News Release from
The David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies
August 21, 2006
Jewish Groups Should Withdraw Invitations to Gibson, in Response to News of his Ties to Holocaust-Deniers
In the wake of the new disclosure that Mel Gibson has been involved with a Holocaust-denial group in Australia, The David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies is urging Jewish and other organizations that recently extended speaking invitations to Gibson to withdraw them.
Wyman Institute director Dr. Rafael Medoff said: "Holocaust-denial is a form of antisemitism, and Gibson's involvement with Holocaust-deniers in Australia indicates that his apology for his recent antisemitic outburst was not sincere. Gibson seems to be hiding a closet full of extremist and antisemitic connections. Under these circumstances, those groups which sought reconciliation and invited him to speak should cancel those invitations."
New York Post investigative reporter Philip Recchia revealed (Aug. 21, 2006) that Gibson and his father, Hutton Gibson, in recent years attended a dinner sponsored by the Australian League of Rights, a group that denies the Holocaust. An ALR publication described their attendance as the "sensation" of the event, and ALR director Don Autherlonie "didn't deny Gibson's attendance when contacted last week" by the Post.
Earlier this month, the Melbourne Herald Sun reported (Aug. 6, 2006) that Mel Gibson had supported the political candidacy of the ALR's Rob Taylor, when he ran for local office in northern Victoria in 1987. A former ALR leader, Charles Pinwill, confirmed to the Sun that both Mel Gibson and his father Hutton "were interested in some of our ideas."
Dr. Rafael Medoff, director of the Wyman Institute, said that the claim by Gibson spokesman Alan Nierob that Mel Gibson "has never heard of" the ALR (New York Post, Aug. 21, 2006) "is hard to believe, given the mounting evidence of Gibson's association with the League."
Following Gibson's recent apology for his antisemitic outburst, a number of Hollywood personalities came to his defense. Ironically, one of Gibson's most ardent supporters was Jodie Foster, who said, "Is he an anti-Semite? Absolutely not." Yet just last year, Foster also claimed, implausibly, that Nazi propaganda filmmaker Leni Riefenstahl was not really a Nazi. "No matter how much she admires Gibson or Riefenstahl, Ms. Foster needs to judge them according to their actual statements and actions, not according to her fantasy image of them," Dr. Medoff said. "Other celebrities who defended Mel Gibson in recent weeks must likewise reconsider, in view of the new evidence of his links to Holocaust-deniers."
The U.S. State Department officially considers Holocaust-denial to be a form of antisemitism. In the State Department's January 2005 "Report on Global Anti-Semitism," there are nine separate references to incidents of Holocaust-denial included among the report's listing of antisemitic incidents in various countries.
The Wyman Institute is the only organization that publishes an annual report on Holocaust-denial activity around the world.
Tthe Wyman Institute previously raised questions about Mel Gibson's view of the Holocaust, following his failure to clearly repudiate his father's Holocaust-denial. In a February 2004 interview on ABC Television, Gibson was asked by Diane Sawyer about his father's Holocaust-denial statements. Gibson replied: "He's my father. Gotta leave it alone, Diane. Gotta leave it alone." In a March 2004 interview with Reader's Digest, Gibson was asked by interviewer Peggy Noonan, "The Holocaust happened, right?" Gibson responded by minimizing the uniqueness and enormity of the Holocaust, saying: "Yes, of course, Atrocities happened. War is horrible. 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."
220 Christian & Jewish Clergy Urge Arrest of Sudan's President for Darfur War Crimes
November 20, 2009
100 Holocast Praise Uganda's Darfur Arrest Threat
July 20, 2009
Marvel Publishes Comic Strip About Fight for Auschwitz Paintings
March 9, 2009
FDR Biographers Top List of Year's "Ten Most Absurd Statements About the Allies' Response to the Holocaust"
February 2, 2009
400 Rabbis Urge Yad Vashem To Recognize Bergson Group
January 27, 2009
130 Holocaust Scholars Urge: Prosecute Sudan’s President for Genocide
September 15, 2008
Families of 1936 Anti-Nazi Olympics Protesters Urge China to Restore Visa to Skater Who Spoke Out
August 11, 2008
120 Israeli Leaders Urge Yad Vashem to Recognize Bergson Group
June 23, 2008
Writing About the Allies’ Response to the Holocaust: The Ten Most Absurd Statements of 2007
February 4, 2008
Morgenthau-Holocaust Mystery, Cited in PBS TV Series, Will Be Solved in Forthcoming Book
January 18, 2008
President Bush Is Right: U.S. Should Have --And Could Have-- Bombed Auschwitz
January 11, 2008
D.C. Radio Station Pledges to Be “More Sensitive” Following “Concentration Camp” Controversy
October 31, 2007
Jailing of Holocaust-Deniers in Europe Dealt Blow to Denial Movement in 2006, Report Finds
December 28, 2006
Author Admits He Wrongly Portrayed Holocaust Rescue Activists as Draft-Dodgers
December 15, 2006
35 Catholic and Jewish Scholars Urge Vatican: Open Holocaust Archives
December 11, 2006
450 Cartoonists Urge Poland to Return Auschwitz Paintings
September 20, 2006
Jewish Groups Should Withdraw Invitations to Gibson, in Response to News of His Ties to Holocaust-Deniers
August 21, 2006
"Don't Help Jews or British POWs,"U.S. Diplomat Ordered Staff in 1940
May 25, 2006
Newspaper Association Acknowledges Failure to Aid Jewish Journalists Fleeing Hitler
March 10, 2006
Holocaust-Deniers Gained in Arab & Muslim World in 2005, But Lost Ground in U.S. and Europe
December 21, 2005
U.S. Journalism Schools and Publishers Snubbed Refugees From Hitler, Scholar Reveals
December 20, 2005
Press Release Archive