March 12, 2004
This essay is from Michael Polignano’s book Taking Our Own Side, available in hardcover, paperback, and PDF download here.
German translation here
I am not a Christian, but justice requires me to protest the campaign against Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ, a campaign largely orchestrated and executed by Jews, along with some servile Gentile lackeys.
The Passion is not a Hollywood movie, “Hollywood” being the Jew-dominated American film industry that was uninterested in making or financing or distributing the film, even though it was a surefire hit. Instead, The Passion was made in Italy and bankrolled by Mel Gibson personally to the tune of $30 million. If Jews had as much control over the global film industry as they do the American, and if Mel Gibson were a penniless artist, The Passion never would have been made. Now that he has made it, Hollywood’s Jewish moguls are sending Gibson a message: “I won’t hire him. I won’t support anything he’s part of.”
When The Passion could not be stopped, Jews around the world organized a campaign of threats and intimidation, hoping to bully Gibson into allowing them to shape the movie. Their main spokesman is Abraham Foxman of the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith (which means “Brotherhood of the Circumcised”). True to its long history of criminality and deceit, the ADL’s allies and operatives stole a copy of the script, sneaked into advance screenings by pretending to be Christian clergymen, and violated signed agreements not to disclose what they saw prior to the film’s release. Then, true to its long history of defamation, the ADL proceeded to smear Mel Gibson and attack his movie. The ADL’s website has also targeted impressionable teens with special anti-Passion propaganda. Foxman has even gone so far as to demand that the Pope denounce The Passion for being scripturally inaccurate and theologically unorthodox. But somehow I doubt he is sincere in his defense of Christian orthodoxy.
Since The Passion was released in the United States on Ash Wednesday, Jews and their tools have done everything they can to keep audiences away.
Ugly demonstrations have been staged.
“Hate Crimes” investigators have been called, and a petition has been started imploring John Ashcroft to take action against the film’s creators “for violation of state and federal hate crime statutes in the purposeful encouragement of anti-Semitic violence.” (Since no actual crimes have been committed, we see quite clearly that the real purpose of “Hate Crimes” laws is to create a category of Thought Crimes, and apparently Christianity will be one of them.)
Jews in England, France, and Israel—and probably in other countries where it is illegal to criticize Jews but not Christians—are working to ban The Passion. To strike fear into the hearts of the superstitious, to whom this movie will have the greatest appeal, the death of an elderly woman watching The Passion was turned into national news. Never mind that such a death was probably a statistical inevitability given the vast numbers of people who have seen the film. Somehow, I do not think it will be national news when someone dies watching the next Spielberg or Bruckheimer flick.
The negative reviews all sound like they are from the same script, probably because they are. The Passion is condemned as too violent and bloody, as if that mattered to critics before. It is condemned as historically inaccurate, as if that mattered to critics. It is condemned for being scripturally inaccurate and theologically unorthodox, as if that mattered to critics. It is condemned for being boring, and in foreign languages with subtitles, as if that mattered to the people who pimped for every pretentious French “art” flick in history.
The Passion has also been smeared as “pornographic,” which means a lot from the type that hailed movies like The Last Temptation of Christ and Dogma and defended Andres Serrano’s “Piss Christ” (a plastic crucifix immersed in urine and cow’s blood) and Chris Ofili’s elephant dung-encrusted Madonna as works of art and worthy recipients of tax dollars.
The Passion has even been called a “snuff film.” Well, I’m sure the critics are betters judges of this than I. But if a “snuff film” is simply any movie in which a murder is presented, then practically every Hollywood film is a snuff film. And if a “snuff film” is one in which a real or pretended murder is found to be sexually arousing, then the accusation says more about the accusers than about The Passion. So too the claim that the film is “sado-masochistic.”
Of course I look forward to seeing these critics apply their new-found scruples to the trash produced by Hollywood. But I won’t hold my breath.
The main objection to The Passion is that it portrays “the Jews” as responsible for the death of Jesus, and by “responsible” the critics mean collectively responsible. But this accusation is ambiguous. Does it refer to all Jews, or just all Jews then, or all Jews since then?
The Passion does not portray all Jews as responsible for the death of Jesus, for it does not portray all Jews then as responsible. Indeed, Jesus, his mother, and his followers were all Jews. Simon of Cyrene, who helped Jesus carry the cross, was a Jew, but he was not responsible because he was not a willing participant. Jerusalem, not to mention the whole Mediterranean world, was filled with Jews who took no part in the torture and execution of Jesus. Indeed, most Jews were completely unaware that it was happening. No, the only Jews who are shown to be responsible for the death of Jesus are Caiaphas, the High Priest, and some—but certainly not all—of his colleagues.
But some Jews were responsible for the death of Jesus. To the extent that we know anything historical about the death of Jesus, we know that. That is what the New Testament says. That is what Flavius Josephus says. That is what the Talmud says. There is no way that Mel Gibson could have made the movie without showing who was responsible for the death of Jesus, which is why Foxman and company preferred it not be made at all.
Does The Passion support the view that all Jews since then are responsible for the death of Jesus? Yes and no. The crux of the issue is Matthew 27:25: “And all the people answered, ‘His blood be on us and on our children!’” Gibson’s Jewish critics demanded that he remove this line from The Passion. But the line is in the movie only because it is in the Bible, so the demand that it be removed from the movie is tantamount to the demand that it be removed from the Bible. And since Christians believe that the Bible is the Word of God, censoring the Bible is censoring God.
Jews do not have the power to censor God. Not yet, anyway. But they did, apparently, have the power to censor The Passion. Gibson originally included “His blood be on us and on our children,” but since it would have been odd for a whole crowd to chant it, he gave the line to Caiaphas.
“For fear of the Jews,” however, Gibson removed the subtitle. So unless one knows Aramaic and knows where the line belongs, it is as good as gone. “‘I wanted it in,’ [Gibson] said. ‘My brother said I was wimping out if I didn’t include it. But, man, if I included that in there, they’d be coming after me at my house. They’d come to kill me.’”
As Alex Linder puts it so memorably, Jesus is the only Jew Christians are not afraid of offending. Let’s hope that Mel Gibson has a change of heart and decides to put what he supposedly believes to be God’s words back into The Passion when it is released on DVD.
Gibson, however, is not the only Christian who is willing to tamper with God’s words. After more than half a century of post-Holocaust Jewish propaganda and lobbying, most Christian theologians claim that the real meaning of “His blood be on us and on our children” is that we are all guilty of Christ’s crucifixion: Pilate, the Jews, you, and me. But this patent misreading ignores the line’s context:
Pilate said to them, “Then what shall I do with Jesus who is called Christ?” They all said, “Let him be crucified.” And he said, “Why, what evil has he done?” But they shouted all the more, “Let him be crucified.” So when Pilate saw that he was gaining nothing, but rather that a riot was beginning, he took water and washed his hands before the crowd, saying, “I am innocent of this man’s blood; see to it yourselves.” And all the people answered, “His blood be on us and on our children!” (Matthew 27:22-25).
It is only after Pilate says that he is not going to kill Jesus that the Jews say that they will take responsibility, and not just for themselves, but for their children as well. The sense is clearly disjunctive: either Pilate or the Jews can take responsibility, and the Jews take it. The sense is not conjunctive, not: both Pilate and the Jews take responsibility.
One could argue that Pilate really does bear some responsibility for the murder of Jesus, for he could have prevented it. But the scriptures also make it clear that he deemed it better to sacrifice Jesus to the mob rather than to risk many more deaths in another Jewish rebellion. So even if Pilate could have prevented the murder of Jesus, one could argue that he was not obligated to do so; therefore, he was not negligent in handing Jesus over.
But even if Pilate bears some responsibility, that does not implicate the rest of the human race. I, for one, am not responsible for the murder of Jesus. I did not howl for his blood with the mob. I did not scourge him. I did not crown him with thorns. I did not nail him to the cross. I wasn’t even born then.
The “we’re all guilty” misreading seems plausible to Christians because they believe that Christ died to save us all. (One has to question the sincerity of Jews who tout this misinterpretation, however, for it only makes sense if Jesus really was the Messiah.) But even if Jesus died to save us all, that does not mean that all of us murdered him. Something done for me is not necessarily done by me.
But what about the claim that not only the Jews who were present, but also their children, are responsible for the murder of Jesus?
First, it does not imply that all Jews since then are responsible, only the children of the mob that urged Jesus be crucified. But since there is no way of determining which Jews are descended from that mob and which are not, it makes all Jews since then at least suspects in the murder of Jesus.
Second, the children of the mob are guilty only on the assumption that guilt is hereditary and collective. Now, from my own secular and scientific perspective, the notion of collective and hereditary guilt is pure nonsense. But from a Christian point of view, it is quite plausible. For what is “Original Sin” if not a collective and hereditary guilt for the transgressions of Adam and Eve? So even though I do not believe that Jews are collectively and hereditarily guilty for the murder of Jesus, perhaps Christians should. At least there is ample material both in the Bible and in the Christian tradition for constructing such a doctrine.
Two things give plausibility to such a fable. First is the uncanny collective-mindedness of Jews. It is hard to treat them like individuals because they seldom think or act like them. Second is the long history of Jewish hatred of Christianity, which over the centuries has given rise to terrible persecutions whenever Jews have gained political power. The Acts of the Apostles record the persecution of Jesus’s earliest followers. Saul, called Paul, was on his way to Damascus to persecute its Christians when he had his famous vision of Jesus. The Acta Sanctorum also records a number of instances in which Jews instigated Roman persecutions of Christians.
Israel Shamir, in recent article entitled “Freak Factory,” mentions other persecutions. In 135 AD, followers of the Jewish rebel Simon Bar Kokhba massacred Christians in Palestine. In 519 AD, Yusuf Zu Nawas, the Jewish ruler of Himyar in present-day Yemen, massacred Christians and destroyed churches. In 529 AD, the Jews of Palestine took advantage of the Samaritan uprising to massacre Christians and destroy churches. They did the same in 614 AD, during the invasion of the Persian Emperor Chosroes II.
But the greatest Jewish persecution of Christians took place less than a century ago after the Bolsheviks seized control of the Russian Empire. Virtually all the Bolshevik leaders were Jews (like Trotsky), part-Jews (like Lenin), or married to Jews (like Stalin). The Bolsheviks quickly made anti-Semitism a crime and anti-Christianity state policy. Churches were closed, looted, destroyed; thousands of priests and monks were imprisoned, tortured, murdered. And, in the decades of ever-mounting terror that followed, millions, then tens of millions, of Christians perished at the hands and on the orders of largely Jewish killers.
I wish Christians would keep these crimes in mind the next time a Jew begins a dolorous litany of Christian persecutions of his people. I grant that Jews and Christians trading atrocity stories and demanding apologies from one another for the crimes of their co-religionists would be a preposterous spectacle. But it is far better than the spectacle of Christians always turning the other cheek to Jews, with their aggressive claims of victimhood and absurd pretenses of blamelessness.
Jewish hatred of Christianity is not just a matter of isolated outbursts of persecution. Indeed, these outbursts are merely symptoms of a deep and abiding hatred codified in Jewish religious writings and practices. Israel Shahak gives an interesting overview of these writings and practices in his book Jewish History, Jewish Religion: The Weight of Three Thousand Years.
The Talmud, for instance, claims that Jesus’ legal father was cuckolded not by the Holy Spirit but by his best man, that Jesus was conceived while his mother was menstruating and thus “impure,” that he was a sexual pervert, a black magician, an idolater, and is being punished in hell in a vat of boiling excrement. The Talmud also claims that Jesus was tried by a religious court for idolatry, inciting other Jews to idolatry, and defying religious authority, that he was condemned to death by stoning, and that he was eventually hanged (perhaps on a cross). (Maybe Mel Gibson should have quoted the Talmud instead of Matthew 27:25.)
Similar claims are found in the Toledot Yeshu, which according to Shamir was after the Bible the most widely circulated Jewish book in the Middle Ages. There Jesus is said to be the illegitimate child of Mary, the wife of a perfumer, and a Roman soldier named Pandera; he went to Egypt where he learned black magic; he returned to Israel to lead the Jews into idolatry; he was arrested and tried by the Sanhedrin, condemned to death, pilloried for forty days, then stoned and hanged (again, this may mean hanged on a cross).
Hatred of Christianity is also expressed in Jewish prayers. According to Shahak, “In the most important section of the weekday prayer—the ‘eighteen blessings’—there is a special curse, originally directed against Christians, Jewish converts to Christianity and other Jewish heretics: ‘And may the apostates have no hope and all the Christians perish instantly’” (p. 92). A Jew when seeing a large number of Jews is instructed to praise God, but when he sees a large number of Christians he is supposed to utter a curse. The same applies to buildings: According to the Talmud, when a Jew sees a Christian building, he must ask God to destroy it. When he sees a Christian building in ruins, he is to thank God for destroying it. Later, according to Shahak, this practice came to be applied specifically to churches and crucifixes and was embellished by spitting three times (p. 93). A curse directed specifically at Jesus asks that his name be blotted out altogether. The Talmud also enjoins Jews to burn any copies of the New Testament that come into their hands, and according to Shahak, hundreds of copies of the New Testament were publicly burned in Jerusalem on March 23, 1980 by a state-subsidized Jewish religious organization (p. 21).
Most Jews, of course, do not believe in their God or observe his more absurd and evil commandments. That is to their credit. Some Jews are actually “for” Jesus. Others are indifferent. A few are even willing to examine hateful Jewish attitudes and actions toward Christians self-critically.
But still: It is hard not to see the ugly campaign against Mel Gibson and The Passion as merely the latest incident in a long, dark tradition of Jewish anti-Christian bigotry, a bigotry that continues to flourish despite the withering of its religious roots. If Jews today wish to shake the absurd accusation that they are congenital Christ-killers, they should not behave like they are willing to crucify him all over again.
Will The Passion increase anti-Semitism? Probably not. Will the Jewish campaign against The Passion increase anti-Semitism? Probably so, although the ADL can be trusted to lay all the blame on Mel Gibson and none on itself. After all, the main cause of anti-Semitism is Jewish behavior. Specifically, the behavior that ensues when you stand between a Jew and something he wants, or wants to destroy. Just try it. Rachel Corrie did. The personal attacks, dishonesty, and assaults on one’s intellectual liberty quickly become hateful.
But Jewish groups like the ADL have a vested interest in whipping up both anti-Semitism and anti-Christian bigotry. It reinforces Jewish group identity and creates barriers to assimilation.
Furthermore, Jewish groups have been alarmed at the growth of anti-Jewish attitudes and incidents in recent years. In Europe, these are due in large part to increased awareness of Jewish evildoing in Palestine. In the United States, they arise largely from 9/11 and the ensuring wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, which awoke many Americans to the folly of allowing Jews to control our foreign policy and corrupt our political leadership.
The campaign against The Passion, however, establishes Mel Gibson as a handy scapegoat for future anti-Jewish sentiments and actions, which will only increase as more people become aware of the evil that Jews do.
1. Quoted in Sharon Waxman, “New Film May Harm Gibson’s Career,” New York Times, February 26, 2004, http://www.nytimes.com/2004/02/26/movies/26GIBS.html
4. Israel Shahak, Jewish History, Jewish Religion: The Weight of Three Thousand Years (London: Pluto Press, 1994). Available online at http://radioislam.org/historia/shahak/english.htm