Jewish Groups Implored to withdraw Invitations to Mel Gibson

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In the wake of the new disclosure that Mel Gibson has been involved with a Holocaust-denial group in Australia, The David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies is urging Jewish and other organizations that recently extended speaking invitations to Gibson to withdraw them.

Wyman Institute director Dr. Rafael Medoff said: "Holocaust-denial is a form of antisemitism, and Gibson's involvement with Holocaust-deniers in Australia indicates that his apology for his recent antisemitic outburst was not sincere. Gibson seems to be hiding a closet full of extremist and antisemitic connections. Under these circumstances, those groups which sought reconciliation and invited him to speak should cancel those invitations."

New York Post investigative reporter Philip Recchia revealed (Aug. 21, 2006) that Gibson and his father, Hutton Gibson, in recent years attended a dinner sponsored by the Australian League of Rights, a group that denies the Holocaust. An ALR publication described their attendance as the "sensation" of the event, and ALR director Don Autherlonie "didn't deny Gibson's attendance when contacted last week" by the Post.

Earlier this month, the Melbourne Herald Sun reported (Aug. 6, 2006) that Mel Gibson had supported the political candidacy of the ALR's Rob Taylor, when he ran for local office in northern Victoria in 1987. A former ALR leader, Charles Pinwill, confirmed to the Sun that both Mel Gibson and his father Hutton "were interested in some of our ideas."

Dr. Rafael Medoff, director of the Wyman Institute, said that the claim by Gibson spokesman Alan Nierob that Mel Gibson "has never heard of" the ALR (New York Post, Aug. 21, 2006) "is hard to believe, given the mounting evidence of Gibson's association with the League."

Following Gibson's recent apology for his antisemitic outburst, a number of Hollywood personalities came to his defense. Ironically, one of Gibson's most ardent supporters was Jodie Foster, who said, "Is he an anti-Semite? Absolutely not." Yet just last year, Foster also claimed, implausibly, that Nazi propaganda filmmaker Leni Riefenstahl was not really a Nazi. "No matter how much she admires Gibson or Riefenstahl, Ms. Foster needs to judge them according to their actual statements and actions, not according to her fantasy image of them," Dr. Medoff said. "Other celebrities who defended Mel Gibson in recent weeks must likewise reconsider, in view of the new evidence of his links to Holocaust-deniers."

The U.S. State Department officially considers Holocaust-denial to be a form of antisemitism. In the State Department's January 2005 "Report on Global Anti-Semitism," there are nine separate references to incidents of Holocaust-denial included among the report's listing of antisemitic incidents in various countries.

The Wyman Institute is the only organization that publishes an annual report on Holocaust-denial activity around the world.

Tthe Wyman Institute previously raised questions about Mel Gibson's view of the Holocaust, following his failure to clearly repudiate his father's Holocaust-denial. In a February 2004 interview on ABC Television, Gibson was asked by Diane Sawyer about his father's Holocaust-denial statements. Gibson replied: "He's my father. Gotta leave it alone, Diane. Gotta leave it alone." In a March 2004 interview with Reader's Digest, Gibson was asked by interviewer Peggy Noonan, "The Holocaust happened, right?" Gibson responded by minimizing the uniqueness and enormity of the Holocaust, saying: "Yes, of course, Atrocities happened. War is horrible. The second World War killed tens of millions of people. Some of them were Jews in concentration camps. Many people lost their lives. In the Ukraine, several million starved to death between 1932 and 1933."

Read entire article at Press Release -- The David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies

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Adam Holland - 8/25/2006

Mr. Halabi is not interested in debating issues, only in name calling. He feels that by insulting another group, he shows strength. In fact, as a wise man once said: "Rudeness is the weak man's impersonation of strength".

By the way, I don't really think that denial of access to post on this website is such a horrible threat. It's just a way to maintain the decorum. He, and anyone else, should be free to express their opinons. But why waste everyone's time with pointless insults and denial of historical fact?

Flor Mechain - 8/23/2006

To quote them: "Please do not post any comments that are anti-Semitic or racist. Please do not malign ethnic or religious groups."

See: http://hnn.us/articles/1885.html

Implying that a group of people believe themselves superior on the basis of their ethnicity is maligning, apart from the fact that it is a generalization and an untrue one.

Mubde HALABI - 8/22/2006

Wow, you have scared me. It is unfortunate for HNN to have people like you using scaring tactics like anti-semetic. Well let me tell you that I am a real semetic race man but I do not brag about my race because it is not an issue in a world where all people are created equal. But, ofcourse, Jews do not believe that. They are "THE CHOSEN PEOPLE".
As a free man, I have the right to express myself in any way I like, and you are the last person on earth to stop me from saying the truth.

Adam Holland - 8/22/2006

This extremely ignorant and bigotted post implicitly advocates the denial of history and distortion of current events and, for those reasons, should not be included on a website promoting history. Certain views, such as the denial of the holocaust, equating Jews with Nazis, and advocating bigotry, simply fall outside the realm of rational discourse. If Mr. Halabi foolishly enjoys being a cheerleader for anti-Semites, I am sad to say that he can easily find far too many receptive forums on the internet. Let him go to the Islamists or neo-Nazis and leave us in peace.

Mubde HALABI - 8/22/2006

Assuming the holocaust was true some 60 years ago, why do we need reminders of such terror when Israel is creating a real holocaust evryday in Lebanon and Palestine. What happenned to human rights groups and human liberties groups? Is blood shed by other races is lower quality than Jewish blood???. Go Mel Gibson Go, we all love you...