Daniel Lapin was one of the most prominent defenders of Mel Gibson from the charge of anti-Semitism during the Kulturkampf moment of the "Passion of the Christ". Check this page out for endless colloquies of support. In an email today from his organization, "Toward Tradition," (I subscribe to lots of lists to see what the right and left are saying among themselves), Lapin told me something I didn't know:

It is all too easy to join the circling hyenas and denounce Gibson while he is down. On the other hand, though he has provided some financial support to Toward Tradition, I don't feel obliged to leap to his defense. That is not the purpose behind my writing this column. The purpose of my writing this account is to respond to the question of how recent events have impacted my views of the man and his work. It is also to place a gentle restraining hand upon the shoulder of those in the Jewish community making yet another mistake.

Gibson financed a Jewish organization devoted to defending him? Lapin goes on to attack several Jewish leaders who have dared criticize the anti-Semitism of Gibson and his movie:

Let us address his apology. I have no way of knowing what is in Mel Gibson's heart but I do know that he has no need to act obsequiously towards Jews or curry favor with us. If Gibson never makes another film he will still be able to buy gas for his Lexus.  He is not a politician trying to win an election after an imprudent remark, like Georgia State Rep. Billy McKinney, who blamed "J-E-W-S" after his daughter, U.S. Rep. Cynthia McKinney, was defeated in a congressional primary in 2002.
By the way there was virtually no Jewish criticism of that remark for which there was little apology and which was not made while Billy was drunk. More cynical observers than I suggest it might have something to do with the McKinneys being Democrats.

The premature lurch toward attacking the real enemy - the Democrats - is too obvious and depressing to register. But here you have a rabbi paid by Gibson to spin for him, and even he has to concede, in an almost beautiful understatement:

As for the remarks Gibson made while intoxicated, ancient Jewish wisdom informs us that one way we can know what a person is really like is by how he behaves when he is drunk. From this we can safely assume that Mel Gibson doesn't think much of Jews.

Poignant almost.