Mel Gibson is reportedly working with a charity that provides aid to Holocaust survivors.
According to People, Gibson has been working with the Survivor Mitzvah Project to bring food, shelter, medicine and other forms aid to Holocaust survivors in dire need of such help.
“The goal of the Survivor Mitzvah Project is to make sure that no Holocaust survivor who has endured the darkest days of human history will ever be hungry again or suffer or be forgotten or neglected,” Zane Buzby, who founded the organization, told Extra.
Gibson has reportedly been active with the Survivor Mitzvah Project “for a few years” without much public fanfare.
“Mel Gibson is helping Holocaust survivors in eight countries, it’s remarkable,” Buzby said. “I have a great respect for people who turn their lives around, and I think that everyone makes mistakes in life, and I think the real proof of what kind of human being you are is what you do with that mistake. He’s educated himself. He’s done philanthropic work now, and I think that actions speak very loudly … and his actions have helped a lot of people.”
Gibson is remembered for going on an alcohol-driven anti-Semitic rant in 2006, where he disgustingly railed against those “f***ing Jews” and shouted that “the Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world.” He also allegedly made anti-Semitic comments while working on a Judah Maccabee movie in 2011 that included slurs such as “oven-dodgers,” “Jewboys” and “Hebes.” His movie, The Passion of the Christ, has also been criticized as being anti-Semitic for perpetuating the narrative that the Jews were responsible for the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.
Some think that Gibson’s charity work for Holocaust survivors is nothing more than a ploy to reclaim his prior stardom.
“In the decade or more since the reveal of Gibson’s anti-Semitism he’s never once had any association with a Holocaust group,” entertainment journalist Roger Friedman wrote on his website. “Suddenly he’s ‘supporting eight Holocaust survivors’ around the world. Has he mentioned to them his connection to the denial of the death of 6 million Jews? … Remember: In that decade, as he built up $70 million in his church’s war chest, he hasn’t given a penny to any Holocaust museum, to the Shoah Project, or to any number of groups associated with Holocaust education.”
The “connection” that Friedman is referring to is that Gibson’s father, Hutton Gibson, is a Holocaust denier.
Gibson is now back in the limelight after the success of his movie Hacksaw Ridge. He reportedly is looking to make a sequel to Passion of the Christ, so it’s possible that his work providing aid to Holocaust survivors is only for his own career advancement. But regardless of his intentions, if the reports are true then his actions are certainly noble. Whether Gibson has truly redeemed himself from his prior anti-Semitism remains to be seen.