Over at Drudge Report, there is a report that Mel Gibson has issued an apology. I took a look and, at least for a first step, it is acceptable (a lot more than you see out of your typical "avoid all blame" Hollywood liberal): http://www.drudgereport.com/flash3.htm
MEL SAYS SORRY TO THE JEWS
Tue Aug 01 2006 11:10:45 ET August 2, 2006 -- There is no excuse, nor should there be any tolerance, for anyone who thinks or expresses any kind of Anti-Semitic remark. I want to apologize specifically to everyone in the Jewish community for the vitriolic and harmful words that I said to a law enforcement officer the night I was arrested on a DUI charge.
I am a public person, and when I say something, either articulated and thought out, or blurted out in a moment of insanity, my words carry weight in the public arena. As a result, I must assume personal responsibility for my words and apologize directly to those who have been hurt and offended by those words.
The tenets of what I profess to believe necessitate that I exercise charity and tolerance as a way of life. Every human being is God ' s child, and if I wish to honor my God I have to honor his children. But please know from my heart that I am not an anti-Semite. I am not a bigot. Hatred of any kind goes against my faith.
I'm not just asking for forgiveness. I would like to take it one step further, and meet with leaders in the Jewish community, with whom I can have a one on one discussion to discern the appropriate path for healing.
I have begun an ongoing program of recovery and what I am now realizing is that I cannot do it alone. I am in the process of understanding where those vicious words came from during that drunken display, and I am asking the Jewish community, whom I have personally offended, to help me on my journey through recovery. Again, I am reaching out to the Jewish community for its help. I know there will be many in that community who will want nothing to do with me, and that would be understandable. But I pray that that door is not forever closed.
This is not about a film. Nor is it about artistic license. This is about real life and recognizing the consequences hurtful words can have. It's about existing in harmony in a world that seems to have gone mad.
I am willing to forgive someone for insulting me, provided they make a good faith effort. Gibson was arrested with a blood alcohol level of 0.12. That is not terribly high. In the not too distant past, the BAC for DUI was 0.15! So, he was only mildly impaired when he made those dreadful comments.
My guess is that Mel has more than a few anti-semitic bones in his body. The question is whether or not he truly believes that it is wrong.If he tries an easy path (find some Jews who will forgive ANYONE) and make a big show of going into recovery like Patrick Kennedy or (oh...fill in the name of some celebrity who tries to use substance abuse as an excuse for their criminal behavior...drug abuse) then I will have a more hostile opinion.
If he is sincere, he should meet with some "hard case" politically active Jews (maybe Abe Foxman at ADL or Rabbi Daniel Lapman at Towards Tradition) who will really make him WORK at getting forgiveness. He probably will never be able to totally banish the hatred of Jews from his heart; but if he keeps working at it I am willing to forgive. None of us are without sin or hate in our hearts; but being civilized means that we control it and, if we screw up and accidentally let it out, we make a strong, good faith effort at trying to repair the damage. Catholics have confession; Jews have Yom Kippur.
We are not perfect; we just need to keep pointing our noses down the path of righteousness no matter how far off the path we have slipped.
* * * * * UPDATE * * * * *
New York, NY, August 1, 2006 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today accepted actor Mel Gibson's apology for anti-Semitic remarks he made during an arrest on suspicion of drunken driving.
Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director, issued the following statement:
This is the apology we had sought and requested. We are glad that Mel Gibson has finally owned up to the fact that he made anti-Semitic remarks, and his apology sounds sincere. We welcome his efforts to repair the damage he has caused, to reach out to the Jewish community, and to seek help.
Once he completes his rehabilitation for alcohol abuse, we will be ready and willing to help him with his second rehabilitation to combat this disease of prejudice.