(JNS.org) The Federation of Jewish Communities in the Czech Republic protested the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival for its decision to honor actor Mel Gibson with a lifetime achievement award on July 4.
The Czech Jewish federation drew attention to Gibson’s 2004 film, “The Passion of the Christ,” which it said portrayed the Jewish people as “evil and bloodthirsty,” according to a letter obtained by Bloomberg News.
“By granting this award, the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival becomes another of the very arguable platforms that are gradually changing the atmosphere of our country from a traditional, relatively tolerant society into one where space is given to hostility, xenophobia, and anti-Semitic ideas,” the letter added.
Festival spokeswoman Uljana Donátová said the event only honored Gibson's “filmmaking skills and his career,” and noted that “The Passion of the Christ” wasn't screened at the festival.
Gibson also gained notoriety in Jewish circles when he made anti-Semitic comments while being arrested for drunk driving in 2006. He reportedly told a police officer, "F*****g Jews. The Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world."