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Jews, ADL angry about Mel Gibson's Judah Maccabee movie




Mel Gibson is firmly on the comeback trail, agreeing to team up with screenwriter Joe Eszterhas to produce or even direct a movie about Jewish Bible hero Judah Maccabee, but that's not sitting to well with Jewish leaders. It seems they're still sore about his anti-Semitic tirade when he was arrested in Malibu in 2006. Oh yeah, and making the Jews look corrupt, evil or stupid in Passion of the Christ.

"(Gibson's) had a long history of antagonism with Jews," Rabbi Marvin Hier, founder and dean of Los Angeles's Simon Wiesenthal Center Museum of Tolerance, told the Hollywood Reporter. "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."

Gibson will definitely produce the movie under his Icon Productions name, reports. He apparently long has wanted to make a movie about the Jewish hero, who led a revolt against their Seleucid conquerors in the second century B.C. Not that it matter to Abraham Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League.

"Judah Maccabee deserves better," Foxman said. "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." Hier adds that it's fairly preposterous that Warner Bros. would allow someone the Jewish communities hate to make a movie targeting mostly Jewish audiences. The Juice* says if Mel can make this work, it'll be a miracle.

[Photo: Getty Images]

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[Last modified: Friday, September 9, 2011 3:32pm]


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