An unqualified defense of Helen Thomas

Israel/PalestineUS Politics
on 155 Comments

UPDATE: Thomas has announced her retirement.

Her comments [telling Israelis to leave Palestine and "go home" to Europe] do not reflect a desire to see Israel/Palestine judenrein, but rather an ominous sense of what a dangerous place Israel has become, and will only increasingly be, for its people.

But the more important point is that the cries of "historical ignorance" by the Zionists only reflect their own. It was the Zionists, with a mighty assist from Stalin, who stood in the way of the surviving Jews of Europe being able to return to the only homes they ever knew. The anti-Zionists of that time, most notably the great Lessing Rosenwald, passionately and rightly argued that the suggestion that the Jews should not simply cast down their buckets but be transferred en masse to Palestine was an insult to all that the war against Hitler had been fought to achieve. Along with his friends in the Reform rabbinate, Rosenwald had also not been shy about calling out the proposition that there existed a Jewish "nation" for what it was – a fundamental and dangerous concession to the doctrine of Hitler. Indeed, per Helen Thomas, there could be no happier consequence of the fall of Zionism than the rebirth of Judaism in Poland that we have already seen in Germany.

Jack Ross is author of a forthcoming book on the American Council for Judaism and Rabbi Elmer Berger.

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155 Responses

  1. potsherd
    June 7, 2010, 11:16 am

    I think the Zionist are feeling beleaguered and desperate these days, and along comes a convenient subject on whom to renew their sense of perpetual victimhood.

    • kalithea
      June 7, 2010, 11:38 am

      They’re not victims! They play the victim card on every fool in Washington and around the country. What they are is vampires sucking the life-blood out of the TRUTH!

      • Colin Murray
        June 7, 2010, 12:35 pm

        The vampire analogy is over the kalithea.

      • kalithea
        June 7, 2010, 2:45 pm

        Why is it over the top? Do you not see how they sabotage political and journalism careers to suffocate the truth at every turn even going as far as killing Americans to keep the injustice that Israel is inflicting on Palestinians going? How far will they take this before people, yes, like Helen start to stand up and call EVIL by its name? What Israel is doing is evil, plain and simple! And those who commit evil are evil as well! Sorry if you find that too much. But I like to call a spade a spade.

        Honestly, how do you intend to defeat them, by walking on eggshells not to offend their “tender” feelings? The Lobby and their gang of goons in Washington who keep the U.S. shackled to Israel’s Zionist expansionist plan are a force that is being underestimated and they must be exposed for exactly what they are and the power they wield or there is NO WAY OUT of this.

      • sherbrsi
        June 7, 2010, 4:52 pm

        kalithea, I agree.

        If you allow those you oppose to define the limits of acceptable debate, then you are accepting that the discourse will be controlled and monitored to conform to their official, politically correct line. And the dissenters will hammered into submission.

        This is exactly what happened with Thomas. She made a reputation of asking hard-hitting questions, but when it came to one comment on the subject that is absolutely taboo in American politics, she was told to pack her bags and call it a day.

      • MRW
        June 7, 2010, 4:56 pm

        sherbrsi, what thread did you write that great thing about the flotilla logic on? I can’t find it.

  2. James North
    June 7, 2010, 11:21 am

    A fascinating post, Jack. I knew none of this. Thanks.

    • MRW
      June 7, 2010, 12:21 pm

      A guy on HuffPo made the point that the Irgun and Lehi did nothing to help European Jews during WWII, and wanted to know why. And, further, that they made deals with Hitler to get Jews to help fight the British in Palestine, which Hitler was happy to do because he was fighting the British.

      • Jeffrey Blankfort
        June 7, 2010, 3:17 pm

        Actually, the Irgun, as bad as it was, was the only Jewish group that tried to resist Hitler and get Jews out of Europe. Lehi, on the other hand, wrote to Hitler seeking an alliance against the British since their belief in maintaining the purity of the “volk” was essentially the same. Hitler never responded but the letter survived and was published in the Hebrew press. The only deal made with Hitler was the transfer (haavara) agreement that allowed German Jews who wished to leave, most of whom were well off, to buy German goods with their money which was then sent to Palestine on Nazi flag ships which the Jews, once in Palestine, would collect and then sell.

        As a result, most of Germany’s 750,00 Jews were able to leave the country which accounted for the little known fact that among the millions of Jews who died in the camps only 150,000 German, according to Raoul Hilberg, the most prominent (and non-ideological) historian of the genocide.

      • Justice Please
        June 7, 2010, 3:59 pm

        May he rest in peace. If only Hilberg were the world’s teacher about the Holocaust (how it really happened) and not those selfish liars like Wieseltier with their “Only a Jewish death is important”-attitude toward the horrendous crimes of the Third Reich.

      • MRW
        June 7, 2010, 4:59 pm

        Thanks, Jeffrey. I stand corrected.

        Btw, where did the Irgun do the resisting? In Germany? Poland? Or all over?

      • Jeffrey Blankfort
        June 7, 2010, 8:34 pm

        It began in the US with attempts to get Jews out of Europe while the mainstream Zionists were keeping silent about what was happening. Before the Nazis entered Rumania, the Rumanian government said that it would allow its Jews to leave for, as I recall, $55 a person, and the Irgun’s man in the US, Nathan Yellin-Mohr, tried to collect the funds to do so. He solicited the playwrite, Ben Hecht, who was a supporter of the Irgun, to write and ad which ran in the NY Times asking “how much for the life of a Jew?”or words to that effect and the add was signed by many important figures and an event was scheduled in Madison Sq Graden.

        The mainstream Zionists, led by Rabbi Steven Wise, initiated a propaganda campaign against the ad, saying the offer wasn’t credible. They never found out because the effort was sabotaged by the mainstream zionists and most of those Rumanian Jews went to their deaths. The battle continued in Palestine where the mainstream Zionists continued their sabotage of rescue efforts (wanting the Jews to go to Palestine or …….) and had Irgun supporters arrested by the British to stop their activities.

        All the details can be found in Ben Hecht’s “Perfidy,” which the Zionists suppressed for years and which took me more than 10 to find a copy. It is now reprinted and available from Amazon. The mainstream Zionists have tried to smear him and the book but anyone who reads can see who is telling the truth.

  3. Les
    June 7, 2010, 11:23 am

    She did include that American Jews in Israel ought to come back to the US. And I complain that American Zionists who have yet to make their aliyah ought to be considered Israeli agents until their departure.

  4. maximalistNarrative
    June 7, 2010, 11:25 am

    I simply don’t see any defense for her comments. It was legal under international laws for Jews to come to Palestine. Her comments that Jews should return to the land of their mass slaughter is really really hurtful.

    • traintosiberia
      June 7, 2010, 2:49 pm

      I would like to know which Int. laws you are referring to?

    • Jeffrey Blankfort
      June 7, 2010, 3:44 pm

      Well, I for one will defend her comments. Helen Thomas has spent 60 years covering the White House watching one president after another bend his knee and genuflect before the economic and political power of the “take no prisoners” Organized American Jewish Community while that same community has unapologetically endorsed to the bloody hilt every atrocity, every Palestinian man, woman, and child, every bridge destroyed, every apartment house blown up with its inhabitants inside, committed by the Israeli wehrmacht. She had had enough and she spoke her mind to the obnoxious rabbi who thrust his camera in her face.

      Israel, at this moment in time, is without, the biggest danger to the future of the planet. With 300 nuclear weapons, some, no doubt, aimed at major cities and capitols on that side of the Atlantic, and with the equivalent of a Tea Party government running the show, Israel is not only capable of igniting a nuclear war at any time, it is holding the world hostage.

      At the moment it has three nuclear armed subs in the waters off Iran and knowing that it has the US Congress safely bought off and in its corner , not ours, it no doubt believes that it can get away with an attack on Iran and not worry about the fallout.

      Zionism is and has been from the very beginning, a severe form of the mental illness known as nationalism which most peoples usually keep under control. It is know in advanced stage where it is less and less likely to act rationally as its attack on the Mavi Marmara demonstrates and its government as well as the majority of its equally deranged citizenry have total contempt for the rest of humanity and its opinions.

      As a European settler colonial state, Israel has been an anachronism, a foreign implant in the Arab Middle East that came into being at a time of world wide decolonization that followed WW 2. It was something akin to a driver heading the wrong way on a one-way road. The key to its existence up to the present day has not been due to what it has built in what was once Palestine but how its American supporters, through their use of money, political intimidation and sophisticated organization, have sucessfully managed to harness the power of the US government and the American media to serve Israel’s interests.
      The notion that Israel will ever consent to share the land with the Palestinians in any just way by now should have been disabused. So what is to be done?

      In the end, would it not be ironic if Helen Thomas’s solution proved to be the only one that will preserve the planet?

      • hophmi
        June 7, 2010, 3:49 pm

        That Jews should leave Israel and go back to Germany and Poland? You think this will preserve the planet, Jeff?

        You’re more insane than I thought. You shouldn’t talk about whose ideas are “mental”.

      • Avi
        June 7, 2010, 7:09 pm

        Helen Thomas has spent 60 years covering the White House watching one president after another bend his knee and

        [...]

        endorsed to the bloody hilt every atrocity, every Palestinian man, woman, and child, every bridge destroyed, every apartment house blown up with its inhabitants inside, committed by the Israeli wehrmacht. She had had enough and she spoke her mind to the obnoxious rabbi who thrust his camera in her face.

        My thoughts exactly.

    • MRW
      June 7, 2010, 5:02 pm

      Her comments that Jews should return to the land of their mass slaughter is really really hurtful.

      Oh puhleeeze.

    • kapok
      June 8, 2010, 12:31 pm

      ah, but these are the New Jews who won’t take no guff from anti-semites.

  5. kalithea
    June 7, 2010, 11:27 am

    My apology for my previous post in which I wrote that the subject of Helen Thomas must be radio-active material on this site.

    But allow me to repeat some points from that post:

    Helen Thomas who is one of the most honest voices in the Washington press corps, who’s been speaking truth to power and corruption for decades and who is one of the only people with the guts to call out Presidents on their unblinking support of Israel is being trashed by the Right, the Lobby and the Hasbara army and her illustrious career is going down in flames.

    Not only was she deliberately trapped by the Rabbi, but her words were directed specifically at “Israeli” Jews, and had she spoken those words about South African whites and how they should be deported to their country of origin if that’s what it would take to stop Apartheid, there would not be a peep of outcry from the Jewish community. Instead so-called LIBERAL Jews are crucifying at the stake even calling her a “witch”!

    It’s time to define the sides now! It’s time to be really honest about Zionism, the Lobby’s influence and Israel and its crimes if the intent is to really tackle the injustice and not merely to whine and complain to appease our conscience.

    Now everyone knows she really meant ZIONISM SHOULD PACK ITS BAGS AND GO BACK WHERE IT CAME FROM. Is defending this audacious, spontaneous reaction by Thomas radioactive for Jewish Liberals, or is this what it will take to tear down the INJUSTICE and replace it with enduring peace??

    Update:

    I just heard on the news, her career is over. The only real voice of truth has been extinguished, and maybe the Lobby, the right and Israel’s hasbara are to blame, BUT AS FAR AS I’M CONCERNED I BLAME ALL SO-CALLED LIBERAL JEWS for participating in this lynching or for remaining SILENT while they witnessed it!

    • Chu
      June 7, 2010, 12:40 pm

      What a surprise that the left media is silent. But their the good guys right? That’s the story we often hear. The media have as much backbone as Congress does.

      A country of more than 300 million that has to have a gag-order on its press regarding Israel, is a reflection of this countries failing status. People like John Bolton, Dick Cheney, Pastor Hagee and other gentile tools are just the opportunists for this system.
      If the US continues to support this regime in the Middle East, it is a reflection that we as a nation are weak, not to mention quiet revolution in the halls of government over that last half century. Israel is a criminal, The UN is the court, and the AIPAC Squid with all it agencies and media control is the mafia that enables the criminal state to continue.

  6. Debonnaire
    June 7, 2010, 11:29 am

    You’ve got the hilarious spectacle of the four ugliest people alive (Melanie Phillips, Meryl Yourish, Ted Belman, and the war criminal Ari Fleischer) calling Helen Thomas “the wicked witch”.

  7. dalybean
    June 7, 2010, 12:10 pm

    They store these thing up for diversions and to put a chill on the press. The “interview” where Helen said these things was weeks ago. I can only imagine that this will in fact put a chill on the press.

    • Chu
      June 7, 2010, 12:51 pm

      right on. It’s a lesson for the rest of ‘em.
      Mel Gibson arrested 28 July 2006 for DUI and vicious
      comments. Lebanon War began 12 July 2006.
      Another opportunity for the press to stifle criticism of
      Israel’s war. When is the anti-semitism stunt
      going to end, when it’s often legitimate criticism?

      • Chu
        June 7, 2010, 12:54 pm

        not that Gibson had legitimate criticism, his
        statements were a gift for the media at the time.

  8. jimby
    June 7, 2010, 12:36 pm

    >”Along with his friends in the Reform rabbinate, Rosenwald had also not been shy about calling out the proposition that there existed a Jewish “nation” for what it was – a fundamental and dangerous concession to the doctrine of Hitler.”<
    I guess I had it backwards, I had thought that Hitler's crime was stealing the Jewish BS about being the "chosen" people.

  9. hophmi
    June 7, 2010, 12:37 pm

    Since Helen herself has apologized for her comments, it’s mystifying that you would defend them.

    To say that the Zionists stood in the way of Jews returning home after the war is a gross misreading of history. Many Jews did try to go home, only to face massacres in Poland, families who had taken their houses elsewhere, and a generally less-than-welcoming attitude from European Christians. Most survivors were destitute people in transit camps. Israel provided an alternative which Western nations could not or were not willing to match, and many of the refugees were interested in building new lives in a Jewish land after so many horrible years in Christian ones.

    I was in Germany a year and a half ago. It is misleading to read what is going on there as a rebirth. The “rebirth” is mostly the influx of FSU Russian Jews who have little connection with the religion, and for the most part, little interest in forming one. German Jewry, as in Jews with actual roots in Germany, is not growing. Poland is undergoing something of a rebirth. But how this negates Zionism as a political movement I have no idea. Poland before World War II had 3,000,000 Jews, many of them religious people who had little interest in politics and were probably anti-Zionist in orientation. The Zionists did not need to stand in the way of those Jews returning anywhere, because they were overwhelmingly murdered with the participation of their fellow Poles. The town where my family comes from had a Jewish population of 24000 before the war and a Jewish population of 300 after. This is the reality that you suggest people should have returned to instead of going to help build a new Jewish state that was a miracle in many ways, even if, like virtually every other state on the face of this earth, its founding was not without its injustices.

    It is also, again, amazing that you would trot out someone like Lessing Rosenwald, who not only was an anti-Zionist, but also favored American neutrality in the face of Nazism before Pearl Harbor. And again, it’s all well and good to say that Rosenwald and others favored binationalism. The Arabs certainly did not, and were not shy about saying so; binationalism would have been no more in tune with Palestinian aspirations than partition was.

    • Conrad
      June 7, 2010, 1:32 pm

      Appreciate your post. Yes, I have visited the Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C. and it was a crime against humanity. And yes the 3,000,0o0 Jewish Poles were probably anti-zionist. Zionism was invented by the illuminati, to divide and conquer us more, Stalin was an illuminati stooge that prevented them returning even though I agree with you who would want to return and what other Western country opened their arms. I can assure America the Land of the hypocrites didn’t. Remember before the war America refused the entry of 900 Jewish Refugees from Germany on a cruise ship sending many of them back to their deaths. Pretty cruel in my book. The illuminati had to get the Jewish people down to Israeli to instigate the end game WWIII between Political Zionism and Arab Mohammendism. Listen to this speech given by William Guy Carr a former Commander in the Canadian forces explaining this world wide mafia consisting of the international banksters and the illuminati. They have no religion except Luciferian. They are playing you all like fiddles. All the governments are compromised at the top including Israeli’s and Iran. There are good people in government but normally get flanked by these diabolical devils. We win by not playing. We win by love. He who draws the sword will die by the sword. And remeber there was a Holocaust in Ukraine too. Stalin and his illuminati gang starved 10,000,000 christians. Research it yourself. They thrive off this hate they create with this witches brew. Please listen to the 37th minute and the 48th minute. The speech was given in 1958 and he is telling us about our world today. Where has the media been on this? Right, whatever. Skip the first 7 minutes of introduction it is boring and irrevelant. Listen and pass it on. The truth is the only thing that can save us from WWIII. God bless everybody except these little devils.

      link to archive.org

      • Colin Murray
        June 7, 2010, 2:18 pm

        … world wide mafia consisting of the international banksters and the illuminati.

        Please, Conrad. This is a serious site, and the stakes are too high for too many people to muddy up the dialogue with illuminati nonsense.

      • Conrad
        June 7, 2010, 2:23 pm

        If you are serious Colin then at least listen to the Commander before you are so quick to judge. Yea, it is serious. Damn serious. So wake up.

      • Psychopathic god
        June 7, 2010, 3:19 pm

        as I listened to Ms. Thomas’s vignette, my immediate reaction was to recall this post link to mondoweiss.net
        and especially, Eva’s comment in response to it.

        What do the Poles and Germans, and Americans, for that matter, get to say about whether Israel’s Jews should return? How about Russian Jews — should they go back to Russia?

      • hayate
        June 7, 2010, 10:16 pm

        Actually, I’ve read that for several years now, that the number of people leaving israel and going to Russia is larger than those leaving Russia and going to israel. In other words “Russian Jews” are going back to Russia. :D

        The two main reasons for this is that israel is a caste society, much like the american confederacy, where different racial groupings have different levels of citizenship and levels of institutionalised discrimination directed against them. The Russian immigrants are near the bottom in that caste system, just above black Jews and non-Jews. Many are thoroughly disgusted with their choice and want to get the hell out of that racist place. The other main reason is that many of these Russians left Russia during the yeltsin years when the country had hit absolute bottom. They were desperate to go anywhere, and israel was the last choice for many of them, but the only option. Now that things have greatly improved in Russia, people are returning.

      • Psychopathic god
        June 7, 2010, 10:38 pm

        A few months ago I read a paper about the double identity crisis of Russian Jews. As Russians they longed for the Jewish homeland, but once in Israel, they longed for the Russian homeland.

        mythology only goes so far to assuage the human heart.

        the people cheering in the street in Tel Aviv have resolved the tension between mythology and humanity by reveling in death and destruction, denial of the human heart.

      • hophmi
        June 8, 2010, 4:10 pm

        It is true that a number of the Russians who moved to Israel in the 1990s did so in part for financial reasons, and have since returned because of the improvement of the Russian economy. But where you conclude that this is because Russians are disgusted with their position in caste society I have no idea; Russians are active in all parts of Israeli society, and are well-represented in the Knesset. Though there is a little arrogance toward the Russian-speaking community among the more native Sabras, it is no different than the sort of thing you see in the New York Jewish community, and it is in considerable part a function of the tendency of some of the Russians not to assimilate. I’d bet that just as in New York, where I have spent a lot of time in the Russian community, the Russians who have assimilated in Israeli society more look down on the ones who have not assimilated as much. It is typical of immigrant communities in any country.

        I also don’t know how you conclude that Israel was the only option for Russians leaving the FSU in the 1990s. It’s clearly untrue, given many came to the US or went to Germany.

    • pineywoodslim
      June 7, 2010, 1:37 pm

      Israel still interferes in the rights of Jews to freely immigrate worldwide:

      link to forward.com

      “The mass migration of Jews from the former Soviet Union to Germany likely will come to a swift end with the introduction of a new law drawn up by Germany’s 16-state governments.

      German authorities presented the new restrictions on Jewish immigration to Germany’s two national Jewish organizations last week. As put forth, the restrictions effectively will end the wave of migration that has brought almost 200,000 Jews and their relatives to Germany from the former Soviet Union, causing a Jewish renaissance in the most unlikely of places.

      The law drew praise from Israeli authorities, who have long been uncomfortable with Jewish immigration to Germany, especially since it began topping immigration to Israel in the last few years. Michael Jankelowitz, a spokesman for the Jewish Agency for Israel, a quasi-government agency responsible for immigration to Israel, said the changes were “positive.” Jankelowitz said that his organization aggressively had lobbied the German government for the new law.”

      • Conrad
        June 7, 2010, 1:43 pm

        Very interesting. Thank you.

      • Conrad
        June 7, 2010, 1:50 pm

        The more I think about this the more stunning it becomes. You are telling me in the Land that the Jewish Holocaust occured that they would have the chutzpah to deny immigration to Russian Jews and there is no outcry by our Illuminati Main Street Media. No howling calls of anti-semites. Jesus, if this doesn’t confirm the illuminati and its diabolical plans working through their father with cunning and deceit, I don’t know what does. I do remember reading somewhere to be as wise as serpents. What does the serpent symbolize? I think ya’ll know. This is a war between Human Beings which means Humane Person and the diabolical inhumane illuminati. Wake up and spread the truth.

      • Richard Parker
        June 7, 2010, 5:27 pm

        Juan Cole has this in yesterday’s blog at: link to juancole.com

        Now a German Jewish organization, Jewish Voice for Peace in the Middle East, is planning an aid flotilla to Gaza! Please send them money.

        There are over 250,000 Jews in contemporary Germany, and more Jews immigrated to Germany in 2005 than to Israel. Four-fifths of them are Russian Jews who prefer Berlin to Beersheva. And, there are some Israelis among them who have similar preferences. In further evidence of how Israel can actually be bad for Jews, the Israeli government lobbied Germany in 2004 to restrict Jewish immigration. But there are now more Jews in Germany than there were in 1939 before the Holocaust. (True, there are not more than in the Weimar Republic, but that is where the trend line is going despite Israeli attempts to foment discriminatory immigration policies toward Jews.)

        Also, read the comments.

  10. otto
    June 7, 2010, 12:45 pm

    Decolonisation is going to have to be part of any long-term solution – certainly the decolonisation of the relationship between jews and arabs in Palestine and the end of the colonial privilege that Israeli jews currently enjoy i.e. the equalisation of their standard of living with the Palestinians will induce many jews to leave for Europe or the United States.

  11. occupy nomo
    June 7, 2010, 1:07 pm

    All I can say is that if Helen Thomas resigned, then Caroline Glick, the deputy managing editor of the Jerusalem Post, should definitely resign and get lost . Her video ” we con the world” is completely racist and distasteful and someone in her position should not be allowed to get away with participating in such a video.

    I guess I forgot she is an Israeli, a citizen of a country that is out of control, occupies others, builds illegal/immoral settlements, and does all this with impunity and an in-your-face attitude.

    • melka
      June 7, 2010, 2:44 pm

      I totally second that

      • Psychopathic god
        June 7, 2010, 3:26 pm

        how about Terri Gross?

        What Helen Thomas said was NOT said in the context of a reporter; she was baited, on the street, not in a press conference or in a journalist exercise.

        Terri Gross has repeated numerous times that Ahmahdinejad said Jews should be wiped from the face of the map. She either knows that’s not what he said, which is dishonest journalism, or she does not know but is repeating things without confirming them, which is bad journalism. Either way, she reflects more poorly on journalism than does Helen Thomas, who was NOT practicing journalism when she spoke.

        agree re Caroline Glick, a journalist, who was acting for the State of Israel to perform a hateful denigration of other human beings.

    • Richard Parker
      June 7, 2010, 5:53 pm

      Every reference to the Jerusalem Post, or to the loathsome Caroline Glick, anywhere, should have a link referring directly to her video ‘joke’
      Flotilla Choir link to youtube.com
      Nothing better than letting her hang by her own petard.

      A constant refrain: The truth will never find its way to your TV
      Well, it is finding its way to our TVs (outside the US that is)

  12. Danaa
    June 7, 2010, 1:11 pm

    One would assume that Helen Thoma had in mind the Pieds Noirs, who did go back to France (for the most part) when the days of colonizations were over. But, then again, the Africaneers did not, because they had no welcoming place to go back to. As for the jewish, and wanna-be jewish people of israel, in truth, there is no country waiting with open arms except as immigrants among other immigrants. So I’d have to guess that here words were spoken in exasperation, which is something we all do at times, when faced with the enormity of the injustices committed in front of our eyes. later. most of us get to take our words back, b ut then we are not as well known as the thorn that Helen Thomas was. An actual journalist living among the stenographers. One can easily imagine, that there’s a day when caution is thrown to the winds.

    But this is also a cautionary tale. The zionists of america, foreign agents that they are, keep tabs – all the time, on all their “enemies”. The microphones are always on, the emails scanned. Any skeleton in the closet unearthed. And they are hardly alone in this – the neoconist big brother enterprise of America is always on the watch. Remember how they got Scott Ritter? just as they did the radio personality in the SF Bay area, Bernie Ward. We can be absolutely certain ‘they” are gunning for Amy Goodman, and probably for Phil and Adam, which I am sure they are glad to know.

    When one sets oneself up to go against the establishment, one can expect retribution. I am sure helen was surprised it was this long in coming, but is no doubt annoyed for giving the openning.

    Personally, living in the US now, and knowing what some ex-pats are like (emphasis on “some”), I’d so rather the israelis stayed in Israel (at least most of them). Whatever it is that makes it possible to stay right where they are, and there to find contentment that is not built on the backs of others, is what I’d like to support. Which doesn’t mean that on bad days I don’t wish for a nice, comfy place on Mars or something.

    • Conrad
      June 7, 2010, 1:39 pm

      Establishment=Illuminati, no matter what country.

      link to archive.org

    • lysias
      June 7, 2010, 2:39 pm

      We’d better be prepared to accept them, if need be. Making that clear would greatly reduce the chances that they might make some unfortunate use of their nukes, if they see that they’re going down.

      • Psychopathic god
        June 7, 2010, 6:15 pm

        nuclear blackmail.
        kewl
        let us trash your country or we’ll blow up the world.
        works for me

    • Richard Parker
      June 7, 2010, 6:06 pm

      I second that.

      Jews are, so far as I know, allowed to migrate anywhere, except into most Arab countries, where they wouldn’t want to be, anyway (unless they can turf out or subjugate all the local inhabitants).

      As for Israelis and the US, I understand that the net aliyah from the US to Israel is firmly in the negative (more Israelis emigrating to the US than vice versa). Most Israeli politicians, and especially the demagogue right wingers already have dual passports. (Except for Avigdor Lieberman, but maybe Moldova will take him back).

    • Psychopathic god
      June 7, 2010, 6:23 pm

      one of the reasons Truman said OK to an Israeli state in Palestine is that the other choice was migration of Jews to US.

      see Bradford Westerfield, link to mondoweiss.net

    • Avi
      June 7, 2010, 7:24 pm

      Which doesn’t mean that on bad days I don’t wish for a nice, comfy place on Mars or something.

      Mars is a little too hot for me, I have long contemplated a secluded island somewhere in the Pacific Ocean.

      • Danaa
        June 7, 2010, 9:37 pm

        Sounds good, Avi – at least we won’t be fighting over resources….I am partial to lower gravity and find the color red most pleasing (after cobalt blue, that is…). Also – by way of explanation – should one be needed – once I thought Israel was too small a pond (and still think that’s part of the problem). Nowadays, I find the entire solar system a bit confining….Oh well, there’s always the SciFi channel….

  13. javs
    June 7, 2010, 1:28 pm

    But do they not have the right of return? Then they should then return to where they lived, and that is not Palestine.
    Reparations and right of return MUST be given to all the several million people whom were in Palestine, they are closer to being the real deal than the phoney make believe world of israel, created by man, Prove that a god gave it to you would consist of him comming down from the sky and preforming godly tasks and telling the world, (maybe on larry king, or CNN) I gave it to a chosen people and they are… so & so! Otherwise start printing the money and leave the people be. Enough of this aparthied done by the “chosen”.

    • Psychopathic god
      June 7, 2010, 3:34 pm

      I’ve never understood why Herzl chose Palestine and not Iraq.

      In the late 1800s, Jews were numerous and prosperous in Iraq, as they had been since 586 BC. Why didn’t Jews return to Iraq in 1897, in 1920, in 1930, in 1940?

      Americans have only a Sunday school notion of the history of the Jewish people; to most Americans, Jews have no history between the birth of Christ and World War II. How many Americans are aware, as Lysias affirmed the other day, that Jews were part of the Ottoman Empire from the 15th century all the way until its fall, and still have a strong presence in Istanbul today? Part of the reason the Israel lobby runs hot and cold on forcing the issue of the Armenian genocide is that Jews were among those who waged the genocide.

      • hophmi
        June 7, 2010, 3:46 pm

        Jerusalem is mention in the Bible countless times. If there was any place it made sense for Jews to return to, it was Palestine. Iraq may have been a place Jews lived for a long time (indeed, Abraham was from there), but mostly, Babylonia is a symbol of Jewish exile.

        Precisely because Israel values its alliance with Turkey, the American Jewish establishment has long worked against congressional resolutions recognizing the genocide and did so as recently as this year. I hope that will stop, and there is more and more movement in the establishment to recognize the genocide and support those yearly Congressional resolutions. It has nothing whatsoever to do with Jewish involvement in the Armenian genocide.

      • Psychopathic god
        June 7, 2010, 6:28 pm

        not a compelling connection between your first and second sentences, hophmi. hell is mentioned in the bible countless X countless times.

        It has nothing whatsoever to do with Jewish involvement in the Armenian genocide.

        so, you concede Jewish involvement in the Armenian genocide. thanks.

        btw, Iran recognizes the Armenian genocide, openly, publicly.

      • hophmi
        June 7, 2010, 9:30 pm

        Um, no, I made no such concession. Since you require it, add the words, “or lack thereof” after involvement, and make sure you remember the Ottomans were Muslims and that the American who had the most to do with ending the genocide was Henry Morgenthau.

        What does this have to do with Iran? Why shouldn’t it recognize the Armenian genocide?

      • Chaos4700
        June 7, 2010, 9:52 pm

        And the Holocaust, for that matter, in point of fact.
        link to arbeiterfotografie.com

      • andrew r
        June 7, 2010, 11:40 pm

        My guess is that Iraq had a more significant Mizrahim presence than Palestine and the Europeans couldn’t subsume and marginalize them to the same extent. IOW, the prosperity of Jews in Iraq was a reason to overlook it for settlement.

        It’s pretty likely that an Israel without the shoah would’ve ignored the Middle Eastern Jews. David Ben-Gurion made clear during the war he viewed them as an alternate source of labor.

  14. Chu
    June 7, 2010, 1:33 pm

    Helen probably wished to go, surrounded by an increasing group of alien puppets. This was her unconscious way of getting the hell out of there. She used her stinger and is leaving the hornet’s nest.

    • Surcouf
      June 7, 2010, 2:18 pm

      Hornet’s nest it is, and an incestuous one at that.
      Glenn Greenwald’s latest comment is spot on. A must read.

      Our hard-core, adversarial press corps

      • Bumblebye
        June 7, 2010, 3:17 pm

        “Royal Court Spokespeople!?
        I’d go with Court Jesters – the difference being these are intellectual dwarves.

      • Chu
        June 7, 2010, 6:09 pm

        She likely waited for the ‘Hope and Change’ that made the country hot on its heels, but soured at the thought of ‘Despair and Poseuring’.

        Obama is almost tied with B Clinton for his lacklusterness at this point. When will Democrats look at the good old days when Bill was president? Ha! That will be when Obama knows he is a total turkey.
        Maybe he can go back to Cairo and apologise. But first he should apologise to this country for selling a product that doesn’t work the way it was supposed to (that is himself and his hollow virtues).

  15. javs
    June 7, 2010, 1:35 pm

    Now after the zionism has a new and mighty evangelica partner whom they have brainwashed too (beside the media and public) to do their bidding, We should all be aware of the christain zionists that are in the midst. They need to be de programmed. The spiraling effect will be terrible, for everyone, oh but those supporter will find a new and demented way of creating some 3d effect of a god, telling the world, yes they are chosen, …..

  16. o-moon
    June 7, 2010, 1:49 pm

    Its pretty clear that Thomas was not claiming that Jews in Israel should “return” to various countries. Rather, she said, quite obviously, in response to a question aout Israel, “that they should get out of Palestine.” Palestine, being West Bank and Gaza, the Palestinian territories occupied by Israel.

    That being said, that was an incredibly stupid set of remarks. Totally vague and inarticulate, begging to be taken out of context, because they are almost without context in the first place. I’m not sure I can defend her more than I already have; its quite obvious that she started out intending to make a comment about the occupation and blockade, and then perhaps sought to remark on where settlers living in the territories should go. I doubt there are many settlers from Germany or Poland, originally, at this stage of the game, though she may have been closer to home with America. So her comment was, at best, ignorant.

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Thomas is fine; in fact, as far as your White House Press Corp goes, she’s freakin brilliant. But she’s far from my journalistic hero. She should have retired about ten years ago; that’s actually a compliment, since Dan Rather, a few decades her junior, should have also retired around then.

    • MRW
      June 7, 2010, 9:40 pm

      Retired why? Because they’re older?

      And she is a journalistic hero. She did not sell out her values in the 60 years she was reporting. She didn’t get her front seat of honor because she was aging. She got it because she had the juice.

  17. javs
    June 7, 2010, 2:12 pm

    With Helen being the targeted for opinion as a yahoo media writer put it, did not belong in the best interest of NPC, they and the media should strongly take a look at ALL media, with “so called experts” whom are paid personel for the zionist squak box and WH should be let go, that would be a lot of “so called journalists” where are the reporters so true blue, they would break a story which even include the story line of the usa government and others whom also tow the line. (Canada). When the truth sets you free, it is not an opinion, but truth. This shows how corrupt our “so called government” really is controlled by the zionists. Are they holding the worlds governments hostage with all the missing nuclear material to be detonated if they do not get their way? I could not see logical people just giving in to the countless lies and cover-ups, like the uss liberty and countless others whom have lost their lives to the zionist cult.

  18. joer
    June 7, 2010, 2:23 pm

    I just checked out the rabbilive.com website that posted the video of Helen. If racism is a cause to get fired, then this rabbi should be fired-although we are so used to hearing anti-Arab racism that it appears reasonable to most people in the U.S. A few tidbits:

    The truth is that 70% of the Arabs who left in 1948 – perhaps 300,000 to 400,000 of them – never saw an Israeli soldier! They did not flee because they feared Jewish soldiers or Jewish thugs…. But because of a rational and reasonable calculus: the Jews will be exterminated; we will get out of the way while that messy and dangerous business goes forward, and we will return afterwards to reclaim our homes, and to inherit those nice Jewish properties as well. They guessed wrong; and the Arabs are still tortured by the residual shame of their flight.

    Oh to live in a world with only one Hitler. We live in a world of ruthless Muslim dictators who are counting on the big lie to overtake the world’s ignorance and bring about the final solution.

    I could go on, but you probably have heard it all before, about “Arabs” being bloodthirsty ignorant cowards. He’s stating his opinions and lies as if they are facts, which is deceptive as well as being racist.

  19. spuxx
    June 7, 2010, 2:32 pm

    I see the Whitehouse was pretty quick to condemn these remarks as ‘Offensive And Reprehensible’, I wonder what that makes the attack on an Aid flotilla, or the blinding of an activist, or the bombing of Gaza?

  20. radii
    June 7, 2010, 2:44 pm

    Helen’s frustration simply reached its breaking point. After so many decades of hearing the same bullshit from various administrations and knowing the truth that israel was calling the shots her anger boiled over. Her crime: being human and being flippant with her words.

    Helen Thomas will know much greater freedom on the internet – welcome. Update your awful website and/or create a new one, Helen. Take your lead from Phil here and blossom with your opinions and heart-felt feelings and drop the guise of journalist. This is a time for passionate voices to stifle the evil that is emanating from the zionist-racist thugs.

  21. kapok
    June 7, 2010, 2:57 pm

    The solution to crime is not to invent new countries; it’s to uphold the law.

  22. traintosiberia
    June 7, 2010, 3:06 pm

    I dont agree with Helen Thomas. The Jewish children born and raised in Israel have a legitimate right to this land. We dont have to reinvent the wheel. Its not practical for Poland or Austria or Germnay to absorb the Israelis. Canada /Australia/Russia hvae vast land that can accecpt people but it should never be implemted by force or racism or religiouss consideration. Isarel just have to move unilaterally to 1967 border .Thats all to it.US has to treat Isarel as a country whose interest some time will coincide and sometime wont with that of US.But stop subsidizing Israeli housing/education/free health care nad military by direct and indirect free giveaway .

    • Psychopathic god
      June 7, 2010, 3:43 pm

      isn’t it a principle of criminal law that property obtained through illegal means must be returned to its rightful owner?
      Even if somebody purchased stolen property, the law requires that that purchaser must forfeit the property. The original seller did not have clear title to convey.

    • Mooser
      June 7, 2010, 5:24 pm

      No on will keep them from living there. The circumstances they live under might change, and in some cases, they might be dispossesed in some wise. But I’m sure they won’t have to leave, unless they want to.

    • MRW
      June 7, 2010, 9:43 pm

      traintosiberia, she didn’t say Israel. She said Palestine.

  23. Antidote
    June 7, 2010, 3:14 pm

    Completely agree with Jack’s post.

    The Christians are leaving the Holy Land in droves according to a new Vatican study because they are afraid of war.

    But are Jews and non-Jews safer in Iran or Europe? Most casualties during WW II did not occur in concentration camps.

    Read:
    link to politicaltheatrics.net

  24. radii
    June 7, 2010, 3:23 pm

    It’s all about getting rid of that insane regime in israel and having leaders there emerge who are ready to make a comprehensive peace deal which means honoring border agreements decades old (’48 and ’67) and living as neighbors and not trying to dominate the neighborhood … the death-throes of nationalist-zionist-militarism is ugly indeed

  25. traintosiberia
    June 7, 2010, 3:33 pm

    Within 24 hours of the elction of Hitler arrangement for Aliahay kicked in. Was it just a coincidence?

  26. Justice Please
    June 7, 2010, 4:04 pm

    First, Ross obviously is right and so is Thomas, in that those Jews who want to have a racial-religious supremacist state should go, especially when most of their ancestors are not descendants of the ancient Israelites, but of various converted groups like the Khazars, the Berbers and some kingdom on the Arabian peninsula. I don’t think Thomas would have a problem with those Jews living in Palestine which stand for one man, one vote.

    Secondly, look how powerful the Israel lobby is. What those criminal Bush gangster couldn’t achieve, namely the one last honest truthseeker within the national press corps being resigned, did now happen virtually overnight when Thomas didn’t only step on the presidents’ toes like she regularly and rightly does, but on those of that murder regime in Tel Aviv.

    • Mooser
      June 7, 2010, 5:27 pm

      “not descendants of the ancient Israelites,”

      Say what? Who would you consider a “descendant of the ancient Israelites”. What sort of genealogy would you consider adequate proof of “ancient Israelite” antecedents?

      • Justice Please
        June 7, 2010, 5:43 pm

        Hm Mooser, since I view you as one of the “good” people here (not that this should stop you from criticising me) I’m a little bit suprised by your opposition.

        I was referring to Shlomo Sand’s line of argument. Do you disagree with him? If so, I never read it from your comments and are interested in your take.

        So to reiterate, I meant that, as Sand shows (in my opinion convincingly), a good chunk of today’s “Jews” never had a great great great grandparent who was actually a member of the biblical two Judaic (read:faith-based) kingdoms in Palestine/Israel.
        Therefore this persons can have no biological claim to Palestine and are (thank god, for it is a evil Nazi idea) no more biologically linked to other members of the Jewish faith or to members of the various cultures associated with Jewish (as in religious) communities, like Yiddish culture for example, than I am linked biologically to an Eskimo.

        Now if you say that I should prove this of course I can’t and I’m merely echoing Sand’s line of argument which I believe to be correct.

  27. joer
    June 7, 2010, 4:20 pm

    We all must remember the context in which Helen spoke…in the immediate wake of the massacre at sea by Israel. Let’s say China massacred several aid workers bringing aid to Tibet-and the next day someone stuck a microphone in Richard Gere’s face and asked him what he thought of the situation. If he said that the Chinese should get the hell out of Tibet, I doubt his career would suffer. In fact, he would be celebrated as a straight shooter speaking from his heart.

    • joer
      June 7, 2010, 4:28 pm

      …he certainly wouldn’t be condemned for being anti-Asian.

      • Chu
        June 7, 2010, 5:17 pm

        Good analogy, These analogies play well when many fools are blinded by the lies that are right in their face.

      • wondering jew
        June 7, 2010, 5:31 pm

        Helen Thomas’s comments were made before the flotilla fiasco.

      • Justice Please
        June 7, 2010, 5:46 pm

        Maybe she was still shocked by what happened to Rachel Corrie or the USS Liberty.

        Because, you know, there is no shortage of crimes perpetrated by the Israeli government and military to be offended and emotional about.

      • joer
        June 7, 2010, 5:48 pm

        …but during the siege of Gaza…It’s interesting that it was released a few days after the massacre. I’m not saying this rabbi guy is taking direct orders from Israel…he doesn’t have to. He saw it was the opportune time to muddy the waters with her comments. No one had to tell him. It’s really pretty obscene how the media and politicians are more outraged by her comments than Israel committing piracy…with the help of our tax dollars. If you’re into racism and lies, check out the history of Zionism at rabbilive.com, the site that posted the video. The rabbi who runs that site should be made to turn in his yarmekule. It is a sad era we live in when a dwarf like that can ruin the career and legacy of a giant like Helen Thomas.

      • Justice Please
        June 7, 2010, 5:51 pm

        “It is a sad era we live in when a dwarf like that can ruin the career and legacy of a giant like Helen Thomas.”

        Most accurate. Thanks.

      • Chu
        June 7, 2010, 6:01 pm

        WJ,

        Come on. Even more fitting. Use it as an opportunity to cover for Israel. When the anger is directed at Israel, turn it on its critic’s sloppy criticism. Helen did not sound good. She was likely drinking with Mel Gibson at lunch right before the good rabbi approached her.
        (Why does a rabbi have a videocam anyway? Is he a tech rabbi)

        It’s like dopey Mel. His drunkeness and anger at the Lebanon Invasion was used against him (Are you a Jew, Duh, Hiccup!). Most dopes in this country don’t even know where Lebanon is, and the story for weeks was Mel’s ‘antisemitic tirade’. Tirade, that was good. Next it will be antisemtic torpedoing, or shelling.

        One day antisemtism is gonna lose it’s weight, as it already has thanks to Foxman and his corporation built around this word!

      • thankgodimatheist
        June 7, 2010, 8:31 pm

        “Helen Thomas’s comments were made before the flotilla fiasco.”

        Interesting that the video was released just after the flotilla massacre, isn’t it? I wonder why (no, not really!)?

  28. wondering jew
    June 7, 2010, 4:56 pm

    The suggestion by Jack Ross that the Zionists stood in the way of the Jews from returning to Poland sounds ridiculous. That the Zionists wished them to go to Israel and not to America is well known. But that the Zionists stood in their way from returning to Eastern Europe including Poland?!

    I suggest that this web site as it grows in popularity with those who hate Israel is becoming less scrupulous regarding what it prints (its posts, rather than its comments which was always haphazard). This post by Jack Ross is way out there and I suppose that now that the mainstream has shifted leftward that this website has shifted leftward as well. Although leftward is not quite the word for this post. In the direction of falsehood and insanity is not leftward nor rightward.

    • Chu
      June 7, 2010, 5:15 pm

      Did they stand in the way or strongly encourage migration to Israel?
      Did you read the book, The Transfer Agreement?

      • wondering jew
        June 7, 2010, 5:26 pm

        Chu- Until it is proved that the Zionists stood in the way of DP camp Jews who wanted to return to Eastern Europe I will believe that it is a preposterous claim.

        The Transfer Agreement (which I did not read) deals with pre WWII Labor party cooperation with the Nazis, which is a famous and questionable chapter in the history of the Zionist movement.

        Was there anything in Edwin Black’s book regarding post war Zionists standing in they way of Jews wanting to return to Poland? (They were already in Germany another place Helen Thomas wanted to send them back to, so that obviously wasn’t the issue.)

      • wondering jew
        June 7, 2010, 5:28 pm

        (Questionable, not if it happened, but in that it raises questions regarding its wisdom.) Did it save Jews from the eventual Final Solution? I don’t know. Was it instrumental in causing the failure of the boycott of Nazi Germany? I don’t know.

      • Chu
        June 7, 2010, 5:50 pm

        Didn’t read it yet. I just got a copy and need to finish two others. Will let you know…

        Helen Thomas didn’t win any friends with her comment. It did not make sense. I just watched it. No doubt she’s sick of Israel.
        Many are right their with her.

      • MRW
        June 7, 2010, 7:59 pm

        Was it instrumental in causing the failure of the boycott of Nazi Germany? I don’t know.

        Yes, The Transfer Agreement broke the boycott, causing its failure when it was winning.

    • Mooser
      June 7, 2010, 5:33 pm

      wondering Jew, we are all grateful to you for noting this leftward shift, and appreciate the incredible largess you show by not reporting Mondoweiss for leftward tendencies.

      • wondering jew
        June 7, 2010, 5:45 pm

        not leftward I said, in the direction of falsehood and insanity.

      • sherbrsi
        June 7, 2010, 5:49 pm

        not leftward I said, in the direction of falsehood and insanity.

        A blog heading “in the direction of falsehood and insanity” is better than a nuclear nation going in the same direction, no?

        link to mondoweiss.net

    • Danaa
      June 7, 2010, 6:33 pm

      Wondering jew, you should expect emotions to run higher each time Israel commits another atrocity. At the rate this little country goes, very soon it’ll be difficult to find something positive to say about it. I am sure Helen’s words were spoken in frustration, compounded over 6o odd years when she was effectively muzzled. Most people who post here are frustrated too. And rightly so. We are all monitoring the unfolding of enormous injustice, an ugly reality that’s getting worse with time. Worse yet, it’s reacingh over from the levant to contaminate US politics and foreign relations. naturally people who know and see the hijacking of a once great country are mad as hell. And I am with the informed US citizenry on that score.

      It is utterly disgusting what Israel did to the flotilla activists. That’s what you should mourn, not the comments people here voice in rage that has no other outlet.

      I, for one, am glad to see what people think and you should be too. better to have an outlet for opinions than for them to fester in forced silence.

      You need to watch more carefully the sheer poison that’s coming out of Israel nowadays. Then think why would you want to claim any kinship with those people (OK most of them). Check out that Glick video for the purity of the concentrated vile hateful sentiment. Then tell me why it is so popular in Israel. And whether there’s Hope for that country.

      Sometimes, though not religious, me thinks maybe god knew what it was doing when dispersing them the first couple of times. maybe that’s a proof of existence, sort of. One wonders what evils were done once that were any greater than the evils perpetrated now.

      • wondering jew
        June 7, 2010, 6:51 pm

        Danaa- The first dispersal from the land was due to the conquering ways of the Babylonians- that was just nature following its course. Human nature, but nature nevertheless. (Jeremiah’s attribution of the course of history as divine punishment is inspirational 2600 years later, but certainly shouldn’t blind one to the true historic nature of events.) The second dispersal (or utter loss of sovereignty and exclusion from the renamed Jerusalem) was due to the stubbornness of those who refused to kowtow to the Romans. That was not a question of evil.

        Let Helen Thomas express her hatred for Israel without getting Jack Ross to publish his views expressing a lie filled unqualified defense of her somewhere else, not on a site that claims to wish to express a diversity of opinions and claims to uphold some semblance of journalism.

        There are plenty of sites where people can let their venom have free reign, there’s no reason that Phil and Adam need to make their site the place for venom. (The comments section is free to haters, fine. But the posters should be held to a higher standard. Or not. Up to Adam and Phil.)

      • MRW
        June 7, 2010, 8:03 pm

        WJ, you’ve researched the work of Lessing Rosenwald?

      • Jeffrey Blankfort
        June 8, 2010, 1:06 am

        Give me one good reason that decent people on this planet should not despise Israel and every thing it stands for? Not only did it dispossess and ethnically cleanse the Palestinians from their homeland, keeping those who remained under military subjugation until 1966, not only did it wage a war of choice against Egypt, Jordan, and Syria in 1967, taking yet more land and then placing its settlers there in violation of international law. not only has it waged three unprovoked bloody wars on Lebanon plus carrying out numerous bombing raid of the country in between them, not only through its employment of collective punishment against both Palestinians and Lebanese to a degree unparalleled in history, it has demonstrated utter contempt for international law and basic human decency, and lost whatever legitimacy it might once have claimed.
        This most recent event may have been the tipping point because aside from the US and Canada, both of whose governments are in the clutches of their respective Jewish establishments, the entire world seems to be saying that have had it with Israel, that “enough is enough,” and trading on the Jewish genocide (which those then in Palestine did virtually nothing to prevent) no longer works.

        Did you hear the voice of the Israeli officer commanding the Gaza Flotilla ships to turn around? It was of an American who had become an Israeli settler, just like the odious Carolyn Glick, or the odious Dori Gold, Gerald Steinberg, and I good go on. Sure, it would have been better to tell every one of those Jewish immigrants from the US, from the UK, from France, from Australia, from South Africa, none of whom have known a day of oppression in their lives, to get the hell out of Palestine, but the fact of the matter is that they are all living on stolen Palestinian land and it was stolen not two or three hundred years ago but in my lifetime.

  29. hophmi
    June 7, 2010, 5:25 pm

    “The Transfer Agreement” has nothing to do with Jews in Poland or Germany and is about events during the war, not after. Taken at face value, it’s a reprehensible statement. I don’t believe Helen Thomas is a vicious antisemite, but her thinking is at best reflective of a moral blindspot pro-Palestinian activists have about Jews in Israel and is indicative of the callousness and arrogance of those who think this is an easy conflict where one side deserves all of the blame and the other is clean and free from wrongdoing. It takes real gall to talk as if it’s no big deal for Jews not to have a state and for Jews to just “move back to Europe.”

    Even Edward Said recognized these moral challenges faced by pro-Palestinian activists.

    • MRW
      June 7, 2010, 8:08 pm

      “The Transfer Agreement” has nothing to do with Jews in Poland or Germany. It had everything to do with the Jews of Germany and Poland! You never read it.

      Christians were slaughtered wholesale in WWII. They returned to their homes from the camps. Muslims, Roma, russian Orthodox were slaughtered in WWII. They returned to their houses as well after the camps.

      Why do Jews get special dispensation and indulgences? Shmuel is perfectly happy in Italy, I gather, and Italy was aligned with Hitler.

      • hophmi
        June 7, 2010, 9:34 pm

        “Why do Jews get special dispensation and indulgences? Shmuel is perfectly happy in Italy, I gather, and Italy was aligned with Hitler.”

        Because 6 million of them were killed. That’s why. Go to the Holocaust Museum in Washington and learn.

      • MRW
        June 8, 2010, 1:54 am

        Exponentially more Russians were killed beating off the Nazis.

      • Citizen
        June 8, 2010, 7:20 am

        Weren’t at least an equal proportion of Gypsies (Roma) killed systematically by the Nazis? Where is their state? Where do they live today?

      • RoHa
        June 8, 2010, 7:40 am

        1. The suffering of the Gypsies can’t be equated with that of Jews, and it is anti-Semitic to suggest there is any comparison.

        2. Far fewer Gypsies than Jews were killed, so they don’t count, and it is anti-Semitic to suggest they do.

        3. The Jews are a nation, and the Gypsies are not, and it is anti-Semitic to deny it.

        4. You are an anti-Semite anyway.

      • hophmi
        June 8, 2010, 8:23 am

        Yes, many Gypsies were killed (though not systematically in the ways Jews were, but never mind), and yes, they didn’t get a state or any kind of place of their own.

        So how are the Roma doing now? They went back to whatever was left of their homes and they are poor, persecuted and downtrodden to this day.

        So before you make these ridiculous hate-laced arguments, think about what you are saying.

      • Jeffrey Blankfort
        June 8, 2010, 11:05 am

        The mass murder of Jews in Europe did not entitle other Jews to “the special dispensation and indulgence” of ethnically cleansing the Palestinians from their land. And as horrible as the Jewish genocide was, those who died in the camps were not the victim of the greatest crime in history.

        That sad distinction belongs to the people of the Congo. An estimated 10 million Congolese were murdered either directly or worked to death by the Belgians in the late 1800s and there was a major international campaign against it, and yet no one reads of that today.

        In the last decade an estimated 5 million Congolese have died in the endless war in that country but all we hear about is Darfur before Jewish organizations are cynically using that struggle, falsely calling it genocide, to create anti-Arab racism among African-Americans and give the impression that they are not racists.

      • MRW
        June 8, 2010, 12:40 pm

        Jeffrey< In the last decade an estimated 5 million Congolese have died in the endless war in that country but all we hear about is Darfur before Jewish organizations are cynically using that struggle, falsely calling it genocide, to create anti-Arab racism among African-Americans and give the impression that they are not racists.

        THANK YOU! And, as you probably know, aid groups helping Darfur victims are complaining about where the money is going:
        “Darfur aid dollars funding West Bank settlements”
        By Thomas C. Mountain
        link to onlinejournal.com

      • MRW
        June 8, 2010, 12:49 pm

        P.S. this was not written by an official.

      • Psychopathic god
        June 8, 2010, 1:05 pm

        hophmi, as MRW spelled out (#104), millions of Christians were slaughtered as well, in Germany, Poland, esp. Russia, and even Italy. Your answer does not take account of all the information; it’s a non-answer.
        Care to try again?

        imo the Holocaust Museum does a disservice to Jews, to Americans, and to the memory of people like my Father, whose life was irreparably harmed by permanent injuries he sustained in WWII.
        Not only did my Father, and all the young men like him who served their country, NOT get ‘special dispensations’ the like of those afforded to Jews, he, and they, were not even memorialized in their own nation’s capital until most of them were too old to be able to “go to the ____ in Washington and learn.

        I consider the Holocaust Museum in Washington an insult to the American people and to the men and women who served their country in WWII.

      • hophmi
        June 8, 2010, 2:06 pm

        It’s important to understand that the Jews did not get any special dispensation. They organized a considerable campaign of migration from places where they faced antisemitism, built up the functioning institutions of a state, and spent a lot of blood and treasure getting it off the ground. Israel lost one percent of its population in 1948 during the War. As important as partition was, it was hardly what got the state going. All it did was provide some international legitimacy which would have meant nothing if the Jews had ended up in the sea.

        If the Palestinians had spent time doing what the Jews did – organizing functioning government institutions, using the considerable funds made available to them for meaningful development, and so on, they would have a state today.

        I don’t understand what any of this has to do with the Congo; never once have I heard anyone say that one should remember the Holocaust and forget the Congo. The lack of knowledge today about Belgian atrocities in the Congo has nothing to do with the Holocaust, and the extraordinarily bloody civil war there over the last decade and more doesn’t have anything to do with the Holocaust either. That there are thousands of media people paying attention to Israel and barely any covering the Congo is evidence of racism, and I’ll be glad to have your support for my campaign to transfer, say, one thousand of the reporters covering Israel to the Congo.

        I also invite you to contribute to the American Jewish World Service, a four-star charity which funds a number of organizations doing work in the Congo and does its own humanitarian work throughout the world, including throughout the African continent. In fact, I’ll offer you a deal: If you give $18 to the American Jewish World Service, I’ll give $18 to an Arab charity of your choice funding work in Congo so long as charity navigator gives it three or four stars. I’ll make the same deal with you regarding Darfur; whether there is a genocide or not, I think we can agree that it is definitely a place where people are in need.

        Darfur is a genocide, albeit a complex one that is partially about race and partially about religion, and unfortunately, those of you who say is it not a genocide are only showing how far you will go to avoid criticizing the Arab world, which has propped up Omar al-Bashir, a man with two genocides on his hands; the first one was of Christians in the south. I do not hate Arabs because of Omar al-Bashir, and I have no idea why anyone would.

      • hophmi
        June 7, 2010, 9:39 pm

        I was confusing this with the Kastner incident. It is beside the point. It is not within the mainstream of scholarly opinion to suggest that the Zionists were responsible for keeping the Nazis in power.

        To compare the WWII experience of Christians with that of Jews is morally depraved, and I will not discuss it with you because it is beneath contempt.

      • sherbrsi
        June 8, 2010, 12:41 pm

        Yes, how dare anyone compare gentile suffering with that of Jews! How reprehensible!

      • kapok
        June 8, 2010, 1:30 pm

        Your leader Netanyahu loves anti-semitism everywhere but Israel. It’s him inciting the baying jew-brownshirts of America. Do you imagine the sensible people of North America don’t see what’s going on?

        As for “scholars”, they dig up the truth, then rebury the parts they don’t like.

      • hophmi
        June 8, 2010, 2:32 pm

        Yes, in the context of WWII, comparing Christian and Jewish suffering is definitely reprehensible, unless you can tell me about the part where one-third of the world’s Christians were herded into concentration camps or taken out to the woods and murdered for no other reason than being Christian.

  30. wondering jew
    June 7, 2010, 6:35 pm

    Jack Ross’s post is full of lies. Beginning with:
    “Her comments [telling Israelis to leave Palestine and "go home" to Europe] do not reflect a desire to see Israel/Palestine judenrein, but rather an ominous sense of what a dangerous place Israel has become, and will only increasingly be, for its people.”
    Anyone who truly thinks that is what Helen Thomas really meant raise their hands? And if you have to take a polygraph test and if you fail it you lose a finger, now raise your hands? No takers? I thought so.

    That the editors of this blog allow Jack Ross to write such bull is a sign of decrepitude for people who are about half of Helen Thomas’s age.

    • Cliff
      June 7, 2010, 7:50 pm

      Oh shut up you whiny prat.

      Anytime you can, you sneak in your hysterical denunciations of the entire site.

      Do you apply this standard to ‘Jewlicious’? Or to Ynet? FrontPageMag? IsraeliNationNews? LittleGreenFootballs? Jerusalem Post? Pretty much every other site?

      I agree though, I think Jack is really stretching. He’s no Caroline Glick though. He’s no Pamela Gellar. No Debbie Scheuwhateverherlastnameis. No Robert Spencer. No Alan Dershowitz. Etc. etc.

      You want a gallery of liars and freaks? Look in your camp, WJ.

    • sherbrsi
      June 7, 2010, 8:24 pm

      Typical Zionist apologist nonsense.

      Instead of teaching us journalistic integrity, go and learn some humanity you thieving Zionist racist.

  31. Donald
    June 7, 2010, 7:43 pm

    I don’t agree that we should defend Helen’s comments and neither, apparently, does she. She apologized. She’s an old woman who probably lost her temper, but she had the grace to apologize. Good for her.

    What we should be emphasizing is that her remarks are no different from those by people who deny the Palestinian right of return. If it’s outrageous to say that Israeli Jews whose parents or grandparents or great grandparents should go back to Europe, and it is, what do you say about someone who says the Palestinians can’t return to their own homeland?

    And as Greenwald points out, there are people (he names Huckabee and Dick Armey) who say the Palestinians should be forced out of the WB and nobody hounds them for it. And from what I’ve looked up, the late William Safire said much the same thing (I have to confirm this) while he was a columnist for the NYT and nothing came of that.

    Accept the fact that what Helen Thomas said was wrong, but use it to point out the obvious double standard on who it is okay to drive from their homes. (Along with all the other double standards that some of you have pointed out.)

    • MRW
      June 7, 2010, 8:10 pm

      Accept the fact that what Helen Thomas said was wrong

      I dont accept that she was wrong. I accept that she was pissed off.

      And the crime in that?

      • Chaos4700
        June 7, 2010, 8:18 pm

        I have to agree. I’d be all well and fine for European colonists to stay if their military ethnocracy wasn’t a threat to world peace and international law. The only way you eliminate the threat of extremism is by diluting it, and the only way to dilute an entire corrupt, violent society without resorting to murder is to disperse it.

        Middle Eastern Jews don’t need the Ashkenazi.

      • Shmuel
        June 8, 2010, 3:05 am

        Chaos,

        Zionism was an Ashkenazi movement. Israel was founded primarily by Ashkenazim, who maintained almost complete political, cultural and economic hegemony for at least 2/3 of Israel’s history. They are still the dominant group among the country’s “elite”, and Ashkenazi narrative and Ashkenazi discourse certainly dominate.

        Having said that, the principles of Zionism are almost universally accepted by Israel’s Mizrahi minority (a majority until the large wave of immigration from the FSU). There are Mizrahim at the highest levels of Israeli politics, and in the army. There are many Mizrahim among the settlers (ideological as well as economic). I am not suggesting that there is equality, but that Mizrahim are part and parcel of colonialist Jewish Israeli society. Not to mention the fact, that there has been significant “intermarriage” over the years, and very many families are of mixed Ashkenazi/Mizrahi heritage.

        The specific respective origins of the various “sectors” of Israel’s Jewish population are entirely irrelevant. In terms of active support for the Zionist project (Israel as an ethno-religious Jewish state), it really doesn’t matter whose parents or grandparents cam from Yemen, and whose came from Lithuania.

      • Donald
        June 7, 2010, 8:26 pm

        People who are pissed off sometimes say stupid things. Helen Thomas was pissed off and said something stupid–she admits it herself.

        As for crime, nobody has suggested she committed one.

      • Donald
        June 7, 2010, 8:34 pm

        “I dont accept that she was wrong”

        I’m not sure what this means. Do you think that ethnic cleansing is an appropriate solution to ethnic cleansing? Doesn’t that go against the whole idea of “one man, one vote” and appealing to the South African model? If people really think this way, it means the hasbarists are right–everyone is down in the moral sewer and it’s just tribe against tribe.

        Helen was wrong because in the heat of the moment she sank to the moral level of people who defend the Nakba.

      • Jeffrey Blankfort
        June 8, 2010, 11:53 am

        She did NOT sink to the moral level of those who defend the Nakba. Your statement does a better job of doing that, however. She was speaking out of the frustration from what she has witnessed in Washington over the years where there is no outrage or outrage permitted against the crimes that Israel has been waging on the peoples of the Middle East since it became a state.

        Does the passage of time make those crimes more acceptable, even as its numbers increase by the minute? Do those Jews who have emigrated from the US, the UK , France, Australia, So. Africa, and I’ll throw in Russia, too, because they’re among the nastiest racists, really have a moral right to live there when the Palestinians who were born there don’t? Would it really be an injustice to send those who arrived in Israel after a certain year, let’s say 1982 (the invasion of Lebanon), back to their countries of origin?

        Do they have any more right to be there than did the French immigrants to Algeria, the pied noirs, who were sent packing after more than a century of settler colonialism? Are these Jews who have never had a harsh hand laid on them entitled to be treated as if they were “holocaust survivors,” not the pack of racists who have emigrated to a country where their racism is not only welcomed,but it is government policy? While Palestinians languish in refugee camps across the Lebanese border, the answer to all those questions should be a loud NO!

      • Donald
        June 8, 2010, 1:31 pm

        “She did NOT sink to the moral level of those who defend the Nakba. Your statement does a better job of doing that, however. She was speaking out of the frustration from what she has witnessed in Washington over the years where there is no outrage or outrage permitted against the crimes that Israel has been waging on the peoples of the Middle East since it became a state.”

        She was speaking out of frustration and she said something morally abhorrent. She realizes that and apologized.

        I don’t think I would use what happened to the pied noirs as a moral example to be followed–I thought we were using South Africa as the model, but now you are using Algeria. What we should be doing is pointing out the double standard at work–what you apparently want to do is embrace what Helen said in a moment of understandable anger and raise it to the level of a moral principle. Good luck with that–not only is it immoral, it’s also stupid beyond belief. So on second thought, bad luck to you on that.

        I’ve been admonished around here for giving sermons and they don’t do any good anyway, so I won’t give one. Anyone who thinks an eye for an eye is the way to go on this conflict is insane–you’re also forgetting who has the better eye-poking equipment.

      • lysias
        June 8, 2010, 1:42 pm

        Mentioning what happened to the pieds noirs can serve the salutary purpose of reminding people of how wrong things can go, and how therefore people in general — and Israelis in particular — should work to ensure that the outcome is a South African one.

      • Donald
        June 8, 2010, 1:50 pm

        “Mentioning what happened to the pieds noirs can serve the salutary purpose of reminding people of how wrong things can go, and how therefore people in general — and Israelis in particular — should work to ensure that the outcome is a South African one.”

        Now that I agree with.

      • hophmi
        June 8, 2010, 2:30 pm

        Excuse me. People from Russia experienced plenty of antisemitism in the FSU, and those are overwhelmingly the people who migrated to Israel. And yes, just like any other migrant to any country where they are a citizen, they have as much right to be there as anyone else. Would you argue that anyone who comes to America and becomes a citizen should be deported because of the way America was founded?

        Let’s start with you. I’m sure like all of the rest of us Jews, your family did not come over on the Mayflower, not that it would make a difference. Give your land back to the Native American you took it from and get your ass back to wherever you came from. What? You can’t pronounce the name of the town because it has fifteen consonants and two vowels, and you are pretty sure that your whole extended family was massacred there during the War? Tough. Go anyway.

        Did you leave yet?

        The real question is why the Palestinians, who have been in Lebanon for a long time, have never been offered Lebanese citizenship. It is not because they did not want it.

        Let Lebanon give the Palestinians within their borders citizenship. I’m sure they’d accept. I’m always told that Israel should recognize the Palestinian right of return because most Palestinians wouldn’t return anyway.

      • Jeffrey Blankfort
        June 8, 2010, 4:42 pm

        So telling Jews who were not born and whose relatives what not born in Palestine that they should leave is morally wrong but telling Palestinians who were born there and ethnically cleansed from the land and who are not allowed to return is not immoral is what you are clearly saying or do you also support the right of those Palestinians to return?

        If not, then you are no one to sermonize.

        Thomas’s only mistake, besides responding to the camera that the noxious rabbi thrust in her face, was rather than saying that Jews should return to Germany and Poland, where they had all too bitter memories, she should have mentioned those from the US, Britain, France, Australia, South Africa, and yes, Russia, where they largely enjoyed privileged lives as their education and class position provided. And, yes, the Russian Jews took the free education provided by the Soviet Union and put it to profitable use in Israel.

        My position on this was determined by the time, back in 1970, on the Israel/Lebanon border where I was standing between two young Palestinian men who had been born in what was then Palestine and who had been forced to flee with their parents when the newly minted Israeli fighters drove them out.

        And there I was, looking down with them at an Israeli kibbutz where, I later learned live my sister’s brother-in-law from Beverly Hills, and I realized that I, a Jewish American, who had never suffered discrimination as a Jew in my life, had more of a “legal” right to live in that land than those two men who were born there. It was morally wrong then. It is morally wrong today. It will be morally wrong tomorrow.

        And that is not taking into consideration the immorality of Israel’s continuing oppression of the Palestinians who remained, those others who they occupied in 1967, and the bloody wars and intermittent attacks it has waged on Lebanon going back to 1964.

        Israel is extremely concerned at the moment about what it calls the campaign to deligitimize it. Well, as the most recent incident with the Gaza flotilla illustrates, no one or no group is doing a more effective job of deligitimizing it than Israel and its supporters themselves.

      • hophmi
        June 8, 2010, 5:52 pm

        So telling Jews who were not born and whose relatives what not born in Palestine that they should leave is morally wrong but telling Palestinians who were born there and ethnically cleansed from the land and who are not allowed to return is not immoral is what you are clearly saying or do you also support the right of those Palestinians to return?

        Calling for the Jews to “go back where they came from” is telling them to return to the places where their people were massacred over and over again over a long period of time. Today, the vast majority of Jews in Israel are native to the land, born and bred. Should they return to Germany and Poland as well? How about the Mizrachi Jews? Also “back” to Germany and Poland? Or perhaps the Arab world, not known for its wonderful treatment of minorities these days.

        The vast majority of Palestinians today are not people who were born within the 1967 borders of Israel. Why should they be able to come and displace people from their homes?

        Thomas’s only mistake, besides responding to the camera that the noxious rabbi thrust in her face…

        You mean like Max Blumenthal does all the time with his camera? And what is noxious about the rabbi, exactly? Is it noxious to ask Helen Thomas if she has any comments on Israel? Helen is the one who answered “Get the hell out of Palestine.” Seems like Helen is the noxious one here.

        Russia, where they largely enjoyed privileged lives as their education and class position provided.

        I don’t where you get this from. Newsflash: Zionism and Antisemitism is an outdated book, Jeffrey; Jews DID face antisemitism in the Soviet Union. Just about every Soviet emigre I know (and I have met many) tells me about the societal antisemitism faced by Jews in the FSU, which includes glass ceilings all over the place (they didn’t all become engineers because they wanted to) and the imprisonment of Jews for their political beliefs (Natan Sharansky for example). It’s time to stop acting as if Soviet Russia was some kind of paradise for Jews. The propaganda was discredited a long time ago.

        That is why FSU Jews tend to be so right-wing, because they actually have experienced discrimination in recent memory, and they have a deeper appreciation of the importance of a Jewish state.

        And there I was, looking down with them at an Israeli kibbutz where, I later learned live my sister’s brother-in-law from Beverly Hills, and I realized that I, a Jewish American, who had never suffered discrimination as a Jew in my life, had more of a “legal” right to live in that land than those two men who were born there. It was morally wrong then. It is morally wrong today. It will be morally wrong tomorrow.

        It will also be morally wrong if the Jews who have lived in Israel for several generations are deprived of the legal right to live there through some right of return for Palestinians. Edward Said realized this; it’s a shame you don’t.

    • sherbrsi
      June 7, 2010, 8:21 pm

      what do you say about someone who says the Palestinians can’t return to their own homeland?

      You say that it is standard US/Israeli policy, and saying otherwise that the Palestinians have a right to return to their own homeland is flagrant and akin to wanting the “destruction” of Israel.

      • Donald
        June 7, 2010, 8:30 pm

        Yeah, exactly.

        Anyway, the outrage over Helen’s statement gives us an opening to point out (once again) the double standard.

      • sherbrsi
        June 7, 2010, 8:39 pm

        It doesn’t give any opening. If any opportunity for discourse is opened, it is merely an opportunity for those in the establishment (namely those who are the ones creating a ruckus over the statement) to use it for their political advantage of claiming anti-semitism, and using it to fuel support for Zionism.

        The story here is not that Thomas made these statements, but that her comments of decolonization are vehemently chastised by an establishment that lavishes support on a movement based on racial supremacy and ethnic expulsions.

      • Donald
        June 7, 2010, 8:45 pm

        I don’t agree with this. You could say the same about every example of double standards in the media. There’s no point to this blog if it does no good to point out double standards. This is just one more example to add to the list.

        Anyway, that’s all I’ve got to say and don’t see any point in going back and forth any further on this, so I’ll stop.

      • hayate
        June 8, 2010, 2:09 am

        I agree with sherbrsi’s comment. The women was a thorn in the side to the ziofascists and the fascists. So they worked together to get rid of her. Had she said the same thing about any other institutionally racist colonial state, nobody would a blinked an eye.

    • sherbrsi
      June 7, 2010, 8:32 pm

      Accept the fact that what Helen Thomas said was wrong, but use it to point out the obvious double standard on who it is okay to drive from their homes. (Along with all the other double standards that some of you have pointed out.)

      The advocacy and support of Zionism by the US establishment means that such protestations and proclamations of double standards are going to be utterly lost.

      If there was any fairness in the system, those who are condemning Thomas for her statement would be far more forcefully rejecting the very movement which seeks to expel one group from their land and use it for their own racial exclusive settlement (i.e., Zionism).

      • Donald
        June 7, 2010, 8:36 pm

        Well, you’ve got a point there, but then there’d be no reason to ever point out anything, because the MSM will just squash it. Things seem to be changing, at least a little.

      • sherbrsi
        June 7, 2010, 8:46 pm

        I don’t doubt that you have the morally consistent position, but only that the response you suggest (of condemning Thomas & protesting the double standards) is politically insignificant. The establishment is only going to note the condemnation, use it for its own self-serving purpose and discard the dissenting opinion.

        There has to be a better way of making the hypocrisy clear. Whatever that is, I am not sure if automatically condemning Thomas should be the default position for that.

  32. Baruch B
    June 7, 2010, 7:43 pm

    I just want to add that decades ago when I was an officer in Hillel we wanted to bring Elmer Berger in as a speaker because we simply wanted to learn. The national office of Hillel was not pleased and Burger never spoke. I have always thought that the American Council for Judaism was more honest about their feelings about Israel than the American Jewish Committee which to my mind are contrasting organization. I have always wondered what contact the American Council had with the Bi-National Zionists, i.e. Magnes and Buber, and the less reckless Jewish State Zionists, i.e. Sharrett and Goldmann. I have wanted to know what bases Rabbi Irving Reichert, the San Francisco American Council leader who lost a new contract at Temple Emanu-El, touched before a trip he made to Egypt. I guess I should look at this new book about Elmer Berger for starters. In short I think the words of Helen Thomas were ones of anger and perhaps expressing many years of frustration regarding Israel and the “official” U. S. Jewish community. It is natural then to want to review now the old issues pertaining to the American Council for Judaism and the American Jewish Committee. But I want to also ask the American Council for Judaism the questions I have asked and also to learn how they have evolved. They do not appear to me to have be a force in Jewish affairs in recent decades.

    • hophmi
      June 7, 2010, 9:49 pm

      She expresses anger by saying that Jews in Israel should go back to Germany and Poland? That’s a little strange.

      It’s true that the AJC was anti (or perhaps non)-Zionist at one time. It is largely irrelevant today. It is also true that the reasons for anti-Zionism were complex, reflecting everything from the insecurity of Jews in America to the identification of some wealthy Jews of Zionism with Eastern European Jews, and thus, unworthy of their support. Little of it had to do with the Arab question. And it cannot be said enough that binationalism was an idea that was supported by few; it was no less from on-high than partition was. The Arabs were against any form of Jewish sovereignty at that time and they said so repeatedly.

  33. Chaos4700
    June 7, 2010, 8:07 pm

    Obama will forever be remembered as the presidency under which the last remaining foundations of American liberalism, already seriously eroded by his predecessor, were completely destroyed. Leaving the US no defense against either the cancer from within, or the vultures from without.

  34. hayate
    June 7, 2010, 9:55 pm

    It’s ridiculous this woman was forced to apologize and retire. What threats were made against her family? That’s how the mafia usually “retires” threats they cant just kill.

  35. thankgodimatheist
    June 7, 2010, 10:07 pm

    The Economist: Israel’s siege mentality
    The government’s macho attitude is actually making Israel weaker
    link to economist.com

  36. robin
    June 8, 2010, 2:07 am

    I agree completely with Donald here. I think Helen the person is incredible and worthy of a defense. Her comments are not, and she was right to apologize.

    Jack Ross may be right about what Helen intended by her comments. But who knows? The fact is that she left them wide open to an interpretation (the obvious one) that would be highly offensive. And (whatever she meant) her words cannot be interpreted solely as “out of occupied Palestine” because she did not suggest Israeli Jews go “back to Israel” but out of the entire region.

    Just today I read a feature on Israel that gave figures for immigrants and native born residents. Immigrants comprise about 33% of the population. That is pretty substantial, but it means 67% of Israelis are living their native land. No one has any right to tell them to leave, and for that matter I don’t believe immigrants should be told to leave either (although they should not possess racial privileges or buttress a system of apartheid).

    The lessons of this whole conflict adamantly warn against ethnic battle lines, privileges and exclusion. Even a member of the “oppressor class” is entitled to human rights. Identity can never negate those rights, even if individuals’ actions can negate certain freedoms when they violate the social contract.

    However, I don’t believe that her beliefs are consistent with her original comments. And I am extremely sad to see her retire. We need her courage and values more than ever.

  37. David Seaton
    June 8, 2010, 11:38 am

    Well, of course not all Israeli Jews come from Europe: Yemen, Iran, Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt, all are represented there. In that sense what Thomas said was wrong.

    What worries me and what I think is the main issue here is this hysterical lynching of a much beloved old lady. It is so grotesque and ugly, that the people behind it must be completely out of touch with reality, completely self-referential and have no ability to see themselves as others see them.

    And that loss of perspective bodes ill for the future.

    • hophmi
      June 8, 2010, 2:09 pm

      Oh, come off it. Hysterical lynching? Nobody tried to kill her. She said something stupid and insensitive (and though I have said here that I don’t think she’s an anti-semite, many people who know her better say she’s long had a reputation for nastiness), and the White House Correspondents Associations had long been looking for an excuse to get rid of her because she was no longer a hard news journalist and she didn’t belong there anyway. I’m sure she’s not going to go into the sunset quietly.

  38. Jeffrey Blankfort
    June 8, 2010, 12:01 pm

    The reason that Helen Thompson suffered a lynching by the media and by the White House press spokesperson Robert Gibbs is that Washington is Israel’s most important occupied territory, where comments critical of Israel and of the American Jewish establishment which operates the DC franchise, even made in hest, are verboten.

    As a truth teller and an asker of hard questions of every president since JFK, her presence will be sorely missed. But what she must be seen as is another of Zionism’s victims.

  39. Elliot
    June 8, 2010, 2:59 pm

    Jeffrey B. wrote:
    …all we hear about is Darfur before Jewish organizations are cynically using that struggle, falsely calling it genocide, to create anti-Arab racism among African-Americans and give the impression that they are not racists.
    Exactly right on both counts! To their credit, (and I hope I won’t be jumped upon for saying something positive about the affilitae J community) the organized, liberal Jewish community is extending the definition of genocide to include more than the Jewish Holocaust. However, as Jeffrey so correctly said, Darfur is tailor made as it casts the Arabs as the villains and plays up Jewish identification with Blacks. Jews are still living the glory days of Selma, Alabama.

    • hophmi
      June 8, 2010, 5:57 pm

      Jewish organizations were also outspoken on the Bosnian, Kosovar, and Rwandans genocides. The Jewish community long ago extended the definition of genocide beyond the Holocaust. So maybe it’s not just the Arab angle we’re interested in, and even it were, it seems that it is more important to you to be an Israel-bashing Darfurian genocide-denier than it is to speak out against the genocide/massacre/rape/mutilation/ethnic cleansing of hundreds of thousands by the government-backed Janjaweed militia in Darfur.

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