Photo Credit: Rabbi YY Rubinstein
Rabbi YY Rubinstein

The UK’s Daily Telegraph, reporting on Mel Gibson’s appearance at the Golden Globe Award ceremonies, said Gibson was “making his first steps toward rehabilitation after being ostracized by Hollywood for a number of anti-Semitic outbursts.”

It did not go too well for Mel. The MC of the show was British comedian Ricky Gervais, who introduced him like this:

A few years ago on this show I made a joke about Mel Gibson getting a bit drunk and saying a few unsavory things. We’ve all done it. I wasn’t judging him but now I find myself in the awkward position of having to introduce him again…. I blame NBC for this terrible situation. Mel blames – we know who Mel blames…


The reference was to Gibson’s infamous 2006 arrest for speeding while under the influence. Gibson’s tirade against the arresting officer climaxed with the words, “[Expletive] the Jews. The Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world…. Are you a Jew?”

It turned out the arresting officer was a Jew, but subsequent intense investigations by various media outlets were unable to establish a link between the officer and the outbreak of any recent global conflicts.

At any rate, concerned citizens are no doubt wondering: What’s next for Mel (who strenuously denies he’s anti-Semitic)?

You need look no further than the pages of this very newspaper to find the answer.

Two weeks ago The Jewish Press ran a front page story about Facebook. The Israeli NGO Shurat HaDin had launched “The Big Facebook Experiment,” which involved setting up two Facebook pages: “Stop Palestinians” and “Stop Israelis.”

Following the launch of the two nearly identical pages, the level of hate was steadily raised, in matching language, on both. For example, the anti-Israel page featured an anti-Semitic cartoon with the words “Death to all the Jews.” The anti-Palestine page used the term “Death to all the Arabs.”

Then Shurat HaDin reported both pages to Facebook.

The page inciting violence against Palestinians was closed on the same day it was reported for “violating Facebook’s community standards.”

The page inciting violence against Israelis, however, was not shut down for several days and only when the media got hold of the story. Facebook initially claimed the anti-Israel page was not in violation of Facebook’s rules.

Like Mel Gibson, Facebook (which is currently facing a class-action lawsuit in New York over its failure to remove anti-Semitic incitement from its pages) denies it is in any way anti-Semitic.

I have an idea on how both Gibson and Facebook cofounder, chairman, and chief executive Mark Zuckerberg can solve their problems. If Hollywood has slammed the door on him, Mel can simply apply for a job with Facebook’s Community Standards Department.

I hope you will forgive me here, but this is pure genius and a win-win solution for both. Gibson can see by now that he will never get away from his history of bigoted rants and tirades. A job with Facebook would give him the perfect opportunity to express what he does best and be nicely rewarded for it!

Facebook can carry on its policy of turning a blind eye to the anti-Semitism spewed on all too many of its pages – and if Facebook loses the aforementioned lawsuit, it can blame good old Mel.

Zuckerberg has his headquarters in Menlo Park, California, near my in-laws’ home in Los Altos, and I can imagine myself going over there and somehow getting in to see Mr. Facebook himself. Here’s how I envision the meeting that would ensue:

“It works something like this,” I begin. “Mel turns up for the interview here in Menlo Park. You as CEO participate as a way of acknowledging the sensitivity of the accusations made against your company.”

Zuckerberg looks intrigued, so I continue.

“Just picture this scenario,” I say, giving him a copy of a transcript I’d written that morning. I then begin reading aloud from my copy of the transcript.

Zuckerberg (shakes hands enthusiastically): What an awesome moment this is for me, Mel. May I call you Mel?

Gibson: Of course, Mark; no problem!

Zuckerberg: Thanks, Mel. We are of course aware of the problems you’ve had in the past with members of various communities, shamefully alluded to by that lousy comedian. So what we have in mind is you becoming the head of our Community Relations Department. You will vet the content of pages appearing on Facebook and we want you to come down hard on anyone saying nasty things about blacks or women or Muslims or alcoholics. Do you think you could do that?

Gibson: I just tell the people under me to delete the pages and the problem’s solved?

Zuckerberg: Precisely, Mel. In fact, we already have an algorithm that will do all of that for you. Had it for some time now.

Gibson: What about is someone says nasty things about…you know, that other community that shall not be named? Doesn’t your algorithm weed out nasty comments about them too?

Zuckerberg: Look, Mel. Algorithms are tricky little devils. We don’t want to burden you with anything too onerous just while you’re starting to learn the ropes. Don’t you worry about nasty comments about them. You make a start on the other groups I mentioned and you’ll soon show people that both you and Facebook are committed to fighting racism, sexism, and Islamophobia.

Gibson: I get it… and this way, people will see I’ve have changed and mended my ways!

Zuckerberg: Precisely. Folks will see that in the really important areas that affect the Facebook community, both you and Facebook are taking this very seriously.

I finish my pitch and the smile stretching across Zuckerberg’s face is as long as the Great Wall of China. He raises an eyebrow and says, “So Mel is the patsy. When we get complaints from easily offended groups we can just say we were giving Gibson a chance to show he’d changed his ways and were disappointed that he betrayed the trust we put in him.”

“Exactly!” I respond.

“Wait a minute!” says Zuckerberg, spotting a flaw in my plan. “What happens when we have to fire him? Who will replace him as head of our Community Relations Department?”

“No problem,” I assure him. “I have someone lined up who’ll be a perfect fit. He also claims never to have been anti-Semitic. Have you heard of a guy named Mahmoud Ahmadinejad?”


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Rabbi Y Y Rubinstein is a popular international lecturer. He was a regular Broadcaster on BBC Radio and TV but resigned in 2022 over what he saw as its institutional anti-Semitism. He is the author of fourteen books including most recently, "Never Alone...The book for teens and young adults who've lost a parent."