Have you noticed, we’re up now to $135 million since Wednesday, and are there any outbreaks, is there any rioting, and have the audience members taken to the streets here in outrage and protest and anger? This hasn’t happened. And any number of reasonable people could have told you it wouldn’t happen. This movie does not inspire hate. This movie doesn’t inspire anger. It doesn’t. I’m not going to go too deep in describing it for those of you who haven’t yet seen it because it’s one of the most personal experiences you’ll ever have at a movie, but all of this paranoia. This is a great example of what I was talking about in the last hour. The people in Hollywood and the entertainment press who were predicting before they’d even seen it were all of the same note. They were all of the same mind: it was anti-Semitic; it was going to promote anti-Semitism; it was going to cause violence; we had to be wary; we had to be on guard; we had to be cautious. They were all in lockstep. They were all saying the same thing. Were they hoping that would happen? Were they expecting it to happen? I don’t know. But they all thought that it was likely, and they all thought the movie was anti-Semitic, and they hadn’t even seen it.
Now, this movie is nothing but the Bible, four gospels in the Bible. These people who are criticizing are criticizing Bible, not just a movie. These people out there are ripping the Bible. And these people have all been wrong. They are all, every one of them, wrong. We could have told them they were wrong. We did tell them they were wrong from the moment they started talking about, especially those of us who had seen it in advance. I mentioned to you – I talked to two reporters what were going to do features, interviews with people on this, and I said, “Let me save you some time. Scrub the whole anti-Semitic segment. It’s a waste of time. Everybody else is going to do one. Do something different. There’s nothing anti-Semitic in this movie.” They thanked me and they went ahead and did the segments as though I’d never spoken to them.
Now, not that they should have listened to me, not that they would have listened to me, but that’s the point. They wouldn’t. They wouldn’t even consider my opinion or any of yours, because theirs was already formed based on who they think we all are.
And you know, it’s not limited to just this movie. There was a great piece or column in the Daily News by a man, a Jew, I’m not sure he pronounces his last name, Zev Chafets. I wish I would have knew it, I should have checked – but he went to see the movie. He said you know something, if the Anti-Defamation League and others who were worried about anti-Semitism were smart, what they would do is go ask Mel Gibson for 200 copies of this movie to distribute to various places around the world, because his take was that if you look at this movie, the Mel Gibson movie, The Passion of the Christ, you will see who? You will see Jews, and you will see Romans. Who will you not see? Palestinians.
The big struggle in Judaism today is Israel. They’re under siege. They’re under attack. The whole Arab world is trying to wipe them out. The argument is that where Israel is, is where Palestine was. Well, there was no Palestine. Let’s get right down to it. There never was a Palestine; it’s just a name. There was never a place. There were no indigenous Palestinian people. The Arabs, which are who Palestinians are, were nowhere near Israel in the times of Christ. The whole claim that it’s their land is illustrated by this movie to be bogus. His take is, this is the best news that Jewish people have had in a long time in their struggle against those in the Middle East who want to wipe them out, and yet they’re all misfocused, talking about anti-Semitism in America, when in fact this movie does more to buttress their case for their homeland because this movie comes right from the Bible, and there are Jews and there are Romans, but there aren’t any Palestinians in it.