Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ: Legitimizing Anti-Semitism

Publication Date: April 2006

Publisher: Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs

Author(s): Abraham Foxman; Manfred Gerstenfeld

Research Area: Culture and religion; Media, telecommunications, and information

Keywords: Antisemitism; Jewish-Christian Relations; Film; Religion

Type: Other

Coverage: United States


In this interview, Abraham Foxman, the national director of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) describes his agency's and his own personal response to Mel Gibson's film "The Passion of the Christ." Given the infamous ability of Passion plays to foment hatred and violence against Jews, the ADL felt it imperative to reach out to Gibson, though the agency was rebuffed on more than one occasion. According to Foxman, the film portrays Jews in an extremely negative light which harms their image and additionally serves to provoke future anti-Semitism.