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Gibson to Galliano to Von Trier: Why Do They Always Blame the Jews?

Make your own way — don’t use the Jewish people as an excuse for your failure

Have you noticed how celebrities who seem to reach a crisis moment in their lives lately bring up the Holocaust or engage in anti-Semitic wordplay during their outbursts — most notably Mel Gibson, John Galliano and Lars von Trier. Two were drunk, one is known for his unpredictable behavior, but still: Why blame the Jewish people?

Let's start with Gibson: In his 2006 drunk-driving arrest, Gibson asked a police officer if he was a Jew, and claimed that the Jews were responsible for every war in history. 

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Mel's father is anti-Semitic. His father made statements such as: "The Holocaust was exaggerated … It's all — maybe not all fiction — but most of it is." His logic was that that the gas chambers and crematoria at camps like Auschwitz would not have been capable of exterminating so many people.

Do you know what it takes to get rid of a dead body? To cremate it?" he asked. "It takes a litre of petrol and 20 minutes. Now, 6 million of them? They [the Germans] did not have the gas to do it. That's why they lost the war." During his lengthy radio interview, Hutton Gibson, 85, said Jews were out to create "one world religion and one world government" and outlined a conspiracy theory involving Jewish bankers, the U.S. Federal Reserve and the Vatican, among others.

John Galliano has been fired from his nearly $8-million-a-year post at Dior's creative helm, following alleged racist outbursts in a Paris bar, La Perle, on three separate occasions. Though his ancestry is Jewish, he is accused on one occasion of calling an innocent bystander a “dirty Jew” and shouting “I love Hitler” in another.

Friends of his added that, when sober, Galliano spoke authoritatively about the Holocaust and particulary about the fact that thousands who worked in the fashion business in Paris were murdered by the Nazis. His supporters are insisting he is not anti-Semitic but simply attention-seeking. However, their protestations are doing little to assuage the anger of his former employer; Dior hastily severed links with its star designer — and its high-profile “face” Natalie Portman spoke of her “shock and disgust” at his behavior.

As for Lars von Trier, his ancestry is Jewish, and he was only recently informed by his dying mother that his ancestry is actually German. Last week during a press conference at the Cannes Film Festival for his film "Melancholia," he admitted being a Nazi.

"I thought I was a Jew for a long time and was very happy being a Jew. Then later on came Susanne Bier [who is Jewish, her film "In a better World" won 2011 Best foreign film] and then suddenly I wasn’t so happy about being a Jew — no, that was a joke; sorry. But it turned out I was not a Jew, but even if I had been a Jew I would have been a second rate Jew because there’s a kind of a hierarchy in the Jewish population. But anyway I really wanted to be a Jew, and then I found out I was really a Nazi because my family was German, which also gave me some pleasure. So I’m kind of … yep … what can I say? I understand Hitler. But I think he did some wrong things, yes, absolutely, but I can see him sitting in his bunker… [At this point Kirsten Dunst gasps with nervous laughter] I think I  understand the man. He’s not what you would call ‘a good guy’ but I understand much about him and I sympathize with him a little. But, but, come on, I’m not for the second World War, and I’m not against Jews — no, not even Susanne Bier (that was also a joke). I am of course very much for Jews — no, not too much because the Israelis are a pain in the ass … How can I get out of this sentence?

“By another question,” suggests someone in the press conference.

Von Trier stumbles a bit more, and then, realizing he has gone on a weird and dangerous tangent verbally throws his arms up and says, “OK, I’m a Nazi.”

Now, all three men have publicly given their apologies, instructed to do so by their publicists, agents and friends. Some have gone to rehab. But, really, why these outbursts? 

I read an article one of my good friends sent me from Aish.com. Historians and sociologists have come up with numerous theories to explain anti-Semitism. We will examine these one by one, and discuss the validity of each.

Economic: Jews are hated because they possess too much wealth and power.

Chosen People: Jews are hated because they arrogantly claim they are chosen by God.

Scapegoat: Jews are a convenient group to single out for blame.

Deicide: Jews are hated because they killed Jesus.

Outsiders: Jews are hated because they are different than the rest of society.

Racial Theory: Jews are hated because they are an inferior race.

Let's examine these six frequently given reasons.

The economic theory of anti-Semitism postulates that Jewish wealth and power arouses the envy of other groups, and this in turn leads to great resentment. This theory has surfaced in different guises throughout history. One of the ways it became popularized was through the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, the minutes of fictional “secret meetings” in which Jewish leaders conspire to rule the world. Protocols is a viciously anti-Semitic book created by the Russian secret police.

This fictional account has provided an excellent excuse for campaigns of persecution against Jews, influenced the masses to believe the myth that Jews control governments. It is the second most widely published book in history.

Do people today still believe that Jews have some mysterious financial and organizational advantage over the rest of humanity?

I hope more people will learn to filter their thoughts for the future and learn that it's not one race that controls everything. (Though some believe the Jews control Hollywood, I've had many people from the U.S. to Eastern Europe, mention this to me often)

Make your own way. Don’t use the Jewish people as an excuse for your failure.

Julie Kroll represents domestic and international distributors who acquire theatrical, DVD and television rights and who also engage in production. She also is an executive producer on "Vamps."

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