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September 5, 2016 5:04 pm

No Need to Tie Mel Gibson’s Past Antisemitism With His Upcoming WWII Film Starring Jewish Actor, Group Says

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Mel Gibson at Cannes 2016. Photo: Georges Biard via WIkimedia Commons.

Mel Gibson at Cannes 2016. Photo: Georges Biard via WIkimedia Commons.

Mel Gibson’s past antisemitic behavior is irrelevant to an upcoming World War II movie directed by the filmmaker that stars a Jewish actor, an official with a leading US-based Jewish human rights organization told The Algemeiner on Monday.

“As far as I can see, this is not an undertaking that would cross into the areas of concern that we have,” Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles told The Algemeiner when asked about “Hackshaw Ridge,” which has opened at the Venice Film Festival and is set to be released in US theaters in November.

In “Hacksaw Ridge,” American-British Jewish actor Andrew Garfield, best known for his roles in “The Social Network” and two “Amazing Spider-Man” movies, plays US Army medic Desmond Doss, a Seventh-day Adventist pacifist who was awarded a Medal of Honor for heroically saving dozens of soldiers during the Battle of Okinawa.

In a Showbiz411 column published on Sunday, renowned critic Roger Friedman wrote, “Are we supposed to separate the man from his art? And how does the director’s personal actions color the way we look at the movies? In the case of Gibson, that’s a tough one to call. But the real tests will come when American press come face to face with Gibson? Will be there a complete amnesia about what has gone on for the last decade?”

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In 2004, Gibson came under fire for his film “The Passion of the Christ,”  which suggested Jews were responsible for the crucifixion of Jesus. And during a July 2006 DUI arrest, Gibson yelled at Jewish LA police officer James Mee, “F*** the Jews. The Jews are responsible for starting all the wars in the world.”

Also, Gibson’s father, Hutton Gibson, is a Holocaust denier, and Gibson has not denounced his dad’s views.

Speaking with The Algemeiner on Monday, Cooper said, “People who are concerned about Mel Gibson will be looking at every film that comes out to see if it in any way crosses the line, but just based on the reviews…[Hacksaw Ridge] doesn’t seem to have a relevancy in any way to our issues.”

Given Garfield’s Jewish background, Cooper said, “it might be worthwhile for someone to ask him if he had that much to do with the director, did those issues ever come up? But I don’t think it’s for us on the sidelines to raise an issue where there may not be one.”

However, Cooper cautioned, Gibson is working on a new film about the resurrection of Jesus and “based on his track record, we’re going to have to be looking very closely to see what the approach is going to be and if it’s going to raise a lot of the same red flags as previously.”

The UK’s Jewish News reported on Sunday on Gibson’s new project. “This is a very big subject and it needs to be looked at because we don’t want to just do a simple rendering of it,” Gibson was quoted as saying at an evangelical Christian arts festival in California.

Regarding Gibson’s past antisemitism, Cooper said , “Let’s put it this way, I don’t think it’s a closed book because it was a recurring issue…There was a lot there…There were numerous opportunities to shut the door on that and I don’t think that’s been fully vetted yet.”

In May, as reported in The Algemeiner, controversy erupted when Gibson presented an award to an anti-Israel director at the Cannes Film Festival in France. And in January, Cooper criticized the organizers of Hollywood’s Golden Globe Awards for selecting Gibson as a presenter at the 2016 ceremony despite his antisemitic history.

“We’re disappointed that the Golden Globe Awards committee, at a time of surging antisemitism, has chosen to rehabilitate a bigot,” Cooper told The Algemeiner at the time.

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  • As a former supporter of Gibson, I’m now disappointed with anyone who has any connection to him, I certainly wold not see anything that has his name giving him credit, all his artistic merits are tainted and a product of a ” mad dog ” who bit the hands ,of the ones that fed him .

  • Andrew

    Don’t care who is in the movie, if it’s from Mel Gibson, boycott it!

  • Myron Slater

    Gibson “is what he is”!

  • nat cheiman

    No more chances for Gibson. The film must flop

  • Bruce Gardner

    Judge a man by his actions in the present, not his mistakes in the past. Judged by the latter, none of us would escape.

  • Jam

    ALL THE JEWISH ORGANIZATIONS HAVE BEEN HIJACKED. Nearly all of them are blatantly antisemitc and hateful of all poor Jews, they deny their existence too. Their religion is creating their little pet project of inventing a new people 96% antisemitic they named ‘palestinians’. And showing us the lives of their fellow evil Jews In Name Only.

    OU is evil, Simon Weisenthal Ctr is evil, ADL is evil, UJA is evil, they have all become antisemitic rich filth. And I mean truly evil, like no one’s business.

    They will destroy the Jews. They are all reading the exact same leftist, greedy handbook.

    • zadimel

      You are a very sick and confused person. Get some rest and enjoy life.

      • Jam

        Sorry healthy person. Calling out the problems Jews face doesn’t hinder any enjoyments I have.

  • Hamanslayer

    I read through the article a Second time, and found no “renowned” anything, and the word “leading” was a reference to the Simon Weisenthal Center — so I am not sure what it is you are tired of, exactly.

    Personally, I am tired of the BdS (sic) bowel-movement, and even more tired of the so-called “Jooish” anti-Semites who support that abomination. Like the Burnie QuickSander, bosom buddy of the Chomskys, the Finkelsteins and the Blumebthals. (Of course, he can buy my support if he only makes a gift to me of his $650,000 vacation home…???)

  • Stephan Pickering

    Mel Gibson IS a neo-nationalsozialist, who has been his entire life a virulent hater of gay women and men, a Sho’ah denier, a hater of Yehu’dim…for him to posture now about a ‘non-violent war hero’ is ludicrous, and I trust this effort will collapse, and the Horrorwood individuals who helped him put it together will end their careers in morally bankrupt shame. As a post-Auschwitz Yehu’di, ALL of this is beneath my contempt. To say an antisemite who makes a film cannot be viewed as an antisemite is nonsense.
    STEPHAN PICKERING / חפץ ח”ם בן אברהם
    Torah אלילה Yehu’di Apikores / Philologia Kabbalistica Speculativa Researcher
    לחיות זמן רב ולשגשג

  • moshe

    these goyim need to be taught a lesson. Letting Gibson down from the cross is bad practice. the other goyim will now think it is okay to challenge zio-dogma.

    • Jam

      Read his post carefully, the antisemite is comparing some rich drunk actor to Jesus. And admitting, that one the rare occcasion, that we hold our ground it upsets the antisemitic obsessives.

      So much so they have to go all the way back to the Jesus accusations of the middle ages.

  • Reform School

    Jews whose circumcisions left irreversible brain damage never resisted voting with their feet. Why change now?

  • Yaakov

    I’m more than a little tired of reading about Jewish “leading” and “renowned” this and that.

    • Yaakov, Exactly what are you tired of?? Please explain.

      • Jam

        He meant unlike all other people’s defenders, these people are no longer aligned with the needs of the actual Jews.

        They are all trying to show themselves smarter and better than the poor ‘uneducated’ Jews.

        Poor Jews just want to live without abuse, and the antisemite abusives everywhere they go for thousands of years, any swerving even a little from that you are not a valid Jewish organization. Even Brandeis was laundering money to send to Israel to buy weapons. We were successful because we had good people from the top to the bottom. Today the bottom is somewhat good, and the top is completely evil, even by non-Jewish standards they would be evil, so therefore they are loved by non-Jews closest to us, the ones who want us dead.

      • Jam

        Oh no, you’re right he is an antisemite. He is the same anti as ‘moshe’ above. You’re right. I hope he leaves.

    • So, stop reading.

      • Jam

        I second that. He is a trolling antisemite. He remarks on every article. I’m guessing he is Catholic and a Jew hater. (Many Catholics are really good people, he is not.)

    • M.S. Fenton

      This is show business. At it’s best it is make believe. The actors are people who are paid to play a role and will play the role if they get paid to do so. Very few have any moral scruples about the roles they play as they can rationalize their action any number of ways. Mostly, they get paid to be whatever is required. Actors are much like sex workers. For money they will do it. There are even Mexicans who support Trump in public and many…most…are paid to show up at a rally. In Hollywood you cannot believe what you see or what you hear…from Jew or Gentile…they will all kiss a pig for five dollars.