After Gary Oldman’s recent Playboy interview in which he defended fellow actor Mel Gibson and his behavior toward the arresting Jewish police officer during a drunken traffic incident back in 2006, Oldman’s subsequent apology is up for debate.
Should he have apologized for defending Gibson, or was it a sudden burst of political correctness after bashing the very same political correctness in his interview?
First, what did Mel Gibson actually say during his arrest?
He was reported to have said,
“F****** Jews. The Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world.”
And then to the officer:
“Are you a Jew?”
Now Oldman’s interview:
He first said,
“I just think political correctness is crap,”
before his controversial statements on Gibson:
“I don’t know about Mel. He got drunk and said a few things, but we’ve all said those things. We’re all f****** hypocrites…”
He went on to suppose that the arresting officer was being hypocritical because he likely has used unsavory language like the “N” word or “that f****** Jew” himself. The officer, LA County Sheriff’s Deputy James Mee, disagrees.
“I’m Jewish,” he told TMZ.“Why would I say that to discredit my own religious make-up?
“The n-word is a scary word. I would never even dream of using it. It sickens me that anyone would use that word.
“Jews have been persecuted and put down over the years. Why would I, as a Jew, do that to other races?”
Judging by what Oldman said, he must not have realized the officer is Jewish, unless he thinks that Jews call other Jews “that f****** Jew” which would be very strange indeed.
The part of the interview which has been most controversial is Oldman’s statement that Hollywood is run by Jews.
To be fair, Oldman did seem to realize his candor was likely coming across poorly as he moved to switch topics after his rant on political correctness and hypocrisy. The interviewer indulged him but the subject change didn’t help when Oldman was asked his opinion on the pope.
“Oh, f*** the pope! [laughs and puts head in hands] So this interview has gone very badly. You have to edit and cut half of what I’ve said, because it’s going to make me sound like a bigot.”
He went on to admit that he was “defending all the wrong people.”
Since then Oldman has apologized for his statements in a letter to the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and the Simon Weisenthal Center.
Here’s the thing. Oldman is probably not anti-Semitic. He realized after ending his rant that he shouldn’t have said what he said and hoped it would be edited out before going to print. No such luck. What is most disturbing however, is his defense of Gibson, and here’s why:
In addition to his obvious disdain for Jews, Gibson accused Jews of being responsible for all the wars in the world. This is typical anti-Semitism, and yes, it is offensive. As someone who is not a fan of political correctness myself, it is my opinion that anti-Semitism is exempt from arguments against how absurd political correctness has become.
Call me a hypocrite, and many will disagree with me. That’s fine. We’ll never all agree on everything.
But my opinion stems from the fact that anti-Semitism is a 2000 year-old hatred that has led to expulsions from several European countries, the blood libel, the “Jews killed Jesus”, black plague and other scapegoating, all resulting in massacres/pogroms, forced conversions and other persecution. My own family fled Russia in the early 1900s after their house burnt down in a pogrom. They had to get out. It wasn’t safe for Jews.
World War II wasn’t that long ago, and as a testament to that, though there aren’t many left, there are still survivors of the Holocaust which killed around 6 million of our ancestors, somewhere around 1/3 of the total world Jewish population at that time, which is estimated to be over 15 million. Today, we still have not recovered. The world Jewish population is around 14 million, still far less than what it was before WWII, seven decades ago.
There were Muslim massacres of Jews on and off throughout history as well, and anti-Semitism in the Muslim world today is entwined in both religion and culture. Muslim terrorism against Jews is promoted by politicians and religious leaders. “Death to the Jews” and “Death to Israel” are common slogans during any sort of Muslim rally or “protest.” And both Mein Kampf and The Protocols of the Elders of Zion are best sellers in the Muslim community, no small demographic, as it accounts for around a quarter of the world population.
But this hatred is not confined to the Muslim world. Anti-Zionism and the BDS movement are popular in Europe in addition to university campuses in the US and Canada, and are the new politically correct version of Jew hatred. Based on lies, they are nothing more than condoned anti-Semitism. When Wilhelm Marr invented the term “anti-Semitism,” it was meant to sterilize the hate itself, to make it sound scientific with the guise of a sophisticated-sounding word. Today, anti-Zionism is the replacement because anti-Semitism is a word which has lost its luster and carries a stigma. It was time for a new PC version for the haters to feel good about their hate.
Together, Arabs and Western leftists make startling claims against Israel in the attempt to kick Jews off Jewish- yes Jewish- land. And now European anti-Semitism has gotten so out-of-control, that the Jewish community is worried. French Jews are leaving their homes for Israel at an alarming rate after it has become unbearable to remain in France due to anti-Semitic attacks. In the Ukraine, many have left during the conflict there and have gone to their ancestral homeland to safety, as safe as it can be while surrounded by Arabs wanting nothing less than the total destruction of the one and only Jewish State.
With the massive Muslim immigration to Europe, along with a high birthrate, Muslims have been importing their Jew hatred to the West and cultivating it through subsequent generations. While Jews have lived peaceably in Europe for many years, that old familiar European anti-Semitism along with that of the newer Muslim population is a recipe for disaster. How much longer will Jews in Diaspora stay safe? It’s a scary situation to say the least.
Are Jews just overly sensitive?
Is it all just politically correct nonsense?
There is a great deal of political correctness that has gone too far and is absolutely absurd. But anti-Semitism is different. It has both a past and present and shows no signs of stopping in the near future. It’s not something that happened once, and now everyone’s been compensated, and it’s over. No. It’s ongoing.
So when popular and influential people make negative remarks or statements which “could be taken the wrong way” or are meant to be taken that way, no, it’s not ok. Just ask the Jews in France who were just stabbed by a crowd of 20 Muslims or the Jews in Belgium who were shot at a museum or the elderly Jewish man who was beaten at a vigil in Germany for the three kidnapped Israeli boys or the Jews in Israel who are murdered savagely in suicide bombings or stabbings or beatings or shootings or just ask any Israeli who has to live under the constant threat of Muslim violence and rocket attacks just because they’re Jews.
If these opinions make me a hypocrite, so be it. I’ve been called worse.
Rachel Molschky Blogs at Cherson and Molschky