An Irish rabbi has reportedly assailed the decision to honor Mel Gibson.
The Irish Film and Television Academy will pay tribute to Gibson, an actor and director, at its award ceremony Feb. 17 for his contributions to world cinema.
According to the Irish newspaper the Independent, a leading rabbi in Ireland condemned the recognition for Gibson in light of widely publicized anti-Semitic comments he made to California police officers after being arrested for drunk driving in 2006.
“We find it very puzzling,” said the rabbi, who wished to remain anonymous. “He has made blatant anti-Semitic remarks, and you’d think they’d give him a miss this year.”
The rabbi said the academy should reconsider its decision.
The citation stresses Gibson’s Irish roots — his mother and paternal great-grandfather were Irish. Gibson also made his movie “Braveheart” in Ireland.
Ireland’s Department of Arts, Sports and Tourism has been named an official partner of the ceremony, though the department does not fund the academy.
The Gibson controversy comes on the heels of a department inquiry into accusations that paintings stolen by the Nazis were on display in the Limerick Hunt Museum.
The Archive of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency includes articles published from 1923 to 2008. Archive stories reflect the journalistic standards and practices of the time they were published.