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US Jewish group says it accepts Mel Gibson’s apology

The head of the Anti-Defamation League, a US Jewish advocacy group, has accepted a second apology by actor and director Mel Gibson for alleged anti-Semitic remarks following his arrest for driving under the influence of alcohol.

"This is the apology we had sought and requested," the league’s national director, Abraham H. Foxman, said in a statement after Gibson expressed regret for his "vitriolic and harmful" words and asked the Jewish community for help.

Among the comments reportedly made by Gibson, 50, the director of the 2004 film "The Passion of the Christ", during his arrest for drunken driving on 28 July, were that "Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world".

A first apology by Gibson, a traditional Catholic, had been described as "unremorseful and insufficient" by Foxman.

"His tirade finally reveals his true self and shows that his protestations during the debate over his film ‘The Passion of the Christ,’ that he is such a tolerant, loving person, were a sham," Foxman had said. Gibson’s "Passion" film has faced accusations from some Jewish leaders of having anti-Semitic overtones, which the director denied.

Foxman’s response to Gibson’s initial apology for his outburst was in turn criticised by William Donohue, president of the New York-based Catholic League. He criticised Gibson’s outburst but said: "Mel’s enemies will never cut him a break. Their real goal is to discredit ‘The Passion of the Christ,’ and that is why their propaganda machine is in full gear."

(c) Ecumenical News International