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On the Vilification of Helen Thomas

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Posted on Jun 8, 2010
Thomas
AP / Charles Dharapak

Veteran White House reporter Helen Thomas sits front and center in 2006 as she waits for President George W. Bush’s press secretary, Tony Snow, to arrive for the daily briefing in the West Wing of the White House.

By Robert Scheer

The media tirade against Helen Thomas is as illogical as it is hysterical. The few sentences uttered by her were, as she quickly acknowledged, wrong—deeply so, I would add. But they cannot justify the road-rage destruction of the dean of the Washington press corps. Suddenly this heroic woman who broke so many gender barriers and dared to challenge presidential arrogance was reduced to nothing more than the stereotypical anti-Israel Arab that it is so fashionable to hate.

“Thomas, of Lebanese ancestry and almost 90, has never been shy about her anti-Israel views,” writes Richard Cohen in The Washington Post, in a non sequitur reference to a reporter born in Winchester, Ky., in 1920 when few—Jews included—supported a Jewish state in Palestine and whose parents were Christians. Obviously Cohen, who attacks Thomas for “revealing how very little she knew” about the history of Israel, is unaware that Lebanese Christians have been the staunchest allies of the Jewish state. Indeed, they provided the shock troops who, under Israeli cover, massacred the unarmed inhabitants of Palestinian refugee camps. To attribute Thomas’ views on Israel to her Lebanese parents is no less offensive than it would be to suggest that a Jewish reporter cannot be objective because, as in my case, his mother escaped anti-Semitism in Russia.

Thomas’ fall from grace as a media icon began with her daring to criticize the abysmal coverage of the buildup to the Iraq war. How ironic that her opposition to the U.S. invasion is offered as an example of hostility to Israel when that war did so much to increase the power of Iran, Israel’s most significant enemy in the region. After all, Israel claims that the presumed military threat from Gaza is fueled by Iran, which enjoys much support in Shiite-led Iraq—previously governed by Tehran’s archenemy Saddam Hussein.

As someone who has long supported a two-state solution for the historically disputed land of Palestine, I have no trouble condemning Thomas’ ill-considered remarks that Israeli Jews should go back to the lands from where they came. I am opposed to denying legitimacy to desperate immigrants seeking a better life anywhere, be they in Arizona or the Middle East. What I don’t understand is why this basic respect for human rights doesn’t apply to the people who call themselves Palestinian and who are illegal immigrants not as a matter of birth but only in the political calculus of those who find their indigenous presence at best an inconvenience and at worst an insolvable threat. Why is it morally acceptable to deny Palestinians the right to full citizenship in their birthplace and instead insist, as Israel’s leaders often have, that they should be content to live under the flag of nations like Egypt, Syria and Jordan that have long oppressed them?

Nor is it relevant to lecture the Palestinians that the current rulers of Jordan might be more benign overlords than when they slaughtered Palestinians in the Black September days of 1970-71. Or that they should be comfortable under the rule of Egypt, whose leaders had previously governed Gaza so oppressively and now join in the cruel blockade of its economy. Demands that Palestinians surrender their national aspirations are no more valid than Thomas’ outburst calling for Jews to trust the modern governments of Poland and Germany. 

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What the Thomas affair allowed was the repeat incantation of the Holocaust as the excuse for punishing not the Europeans who committed those unspeakable crimes, but rather the Palestinians, who had nothing whatsoever to do with what remains as the greatest moral stain on the history of people claiming to be civilized. It was not Palestinians or Muslim fundamentalists who ran the crematoriums, but rather highly educated and mostly Christian Europeans.

For that reason, one must support the right of Jews to live securely in the nation of Israel, the place they claim as their historical homeland. But not without consideration of the rights of their fellow Semites, the mostly non-Jewish Palestinians who happened to already be living there.

On that point the apology Thomas issued got it right: “I deeply regret my comments I made last week regarding the Israelis and the Palestinians. They do not reflect my heartfelt belief that peace will come to the Middle East only when all parties recognize the need for mutual respect and tolerance.”

Now all that is left is for those in the media and government who have shown so little respect and tolerance for the Palestinian side of the dispute to offer some apologies for decades of indifference to, and often contempt for, those victims as well.

Click here to check out Robert Scheer’s book,
“The Great American Stickup: How Reagan Republicans and Clinton Democrats Enriched Wall Street While Mugging Main Street.”


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By Accountability, June 9, 2010 at 7:25 am Link to this comment

I agree with the articles and comments that support Helen Thomas. The attacks on her are hateful, disgraceful, deceitful and hypocritical. The Israeli government and Israeli/Zionist lobby seems to have been completely taken over by the most extreme militarist and intolerant religious fringe. They twisted and distorted some off-the-cuff remarks that Thomas later explained and apologized for.  Then they continued to vilify her until they could brandish her scalp. /
  By such extreme actions they make themselves the most pernicious enemies of freedom of thought and speech, as though they can claim a monopoly on victim-hood and virtue. To many thoughtful people, this makes them the most effective enemies of real caring, deserving Jews, and of the Judeo-Christian values and tradition.

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Ed Harges's avatar

By Ed Harges, June 9, 2010 at 7:22 am Link to this comment

Israel has demonstrated in one week that it has reached a new level of control
over Americans, murdering our citizens and silencing critics at will.

Obama knows that if he had complained about the recent mass murder and
gross mistreatment by Israel of unarmed humanitarians, including our own
citizens, his career and possibly his life would have ended in short order.

Hell, Israel even shot out the eye of an American Jew who dared to protest
against the flotilla murders.

What? Didn’t see anything about that in the TV “news”? How surprising.

In America, you can hate our own government; but you can’t hate Israel - you
can’t even fail to love Israel - especially if you want to keep a job in
journalism or politics.

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By karimguy83, June 9, 2010 at 7:16 am Link to this comment

“If Muslims had been allowed to remain in Israel, they would soon have been able to out vote the Jews who would then have been back to square one. “

Fascist alarm!Fascist alarm!

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By karimguy83, June 9, 2010 at 7:10 am Link to this comment

“The lengths Scheer and the commenters on this site go to justify their anti-semitism is disturbing.”

Indeed, how can Robert Scheer, a Jew, be so very Antisemitic? Its time again for a good old Zionazi diagnosis of incurable selfhatred.

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By sollipsist, June 9, 2010 at 7:05 am Link to this comment

Helen Thomas deserves better, after a one of the most
admirable and exemplary careers in the history of
journalism.

Too few people lived up to the standard she set; now
even fewer will, thanks to the condemnation machine.
Yep, it was an ill-considered statement, and she knows
it better than anyone.

As nobody’s tool in a city and profession filled with
tools, she must have made enemies. It took them all
this time to find a weakness, but once they did, the
reprisal was fast and furious.

This is what we all have waiting for us: an entire
life negated at the end, all our histories distorted
and revised to suit other people’s narratives.

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By GJS, June 9, 2010 at 6:58 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

It still staggers me when I see how deplorably the Jews were treated in WW2 however if everyone on earth carried the same sentiment from things that happened generations ago to current time the world surely won’t be worth living in. There has been many an atrocity carried out that should never have happened, the important thing is we learn from these horrendous deeds & ensure they don’t happen again NOT
look for other people to carry out built up anger.
Any relationship whether it be on a personal level or to an international relationship with different countries we have to give & take in order to exist. I
still believe no matter what ones race or religion is the majority of people want to live in peace, it’s just unfortunate that the people who end up in power are the ones who have a vested interest in keeping hatred & conflict alive & well.
This is where we the silent majority have to convey to our leaders that their current attitude is wrong & pressure them to change it, no-one moves quicker than a politician who believes there actions will lead them to be NOT re-elected.
It’s easier to sit back & be complacent but I fear the time is nearing that if we don’t make a stand we will have passed the point of no return where war will be the chosen route, a war like no other ever before, a war declared by a very greedy & noisy minority who will view this war from underground like cowards & crawl out like worms to claim everything they want at the cost of billions of peoples lives.
If this does happen it will be our (the silent majoritys) fault.
I sincerely hope many will at least give it the thought it deserves & urgently needs.
My best to one & all.

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By karimguy83, June 9, 2010 at 6:51 am Link to this comment

Saudi Arabia (which might have been next on Saddam’s shopping list) wouldn’t fight another Muslim Country.”

Thats ridiculous.Saudi Arabia is a typical corrupt dictatorship, with only the veneer of modernity.
That means, they get to buy weapons from the United States,lots of them. It also means, they dont know how to use these weapons. That is the reason they needed American help.As for not attacking Muslim countries,is that a bad joke? Saudi Arabia bombed the civilians of Yemen not so long ago and pays its terrorist extremist thugs off with their oil money, who then go on to kill Muslims in the whole world, Muslims who dont fit into the Wahabi category of what a Muslim should be. Saudi money is a major killer of Muslims worldwide. I say to the world: boycott Israel and Saudi ``Stoneage`` Arabia

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By Wounded and Dangerous, June 9, 2010 at 6:36 am Link to this comment

Inherit The Wind,

I think my post is fairly self explanatory.

As an internet refugee ( I quit watching tv some years ago ) I have learned quite a bit about Israel and this Middle East problem. And, the more I read the more I want to criticize Israel. I simply see them as the bad guy here.

Israel is run by Zionists. They have an agenda and that agenda does not include the Palestinians. I see the Palestinians as the victims here. As a Jew, you will see things differently. Undoubtedly, you think of the Holocaust and of anti-Semitism, these are the things that you have been taught to think about - constantly. Believing in them makes the idea of Israel as a homeland for the Jews more reasonable and acceptable to you. Jews have been persecuted all throughout history and you get more and more proof of this everyday. And, that is why you support the idea of Israel more and more. It strengthens your resolve. All of the critics of Israel are anti-Semites. They don’t understand the problems of the Jews.

Well, non-Jews,  or the Goyim,  if you prefer, tend to look at the big picture. They don’t have an interest in Israel per se and they see the Palestinians as having to pay the price for historical events in Europe during the Second World War.

But, again, if you spend enough time on the internet and just plain old reading stuff, you start to realize that other things are going on here. Why did the Zionists pick Israel and the Middle East for their Homeland?  Why do they even need a homeland at all? Seems like the Jews in New York and London and everywhere else ( yes, even in Iran ) are doing OK and are happy and productive, etc.  So, why the Homeland concept?  What is the point of the whole thing? OK, so you decide upon a location and then you have to begin the business of uprooting the indigenous population. Is that fair to the original inhabitants, the Palestinians, the ones who are now occupied and are forced to live on reservations or modern, open air prisons? That is what Gaza is. Is this really fair?

Zionists don’t really want peace as far as I can tell. They stole a great deal of land in 1967 as well and they don’t really want to give that back either. They want to build more settlements and they simply want to expand - at the expense of the Palestinians of course. Why do you think the Palestinians are so angry?  Why do they become terrorists and why do they throw rockets, etc?  What would you do if you were a Palestinian and not a Jew?  I know what I would do if I was a Palestinian whose home was demolished or who lost a family member to one of Israelis war planes. 

But, there is so much more. And, it is all negative. So much turmoil that does not have to occur. The Zionists also have an overloaded arsenal of freshly manufactured military apparatus that they constantly use agains the Palestinians. That’s right, the US arms Israel so that it can kill Palestinians. How would you feel if you were the recipient of these modern weapons of mass destruction?  And, Israel even has nuclear weapons. Do you get the picture yet?  Things are just so imbalanced as to be unbelieveable - and unacceptable to the modern, thinking mind. I could on and on of course, but I know that you would just get tired of my arguments. But, I am sure that you get the general drift of things. Bye for now.

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By karimguy83, June 9, 2010 at 6:32 am Link to this comment

Kalpal,
go see a shrink. You have a severe persecution complex.Just 10 years ago people would have still taken such comments on everybody hating Jews seriously.Today, with so much information availabe and people far better informed,your comments look ridiculous. I would still advice the people on truthdig to avoid blaming Jews in any way,shape or form. Till now, the vast majority of people posting here seem to be sensible and restrained.Compare that to ``conservative`` blogs such as Frontpage magazine or Jihad watch.

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By MollyJ, June 9, 2010 at 6:25 am Link to this comment

Thanks,here to Robert Scheer.  Interested folks should also listen to Tuesday’s Democracy Now! segment.

Though Helen Thomas’s remark qualifies as a bit graceless, it also addresses a perfectly legitimate question.  What right does anyone, in their quest for a “home”, have to displace others from their home?

Look around you folks and see how intelligent dissenters are being treated. 

This is disturbing and should bother any American who is ostensibly concerned about freedom. 

Between Democracy Now! and Truthdig IN COMPARISON with even (so sadly) NPR and the MSM, there is a conscous effort to frame the news in a way that stifles discourse.

Thank YOU for the alternative perspectives.

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By kalpal, June 9, 2010 at 6:24 am Link to this comment

Does farmertx not realize that this thread exists solely to dump on Israel for having the poor manners and grace to keep surviving when so many wish to see it destroyed and its citizens massacred?

One can only conclude that once Jews are wiped off the face of the earth that humanity will finally begin to behave in a civil manner and that evil, wars, greed and stupidity will vanish. Humanity will become sweetness and light. Muslims will no longer harrass females. Sudanese will no longer muder the Fur people. Earth will shine so brightly with its new found goodness that Aliens will finally come calling and begin interstellar commerce.

Of course I could be wrong and the usual arrogant ignorance found in most of these threads will reign over the firmament

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By ofersince72, June 9, 2010 at 6:19 am Link to this comment

No, not all of us calling for a ONE STATE SOLUTION
are anti-semetic !!!!!!!!!!! Nice try ...........

Isreal was set up from the very beginning to be a proxy
state for a stong hold in the Middle East for the
U.S.  and Great Briton so they could steal the very easy
access oil which was and still is in the Middle East.

As soon as the easy access oil is gone, the U.S. and
Briton will drop Isreal like a hot potato.e
Not only that but the rich Jew bankers and inverstors
on Wall Street will drop them also and won’t give a rats
ass how many jews get hung on posts because their is no
more reason to spend all that money for a miltary post
that Isreal is.
So if you like Jews, you better wish for a One State
Solution Now before the Oil runs out.

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By farmertx, June 9, 2010 at 6:16 am Link to this comment

Helen Thomas has been around long enough to understand that anything one says can come back to bite you, especially when you don’t know the person you are talking to.
As to Israel being a “spoiled brat”, that ‘spoiled brat’ sure has kicked a lot of ass when they were threatened. They don’t need our troops, unlike Saudi Arabia, to fight their battles. Just some equipment to level the field.
Israel is a drain, in a sense, but they are also the best ally we have in the region.
We had to send troops to defend Kuwait because Saudi Arabia (which might have been next on Saddam’s shopping list) wouldn’t fight another Muslim Country. Of course, our Military Chaplains had to remove any sign of their religious belief so as to not “offend” the Saudis. But we were (and are) welcome to die protecting Saudi Arabia; just don’t wear a Cross while doing so.
And post 9-11, the only civilian airplane flying was the one the Saudis chartered to get bin Ladins family back to Saudi Arabia.

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By Ed Harges, June 9, 2010 at 6:13 am Link to this comment

It is very instructive that she loses her job instantaneously, for offending Israel, in
the same week when Israel murders an American citizen in the course of a totally
illegal, viciously depraved act of piracy in international waters, against an
unarmed ship flying the flag of a NATO ally, concerning which crime the Obama
government makes not a peep of complaint, beyond a toothless suggestion that
perhaps the matter bears some looking into.

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By kalpal, June 9, 2010 at 6:05 am Link to this comment

The media seems to be looking for victims to eviscerate these days. I do not in any way approve of Ms. Thomas’ statement but I support her right to have an opinion and to state it no matter how ill conceived.

She should not have resigned. She did apologize for her thoughtless remark and that should settled the matter. The blood lust of the media makes me cringe even when they go after someone utterly deserving of evisceration.

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By guacamaya, June 9, 2010 at 6:02 am Link to this comment

RdV and Wounded and Dangerous excellent comments! Americans should be deeply disturbed that a 89 year old lady, after so many years of service can be treated like this. It speaks volumes of what the US has become.

As for Inherit The Wind ....  The problem is that few Jews are courageous enough to condemn what is going on in Gaza and the illegal settlements, but prefer to parrot the propaganda lies and call everyone who disagrees with them an Anti-Semitic. Even when most Israeli’s are not even Semites ... more lies! Jews throughout history have always been against discrimination, but a race-based Israel treating Palestinians atrociously as second class citizens seems ok to them. Or at least they do not speak up against it. What you are sowing there, you shall eventually reap!

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By Aaron Ortiz, June 9, 2010 at 6:00 am Link to this comment

The lengths Scheer and the commenters on this site go to justify their anti-semitism is
disturbing. The hypocrisy of condemning Helen Thomas while secretly agreeing with her
is very disturbing.

Better an honest rebuke than a dishonest kiss. Yet, consider where your hatred of the
Jews would have led you if you lived in Germany or Poland in the late 1930s.

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By pathfinder22, June 9, 2010 at 6:00 am Link to this comment

Dear Helen,

Thank you Helen for a long and noble career, You will be missed and I wish you wouldn’t resign.
The very best of luck to you Helen!

Paul

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By thecrow, June 9, 2010 at 5:58 am Link to this comment

“The implied objective of this line of thought is a nightmare world in which the Leader, or some ruling clique, controls not only the future but the past. If the Leader says of such and such an event, “It never happened”—well, it never happened. If he says that two and two are five—well, two and two are five. This prospect frightens me much more than bombs”

- George Orwell

http://michaelfury.wordpress.com/2008/10/16/confess/

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By Aarky, June 9, 2010 at 5:58 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The White House and the sychophantic press corp were quick to shove and kick Thomas under the Zionist bus. They all then jumped on board and had the AIPAC driver gun it forward and backwards a few times. It’s truly despicable how far these folks will go to prove their subservience to the Zionists and Likkudniks of Israel. Next week I will expect to see the whole rotten bunch kowtowing all the way up Pennsylvania Ave, heading for a groveling session in front of AIPAC.

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By delphine, June 9, 2010 at 5:54 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The media are just as craven about Helen Thomas as they were when Dan Rather was sabotaged by Karl Rove.
After WWII Europeans simply didn’t want the Jews among them, especially if it meant handing back their real estate.  So the colonialists simply took what was not theirs to give and proclaimed it the land of Israel.
Actually the very concept of a single religion state is anachronistic.  Time for the Zionists to move into modernity.

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By andrushka, June 9, 2010 at 5:47 am Link to this comment

I deeply regret Helen Thomas’ resignation.  She was the ONLY honest journalist in Washington D.C. with guts. How are we going to get valuable news now?

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By peterjkraus, June 9, 2010 at 5:37 am Link to this comment

Where’s the First Amendment when it counts?

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By r.ross, June 9, 2010 at 5:22 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Let’s get one thing straight. Jews are not a people, they are a religion. If there were no religion there would be no Jews. If there were no Catholicism there would be no Catholics, ditto Hindus, Moslems etc. etc. Without Judaism there are no Jews fullstop. They may be lapsed, like catholics, but their identity is religious. Religions do not have homelands. They are not a race, not a people, not a nation.. they are a religion. This fantasy of Israel is what creates the Israeli dysfunction.

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By awahl, June 9, 2010 at 5:22 am Link to this comment

The ghost in the machine is never mentioned: the major reason that a two state solution is necessary is that Muslims don’t practice birth control and Jews do.  If Muslims had been allowed to remain in Israel, they would soon have been able to out vote the Jews who would then have been back to square one.

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Robert's avatar

By Robert, June 9, 2010 at 5:20 am Link to this comment

6/8/2010

“Any Better Comments?”

The Ambush of Helen Thomas

By GARY LEUPP

“Outrage!

White House journalist Helen Thomas, covering a Jewish American Heritage Month celebration at the White House May 27, is accosted on the sidewalk by someone who asks: “Any comments about Israel? We’re asking everybody today—-any comments about Israel?”

Smiling in grandmotherly fashion——the way an 89 year-old woman might do when suddenly approached by an 17 year old boy who seems sincerely interested in her thoughts—-she replies: “Tell them to get the hell out of Palestine.”

“Oooh…” responds the questioner. “Any better comments?” (A voice in the background: “Helen is fun!”)

“Hah hah hah,” laughs Helen. “ Remember these people are occupied, and it’s their land, not German, and not Poland.”

“So where should they go? What should they do?”

“They could go home. Poland. Germany.”

“Where’s home? You’re saying Jews should go back to Poland and Germany?”

“And America and everywhere else.”

A week later this video of the impromptu interview appears on “RabbiLIVE.com,” website of Rabbi David Nesenoff. (Who by the way is this “live rabbi”? Who is this rabbi character who’s terminated the career of a Washington press icon? How many journalists are even asking?)

The clip begins and ends with strident musical accompaniment, and concludes with the caption: “Six million Jews were killed in Germany and Poland. Does Helen know that Jews have lived in Israel way before the Holocaust. How can Helen report unbiased?”

According to one report the questioner was Adam Nesenoff, David’s son. The latter supposedly “sat on the Thomas scoop” for a week while his “webmaster son” Adam took final exams.

“So we waited,” Rabbi Nesenoff told Yahoo News. “And of course, during the waiting of it, the flotilla happened.” Nesenoff doesn’t explain how the Israeli assault on the Gaza aid flotilla connects to Helen or the timing of the video release. But clearly it (and perhaps Thomas’s comments about it?) influenced the timing of the video. And once it was online, the White House—-which was not outraged at all by the murder of 9 aid workers by the “Israeli Defense Forces” last week—-immediately condemned the journalist.

Nesenoff contacted her employer, Hearst Newspapers, telling them they had “to get rid of her.” They did.

Outrage! About what? A journalist is suddenly approached on the sidewalk by two high school students who say they’re asking everybody today if they have comments about Israel. (Might I ask: Why did this happen in the first place? Was this for a school project? Are there other filmed interviews young Adam would like to share, to prove that he and his friend were really fact “asking everybody” and not just Helen?)

“Tell them to get the hell out of Palestine.” This was obviously a totally spontaneous statement, and could mean simply, “Tell them to withdraw from the occupied territories, as demanded by the entire world.”

The interviewer responds with apparent humor, asking for more comments. So the veteran journalist says, “Remember these people are occupied, and it’s their land.” It is of course absolutely true that Zionists occupy Palestinian land. This fact, not the comment, is outrageous. Most people on the planet understand this.

“Where should they go?” asks the youth rhetorically, perhaps psyched for his gotcha moment.  In this elliptical conversation, the “they” could have been interpreted by Helen, who has just mentioned “occupied” land, as referring to settlers on the West Bank or on the Golan Heights. The topic under discussion is Palestine, which in U.S. journalistic useage is more likely to refer to a future Palestinian state than to the state of Israel in its 1967 borders.”

===
Click on link for the rest:

http://www.counterpunch.org/leupp06082010.html

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By oh please, June 9, 2010 at 5:17 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

If she had made the same comment about anyone else no-one would have blinked. Sorry, Jews run America and the media and while this article wants to try to be reasonable it is making a mountain out of a molehill. Israel is a coloniser. If someone said Americans should go back to where they came from and give the land back to the indigenous people would understand the motivation and think nothing of it. The hysteria about Israel is purely because Israel continues to abuse, dispossess and colonise its indigenous people and yes, if they are not prepared to give the justice they should go back to where they came from. More Israeli bias and propaganda.

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By SoTexGuy, June 9, 2010 at 5:16 am Link to this comment

Thomas is already missed by many, myself included.

I like Scheer’s ideas and articles as a rule and this one is well crafted as are most all of his pieces.. Yet I think it would have ok just to give us a tribute to the woman’s long career and work… and leave the trivial discussions about the last days of her work to lesser pages and lesser intellects.. and also to leave out the author’s causes du jour.. Arizona, Lebanon and Palestine et-al.

That the fine Ms. Thomas has been forced to leave the White House assignment is connected to her recent remarks.. but mostly just chronologically.. she said those things.. then she resigned.

What I think happened is that a mature and experienced person no longer fits in the he-said, she-said and photo-op, sound bite world of the modern ‘news’.. If her remarks had anything to do with her leaving it was likely that it made it clear to herself how much of a square peg she had become in that context.

That’s what I think.

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By Rarian Rakista, June 9, 2010 at 5:15 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Exactly PT. This is a stunning example on how the US and
even Europe do not react to claims of ethnic cleansing if
it happens in Asia(Pol Pot), Africa(Sudan) or the Middle
East(Palestine).  I’ve a feeling that Helen Thomas who has
watched Israel murder UN negotiators in the 1940’s, kill
10’s of thousands of refugees in the 1960’s and institute
apartheid rivaling that of South Africa in the 1990’s may
be a lot more prurient on these matters than Obama who
cowardly parrots lines fed to him on the issue.

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By Ed Harges, June 9, 2010 at 5:07 am Link to this comment

I think her suggestion that Israeli Jews “go back” to Poland or wherever is
irrational nonsense and was the equivalent of saying “F. you” to this guy.

High profile American journalists and politicians are heavily policed by pro-Israel
fanatics as to their views on Israel, and I think maybe, when you get to be 89,
you’re just so, so fed up with it, so fed up with how afraid of everybody is of
Israel, and at that moment she just snapped and said the most offensive thing she
could think of.

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By Rarian Rakista, June 9, 2010 at 4:47 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

A Singular Secular State may be the best damn solution to
the mess I’ve heard so far.  Make them all sleep in the
same bed.

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By RdV, June 9, 2010 at 4:30 am Link to this comment

What about Helen’s comments were so “deeply wrong”?
Notice how it is spun to appear that she is condemning Jews back to the ovens of Poland and Germany(her mention of America and everywhere is always overlooked) instead of her obvious reference to Israel’s occupation and the usurpation of Palestinian land for Jews from over the world to settle on—though I get your intent to build on a different point.
I have noticed on many boards a complete freedom for Zionists to demonize the Arab like it was second nature, whereas the slightest critism of Israeli policy has them aquealing anti-semitism. Much of this behavior is reinforced by the compliant agenda of the US media—including Hollywood always portraying Arabs as evil incarnate and pumping out endless dramas about the Holocaust—perpetually propping up Jewish victimization.
  What I thought was most disgusting were those wannabe insider yuppie punk correspondents who see their role as defenders rather than challengers of the status quo. Helen, in speaking truth to power exposed them for the fraudulent hacks and shills they really are—all jockeying to kick her when she was down.

  Finally, it is not “disputed land”—that was a deliberate shift in the language to obscure the fact that they are OCCUPIED territories.

Otherwise, a fine article.

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By Ouroborus, June 9, 2010 at 4:23 am Link to this comment

Actually Helen didn’t say Jews, the “good” Rabi did.
Helen said “people”.

Hang in there Helen!

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By ofersince72, June 9, 2010 at 4:13 am Link to this comment

Helen Tomas is right

A ONE STATE SOLUTION

Anyone that doesn’t like , leave .........

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By Fat Freddy, June 9, 2010 at 4:11 am Link to this comment

This is nothing new. The media has been bashing Ron Paul for years because of his position on Israel, and all he advocates is that we stop funding them, along with every other nation that we fund. Asshole Ben Stein called him Anti-Semitic on Larry King not long ago for suggesting that the US are occupiers.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pOV0qCW7nBA

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By ofersince72, June 9, 2010 at 4:08 am Link to this comment

ITW

You read something into that post that wasn’t there.

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By Inherit The Wind, June 9, 2010 at 4:02 am Link to this comment

W&D:

Why don’t you just come out and say what you REALLY think:

We Jews don’t have any right at all to live. After all, we are nothing but trouble.

You’re almost there already.

Why don’t YOU go back where you came from and leave this land to the Native Americans?

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By ofersince72, June 9, 2010 at 3:46 am Link to this comment

Two fascist governments scratching each others back
using religion as their weapon along with all the other
disgusting weapons in their arsenal.

Isreal is a little spoiled brat baby government.!!!!

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By dsmith, June 9, 2010 at 3:39 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Of course there is no uproar when Israeli thugs and murderers say, ” The Palestinians have a homeland…and it’s called Jordan.”

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By ofersince72, June 9, 2010 at 3:39 am Link to this comment

Hey ITW,,

Screw Jon Stewart tooo…..He is just another mainstream
cute and funny guy.

The little spoiled brats, need to go home.

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By Wounded and Dangerous, June 9, 2010 at 3:29 am Link to this comment

I support the comments made by Helen Thomas and there is no need for her to retract her statements or for any of us to deny what they mean. The proof of how important and how potent her statements are is revealed in the backlash afforded to them.

The Palestinians have just as much right as any Israeli citizen does to dwell in the lands commonly known as Palestine. Maybe even more so. They were established there at the time of the Zionist intrusion into the area. They were dispersed and they were killed. Ethnic cleansing and banishment occurred. This is the sad history of the region and it continues on into this day. Not only do the atrocities continue against the Palestinians, but they seem get worse as we go forward. Israel has no intention of sharing their ill gotten gains with the original inhabitants of the area. Israel either wants the Palestinians expelled, or in the alternative, they want them destroyed. These are the sad facts of the case.

Israel has no right to these lands, nor does it have the right to deny the Palestinians any kind of a future at all. A two state solution implies simply that these two groups are not able to live together. But, it also implies, I think, that not much will change in the relationships between them. Israel wants the luxury of power and dominance over the Palestinians in their bid for a two state solution. This is unacceptable to Palestinians as it would be to any group who believes in itself and its future. Sooner or later we are going to have to come to grips as to what this Israeli state is made of. If it is just a group of power hungry thugs and religious bigots then animosity between itself and its neighbours is going to continue. Theocratic and fascist oriented states just don’t cut it in the modern world. Israel wants to set itself up as some sort of special state and continue on as if it is guaranteed the right of some kind of special status among others. These ideas are inimical to the modern mind and must be attented to.

The Palestinians should not have to pay for the mistakes of the Europeans and their treatment of Jews. I think this idea is imbedded in the ideas of Helen Thomas and I certainly applaud them as you can easily determine. As for the author’s statements about Semites and the right of the Jews to live in their homeland well, I think most people would agree that the modern Jew is not even a Semite as we have come to know the term. The Palestinians might be Semites yes, but these Israelis are mostly of the Ashkenazi type, and hence, they are not even real Jews. They are only religious Jews as best, and many of them are not even religious at all. So, I think we should be careful about trying to justify the existence of Israel based on some kind of historical right. These arguments are now passe as most people have come to realize. Lot’s of work needs to be done here and we can start at the beginning. What is right and was is needed, that is where we should start. Add in a little bit of fairness and reason and we might might just get to first base on this over-extended political problem that now concerns us all.

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By Inherit The Wind, June 9, 2010 at 3:27 am Link to this comment

One of the early signs of Alzheimer’s is the loss of self-control of one’s mouth.  Helen Thomas is nearly 90 and that loss of control showed itself. She knows better than to say Jews should go back to Germany and Poland—where they were originally driven out of—as Jon Stewart put it.

Let her retire gracefully and be done with it.

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PatrickHenry's avatar

By PatrickHenry, June 9, 2010 at 3:26 am Link to this comment

I would like to see Helen write a no-holds barred book based on her behind the scenes experience.

The media needs anti trust legislation used against them to bust up the conglomerates.

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By Leefeller, June 9, 2010 at 3:24 am Link to this comment

Much ado about nothing? Though the comments themselves were not uttered in contempt,they were perceived as being contemptible.

By whom and why? Of course the same reason as people like Beck Russ Limbaugh, and Sarah Palin can utter the most nonsensical utterances always accepted with fanfare as fact or not, but deemed as news and worthy of considerateness. 

So Helen Thomas, is portrayed with great profoundness as another illusion of smoke and mirrors for all to fret over.

Surely these comments are used as one more thing to divert from reality, reality itself and it seems Helen has many detractors?

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By karimguy83, June 9, 2010 at 3:11 am Link to this comment

Just to get one thing of my chest, this widespread sentimental use of Jewish people this and Jewish people that, even the false claim that Jews ever left Palestine, really bothers me. There is no Jewish people.Jews are wonderfully culturally and ethnically diverse, like the followers of every religion.If Chinese and Athiopian Jews can make no claim to be Semites, then neither should European Jews. Repeating these clishees justifies the ongoing Zionist project. There is only one people who have real claims to Palestine,who are ironically largely the descendants of the ancients Judeans.The Palestinians.

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Ouroborus's avatar

By Ouroborus, June 9, 2010 at 3:05 am Link to this comment

The Inquisition has spoken and the heretic must die!

The White House finally found a way to get a thorn in
their butt out and gone!

One of the last truly independent/honest journalists is
gone.
Don’t let the bastards get you Helen!

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By ofersince72, June 9, 2010 at 2:46 am Link to this comment

Us spoiled little ninny brats have a Gulf full now
don’t we ???

We let OSHA, MMS, FOOD AND DRUG, all those agencies
get run by Wall Street since the end of seventies,
pretending like it just started with G. Bush,
How come you liberals do that ?????
I know why…....so do you !!!!!

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By ofersince72, June 9, 2010 at 2:42 am Link to this comment

Well, The Devil Made Me Do It The First Time,

The Second Time I Did It On My Own !!!!!!!!!

Billy Joe Shaver ..............................

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By ofersince72, June 9, 2010 at 2:39 am Link to this comment

The citizens of both Isreal and the United States have
been brought up to believe that they deserve more of
everything than anyone else in the world.

You see it right here, don’t need to go to Isreal, even
the ones that complain about Isreal,  believe we here in
the US deserve more than the rest of the world.
Thats why we think nothing about raping Iraq, Central
Africa, Central America, everywhere, for we also, like
Isreal , are the chosen, so aparently we have been brought up to believe.
Kill them all, take anything they have, it is ours cause
we said so.  We want it.  Give it up….We bomb you now!!

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By GoyToy, June 9, 2010 at 2:37 am Link to this comment

Thomas’s initial statement was correct, her apology was unnecessary. Jews living in Palestine prior to the creation of Israel have every right to live there. So please, no accusations of anti-Semitism, ok?

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By ofersince72, June 9, 2010 at 2:33 am Link to this comment

The International community should disarm Isreal.

(the US too for that matter, both states are spoiled
little brat ninny babies that always have to have their
way or they cry, cry, cry,)

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By Commune115, June 9, 2010 at 2:32 am Link to this comment

Thomas has most likely become a convenient punching bag to deflect attention away from Israel’s recent war crimes on the high seas.

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By ofersince72, June 9, 2010 at 2:29 am Link to this comment

Isreal has been nothing but a little spoiled brat
problem child ever since it was created

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By ofersince72, June 9, 2010 at 1:51 am Link to this comment

Just who the hell did those people from Europe, Russia,
and the United States think they were that they could go
to Palistine and throw people out of their houses and
rename a region, then keep the rightful owners in
concentration camps all over the Middle East??????????

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By ofersince72, June 9, 2010 at 1:46 am Link to this comment

It is crazy to get villified just for claiming
that a one state solution is the only solution,
because it is the only just solution.

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By ofersince72, June 9, 2010 at 1:44 am Link to this comment

Myself, after many, many, years hoping for a just
outcome for both the Palistinians and the citizens of
Isreal (also held hostage by their gov, just as we are),
and believing in a two state solution…........

I too have quit believing in a two state solution,
it is rediculous.

Horaay , hip, hip, horaay for Helen Tomas to say the
politically incorrect words.
I firmly believe in a one state solution and those that
don’t like , as Helen said,  go back to where you came from.!!!!!!!!

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By P. T., June 9, 2010 at 1:24 am Link to this comment

The attacks on Helen Thomas are breathtaking hypocrisy.  The U.S. media is full of backers of the Israeli government, which ethnically cleanses the indigenous Palestinian people and opposes their right of return, guaranteed under international law.  Nobody has been fired for that position.

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