The leader of one of Israel's most radical political parties is calling for Mel Gibson to stand trial for making controversial movie THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST.

The film became the most successful Wednesday opener ever at the weekend (29FEB04), when its five-day tally sailed past the $125 million (GBP65.8 million) mark, but Israeli politician ELI YISHAI, of the right-wing SHAS PARTY, believes Gibson should be made to answer for what he feels is an anti-Semitic film.

Jewish leaders in New York have already received hate mail from Christians upset by images of the persecution of Jesus Christ in the film, and now Yishai thinks it's time for the movie's director to explain himself.

He says, "This film, which includes hatred against the Jews and raises again accusations of ritual crime, must not be shown in Israel."

Gibson maintains he didn't intend the film to be deemed anti-Semitic, but even he is shocked by the way fellow Christians have received the film.

He says, "I was astounded by the potency of it. I didn't expect the ferocity of controversy."

04/03/2004 09:12