The Christian world is in an uproar. Heretics, liars, distorters of history – that's what church officials are calling them – have dared make a movie our of Dan Brown's scandalous book "The Da Vinci Code." These folks also did battle against the book, but they were roundly defeated, as evidenced by the more than 60 million (!) copies that have been sold.
But the movie? That is just too much. The movie, like the book, strikes a blow at Jesus individually and Christianity in general, scream millions around the world. What chutzpah, what gall, what a scandal. And all this, despite the fact that it is clear to all, especially to Dan Brown and the creators of the movie, that the story is entirely fictitious.
Not long ago, the Muslim world raged about four cartoons that portrayed the prophet Mohammed and were featured in several newspapers. And Muslims responded the way Muslims do: with threats and invective. It was almost a jihad.
"How could Christians dare insult Islam and the Prophet?" they fumed. "We'll show you, you heathens," threatened millions around the world. Despite the fact that it was clearly a tempest in a teacup, a stupid attempt by some marginal newspapers to "make headlines" by provoking the Muslim community, and there was no global conspiracy against Islam.
The Christian world didn't get too excited about the cartoons. They even mocked Muslims who got so worked up over the whole affair. Just like now, when the Muslim world is rejoicing over Da Vinci and the blow the Christian world has supposedly suffered. In both cases, millions have shouted out in protest.
Last year, Mel Gibson's "Passion of the Christ" was released – not a fictional tale, like "Da Vinci," and not a silly cartoon like the ones of Mohammed. Rather, Gibson's movie was a collection of historical distortions.
This was not coincidental. It was intentional: With an eye towards making money off the story of the Jewish preacher from Nazareth (who was turned, many years later, into the "son of God"), Gibson took the story of Jesus of Nazareth, a story with no solid historical basis, and made a scandalous movie by any acceptable parameters.
There is no need to stress that despite all this – or, to be more exact, thanks to all this – the movie achieved its goal: Gibson made millions from the film. How strange that this film, much more outrageous than the fictional "Da Vinci Codes" failed to arouse a similar storm. Millions of Christians remained silent, most even rejoiced. Only here-and-there did we hear some voices expressing reservations, and then more about Gibson himself and his non-conformist Christian views, rather than about his openly anti-Semitic views and movies.
Only the Jews
The only ones to object were us Jews. But what can you expect from such a small minority. Maybe that's why so few people heard us, and why those that did – probably didn't get too excited about it.
"As always, the Jews are carrying on when someone reminds them of their crimes," said those who did hear of the protest. But it is clear that when we are talking about "Jewish crimes," there is no distortion or falsehood, only fact. And in any event, the Jews aren't a threat – not for jihad, and not for a world-wide boycott.