Angry Letter: ‘Protocols of Zion’ (aka A creepy exchange with an anti-Semite)

I saw a film at Sundance called “Protocols of Zion,” about modern-day anti-Semitism, which has seen an upsurge since 9/11. (Amazingly, some lunatics blame the Jews for the terrorist attacks.) The headline I wrote for the review at HollywoodB**** was: “Alas, the idiots who actually believe this crap probably won’t see the film.” Someone named Ken Mathews ( sent me this disturbing e-mail:

I read your review of the film Protocols of Zion and I can’t wait to see it for myself. I don’t blame the Jews for 9/11; it is hard to believe any of the conspiracies that you read from the internet and elsewhere. Being the anti-semite that I am I look forward to seeing yet another point of view on who is or who is not to blame for 9/11. I know very little facts about 9/11, I have read everything from remote controlled aircraft, bush family conspiracies, and just about every other article of bulls*** available on the internet. I haven’t read much about the Jewish conspiracy concerning 9/11. I don’t think I have to go into what has changed me into being an anti-semite, as I don’t believe that you care. I just wanted to compliment you on a good review, and to let you know you’re sorely wrong in making this statement “Alas, the idiots who actually believe this crap probably won’t see the film”, You couldn’t be further from the truth.

Ken Mathews

What alarmed me about this e-mail was that he identified himself as an anti-Semite so casually, the way you might mention that you’re from Montana or that your dad is a cardiologist. And where you expect hatemongers to be vitriolic and ranting, he’s very calm.

I replied to him as follows:

Well, if you are one of the idiots who believes anti-Semitic crap, and you do see the movie, then perhaps it will convince you that believing anti-Semitic crap makes you an idiot. I still hold out hope.

Best wishes,
Eric D. Snider

He replied simply:

I watch films for entertainment, and I thought that you said you have very little knowledge of anti-semitism.

I believe the last part means, “How do you get off telling me I’m an idiot for being an anti-Semite when you claim not to know much about anti-Semitism? How do you know it’s not a perfectly valid belief system?”

I replied:

I know only the basics: That anyone who is an anti-something where the “something” is a race of people (anti-black, anti-Arab, anti-Semite, etc.), is an idiot. Regardless of what books or pamphlets you may have read on the subject, there is no reason to hate another class of people, period.

His reply:

I disagree.

Good review though, good luck on your future endeavors

Is anyone else creeped out by this? Someone so calm and seemingly rational, yet possessed of an irrational hatred of Jews? In other words, someone who’s wrong, yet who steadfastly refuses to believe that he is?