Thursday, August 03, 2006

Gibson is no Ahmadinejad: But then, Ahmadinejad doesn't drink

Gibson is no Ahmadinejad: But then, Ahmadinejad doesn't drink
By Ray Hanania

Suffice it to say that if you want to criticize "the Jews," it’s a lot easier to do it in Iran than it is in say, Hollywood.

Just ask Mel Gibson. He’s not even Arab and he can’t shake the impression that he is some how anti-Semitic.

And worse, when Gibson unleashed what some have called an "anti-Semitic tirade," he was drunk on a stretch of California coastline that is notorious for nailing drunk Hollywood celebrities.

But Gibson is no ordinary drunk Hollywood celebrity. His name has become more synonymous with attacks on Jews than Hezbollah these days.

Gibson was driving in Malibu, a place known for sedate laid-back discretion, when a cop, who happens to be Jewish, noticed not Nazi flags flying from Gibson’s vehicle, but the clear impression that the car’s driver was drunk. Erratic wobbling.

The sheriff’s deputy who stopped Gibson, Los Angeles County Sheriff Deputy James Mee, said he feels saddened that he may have destroyed Gibson’s career.

But "destroyed" may be mild.

Gibson is being returned to the Quarter Rack that he once sat on during the gruesome scene in Braveheart. (I wonder what an anti-Semitic spiel sounds like in a Scottish brogue?)

Gibson was arrested on a Friday and the popular entertainment web site broke the story. But hours later, the same web site disclosed that Gibson had gone "berserk" after being arrested.

At first, Gibson started screaming that his life would be ruined. Imagine, a Hollywood actor caught drunk.

When Mee would not let him off, and handcuffed him, Gibson launched into a tirade about his clout, his friends, his power.

For some strange reason, it wasn’t until all of that failed that, according to reports on his comments, that Gibson launched into the anti-Semitism. claims that Mee was forced to rewrite his detailed original 8-page detective novel that he turned in after bringing Gibson to the jail. Sources there said Mee was forced to eliminate all the Jew-hating comments.

My question is, how did he know Mee was Jewish? Or, if he didn’t say what he reportedly said because Mee was Jewish, how did he jump from "a ruined life" to "the Jews start all the wars in the world"?

Of course, Gibson was drunk.

Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is a hardcore Muslim, (Shi’ite), and doesn’t believe in the consumption of alcohol. So, when he goes off on "the Jews," you know it’s not the alcohol talking.

Although when Ahmadinejad rails on "the Jews," I wonder if he’s not sipping a few martinis with a couple of those Harem broads!

But drunk or not, the hammers came down hard on Gibson.

Barbara Walters, whose accent sounds more like a drunken brogue than classic New York strut, immediately tossed her two lisps into the controversy saying, "I’m neber gwoing to twee anudder Meaw Gwibson mobie again!"

Of course, Walters has been criticized for racism against Black people and the rude manner in which she tossed African American TV star, Star Jones, off of the popular TV Show, "The View."
Hey. "Jew bashing" trumps anti-Black racism in America.

Hollywood executives, many Jewish, denounced Gibson and vowed never to rep him or his films, even though Gibson’s last big film, "The Passion of the Christ," was denounced as anti-Semitic when it was released in 2004 but earned nearly $400 million at the box office.

There’s a lot a "Jew-bashing" going on in the American heartland, apparently.

Gibson initially apologized for the drunken behavior, and conspicuously didn’t mentioned his "anti-Semitic tirade." But once the tirade got out and the web site reported that the LA County Police were trying to downplay the anti-Semitism, the first statement didn’t seem to do much good.

Having sobered up quickly, and recognizing that Jew-bashing in a Jewish city like Hollywood isn’t the same as Jew-bashing in Tehran and can quickly undermine a career in acting, Gibson issued a second statement. This time he begged for forgiveness, asking Jewish leaders help him "find a path to forgiveness."

Actually, the original term probably was "beat a path" to forgiveness.

Gibson’s publicist released a statement that began, "Hatred of any kind goes against my faith … I'm not just asking for forgiveness. I would like to take it one step further, and meet with leaders in the Jewish community, with whom I can have a one-on-one discussion to discern the appropriate path for healing."

Ah, which faith is that? I thought anti-Semitism began in the Christian faith, didn’t it?

Of course, we don’t know when group of "Jewish leaders" Gibson was hoping to sit down with, the ones who lead the community or the ones that he sees heading up the ABC TV network.

Days after Gibson’s remarks were made public, ABC TV announced it was canning the Holocaust TV mini-series Gibson had signed a deal to produce about a Catholic family that protects a Jew during the Nazi Holocaust. Right, another let’s make excuses for the Catholics who some claim have institutionalized anti-Semitism in their religious teachings. They will go ahead and release his other movie, "Apocalypto," about the ancient Mayan empire.

Of course, Tehran declared Gibson "shadeed," or martyr in Arabic, and announced they would supply him with katyusha rockets to fight the "Zionist infidels." Ahmadinejad said that with fronts in Gaza, Lebanon and Hollywood, "the Jews" would really be under siege.

Most Iranians probably don’t know who Mel Gibson is, considering that Hollywood movies are banned as "haram" (a sin) in Iranian society.

And while Gibson has entered a drug treatment center in California, I doubt there are any drug treatment centers in Tehran.

Although, maybe there should be.

(Ray Hanania is an award winning columnist, author and standup comedian. He can be reached at