Roger Friedman of FoxNews reports:
… Two years ago, Gibson gave an interview to former Republican speechwriter Peggy Noonan for Reader’s Digest. Now the outtakes of that interview have been made available to this column.
His unpublished remarks, according to the Digest’s publisher, are shocking. Gibson actually ridiculed the historically acknowledged number of Jews killed by Hitler.
Of the Holocaust, Gibson told Noonan: “I mean when the war was over they said it was 12 million. Then it was six. Now it’s four. I mean it’s that kind of numbers game …”
Gibson told Noonan he thought the Holocaust actually happened, refuting his father’s belief that it didn’t occur at all. But Gibson equivocated, citing a friend who’d been in the Holocaust because “he worked in a concentration camp.”
The actor also said to Noonan: “The Second World War killed tens of millions of people. Some of them were Jews in concentration camps. Many people lost their lives. In the Ukraine, several million starved to death between 1932 and 1933. During the last century, 20 million people died in the Soviet Union.”…
This is Holocaust denial. Gibson admits that something happened (most deniers do, as well) but limits it to greatly reduced numbers and labor camps, where deaths, one could infer, may have occurred from disease or famine caused by general war shortages of food stuffs and medicine.
Gibson was to make a Holocaust miniseries with ABC. That project was dropped by ABC earlier this week, in part because Gibson had not produced even one draft of a script in two years. With these now-released remarks to Noonan, we can see why producing that script has taken Gibson so long.
The Jewish right – led by Rabbi Daniel Lapin, Michael Medved and Dennis Prager** – needs to stop defending Gibson. If Mel does real work, if he cleans up his life and tackles his Jew-hatred and Holocaust denial head on (and in a way that does not enrich him), we should accept his teshuva on face value – but not until then. Right now, Gibson is an unrepentant antisemite and Holocaust denier. Enough said.
As for the Reader’s Digest and Noonan, one must ask why these remarks were left unpublished until now. Were either or both trying to protect Gibson or the Passion? It would seem so, which throws the credibility of both into question, as well.
All in all, this has been a terrible week for the Religious Right, Jewish or Christian.
** These men all work for Salem Radio, the Evangelical-owned radio network.