In the September 18 edition of the Jewish Week, Anti-Defamation League (ADL) director Abraham Foxman accuses Mel Gibson of being anti-Semitic. Foxman also attacked Gibson’s father for saying that fewer than 6 million Jews died in the Holocaust; the ADL leader imputed guilt to Mel Gibson as a result of his father’s remarks.
In addition, Foxman notes that after Gibson reluctantly removed from the movie the passage from Matthew that says, “His blood be on us and on our children,” Gibson sounded off against the ADL. Foxman was upset with Gibson’s remark that had the comment from Matthew not been excised, the ADL and others would be coming after him. Foxman also objects to Gibson’s comment to Peter Boyer in The New Yorker that “modern secular Judaism wants to blame the Holocaust on the Catholic Church.” For Foxman, this amounts to “classic anti-Semitism.”
Catholic League president William Donohue sharply disagrees:
“Abe Foxman is seeking to poison relations between Catholics and Jews. His attacks on Mel Gibson have little to do with some off-the-cuff quips and everything to do with waging a frontal assault against all those people—Catholics, Protestants, Jews et al.—who have seen ‘The Passion’ and love it.
“To attack Gibson’s 85 year-old father shows that the ADL knows no bounds of decency. Moreover, if Gibson’s father, and by implication Mel himself, is guilty of anti-Semitism for questioning the figure of 6 million Jews killed in the Holocaust, then that makes Jewish historian Raul Hilberg an anti-Semite as well: he puts the figure at 5.1 million.
“Similarly, it is no secret that extremely secular Jews have teamed up with profoundly alienated Catholics to blame the Catholic Church for the Holocaust. Quite frankly, most Catholics are fed up with the lies of Goldhagen and Cornwell. Finally, in the September 15 New Yorker, Foxman said, ‘Per se, I don’t think that Mel Gibson is an anti-Semite.’ Foxman was right then and is wrong now. The fact that he suddenly did a 180 shows that his game is now in sudden death overtime.”