.- A leading critic of Mel Gibson's film, "The Passion of Christ", resigned from his post at the Anti-Defamation League last week, reported the Forward.
Eugene Korn, the ADL's director of interfaith affairs, told the Forward that his resignation was a "mutual decision" resulting from his need for "a more reflective and contemplative environment." But the resignation follows increasing criticism among some Jewish community leaders, who say that a more diplomatic approach is needed in dealing with Gibson's film, which is scheduled for release on Ash Wednesday, Feb. 25.
The ADL stirred controversy earlier this year when it issued a review of Gibson's original screenplay of the film, calling the film anti-Semitic.
Though some Jewish-organization leaders hailed the ADL's strong criticism, an increasing number are now saying that the approach was counterproductive.Some critics argue that the ADL's aggressive strategy might be backfiring and providing Gibson's movie with millions of dollars in free publicity. Others say it might be weakening relations with Jewish-community supporters and Christian groups.
Hebrew Union College professor Rabbi Michael Cook served on the committee that issued the initial controversial critique of the screenplay. He urged the Jewish community to abandon its loud criticism of the movie or risk embarrassment when it hits theatres, reported the Forward. According to Cook, Gibson is in the process of altering the film, and it will be less offensive than many have been predicting, reported the Forward.