Edmonton Sun | Oct. 13, 2001 | Orest Slepokura

The West would never get away with this

The Editor:

Re: "The West would never get away with this," Mindelle Jacobs, Edmonton Sun, October 13, 2001.

Media critic Jack Shaheen's book Reel Bad Arabs: How Hollywood Vilifies a People [Interlink Books] was published this summer. A product of 20 years' labour, Shaheen chronicles a century of Hollywood films from 1896 to the present and looks at over 1,000 films wherein Arabs were routinely shown conforming to ugly stereotypes as fanatics, terrorists or just sleazeballs.

Here, for example, is how famed Jewish writer Leon Uris sums up the plot of the 1934 John Ford movie "The Lost Patrol": "The patrol was surrounded and hemmed in by a pack of slithering, unseen Arabs whose sharpshooters picked off the Brits one by one." Note the reptilian ("slithering") innuendo. [1]

According to the late Mordecai Richler, Jews both "invented" and continue to "run Hollywood." Perhaps that's why Arab people have had to endure buckets of celluloid filth being heaped on them for 100 years. [2] Hollywood (read: "the West"), to paraphrase Jacobs, has gotten away with this for 100 years.


1. Leon Uris, Forword to "Last Flight from Iran," Martie and Robin Sterling, Bantam Books: New York, 1981, p. vii.

2. The blurb above Mordechai Richler's monthly column in the February 1995 issue of Saturday Night ("Trouble in Tinseltown," p. 32) neatly sums up the drift of the entire article, served up in a tone halfway between prickliness and gloating: "Okay, says our prickly columnist, so the Jews run Hollywood. We ought to, we invented it." Jewish writers Simcha Jacobovici ("Hollywoodism") and Neal Gabler ("An Empire of Their Own: How the Jews Invented Hollywood") have both extensively documented Richler's proud boast.

Sincerely yours,

Orest Slepokura
Strathmore AB