Mel Gibson is sabotaging efforts to make a movie about Jewish biblical hero Judah Maccabee because he "hates Jews" ... this according to the film's screenwriter Joe Eszterhas.
Gibson and Eszterhas had been working on the project together ... until Warner Bros. suddenly decided to pull the plug ... and nobody seemed to know why.
But now, it's crystal clear -- there was a MAJOR rift between Gibson and Eszterhas ... with Eszterhas firing off a harsh letter to Mel earlier this week ... in which he says point blank, "I’ve come to the conclusion that the reason you won’t make ‘The Maccabees’ is the ugliest possible one. You hate Jews.”
The letter, obtained by TheWrap.com, reads, "You continually called Jews 'Hebes' and 'oven-dodgers' and 'Jewboys.' It seemed that most times when we discussed someone, you asked 'He’s a Hebe, isn’t he?' You said most 'gatekeepers' of American companies were 'Hebes' who 'controlled their bosses.'"
Eszterhas adds, “You said the Holocaust was 'mostly a lot of horses**t.' You said the Torah made reference to the sacrifice of Christian babies and infants. When I told you that you were confusing the Torah with The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, ... you insisted 'it's in the Torah -- it's in there!' (It isn't)."
He says Mel only wanted to make “The Maccabees” so he could “convert the Jews to Christianity.”
In his letter, Eszterhas says he witnessed Mel rail about his ex-GF and baby mama Oksana Grigorieva ... saying, "You were raving at Oksana even after you’d reached a custody agreement over Luci."
“And then you were even more explicit about your threat: “I’m going to kill her! I’m going to have her killed!” You said you’d become friends with two FBI agents (or former FBI agents) and they were going to help you to kill her.”
Calls to Mel's rep have not been returned.