The Human Spirit: Dear Mel Gibson

A suggested itinerary for the trip to Israel Michael Medved would have you take

October 26, 2006 13:53
4 minute read.
barbara sofer 88

barbara sofer 88. (photo credit: )


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Renowned media critic, and your sometime defender, Michael Medved has proposed a repentance plan to address your unsavory remarks about the Jewish people. It includes a visit to Israel. In light of your claim that your anti-Jewish outrage was a result of the second War in Lebanon, the trip is urgent. I'd like to make some suggestions for your itinerary, hutzpadik as that may be. Medved thought you should stop in Poland to see Auschwitz on the way east but I strongly disagree. And not because of the Polish winter. First, I know it's your father and not you who is the Holocaust-denier in the family. Why confuse the issue? Second, the answers to the questions you've raised about the Jewish people shouldn't hinge on sympathy for what we've suffered in the Holocaust. Last, I'd feel a little sick watching you shed tears at Dr. Mengele's barracks because you're a talented actor, and I'd have a hard time knowing what was real. I was relieved when ABC canceled your miniseries on the Holocaust. You have to earn the right to handle the sacred history of our martyrs, and frankly Mel, you're not there yet. So, the best plan for you is to take the new nonstop El Al service from Los Angeles. As they say in El Al: "it's not just an airline. It's Israel." Line up and fly 14 hours with the Zionists and the hi-tech commuters, the Hassidim, the evangelicals and the Angelino Israelis who frequent that route. Don't be nervous standing at the El Al counter. Remember that the July 4, 2002 double murder there by Hesham Mohamed Hadayet was just an "isolated incident." DON'T CARRY a package for one of the many Jewish moguls you've worked with in Hollywood to mishpocha in Israel. Anticipate a rigorous baggage search. Twenty years ago, before bombers thought they personally had to die in their attacks, an alert security guard found three pounds of explosives that Nezer Hindawi had packed for his pregnant lover, an Irishwoman named Anne Mary Murphy. With a name like Gibson, you'll have a tough enough time getting through the scrutiny about why exactly you're coming to Israel and who packed for you. You can relax after you leave LAX because sky marshals will be accompanying you. They're expensive escorts, but unfortunately we need them for those who blame the Jews for all the troubles of the world. Like the pilot, they're IDF graduates. Stay alert for the men who stand up to pray with the little boxes on their heads. A lot of them are fluent in Aramaic, so if you need any help with a new script they're your resource. Just wait until they fold their fringed prayer shawls. The applause at touch-down is for the State of Israel, not just the pilot. We're still exuberant about having a place of our own. FIRST STOP has to be Tel Aviv. Take a good look at what Jews did with the sand dunes while deserts were expanding in most Third World countries. We, too, started at square one. No - we started at minus six million. But you shouldn't be surprised at the talent and resourcefulness of our people. They built Hollywood, after all. Have lunch at Lilith, where children at risk do the gourmet cooking. No milk in your coffee; the place is kosher. Then off you go to the Palmah Museum with its dramatization of the price we've paid for creating the country. Talk about brave hearts. On the coast, I'd stop in Atlit to tell the story of the great escape from the British detention camp. From there, I'd head straight to the North to the Nahariya home of Udi Goldwasser. We've cleaned up most of the damage in this coastal city, so it's an easy drive through. And, hey, if the cease-fire falters, the shelters have been spruced up by Jewish communities abroad. Udi's parents live in Nahariya, and although the city absorbed many of the 3,000 bombs in the War of Lebanon that upset you so much, they stayed home to work at getting him released. Although you told the California police officer that Jews are bellicose, I'm sure they'll make it clear that Jews didn't start this particular war. To get onto Route 6, drive through Wadi Ara, pausing for lunch in Umm el-Fahm, which has been used as a safe substitute for filming action movies set in Arab countries. Route 6 and the Modi'in highway - Route 443 - will get you to Jerusalem in no time. There haven't been any drive-by shootings since we put up the wall there. In Jerusalem, I'm sure a priority is walking all 14 stations of the Via Dolorosa. No problem. We provide free access to religious sites in our free country. For a few coins, you can even get a Muslim boy to show you the way. The Biblical Zoo is our top tourist site, and the mix of Arab and Jewish kids is almost as good as the lion lying down with the lamb. I'd take you to the Western Wall, to the Israel Museum and the Chagall windows. When you're finished admiring the biblical art, take a tour of Hadassah hospital's pop-up showers against chemical warfare and the ER equipped for biological attack. I KNOW you're going to find it materialistic and grabbing, but we expect a contribution. Don't look surprised. We took reparations from Germany. You should do something to make up for abusing your adoring following to bash the Jewish people. I'm talking profits, not prophets. The revenue from your Passion movie could fund some of Avishai Braverman's Negev plan or build a hospital or, say, fund a rehabilitation program for residents of Sderot and the North. Frank Sinatra and Barbra Streisand made contributions to The Hebrew University. Think big. There's nothing like a check for $50 million to show your sincerity. Please, just don't ask for your name on a building. Or your dad's.

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