JERUSALEM (Jul. 4)
The fact that the film “Jesus Christ Superstar” was shot on location in Israel in no way absolves it of charges that it is anti-Semitic in content, Arnold Forster, general counsel to the B’nai B’rith Anti-Defamation League, said here today. He accused producer-director Norman Jewison of “hiding behind the fact” that because the movie was filmed here “it cannot be anti-Semitic.”
Forster said that he had “extended conversations with various Israeli government authorities” who indicated that the government gave neither explicit nor implicit approval to the American rock opera based on the Crucifixion. The ADL and other Jewish groups in the U.S. have charged that “Jesus Christ Superstar” is anti-Semitic and will have an adverse effect on Christian-Jewish relations.
Forster said that he concluded from his inquiries- “that the Israel government was not involved in the preparation of the script or in the making of the movie” but did not bar the filming because there is no censorship of movie production in Israel. “Nobody should be fooled by assertions that ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’ has any endorsement of any authoritative Israel source,” he said.