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Arabia

September 21, 1986

I am one of those people who feels that the Arab and Muslim worlds have far more to depict on film than images of wars, hijackings and abductions ("The Arab: No More Mister Bad Guy?," by Chris Tricarico and Marison Mull, Sept. 14).

It is life in its whole--not just its painful, unjust, or mythic extremes--that begs to lend itself to display on the screen.

How unfortunate, however, of Syrian-American director Moustafa Akkad to do his part to spoil an otherwise important and informative discussion of the Arab in film, by saying that ". . the trend for the Jewish community (sic) is that Israel comes first," repeating another tired anti-Semitic canard with its usual allegations of American-Jewish disloyalties to other things, etc.

Just what the devil do he and his friends know about the "Jewish community" except what people who influence them negatively want them to believe?

And how would he and his associates feel if prominent persons were to say that the "trend for the Palestinian-American community" or "Arab-American community" is that "Palestine comes first" above all else?

Let people who do not like the taste of the kind of treatment the "Jewish community" got in film for years, and still gets, challenge their own unfairness too.

MATTHEW MAIBAUM

Los Angeles

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