Jewish War Veterans of the United States of America

JWV Calls for Decency in Marketing

Spring 2004

The movie is called "The Passion of the Christ" [The Passion] and has opened the floodgates of profit and return of investment from ticket sales, souvenirs and other marketable jewelry and the like. And, it all came about from one of the most negative marketing campaigns used to sell an idea or a product. The logical question is whether it is a story enhancing religion, or is it just plain greed? The creators of the film have already made their additional profit and, at the present rate, should show that religion is a very saleable product if you mix in an excess of violence. The terrorism of hate and bigotry really pays. The expressions of critics and of those who have seen the film clearly disclose that the claim of deicide against the Jews was not put right after Vatican II. Deicide still lives as a product for sale and display. The Jewish War Veterans of the USA [JWV] condemns the negative marketing of the film that creates, awakens and instills a product called hate. While some may consider the word hate to be strong language, it merely relates the result coming from and to those who have been taught to hate in a bigotry as vicious as some of the scenes from The Passion—not merely Jew hatred, but hatred of Muslims and of those Catholics and Protestants who disagree with the philosophical depiction of the Gospels. Christian scholars have seriously questioned both the factual and philosophical integrity of the film's interpretation of the Gospels and of the Crucifixion, which seeks irresponsibly to place the blame for who is responsible for the death. The movie makes a sympathetic character out of Pontius Pilate. It maximizes the blame on Jesus' fellow Jews. We do not consider that this is merely a slight deviation but was intentional to enhance negative publicity to sell a defective product. As Jews, we have a special interest in the protection of our brother and sister Jews from hate and prejudicial actions. The movie creates a fertile field in which such actions result. Of even greater import is the continued negative distribution of the movie in the rest of the world that is not as understanding of its citizens and where latent anti-Semitism is not the case, but where full-blown Jew hatred is rampant, in Continental Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia. One cannot but read the words of the Jew named Jesus to know that his philosophy does not counsel hate. The gory depiction of the Crucifixion should not be the rationale for the Resurrection of hate and dissension.

 

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