Jew vs. Jew vs. Mel

Have Jewish Critics of The Passion of the Christ Actually Fueled New Anti-Semitism?

Aside from The Passion of the Christ—and how it may or may not play out in Europe—before the movie opened anywhere, a National Public Radio report on January 28 noted that "the 59th anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi concentration camp at Auschwitz was marked yesterday with remembrances across Europe."

But not only remembrances. Sylvia Poggioli, NPR's first-rate reporter, noted that on the eve of Remembrance Day, "a poll [of nine European countries] on European anti-Semitism showed that 46 percent of those asked said Jews and their nations were different." (As historically the Jews have been the aliens within.) "And 35 percent said Jews should stop playing the victim for the Holocaust."

In view of the sharp resurgence of anti-Semitism in Europe—not only among Muslims but also some intellectuals on the left—Poggioli also interviewed Gianfranco Fini, deputy prime minister of Italy, who said: "It was Europe that generated this monster and gave birth to this madness. . . . Anti-Semitism does not belong to the past. It can still reproduce itself in different forms."

This is not the time to sha shtil. Mel Gibson: Stirring Jewish passions
photo: Philippe Antonello
This is not the time to sha shtil. Mel Gibson: Stirring Jewish passions

Added Elie Wiesel: "If Auschwitz couldn't cure anti-Semitism, what will?"

This is not the time to sha shtil.

Related Articles:

J. Hoberman's review of The Passion of the Christ

"The Backlash Passion: A Messianic Meller for Our Time" by Richard Goldstein

"Mel Gibson's Jesus Christ Pose: The Passion of the Christ Marks the Latest Chapter in the Making of a Hollywood Martyr" by Jessica Winter

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