publicity. Each of the kids involved in the violent event were let off with a stern warning, and although local congressman Benjamin Gilman did put in a good word on the boy?s behalf, the incident was eventually forgotten in the ocean of other local events taking place that year, including a similarly-charged affair relating to the boy?s father, who was the local Superintendent of Schools.
    The only reason I know that any of this happened is because that little boy was me.
    Since then I have done a massive amount of research on the subjects of Jewish history and anti-Semitism. Among the many readings I have pored over, some of the most prominent include the Jewish Publication Society?s version of the Tanakh, from which I read many (but regrettably not even close to a majority) of the books; “An Illustrated History of the Jewish People”, written by a variety of authors including Jane S. Gerber; Paul Johnson?s dual volumes, “A History of the Jewish People” and “A History of Christianity”; Bernard Lazare?s late-19th Century book wirtten in the aftermath of the Dreyfus Affair and entitled “Anti-Semitism”; many archaeological books by Roland da Vaux about the social structure of the ancient Israeli people; and I took a four-part seminar under Lehigh University Professor Benjamin Wright regarding anti-Semitism from antiquity to modern times, with an emphasis on the era of Christ and with many references to the Book of John. I mention this only to give a very rough sampling of the eclectic and extensive research I did on the subject of Judaism, Jewish history, and the history of anti-Semitism, the bi-product of an interest largely sparked by the aforementioned incident.
    You can only imagine, then, the interest that Mel Gibson?s movie “The Passion of the Christ” sparked in me when I first heard about it. As you well know, much controversy has been swirling around the film, focusing largely on its allegedly anti-Semitic content. Both for personal and for intellectual reasons, I went to this film curious to see what I would find.
    What I found was the greatest medieval passion play ever created. For those of you unfamiliar with the term, a passion play was a theatrical reenactment of the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ that was once widely performed throughout the European continent, primarily during the Middle Ages. The purpose of these exercises was to force the audiences to experience the most extreme forms of spiritual catharsis by process of having their instinctive human sympathy immediately relate to the torments Jesus had to undergo. Presumably, after this was all over, they would then transform that catharsis into an overwhelming gratitude for the sacrifices Christ made to pay for their sins. It was an enormously effective means the Church used to rally the passions of the people, and it only died out when the influences of the Industrial Revolution jaded the human senses and imagination. Gibson makes full use of the many advantages modern technology has to offer to the art of the passion play, and what I saw on that screen was undoubtedly what much of the clergy of the Middle Ages would have manufactured had they been armed with cameras, film, CGI effects, and the other accoutrements of a modern Industrial society – not to mention Mel Gibson?s undeniable directorial talent and Caleb Deschanel?s hauntingly poetic cinematography.
    There were several ways to create a medieval passion play. One approach was that of the heavily philosophical production, which centered on the most fundamental themes of the Christian faith and used the crucifixion and resurrection merely as a vehcile to convey those ideas to the audience. Another was the technical approach, which went to extreme lengths to methodically provide an event-by-event, line-for-line, and step-by-step re-creation of the crucifixion and resurrection as it is found in the Christian Bible. Mel Gibson abandons both of these methods and instead engages in the third, and depending on your priorities the most effective, form of passion play – the intensely visceral experience. We see Jesus Christ go through all of the most excruciating forms of torture that the classical world ever devised; he is beaten, whipped, scourged, has a crown of thorns pounded onto his head, is forced to carry his own cross to his crucifixion sight, and then of course is nailed to that cross in a scene made all the more gruesome by the casual manner in which a Roman soldier explains to his counterparts the by-the-book manner in which you are supposed to drive a nail into a man?s hands. All of this serves the purpose of that form of passion play, which is to conjure up intense physical sympathy for Christ. It is not the most cerebral form of passion play out there, but it is equal-to-none in its ability to conjure up the most intense feelings of compassion from every member of the audience – which this movie does, successfully, in a manner that can be adequately described in words. As I glanced at the faces of the audience around me, I was hard-pressed to find a mouth that wasn?t agape in horror or a set of eyes that was not gorged with horror and compassion. Every member of the audience who left that theater did so silently.
    In order for this method of passion play to be most effective, however, it is vital that the character of Jesus Christ be placed in an environment where the dichotomy between good and evil is unmistakably clear. Hence, the film has little room for subtlety or nuance. It is vital that almost every character in the movie be depicted as vicious and filled with a hatred for Christ that seems to know no bounds. There are a handful of redeeming characters on both sides, of course, who for humanitarian reasons show compassion for a man undergoing unspeakable agonies. But for the most part the world must been seen as being against Jesus Christ, and since the world to Christ consisted almost entirely of Jews and Romans, it is these two groups who are shown in the worst light, with the Jews inflicting the brunt of the verbal abuse, and the Romans inflicting most of the physical tortures.
    Is this movie anti-Semitic? The answer to this most pressing question is an unequivocal no. This isn?t to say that I think Mel Gibson as a person isn?t an anti-Semite, nor am I implying, for that matter, that I think he is one. Mel Gibson?s personal views are of little concern to me except in how they might influence the bent of a movie that will undeniably have a tremendous impact on its audience. While I do see much in this movie that could be interpreted anti-Semitically by individuals who are inclined to feel that way no matter what, in and of itself the movie is not so much anti-Jew or anti-Roman as it is anti-human, for as I have already mentioned, it is integral to the success of a passion play that it portray the vast majority of the human race as being unworthy of the compassion that Christ has shown them. There is only one part of the film that did bother me, and those were the scenes involving Pontius Pilate, played with enormous grace by Hristo Shopov. In real life, Pilate was depicted as a ruthless politiican who was removed from his post by Augustus Caesar for his bloodthirst. This is not only an opinion expounded upon by the apostles; even the Roman historian Tacitus, whose sympathies in the rest of his literature is pretty contemptuous towards Jews and Christians (which he viewed as being the same group), refers to Pontius Pilate as a morally corrupt man whose removal from power was probably a fortunate occurrance. So why is it that Gibson and Shopov depict Pilate as a philosophical and conflicted man who only orders Christ?s death at the behest of an eager Sanhendrin and the Jewish mob they have riled up? Not only is this depiction historically inaccurate by every available account, but it also does seem to place the blame for Christ?s death – or at least the motive for having him executed – squarely and solely on the heads of the Jewish priesthood. This is an inexplicable dramatic decision, and the only aspect of the movie that I would describe as being potentially anti-Semitic. But as for the rest of the claims made about the movie?s portrayal of Jews – that they are singled out as being bloodthirsty, that their faces are painted to have a quasi-Satanic evil gaze, that they are depicted as being greedy, and so on – all of these claims I found to be untrue, at least based on what I observed on the screen. A grand irony of all of this is that because of the massive amount of hype created about the movie?s alleged anti-Semitism, it is quite possible that the movie will net just as high a percentage of Jewish attendance as it does Christian attendance, whereas under normal circumstances it is highly unlikely that most of the former would ever be inclined to see this film.
    I must confess that I did find it regrettable that the movie did not take more time to go into the core philosophy behind Christ?s teachings. While I cannot criticize the movie in and of itself for failing to do this, as it was created for the sole purpose of being a passion play and in this regard is as close to being flawless as it could be, by failing to do this the movie has failed to present any clear and coherent philosophical construction, so that although we can tell that Jesus Christ is suffering, we are not clear as to what message it is he is suffering to tell. Had the movie done this, it could have excelled above the realm of merely being a passion play and could have established itself as one of the greatest tragedies ever put on celluloid in the history of filmmaking. Instead, the movie comes off as sort of an insider?s project, and anyone not already acquainted with the lessons of Christianity will simply view this as an incredibly tragic tale of a man who died for an obscure cause.
    And so it is that I left the movie theater, having been exposed to the Gibsonian version of the Gopels, feeling unthreatened, unoffended, and pretty much unconcerned as a Jew that the film I just seen would have any additional negative repercussions against my people. We live in a world of intense anti-Semitism, which often masquerades in “respectable” forms ranging from political secularization to anti-Zionism. I believe it is the moral and ethical obligation of every human being to single out and eliminate both this and any other form of hatred whenever they see it, so that we can live in a world where all people love and respect each other. This is an opinion that, by the way, is strictly within the teachings of Jesus Christ.

  • 26 kjezt // Nov 8, 2004 at 7:00 am

    Just one thing,all arabs(hebrew speaking included)are semites,all jews are not.Therefore,you can call people anti-jewish or anti-zionist but not antisemetic.Please stop misusing the english language.

  • 27 Rick Horowitz // Nov 8, 2004 at 7:12 am

    You say “toe-mah-toe,” Merriam-Webster Unabridged says,

    Main Entry: an&#183ti-sem·ite   

    Function: noun
    Usage: usually capitalized S
    Etymology: 1anti- + Semite
    : one who is hostile to Jews or who practices anti-Semitism

    Citation format for this entry:
    “anti-semite.” Webster’s Third New International Dictionary, Unabridged. Merriam-Webster, 2002. http://unabridged.merriam-webster.com (8 Nov. 2004).

    I would like to ask you to stop mis-using English punctuation, by the way. But, then, you are Australian, right? 😉

  • 28 Al Parker // Feb 27, 2006 at 3:31 pm

    Anything pro-Christian is considered anti-Semitic these days. How far we have fallen.

  • 29 Rick Horowitz // Feb 28, 2006 at 10:10 am

    Interesting comment. I would have been more interested in it if you provided some kind of argument to support it.

    Are you saying that as a generalized comment? Or because you read my blog? Or because you read comments posted to my blog?

    Or did you actually mean to indicate that you’re tired of people complaining about anti-semitism, because in your mind any complaints about anti-semitism are ipso facto actually illegitimate attacks on christianity?

    And, btw, which christianity are you talking about? The Christianity that grew out of the teachings of Jesus? Or the christianity of modern Americans? (They aren’t the same, you know. And all you have to do to get proof of that is read the Christian Bible, then compare what you see in Jesus’ teachings to what’s really happening in America.)

  • 30 Religious Wars: Book I // Sep 17, 2008 at 8:51 am

    […] complained about being branded an antisemite. For my friend “kjezt” from Australia (see comments at the bottom of this article on Mel Gibson), I looked up that word in Merriam-Webster […]

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