ADL Blasts Gibson's Re-release Of 'The Passion'

Despite actor/director Mel Gibson’s attempt to “soften” the more explicit content of his major blockbuster “The Passion of the Christ,” the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) is still protesting the movie for its alleged role as a vehicle for anti-Semitism.

Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director, issued a press-release on Tuesday regarding the recent re-release of the film, saying that while Gibson removed six minutes of violence and gore, he, “chose to leave untouched the anti-Jewish elements of the original, including scenes where Jews are portrayed as villains and responsible for the death of Jesus.”

“As we come into the Christian holy season, it is troubling that Mel Gibson made changes to "The Passion of the Christ" to de-emphasize the violence, yet made no effort to mitigate or remove the film's anti-Jewish elements.”

"'The Passion Recut' demonstrates that Mr. Gibson indeed has the power to make changes. His recut is selective to accommodate concerns of excessive violence, but not those of the Jewish community and concerned Christians disturbed by his offensive portrayal of Jews that leads viewers to believe Jews are responsible for the death of Jesus."

"Our concern is that Gibson's 'Passion of the Christ' and 'The Passion Recut' will become the definitive version for the holy season, bringing to life on screen the most vicious anti-Semitic elements of traditional Passion Plays. It will continue to play again and again, year after year to audiences around the world without the benefit of the very public discussion that surrounded the film's initial debut in February 2004."

"In a world where anti-Semitism is on the rise and the classical canard that 'the Jews killed Jesus' is being promulgated, Mr. Gibson has unfortunately become a contributor."

The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.