Your email is not valid
Recipient's email is not valid
Submit Close

Your email has been sent.

Click here to send another


Gibson Talks Maccabee On Goldblog

Anti-Semitic movie star also reveals painful childhood secret

Print Email

So the gloves are off among Jewish communal leaders at the prospect of Mel Gibson’s producing, directing, and perhaps even starring in a movie about Judah Maccabee. “Judah Maccabee deserves better,” Abraham Foxman said. Did Foxman not see that Joe Eszterhas is on board?

We here at Tablet Magazine have long known that contributing editor Jeff Goldberg has been planning a book on Judah Maccabee—he’s been writing it for our sister organization, Nextbook Press. But I cannot honestly say I was aware that Goldberg had sat down with Mel Gibson to discuss his childhood hero, the great Jewish warrior.

I don’t want to spoil the interview excerpt for you. Suffice to say it mainly revolves around circumcision, and includes the BREAKING NEWS that Gibson himself has been cut.

Meanwhile, I think my favorite of what are surely many Freudian slips comes when Gibson ponders the prospect of depicting for the silver screen the process of un-circumcision, in which you wear weights down there to make the skin do something that sounds really, really painful. “You have to mention it,” Gibson notes, “but you wouldn’t want to make it a thing in the movie. ‘Hold them down!’ Jesus.”

Hold them down, Jesus! (Um, don’t actually watch this.)

Mel Gibson on Judah Maccabee, Christopher Hitchens, and Circumcision [Goldblog]
Jewish Leaders Slam Mel Gibson, Warner Bros. for Judah Maccabee Movie (Exclusive)
Judah Maccabee [Nextbook Press]

Print Email

Daily rate: $2
Monthly rate: $18
Yearly rate: $180

Tablet is committed to bringing you the best, smartest, most enlightening and entertaining reporting and writing on Jewish life, all free of charge. We take pride in our community of readers, and are thrilled that you choose to engage with us in a way that is both thoughtful and thought-provoking. But the Internet, for all of its wonders, poses challenges to civilized and constructive discussion, allowing vocal—and, often, anonymous—minorities to drag it down with invective (and worse). Starting today, then, we are asking people who'd like to post comments on the site to pay a nominal fee—less a paywall than a gesture of your own commitment to the cause of great conversation. All proceeds go to helping us bring you the ambitious journalism that brought you here in the first place.

Readers can still interact with us free of charge via Facebook, Twitter, and our other social media channels, or write to us at Each week, we’ll select the best letters and publish them in a new letters to the editor feature on the Scroll.

We hope this new largely symbolic measure will help us create a more pleasant and cultivated environment for all of our readers, and, as always, we thank you deeply for your support.

Steve Siporin says:

There is a deeply sinister side to this: the taking over of the Maccabees for Gibson’s particular Catholic persuasion and purposes. The Maccabees are honored by the Roman Catholic Church as the first prototypes of Christian martyrs. The Chanukkah story is preserved in the Catholic version of the Bible, not the Hebrew Bible (the Apocrypha). The supposed tombs of “the seven Maccabean martyrs” are in the church of San Pietro in Vincoli (in Rome)—the church that more famously houses Michaelangelo’s Moses (with the horns, no less). Gibson is part of a tradition of co-opting Jewish tradition for other purposes—his being anti-Jewish.

Steve Siporin

FreeMind says:

In Gibson’s version, he will probably make Judah a Palestinian Arab and Antiochus and his men as Israeli soldiers. And the leftists will love it

In Gibson’s version Judah Maccabee will have a mullet and be homoerotically beaten.

Then he’ll punch his wife in the face and tell her she should be raped by a pack of Seleucids, and then he will blame wine.

Mel Gibson is THE WORST.

Hadassah says:

Alex Joffe write in Jewish Ideas Daily that if we ignore the theological issues of the movie it will probably an enjoyable film. See No one expects anything more than entertainment from Hollywood in general and Gibson in particular, so is this movie really worth getting worked up about?


Your comment may be no longer than 2,000 characters, approximately 400 words. HTML tags are not permitted, nor are more than two URLs per comment. We reserve the right to delete inappropriate comments.

Thank You!

Thank you for subscribing to the Tablet Magazine Daily Digest.
Please tell us about you.

Gibson Talks Maccabee On Goldblog

Anti-Semitic movie star also reveals painful childhood secret

More on Tablet:

A Grandfather’s Hidden Love Letters From Nazi Germany Reveal a Buried Past

By Vox Tablet — Reporter Sarah Wildman’s grandfather escaped Vienna in 1938. Long after he died, she discovered the life—and lover—he left behind.