Mel Gibson’s New “Apology”

About an hour ago, Mel Gibson has issued a new apology for his antisemitic outburst last week. What follows is the full text of the apology:

“There is no excuse, nor should there be any tolerance, for anyone who thinks or expresses any kind of anti-Semitic remark. I want to apologise specifically to everyone in the Jewish community for the vitriolic and harmful words that I said to a law enforcement officer the night I was arrested on a DUI charge.

“I am a public person, and when I say something, either articulated and thought out, or blurted out in a moment of insanity, my words carry weight in the public arena. As a result, I must assume personal responsibility for my words and apologise directly to those who have been hurt and offended by those words.

“The tenets of what I profess to believe necessitate that I exercise charity and tolerance as a way of life. Every human being is God’s child, and if I wish to honour my God I have to honour his children. But please know from my heart that I am not an anti-Semite. I am not a bigot. 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.

“I have begun an ongoing program of recovery and what I am now realising is that I cannot do it alone. I am in the process of understanding where those vicious words came from during that drunken display, and I am asking the Jewish community, whom I have personally offended, to help me on my journey through recovery.

“Again, I am reaching out to the Jewish community for its help. I know there will be many in that community who will want nothing to do with me, and that would be understandable. But I pray that that door is not forever closed.

“This is not about a film. Nor is it about artistic license. This is about real life and recognising the consequences hurtful words can have. It’s about existing in harmony in a world that seems to have gone mad.”

I find this apology to be less than convincing. On the other hand, Dennis Prager not only accepts this apology, but claims Jews are halakhicly mandated to do so. Readers?

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4 Comments

Filed under Jewish Leadership, Religion

4 responses to “Mel Gibson’s New “Apology”

  1. Yochanan Lavie

    Mad Mel is an a-hole, but he’s not an existential threat. The media, which deligitimizes Israel’s right to exist, and the professoreate, who deny that the Jews are a people as well as a religion, are.

    Right-wing Jews make apologies for Mel. Left wing Jews make common cause with a peace movement that largely hates us. In both cases, intellectual dishonsety abounds. It all depends on whose ox is being gored.

    As for Mel, I can’t see into his heart. If he appears to do teshuva, and there are no more outbursts, I would forgive him. Ellul is coming up, and that is based on the premise that people can repent. Meanwhile, he’s on my sh*t list.

  2. David

    An apology is all well and good, and some may well forgive him carte blanche in response to his platitudes, but there’s no obligation to forgive him. Its a nice thing to do (especially since this is a banal waste of time), but obligated? What planet is this rabbi from? He’s making a pesak din on inyanei mussar for all of Israel? The differing streams having radically different views on when such a chiuv comes into play. Sephardim, for instance, would tell you the key is an actual change in behavior and/or restitution. What’s more, forgiving too soon can cause someone to white-wash an issue and continue in their bad behavior, let alone serving as an invitation for them to do it again. Let him stew and wait to see what he does. After all, this is just a platitude. Does anyone actually think he’s going to take the time to learn about the Jewish people and actively seek out counseling for his anti-semitism, let alone change his theological views which are the root of the problem? I’ll believe it when I see it. At the same time, I wasn’t really offended or surprised by Mel’s little rant. So, forgive him for what?

  3. Neo-Conservaguy

    Call me a fool, but I kinda respect the text of that apology. Deeds count the most, but a statement like that isn’t a bad start at all. We’ll see if he follows up with real tshuva.

  4. Shmuel

    I’m with Neo. I think his apology sounds sincere and heart-felt. He wants to meet with Jewish leaders. Nothing wrong with that. Anyone besides Mel Gibson ever say something really dumb and insulting in a moment of pain or drunkenness or anger? We all have done that, and we realize we flew off the handle and apologize profusely. Shall we deny to Mel Gibson what we ourselves will be praying for in about a month or so, on Yom KIppur?

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