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Mel Gibson Movie To Pay Tribute To Jewish Hero

Submitted by on September 10, 2011 – 11:04 amOne Comment

Back in 2006, Mel Gibson came under fire for his shock anti-Semitic rant during a DUI arrest. Fast forward five years later and the celebrated Hollywood actor and director appears to be looking to make amends with the Jewish community, signing on with Warner Bros (after a hotly contested bidding war) to produce a movie about Judah Maccabee.

Maccabee (also known as Judas Maccabeus) was a Jewish warrior who led a revolt against the Greek-Syrian empire (known at the time as the Seleucid empire) between 167-160 BCE. The Jewish feast of Hanukkah (“Dedication”) commemorates the restoration of Jewish worship at the temple in Jerusalem in 165 BCE, after Judah Maccabee removed pagan statuary.

Gibson’s publicist Alan Nierob has said his client’s been working on the project for a decade and it’s just now coming to fruition, attempting to preempt any qualms from the Jewish community (people are already starting to speak out, including Simon Wiesenthal Center founder Rabbi Marvin Hier who says casting Mel in the part “is like casting…a white supremacist as trying to portray Martin Luther King Jr. It’s simply an insult to Jews.”) According to TMZ, Mel believes Maccabee’s story parallels the modern church and he thinks the movie will help force change.

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