Jewish leaders respond to Gibson’s plans to make Maccabee movie


It was announced earlier today that the oft-booed Mel Gibson and the equally-hissed Joe Joe Eszterhas (“Basic Instinct”, “Jade”) are headed over to the Warner compound to begin work on a – get this – movie based on the life of religious icon Judah Maccabee.

Gibson, who still hasn’t won back the masses following his rants and raves in recent years, would likely direct the film; it’s not yet known if he’ll play Maccabee.

Upon hearing the news of Gibson being involved in the Jew-movie, Rabbi Marvin Heir stormed up the stairs of the Hollywood Reporter‘s office to vent.

“Casting him as a director or perhaps as the star of ‘Judah Maccabee’ is like casting Madoff to be the head of the Securities and Exchange Commission,” said the Jewish leader, who apparently heads up Los Angeles’s Simon Wiesenthal Center Museum of Tolerance.

“Mel Gibson has shown nothing but antagonism and disrespect to Jews. First of all there were the anti-Semitic remarks he made, his portrayal of Jews in The Passion of Christ. I’m talking about those Jews who did not accept Christ, they were all portrayed as idiots, buffoons or people who were tyrants, with a very unfair portrayal. He’s had a long history of antagonism with Jews. Casting him as a director or perhaps as the star of Judah Maccabee is like casting Madoff to be the head of the Securities and Exchange Commission, or a white supremacist as trying to portray Martin Luther King Jr. It’s simply an insult to Jews.”

Heir says Warner Bros should be ashamed of themselves for backing such a project.

“Warner Bros. is making a terrible mistake,” Heir says, adding, “most of the people that are going to come to a film about Judah Maccabee are the Jewish community. Surely they know the Jewish communities are not going to come to this film.”

Abraham Foxman, national director of the Anti Defamation League, also weighed in on the news. “Judah Maccabee deserves better. He is a hero of the Jewish people and a universal hero in the struggle for religious liberty. It would be a travesty to have his story told by one who has no respect and sensitivity for other people’s religious views,”

I’ve no comment, but I’m guessing you guys do – – what’s your take on the matter?