A Reply to Rabbi Boteach

There's no cabal, but there is a segment of Hollywood's secular Jewish community that is anti-Catholic.

Ever since Rabbi Shmuley Boteach and I squared off against each other on the

December 8 edition of MSNBC's "Scarborough Country,"

he has been on a tear lambasting me for commenting that "Hollywood is controlled by secular Jews who hate Christianity in general and Catholicism in particular."



Context is always important, so let's take a look at it. Just before I spoke, Boteach mocked "The Passion of the Christ," saying, "It really should win the World Wrestling Federation Oscar for best movie. It's a guy for two hours being kicked, beaten, his blood gushing everywhere. It's just a diabolical, criminal, violent mess." Thanks, Shmuley, for being so sensitive about that "guy."

In the same segment that I made the remark Boteach is so upset about, I also said the following: "You have got secular Jews. You have got embittered ex-Catholics, including a lot of ex-Catholic priests who hate the Catholic Church, wacko Protestants in the same group..." Nor did Boteach mention that I later said, "There are secularists from every ethnic and religious stock," and when people talk about Hollywood, they are "talking mostly about secular Jews."

In short, I did not single out secular Jews as Boteach would have the reader believe. Nonetheless, I do regret using the verb "controlled," and that is because it suggests that there is some kind of cabal among secular Jews. That's nonsense. But is there a segment of the secular Jewish community that is anti-Catholic? Absolutely.

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The day after our debate, Boteach was kind enough to have me on his radio show to mix it up again. During the course of that conversation, I admitted that there was a segment of the Catholic community that is anti-Semitic. I then asked him if he would agree that there is a segment of the secular Jewish community that is anti-Catholic, and he denied it without equivocation. That's also nonsense.

Getting back to the original topic, consider what the New York Times said about "The Passion" on June 24: "Significantly, in the movie industry, which tends to be liberal and secular in outlook, as well as disproportionately Jewish, few people interviewed about `The Passion' said they had actually seen the movie." Even Times columnist Frank Rich, who criticized me for my comments, has said that when the term "entertainment elite" is invoked by Mel's defenders, they are referring to a group that "just happens to be Jewish." And it is he who has said that "Jews have had no shortage of clout in show business from day one."

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