I was shocked to read Patrick Goldstein's "Strike Reveals a Future Feared" [Nov. 13], in which he lays a large measure of blame for this Hollywood strike on the studios' "fear and anxiety," "profound insecurity" and congenital pessimism, tracing them to "the industry's Jewish shtetl roots." And he offers a familiar anti-Semitic canard: "Maybe it's because the industry teams with hustlers and salesmen -- they're always worried the public will smell the con."
For Goldstein's information, the Jews who left the European shtetls to journey thousands of miles to a strange new land, America, were driven less by fear, anxiety and pessimism than by courage, energy and optimism. Those qualities were their major legacies to the motion picture industry, which they founded. Goldstein himself apparently recognizes this when he writes, "Every great power broker . . . has been bullish about the future, eager for new worlds to conquer." And as a prime example he cites Irving Thalberg, who happens to have been Jewish.