A long time has passed since Czech Jews used to spit on the cross and churches. Here is in an extract from a Jewish travel guide for Europe. “In Prague’s Charles Bridge, the visitor will observe a great crucifix surrounded by huge gilded Hebrew letters that spell the traditional Hebrew sanctification Kadosh Kadosh Kadosh Adonai Tzvaot, “Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord of Hosts.” According to various commentators, this piece, degrading to Jews, came about because in 1609 a Jew was accused of desecrating the crucifix. The Jewish community was forced to pay for putting up the Hebrew words in gold letters. Another explanation is that a Jew spat at the cross and for this he was to be put to death as a punishment. When this man begged for his life, the king, seeking to have good relations with the Jews, said the Jewish community had to rectify the offence….” (To read more: Travel Guide for Jewish Europe, pg 497)
"The Czech Jewish community protested against a decision by the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival to give Mel Gibson its top award for lifetime achievement, saying his work includes anti-Semitic views.
The 58 year-old actor and director will receive a Crystal Globe during the state-sponsored festival’s opening on July 4, according to organizers. The Federation of Jewish Communities in the Czech Republic objected to the award, saying Gibson’s 2004 movie the “Passion of the Christ” portrays Jews as “evil and blood-thirsty,” it said in a letter to the festival.
“By granting this award, the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival becomes another of the very arguable platforms that are gradually changing the atmosphere of our country from a traditional, relatively tolerant society” into one “where space is given to hostility, xenophobia, and anti-Semitic ideas,” the Federation said in the letter on its website.
The Karlovy Vary Festival acknowledged receiving the letter and said it respected its opinions.
“The award is to recognize Gibson’s filmmaking skills and his career,” festival spokeswoman Uljana Donatova said by phone. “We don’t feel that we’re entitled to comment on the rest. The Passion of the Christ won’t be screened at the festival.”