Photo Credit: Rabbi YY Rubinstein
Rabbi YY Rubinstein

If you ever doubted that conspiracies exist within the media, I will now, as someone who regularly appears on TV and radio in the UK, spill the beans. It is true; they do exist.

One day, one of my producers at the BBC trusted me enough to reveal the existence of a secret group functioning at senior levels of the organization. We were drinking coffee together prior to recording a program when he made the revelation.


Pretending to look pensively into his cup, which he raised to his mouth to cover the fact that his lips were moving, he whispered an amazing secret. There existed within the BBC a small group of people, men and women, who met once a week in total and absolute secrecy and…prayed.

To this day I am amazed at how I hid my shock upon hearing that.

“Act natural,” he hissed, noticing my panic and that I had spat out some of my coffee. When I instinctively looked around to see if anyone was watching us, he kicked me under the table. “Pretend like we’re talking about soccer,” he instructed and then more urgently, “Laugh like I told you a joke!” That was easy for him to say. I felt all clammy and faint.

I instinctively knew this was big, very big; in fact, it was dynamite. Suddenly I knew what Woodward and Bernstein felt like when they met the secret whistleblower who would reveal the secrets behind the break-in at the Watergate building in Washington.

The Vilna Gaon writes that of all human desires, sexual desire is the most powerful of all. You would expect, therefore, that sexual politics too would be the most potent political dynamic. It has almost become a religion in its own right, complete with its own Ten Commandments: Thou shalt not judge. Thou shalt not criticize. Thou shalt never disagree with your fellow believers, etc. (For a full list, ask an Obama supporter.)

This new faith requires total unswerving devotion. Wander even a smidgen from what you’re supposed to think and you’re toast.

And because the strongest human desire produces the strongest political forces, religious people, particularly Christians and Jews who hold onto the “old” Ten Commandments (Do not commit adultery? Are you kidding me?) are the most likely to come under scrutiny and even McCarthyesque witch hunts.

Quite seriously, anyone in the media in who declares himself or herself to be religious has about as much chance of securing career advancement as a hedgehog has of getting a job in a balloon factory.

A friend of mine who is a rabbi and a psychologist is always coming up with new ideas and initiatives to get non-religious Jews to consider their religion and heritage. One of those ideas was to produce a video featuring interviews with famous American Jews who are religious to varying degrees.

He planned to ask them to explain what attracted them to Jewish observance. When his attention inevitably turned to Hollywood, he could not secure an interview with even one Jew. The ones he managed to talk to made it clear that an admission of observance was an admission that you never wanted to work in Tinseltown again.

Of course you can be religious in Hollywood – as long as your religion bows to the new Ten Commandments and their accompanying morality.

And that new morality is a strange brew. Thou shalt not judge and Thou shalt not criticize are inviolable. After that there is some flexibility – not too much, but some. You will naturally be expected to be against many things that most other people oppose, like racism, violence, discrimination, etc. Except if those suffering any such mistreatment are not a supporter of your faith, that is.

For those would like a starter course in observing the new morality, consider the case of one of Hollywood’s living legends, Meryl Streep. (Whoo. Yay. Swoon.)

Earlier this month at the Golden Globe ceremony, she received a lifetime achievement award. She began her acceptance speech by telling her audience that she loved them all. (Barf!) That’s always a good way to start a speech to your fellow devotees – with something beyond cringeworthy.

Then she went on with real emotion to abhor Donald Trump (without mentioning his name) for mocking a disabled journalist who could not fight back. This was total twaddle. That particular reporter would have not have the slightest difficulty in fighting back.

Then she demonstrated her complete moral ascendancy and saintliness by declaring, “Disrespect invites disrespect. Violence incites violence. When the powerful use their position to bully others, we all lose.”

This was noble stuff. But…but…

The truth is, had I been eligible to vote in an American election I would not have voted for Donald Trump – or for any of the other candidates. I found them all awful choices. I do not therefore mind the fact that Ms. Streep dislikes the man.

I do, however, disparage her attack on him, especially considering that in 2003 she publicly applauded a deplorable individual who drugged and then sexually attacked a thirteen-year-old girl. Streep rose and clapped her heart out when this degenerate was announced as the winner in the Best Director category at the Academy Awards ceremony that year.

I invite you to again read her words attacking Trump:

“Disrespect invites disrespect. Violence incites violence. When the powerful use their position to bully others, we all lose.”

Now maybe it’s because I have dealt with so many victims of sexual abuse that I get very angry about a man who drugged and raped a young girl and fled the country when he was convicted of the crime. But, again, I adhere to the “old” Ten Commandments where it says, “Thou shall not kill.” Let me be very clear: pedophiles in effect kill their victims. Rape is violence, Meryl, and child rape is violence of the most unspeakable kind.

That is not the view of Ms. Streep or the other Hollywood A-listers, adherents all of the new Commandments. When it comes to sexual politics the rules have to be followed blindly. Thou shalt not judge. Thou shalt not criticize.

Most of those in that Oscar audience in 2003 joined Ms. Streep in giving the rapist a standing ovation. In so doing, they showed their sickening moral bankruptcy as well as their complete disregard for the violation of a child.

I recall the famous picture of a German shipyard worker, August Landmesser, who refused to give the Nazi salute as a sea of Germans around him were enthusiastically doing just that.

I would be interested to see a list of the Hollywood “A” names who, like Meryl Streep, saluted the reprobate director back in 2003 and who, if any, had the guts and integrity of a Landmesser and refused to do so.

Streep concluded her Golden Globe speech this month with these words, referring to the actress Carrie Fisher, who had recently passed away:

“As my friend, the dear departed Princess Leia [more barf], said to me once: “Take your broken heart, make it into art.”

I wonder what “art” Ms. Streep and the rest of those applauding the rapist of a child could offer that poor girl or all the other children who are victims of pedophiles. And I wonder why in all of Hollywood my friend who wanted to make the movie about those who adhere to the old Ten Commandments could not find even one Jewish August Landmesser.


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Rabbi Y Y Rubinstein is a popular international lecturer. He was a regular Broadcaster on BBC Radio and TV but resigned in 2022 over what he saw as its institutional anti-Semitism. He is the author of twelve books including most recently, "Truly Great Jewish Women Then and Now."