19 NOVEMBER 1994, Page 43

Sir: William Cash's article about Jewish influence in Hollywood has

caused a great deal of offence and outrage.

His suggestion that the founders of a new studio venture are more likely to succeed if they are Jews is bizarre. Several of the major studios are headed by non-Jews, while people such as Steven Spielberg suc- ceed because of their proven ability, repu- tation and track-record of success, whatev- er their religion. The reference to a `rab- binical blessing' from an individual who is a Jew but has no pretensions to rabbinical status is crudely offensive.

Mr Cash goes on to declare that the link between the members of the entertainment industry establishment is that they are `pre- dominantly Jewish'. What is the signifi- cance of this? Are Jews to be denied suc- cessful careers in the entertainment world because they are Jews? If not, how is the fact that they are Jews of any relevance to their achievement of success in their chosen careers? If it is suggested that they have somehow achieved success because they are Jews, no serious evidence is put forward to justify so facile a proposition.

Mr Cash refers to a possible 'Jewish cabal' and asks pointedly whether this cabal seeks to exclude or discriminate against non-Jews. This language perpetrates the discredited old myth about a Jewish con- spiracy and a Jewish monopoly of power which is allegedly used to disadvantage and exclude non-Jews. There is no credible evi-


dence to support the evidence of a 'Jewish cabal' operating to exclude non-Jews.

The deeply offensive reference to a 'Jew- ish cabal' is compounded by sneering refer- ences to 'a socially maladroit and culturally nihilistic white sock meritocracy' or a 'white sock mediocracy'.

Overall this is a deeply unpleasant and distasteful article, filled with unjustified generalisations and unwarranted stereo- types. It should not have found a place in a serious journal.

Neville Nagler

Chief Executive, The Board of Deputies of British Jews, Woburn House, Tavistock Square, London WC1