The pogrom problem
Weblog has seen far too many articles about whether Mel Gibson's The Passion is anti-Semitic, but comments appearing in today's Washington Times go way beyond reason. About two dozen Jewish demonstrators and New York lawmakers yesterday protested the film outside Fox News Corp. They hadn't seen the film, of course. Just a seven-minute clip, which the protesters say is anti-Semitic itself because it shows a Jewish mob calling for Jesus' crucifixion.

"It will result in anti-Semitism and bigotry," Assemblyman Dov Hikind promised. "It really takes us back to the Dark Ages … the Inquisition, the Crusades, all for the so-called sin of the Crucifixion of Jesus."

The Jewish demonstrators carried signs that said, "The Passion is a lethal weapon against Jews"—a slogan they also chanted.

Malka Moskowitz, who says she's a Holocaust survivor, suggested that the film will lead to genocide. With her voice breaking, she told the Times, "This is the way it started."

William A. Donohue, president of the Catholic League, was present to offer reporters and others an alternative view. "How anybody could watch this movie and come out with hatred toward Jews, that person belongs in Bellevue Hospital," he said.

But a rabbi from Brooklyn claimed that by making such a comment, Donohue himself "would be responsible if violence broke out."

Let's put aside the fact that it was completely pointless to protest outside Fox News Corp., since that company has absolutely no connection to The Passion apart from having first rights to distribution (which the company says it has refused). These comments are utterly off the wall. First, they say that Gibson's film itself is a form of violence against Jews. By extension, that would mean that every ...

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