New York, NY, August 13, 2003 … Legitimate concerns raised by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) about Mel Gibson's film "The Passion" have become an excuse for an outpouring of anti-Semitism. Since going public with its concerns about the film, ADL has received a slew of e-mails and phone calls referencing "The Passion" while making hateful slurs about Jews and Judaism.
"It is shocking that even months before the film is to be released, "The Passion" is creating a sensation among anti-Semites and bigots," said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director. "The haters are using our concerns about Mel Gibson's film as an excuse to spread anti-Semitism. What concerns us even more, however, is what could happen if the film is released in its current form.
"Whatever his differences with ADL and the Jewish community, we call on Mel Gibson to condemn such hateful expressions," said Mr. Foxman. "There is no room in America for such hatred and we would hope that Mr. Gibson would make clear that anti-Semitism is unacceptable."
Dozens of phone calls and e-mails have been placed to ADL's National Headquarters and 30 Regional Offices across the country since the League raised anew its concern that "The Passion" portrays Jews as being responsible for the death of Jesus. The vast majority of the messages contain deeply anti-Semitic sentiments and hateful slurs. A sampling of the messages includes:
More Examples >>
- "I find it sad that you would attempt to censor Gibson. Whether you like it or not, the Jews of the time were instrumental in Jesus' death. We don't need any more revisionist history. Didn't the Holocaust teach you anything?"
- "You should be more concerned about the conduct of Jews in our government and financial markets … and stock scams promoted by Jews."
- "All anti-Semitism is the fault of the Jews. If you would direct your people to quit being so dishonest, immoral, atheistic and Marxist, this stigma would go away."
- "Why are you concerned about Gibson's movie? What he portrays is the truth! Jews were responsible for the death of Jesus! … Maybe when Jesus returns as the Messiah, you won't try to do it again."