on American Film and
Television Promotes Bias
ABDULLAH MOHAMMAD SINDI
Abdullah Mohammad Sindi, a native of Saudi Arabia,
lives and works in California. He received bachelor's and
master's degrees from California State University,
Sacramento. In 1978 Sindi received a doctorate in
international relations from the University of Southern
California. He has also studied at the University of
Grenoble (France), the University of Poitiers in Tours
(France), the University of Liege (Belgium), and at Indiana
University (Bloomington). He also conducted research at the
United Nations Institute for Training and Research (New
York). In Saudi Arabia Sindi served as a professor at the
Institute of Diplomatic Studies (Jeddah), and as an
assistant professor at King Abdulaziz University. In the
United States he has taught at the University of California,
Irvine, California State University in Pomona, Cerritos
Junior College, and Fullerton Junior College. This essay is adapted from the first chapter of his new
Arabs and the West: The Contributions and the
Abdullah Mohammad Sindi, a native of Saudi Arabia, lives and works in California. He received bachelor's and master's degrees from California State University, Sacramento. In 1978 Sindi received a doctorate in international relations from the University of Southern California. He has also studied at the University of Grenoble (France), the University of Poitiers in Tours (France), the University of Liege (Belgium), and at Indiana University (Bloomington). He also conducted research at the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (New York).
In Saudi Arabia Sindi served as a professor at the Institute of Diplomatic Studies (Jeddah), and as an assistant professor at King Abdulaziz University. In the United States he has taught at the University of California, Irvine, California State University in Pomona, Cerritos Junior College, and Fullerton Junior College.
This essay is adapted from the first chapter of his new book, The Arabs and the West: The Contributions and the Inflictions (Oct. 1999).
Unquestionably the most powerful molder of opinion in the world today is the American global media, and especially the Hollywood motion picture industry. Ever since Zionist Jews forcibly established the State of Israel on the land of Arab Palestine in 1948 (with a great deal of American help), and as Arabs and Israelis have struggled for control of this land in the years since, Hollywood and the rest of American mass media have carried out a campaign to disparage Arabs and tarnish their image.
American motion pictures and television - which have promoted negative images of non-Caucasians, including Native Americans, African-Americans, Hispanic-Americans, and Asian-Americans - since the 1950s have singled out Arabs and Muslims, more often than any other ethnic-religious group, as objects of hatred, contempt, and derision. (Because Arabs are the world's most numerous Semitic group, this hostility against them is literally anti-Semitic.)
'Villain of Choice'
In American television, writes Professor Shaheen, "the villain of choice today is the Arab." He also says: "To be an Arab in America today is to be an object of contempt and ridicule by television under the guise of entertainment. To me this antiArab image on entertainment manifests itself in the politics of America."l
This media campaign fosters numerous misconceptions about Arabs and their prevailing religion, Islam. For example, although Arabs have lived for centuries in thriving metropolitan centers such as Rabat, Algiers, Alexandria, Cairo, Damascus, Jerusalem, Beirut, Mecca (Makkah) and Baghdad, and have built complex, civilized societies across the Arab world, as well as in Europe's Iberian Peninsula, many Westerners have been persuaded to believe that Arabs are typically uncultured normads who live in desert tents.
Similarly, while many Americans regard OPEC - the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries - as synonymous with Arabs and the Arab world, and while the US media routinely blames Arabs whenever OPEC decides to raise oil prices, in fact six of the 13 OPEC member states are not Arab.
Also typically, American television and motion pictures often depict Arabs and Muslims, uniquely, as religious bigots, lacking any tolerance for the religious sensibilities of others. In fact, for much of history, Islam has been more tolerant of Christianity (and of Judaism) than vice versa. Moreover, it was Jewish Zionists who established Israel, in the "promised land" of Palestine, as a state exclusively for the "chosen people."
While the Arabic Word "Allah" is often invoked in American films in a way designed to evoke derision and cynicism, conjuring an image of some weird pagan deity, in fact "Allah" is simply the Arabic word for God. Not only Arab Muslims, but Arab Christians and even Arab Jews, use this Word as their term for God.
Although officially classified by US government agencies as "White" or "Caucasian," Arabs (and particularly Arab men) are sometimes depicted in American television and movies as Negroid blacks, reinforcing a derogatory image of Arabs as so-called "sand niggers."
"Terrorists" are active all over the world, in countries as diverse as Britain, Italy, Ireland, Russia, Germany, Spain, Japan, Israel, and the United States. (The terrorist record of the Jewish Defense League, for example, is well documented. In 1985 the FBI named the JDL as the second most active terrorist groups in the US.)2 However, Hollywood has done much to encourage Americans to associate "terrorists" with Arabs (especially Palestinians), and Muslim "militants".
Highly-publicized Arab purchases of some US corporations in the 1970s and 1980s set off hysterical cries in this country's periodical press and electronic media about the danger of Arabs allegedly "buying up" America. In reality, these purchases were unexceptional, no different than numerous other cross-border investments carried out routinely around the world over the last century. Actually, during the 1980s Canada, Britain, Germany, France, the Netherlands, Switzerland and Japan accounted for nearly 90 percent of direct foreign investment in the US. Direct foreign investment from OPEC member countries, the US Department of Commerce reported, accounted for less than one percent of the total.3
Jewish Power in Hollywood
Negative images of Arabs in American motion pictures are hardly surprising given the major role played by Jews and other supporters of Zionism in Hollywood. In his 1988 study, An Empire of Their Own: How the Jews Invented Hollywood, Jewish author Neal Gabler shows that Jews established all of the major American film studios, including Columbia, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Warner Brothers, Paramount, Universal, and Twentieth-Century Fox. The American film industry, writes Gabler,4
was founded... and operated by Eastern European Jews... And when sound movies commandeered the industry, Hollywood was invaded by a battalion of Jewish writers, mostly from the East. The most powerful talent agencies were run by Jews. Jewish lawyers transacted most of the industry's business and Jewish doctors ministered to the industry's sick. Above all, Jews produced the movies... All of which led F. Scott Fitzgerald to characterize Hollywood carpingly as "a Jewish holiday, a gentiles [sic] tragedy."
So rapidly did Jews come to dominate Hollywood that as early as 1921 Henry Ford's Dearborn Independent was moved to fulminate that American motion pictures are5
Jew-controlled, not in spots only, not 50 percent merely, but entirely; with the natural consequence that now the world is in arms against the trivializing and demoralizing influences of that form of entertainment as presently managed ... As soon as the Jews gained control of the "movies," we had a movie problem, the consequences of which are not yet visible.
In his detailed 1994 study, Sacred Chain: A History of the Jews, New York University professor Norman F. Cantor, pointed out that Hollywood film production and distribution was "almost completely dominated in the first 50 years of its existence by immigrant Jews and is still dominated at its top level by Jews ... The last Gentile bastion in Hollywood, the Disney studio, came under Jewish executive leadership in the early 1990s."6
Jewish historian and journalist Jonathan J. Goldberg, makes a similar point in his 1996 survey, Jewish Power: Inside the American Jewish Establishment. He writes:7
... Jews are represented in the media business in numbers far out of proportion to their share of the population ... In a few key sectors of the media, notably among Hollywood studio executives, Jews are so numerically dominant that calling these businesses Jewish-controlled is little more than a statistical observation.
Hollywood at the end of the twentieth century is still an industry with a pronounced ethnic tinge. Virtually all the senior executives at the major studios are Jews. Writers, producers, and to a lesser degree directors, are disproportionately Jews - one recent study showed the figure as high as 59 percent among top-grossing films.
The combined, weight of so many Jews in one of America's most lucrative and important industries gives the Jews of Hollywood a great deal of political power. They are a major source of money for Democratic candidates. The industry's informal patriarch, MCA chairman Lew Wasserman, wields tremendous personal clout in state and national politics...
Hollywood's Jewish executives greeted the founding of Israel in 1948 with ecstasy One Jewish film executive, Robert Blumofe, later recalled the euphoric mood of the time: "And suddenly Israel, even to the least Jewish of us, represented status of some sort. It meant that we did have a homeland. It meant that we did have an identity ... All of this was terribly, terribly uplifting."8
In the decades since, Hollywood has presented an image of Arabs that is often cruel and barbaric. Manifesting its support for Israel, and its opposition to the Arab and Muslim worlds, which have strongly opposed the invasive Zionist state, Hollywood developed a cinema genre around the Arab-Israeli conflict. In this spirit, Hollywood has produced numerous "good guy/bad guy" films over the last 50 years, simplistically portraying heroic and righteous Israeli Jews prevailing against treacherous and barbaric Arabs. During the 1960s alone, at least ten such major Hollywood films were produced.9
In such films, Israeli Jews and their American friends are frequently played by popular and good-looking Jewish-American actors such as Paul Newman, Tony Curtis, and Kirk Douglas, as well as handsome non-Jewish actors such as Yul Brynner, John Wayne, Jane Fonda, Frank Sinatra, Charlton Heston, George Peppard, Rock Hudson, Sal Mineo, and Arnold Schwarzenegger. Arabs, predictably, are routinely portrayed as and cruel, cynical, and ugly.
During a publicity interview for her 1981 film "Rollover" (in which "the Arabs" destroy the world financial system), actress Jane Fonda, "the progressive leftist" of the 1960s, bluntly expressed her own bigoted view of Arabs: "If we are not afraid of the Arabs, we'd better examine our heads. They have strategic power over us. They are unstable, they are fundamentalists, tyrants, anti-women, anti-free press."10
It is not possible to recount here all of Hollywood's many anti-Arab or anti-Muslim pictures over the last several decades, but here are some representative productions:
In "Exodus" (1960), brutal Arabs kill an attractive 15-year-old Jewish girl played by Jill Hayworth; in "Cast a Giant Shadow" (1966), Arabs leer and laugh as they shoot an Israeli woman trapped in a truck; in "Network" (1976, and winner of four Academy Awards), a crusading television news commentator warns that Arabs, "the medieval fanatics," are taking control of the US; in "Black Sunday" (1977) an Israeli plays the hero, while Arabs are the villains and terrorists who want to kill Superbowl spectators, including the President of the United States; in "The Delta Force" (1986), "Iron Eagle" (1986), and "Death Before Dishonor" (1987), Hollywood shows viewers how to deal decisively with the low-life, no-good, dirty Arab terrorists; in the Disney studio's animated film production, "Aladdin" (1992), the theme song brazenly refers to Arabia as barbaric ("It's barbaric, but hey, it's home"); in "True Lies" (1994), an Arab terrorist with nuclear weapons has to be stopped; in "Executive Decision" (1996) yet another group of Arab militants hijacks an American plane; and in "Kazaam" (1996), an Arab criminal and a black genie enjoy eating a "centuries-old Arab delicacy," a plate of goats' eyes.
More recent motion pictures with negative images of Arabs or Muslims include "Not Without My Daughter" and "The Siege". In "The Siege", Muslims wage a bombing campaign against innocent Americans. In response, federal authorities declare martial law and carry out mass arrests of Muslims and Arabs across the United States.11
It is difficult to exaggerate the role played by television in shaping the mindset and outlook of the American people. Dr. George Gerbner, former Dean of the Annenberg School of Communications at the University of Pennsylvania, put it this way: "Television, more than any single institution, molds American behavioral norms and values. And the more TV we watch, the more we tend to believe in the world according to TV, even though much of what we see is misleading."12
Like the US motion picture industry, American television is dominated by Jews and supporters of Zionism. While American Jews constitute only about two or three percent of the US population,13 Irving Pearlberg, a Jewish-American television writer, maintains that no less than 40 percent of American television writers are Jewish.14 During the early 1990s, notes New York University professor Norman Cantor, "one TV network was already headed by a Jew (Laurence Tisch at CBS), and Jews are prominent executives and producers at the other two major networks as well."15
Ben Stein, Jewish-American author of The View From Sunset Boulevard, forthrightly acknowledged:16
A distinct majority, especially of the writers of situation comedies, is Jewish ... TV people have certain likes ... and dislikes ... and these likes and dislikes are translated into television programming. In turn, this problem raises the public acceptance of the favored groups and the public dislikes of the resented groups.
Given this reality, it is hardly surprising that one rarely, if ever, sees a Jewish or Israeli figure portrayed as a villain on American television. On the contrary, Israelis in particular and the Jews in general are routinely portrayed in the American mass media as heroic, insightful, sophisticated, witty, intelligent, compassionate, physically attractive, confident, humane, and successful.
On the other hand, like the Arab in Hollywood movies, the US television Arab is often physically unappealing, wealthy, stupid, sexist, crude, lazy, uncultured, cruel, rude, greedy, fanatical, antiAmerican, and anti-Christian. He is often portrayed as a terrorist, a plane hijacker, a polygamist, a sex-maniac, a hostage-taker, a murderer, a kidnapper of young blond-haired, blue-eyed women, an as an oil sheikh blackmailer, and oddly dressed (often in a red-checkered kuffiyyah headdress, or in ungainly gowns or robes).
News reporting on American television, as well as its presentations of history and other serious subjects, routinely has a distinctly pro-Israeli or pro-Jewish slant. This is understandable, of course, given the prominent role of Jews in television news departments, and the many Jews (often with obvious Zionist biases) employed as reporters, frequently covering the Arab-Israeli conflict or the Middle East generally.
Seldom does America's Zionist-oriented media fairly present the Arab or Muslim point of view, particularly on such issues as the plight of displaced Palestinians, oil polities, or the struggle against Western imperialism. For example, the Zionists who invaded Arab Palestine during the 1930s and 40s, are frequently (and misleadingly) referred to as "homeless" Jews. Similarly, Israeli military actions against Arabs over the last 50 years are routinely justified as acts of "retaliation" against Palestinian and Arab aggression or terrorism.
Whereas the Zionist-Jewish point of view is frequently presented on American television without challenge, the Arab or Muslim point of view (when is even adequately given) is often presented only together with a "balancing" Zionist-Jewish perspective.
In addition to producing films and programming that are supportive of Israel, and distorting the views and positions of Arabs and Muslims (especially with regard to the struggle against the Zionist occupation of Palestine), Hollywood and the American television networks effectively censor pro-Arab and pro-Muslim motion pictures and television programming. During the 1970s, for example, American motion picture theaters and television networks boycotted and "killed" a pro-Palestinian film produced by Vanessa Redgrave, the well-known British actress and leftist activist.
James McCartney, a veteran American journalist, once said what many Arabs and Muslims have thought for decades:17
It is my personal belief that if the media as a whole in the western world bad done an adequate job in reporting from the Middle East, it would not have been necessary for the Palestinians to resort to violence to draw attention to their case.
Many non-Jews also help promote a distorted pro-Zionist and anti-Arab portrayal of the past and present on American television. This is especially true of the Christian fundamentalist "televangelists" - such as Pat Robertson, Jimmy Swaggert, Jim Bakker, Jerry Falwell, and Oral Roberts - who have dominated America's "religious" broadcasting. These passionate defenders of Israel and Zionism show no sympathy for the plight of fellow Christians under Zionist rule, but even castigate Christian and Muslim Palestinians for resisting Zionist oppression and the Jewish subjugation of their historic homeland. This is not only tragic, but ironic in light of the fact that Israel treats the Christians (and Muslims) under its rule essentially as second-class citizens.
Such apologists for Israel often engage in gross distortions of history. For example, some Christian televangelists cite alleged massacres of Hebrews in ancient times (portrayed as the equivalent of modern Israelis) at the hands of the Assyrians (who are portrayed as the equivalent of modern-day Arab Syrians), and at the hands of the Babylonians (portrayed as the equivalent of modern-day Arab Iraqis). Ignored, however, is any mention of the numerous ancient Hebrew massacres of Philistines (the ancestors of today's Palestinians), as reported in the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament). In the Sixth Chapter of the book of Joshua, for example, we read as follows: "And they [Hebrews] utterly destroyed all that was in the city, both man and woman, young and old, and ox and sheep and ass, with the edge of the sword."18
Pervasive Negative Images
In his detailed study, The TV Arab, Arab-American scholar Jack G. Shaheen - professor emeritus of broadcast journalism at Southern Illinois University - documents pervasive negative imagery of Arabs by all American television networks, and by practically all leading newscasters and personalities working for them. For this book, Dr. Shaheen examined more than 100 popular television programs, totaling nearly 200 episodes, and interviewed numerous television executives, producers, and writers. American television, concludes Dr. Shaheen -including popular entertainment, comedy, drama, documentaries, news, and even sports and religious and children's broadcasting - across the board has, at one time or another, presented distorted and demeaning images of Arabs.
In addition to Hollywood movies and scripted television programming, viewers can also find "humorous" Arab bashing on live, unscripted television broadcasting, even by prominent TV personalities. To get a laugh from a television talk show audience, Merv Griffin (who is not Jewish) once brazenly equated Arabs with animals: "If you lie down with Arabs, [you] get up with fleas." Once, referring to traditional Arab dress and fashion, Jewish television comedienne Joan Rivers laughingly told her viewers: I can never tell if it's the wife or the husband because they're all in bedsheets." And Jewish comedian Alan King once disparagingly frowned when describing the traditional clothing of Sultan Qaboos of Oman, saying: "What the hell is he dressed up for? Oman's got eleven people and a goat."19
Even programming aimed at children has not been free of demeaning portrayals of Arabs. Among the popular animated cartoon characters who have fomented derogatory or hateful images of Arabs, Dr. Shaheen shows, have been Bugs Bunny, Yosemite Sam, Goofy, Woody Woodpecker, Popeye, Scooby-Doo, Heckle and Jeckle, Porky Pig, Plastic Man, Richy Rich, Pinky and the Brain, Animaniacs, and Duck Tales.
Pressing for Explanations
In interviews with American television executives, Dr. Shaheen pressed for an explanation for the hypocrisy and lack of decency and self-restraint in this pattern of Arab stereotyping on TV. Many of those questioned, he reports, were "embarrassed," and reluctantly acknowledged the widespread disparagement of Arabs, without, however, explaining the reasons for such prejudiced imagery.
Donn O'Brien, CBS vice president of broadcast standards, sheepishly admitted to Shaheen that he had never seen a "good Arab" on American television, and that Arabs are routinely presented as covetous desert rulers or as warmongers. "Arabs are rarely portrayed as good guys," acknowledged Frank Glicksman, a Jewish-American TV producer in Los Angeles. "I've never seen them portrayed as anything but heavies in melodrama. That, I feel, is unfair." Another Hollywood television producer, Don Brinkley, conceded: "The depiction of the Arab on television is generally horrendous." And George Watson, vice president of ABC News, admitted: "Arabs have not been seen to be as real, as close, or as tangible, either as individuals or as a group, as the Israelis ..."20
Not all television executives were as forthcoming, however. Jewish television producer Meta Rosenberg, for example, bluntly responded to Shaheen's inquiry by saying that she did not care about the Arabs, and considered the Arab-American community - which now numbers well over three million - to be "insignificant." Shaheen also contacted Norman Lear, one of America's most successful and influential television producers. Among his popular and innovative hit shows have been "All in the Family," and "The Jefférsons." In none of his numerous productions, Shaheen notes, has this Jewish executive ever presented a humane Arab. Lear simply refused to meet with Shaheen, answer any of his multiple letters, or even talk to him by phone.21
More than a few of those who work in the media, including some Jews, have expressed concern over the pattern of Arab bashing in American motion pictures and television. Journalist John Cooley, for example, acknowledged that "no other ethnic group in America would willingly submit to what Arabs and Muslims in general have faced in the United States media."22 Columnist Nicholas Von Hoffman, writing in the Washington Post, told readers that "no national, religious or cultural group... has been so massively and consistently vilified as the Arabs. Jewish writer Meg Greenfield, a veteran Washington Post columnist, expressed the view that "there is a dehumanizing, circular process at work here. The caricature dehumanizes ... [But the caricature] is inspired and made acceptable by an earlier dehumanizing influence, namely an absence of feeling for who the Arabs are and where they have been." And Steve Bell of ABC News said simply: "The Arab is no doubt a current victim of stereotyping not only on television, but throughout the mass media in the United States."23
High Price of Speaking Out
Although criticism of specific Israeli policies is permissible in the United States, it is more or less forbidden to express fundamental criticism of the Zionist state, of America's basic policy of support for Israel, or of the Jewish-Zionist grip on the US media or America's political and academic life. (Remarkably, this is in contrast to the situation in Israel itself, where Jews and even Arab citizens of the Zionist state have much greater freedom than Americans publicly to criticize Zionism and Israeli policies.)
Prominent persons who dare to violate this prohibition are immediately castigated as "anti-Semitic" (that is, anti-Jewish), and pay a heavy price in damage to their reputations or careers. Politicians who publicly speak out against America's support for Zionism risk almost certain political ruin. Among the political or governmental figures whose careers were destroyed because they violated the powerful taboo have been US Senators William Fulbright, Adlai Stevenson III, and Charles Percy, Congressmen Paul McCIoskey and Paul Findley, and Deputy Secretary of State George Ball.24
Thus, Marlon Brando was promptly and severely chastised after criticizing Jewish Hollywood producers and executives for promoting vicious racist stereotyping of minorities. Even though what the well-known actor had said during an April 1996 broadcast interview with Larry King was demonstrably true, a short time later Brando was forced to issue a craven apology.
Sometimes the price for speaking out is more severe than the defaming of one's reputation or the ruin of one's career. On October 11, 1985, Alex Odeh, the West Coast regional director of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, was killed in a bomb blast when he entered his group's office in Santa Ana, southern California. The previous evening the Palestinian-born Odeh had appeared on a local news show to present an Arab perspective on the Arab-Israeli conflict. The FBI announced that the Jewish Defense League (JDL) was responsible for the murder of Odeh, and at least two other terrorist incidents. The three JDL associates who were suspected of carrying out the killing fled to Israel to avoid punishment. No one has ever been tried for the murder of Alex Odeh.25
Unlike other minority groups in the United States, Arab-Americans have had to endure hostility not only from ignorant and prejudiced individuals, but in addition from powerful Jewish-Zionist elements in the mass media.
For one thing, television and print journalists often identify Arab-Americans or Muslim-Americans who are suspected of crimes by their ethnic or religious origin, a practice that incites already latent public prejudice and hatred. Thus one can find newspaper reports with headlines such as "Arabs Battle Police" or "Muslims are Arrested." Non-Arab criminal suspects are rarely, if ever, similarly identified by ethnic or religious origin.
Whenever acts of terrorism take place against the US or Israel, or the US or Israel is involved in military conflicts with Arab countries or groups, ordinary Arab-Americans become victims of hate.
As a result of the US-led military action against Iraq in late 1990 and January 1991, for example, hate crimes against Arab-Americans and Muslim-Americans, including arson, bombings, and assaults, tripled.26 Incidents of harassment and physical attacks against Arab-Americans similarly increased across the country in the wake of the February 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center in New York City, and of the April 1995 Oklahoma City federal building bombing. Arab-Americans were targeted as if they were personally responsible for these terrorist attacks.
Immediately following the Oklahoma City bombing, some reporters, such as CNN's Wolf Blitzer, accused Arabs of this act of terrorism. Similarly, CBS newswoman Connie Chung declared: "US government sources told CBS News that [the bombing] has Middle East terrorism written all over it."27 Even after Timothy McVeigh was arrested and indicted for the Oklahoma City bombing, New York Times columnist A. M. Rosenthal baldly asserted that "most other attacks against Americans came from the Middle East."28
As a result of such hasty and false accusations, in the wake of the Oklahoma City bombing there were 227 reported incidents of hostility, both violent and non-violet, against Arabs and Muslims across the US.29 Men and women of Arab origin were insulted, threatened, cursed, picketed, spat on, and, in a few cases, physically attacked. Vandals broke into homes of Arab-Americans and destroyed property. Other hoodlums vandalized Arab-American businesses and other properties, spray-painting hateful slogans such as "Why don't you terrorists go back to your own country," "Get out of America," `You're not Americans," `You dirty Arabs," `You don't belong here," "Go back home," and `You will pay for this."30
In 1997, reports the Council on American-Islamic Relations (Washington, DC), there were 280 incidents of anti-Muslim violence, discrimination, stereotyping, bias and harassment last year in the United States. This is an increase of 18 percent in such incidents over the previous year.31 The full scope of the and anxiety, fear and humiliation endured by individual Arab-Americans is obviously impossible to measure, but unquestionably many individual Arab-Americans have suffered in their personal, social, and professional lives, particularly if they are immigrants or first-generation citizens who (like this writer) speak English with an accent.32
Some Arab-Americans have chosen to endure such bigotry and prejudice in silence. Others have responded by returning to their countries of origin, or by denying or concealing their heritage. Quite a few have "Americanized" or "Westernized" their first and last names, in an effort to «pass" as southern- or eastern-Europeans. Early in his career acclaimed motion picture actor F. Murray Abraham (who received an "Oscar" for his role in "Amadeus"), sought to escape prejudice by hiding his Arab identity.
Summing up the deplorable situation, Professor Shaheen has stated:33
Because Arabs and Arab civilization are held in contempt by many in Hollywood, many Americans and their political representatives have few if any positive feelings about Arabs. Their impressions are based in part on the clouded image of the TV screen ... Stereotyping tends to be self-perpetuating, providing not only information but ... "pictures in our heads." These pictures of Arabs reinforce and sharpen viewer prejudices. Television shows are entertainment, but they are also symbols ... A villain is needed in [television and motion picture] conflicts that pit good against evil. Today's villain is the Arab... depicted as the murderous White-slaver, the dope dealer, the fanatic ... To make matters worse ... America's TV image of the Arab is marketed throughout the world ...
Non-Jewish Americans are also victims of the Jewish-Zionist grip on America's motion picture and television industries, propagandistically manipulated by alien interests that foment artificial distrust and enmity between peoples who, objectively, have no conflicting interests.
The hostility and prejudice against Arabs and Muslims engendered by Hollywood and US television infects not only tens of millions of Americans, but also hundreds of millions of credulous viewers worldwide. Such noxious propaganda over a period of decades inevitably has grave long-term consequences. This flood of ethnic-religious poison under standably produces deep resentment among hundreds of millions of Arabs and Muslims around the globe - creating a vast and growing reservoir of resentment and rage that one day will almost certainly erupt with terrible fury.
1. Jack G. Shaheen, The TVArab (Bowling Green, Ohio:
Bowling Green State Univ. Popular Press, 1984), p. ll; Quoted in:
Richard H. Curtiss, A Changing Image: American Perceptions of the
Arab-Israeli Dispute (Washington, DC: American Educational Trust,
1982), p. 153.
2. Mark Weber, The Zionist Terror Network: Background and Operation of the Jewish Defense League and Other Criminal Zionist Groups (Institute for Historical Review, 1993), p. 6.
3. J. G. Shaheen, The TVArab (1984), p. 13.
4. Neal Gabler, An Empire of Their Oum: How the Jews Invented Hollywood (New York: Doubleday [and Crown], 1988), pp. 1-2.
5. Quoted in: N. Gabler, An Empire of Their Own (1988), p. 277.
6. Norman F. Cantor, Sacred Chain: A History of the Jews (New York: HarperCollins, 1994), pp. 390, 401.
7. Jonathan J. Goldberg, Jewish Power.- Inside the American Jewish Establishment (Addison-Wesley, 1996), pp. 280, 287-288. This book was reviewed in the March-April 1998 Journal, pp. 37-38.
8. Quoted in: N. GablerAn Empire of Their Own (1988), p. 350.
9. Michael Parenti, Make-Believe Media: The Politics of Entertainment (New York: St. Martin's Press, 1992), p. 30.
10. Quoted in: M. Parenti, Make-Believe Media, p. 30
11. Faisal Kutty, Bushira Yousuf, "Hollywood's View of Arabs, Muslims," Toronto Star, Sept. 14, 1998. Reprinted in "Other Voices" supplement to The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs (Washington, DC), December 1998, p. S-10.
12. Quoted in:Jack G. Sliaheen, The TVArab (1984), p. 7 1997 Britannica Book of the Year (Chicago: Eneyclopaedia Britannica), pp. 311, 739.
14. Quoted in: J. G. Shaheen, The TVArab (1984), p. 127.
15. Norman F. Cantor, Sacred Chain (cited above), p. 401.
16. Quoted in: J. G. Shaheen, The TV Arab (1984), pp. 127-8.
17. Quoted in: Richard H. Curtiss, A Changing Image: American Perceptions of the Arab-Israeli Dispute (citied above), p. 145.
18. Joshua 6: 21-14. See also, for example, Exodus 32: 2629; Numbers 21: 2-3, 31-35; Deuteronomy 2: 34-35, 3:6, 7: 1-5, 20: 13-17; Joshua S: 24-29, 10: 28-40, 11: 7-8, 14, 21-23; 2 Kings 10: 17, 30. For more on this, see: Mohammad T. Mehdi, Terrorism: Why America is the Target (New York: New World Press, 1998), p. 66.
19. Quoted in: J. G. Shaheen, The TVArab (cited above), pp. 67, 57.
20. J. G. Shaheen, The TVArab (1984), pp. 114, 70, 111.
21.J. G. Shaheen, The TVArab (1984), pp. 127, 62.
22. Quoted in: R. H. Curtiss, A Changing Image (1982), p. 153.
23. Quoted in: J. G. Shaheen, The TV Arab (1984), pp. 122, 7, and back cover.
24. For details see: Paul Findley, They Dare to Speak Out: People and Institutions Confront Israel's Lobby (Westport, Conn.: Lawrence Hill & Co., 1985). See also: Alfred M. Lilienthal, The Zionist Connection (New York: Dodd, Mead, 1978)
25. M. Weber, The Zionist Terror Network (1993), esp. pp. 5-6.
26. Richard Wormser, American Islam: Growing Up Muslim in America (New York: Walker & Co., 1994) p. 121.
27. Quoted in: Terry Allen, "Professional Arab-Bashing," Covert Action Quarterly, No. 53, Summer 1995, p. 20.
28. Quoted in: T. Allen, "Professional Arab-Bashing," Covert Action Quarterly, Summer 1995, p. 21.
2.9. T. Allen, "Professional Arab-Bashing," Covert Action Quarterly, Summer 1995, p. 21.
30. Ann Talamus, `War in the Gulf Repression at Home: FBI Targets Arab-Americans" Covert Action Quarterly, No. 36, Spring 199 1, pp. 4-8; R. Wormser, American Islam (cited above), p. 4.
31. F. Kutty, B. Yousuf "Hollywood's View of Arabs, Muslims," Toronto Star, Sept. 14, 1998 (cited above).
32. As an Arab I have faced ethnic-based hostility, from both Jews and Christians, in my academic career. During the 1980s and 1990s, when I taught at four different southern California universities and colleges, I was denied promotion.
33. Quoted in: R. H. Curtiss, A Changing Image (cited above), p. 153.
Renewal From the Bottom
"When I look back on the process of history, I see this written
over every page, that the nations are renewed from the bottom, not
from the top; that the genius which springs from the'ranks of the
unknown is the genius which renews the youth and energy of the
people. The utility, the vitality, the fruitage of life does not come
from the top to the bottom, it comes, like the natural growth of a
great tree, from the soil, up through the trunk into the branches to
the foliage and the fruit."
- Woodrow Wilson