“Helen Thomas announced Monday that she is retiring, effective immediately,” a Hearst Newspapers statement said. “Her decision came after her controversial comments about Israel and the Palestinians were captured on videotape and widely disseminated on the Internet.”
Helen, say it isn’t so.
If you were like most Americans and you spent the weekend racking up credit card debt that you will never pay to purchase petroleum based products to use at the family cookout where you were forced to listen to unemployed uncle Eddie bitch about the BP crime scene, you may have missed the major hubbub cause by the octogenarian journalist formerly know as the dean of the white house press corps, Ms. Helen Thomas.
What, exactly did she say?
In a video taken in late May that only surfaced on Friday, Helen said the following:
Tell them to get the get the hell out of Palestine. Remember, these people [the Palestinians] are occupied and it’s their land. It’s not Germany, it’s not Poland.” She was asked where they should go and she answered, “They should go home, to Poland, Germany and America”
In what appeared to be a coordinated attack, former George W. Bush White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer hit the airwaves and said:
“She should lose her job over this. As someone who is Jewish, and as someone who worked with her and used to like her, I find this appalling.”
“She is advocating religious cleansing. How can Hearst stand by her? If a journalist, or a columnist, said the same thing about blacks or Hispanics, they would already have lost their jobs.”
While Helen’s argument had some deficiencies, I don’t think that one can make the argument that she was calling for religious cleansing, but Ari’s deftness at spin control is battle tested in that he worked for a village idiot whose reputation to butcher the English language and/ or gleefully admit to violating the constitution or commit war crimes grows even in retirement,
Tensions were already high in the wake of the diplomatic and military tragedy that was the Israeli Defense Forces commando raid of a Gaza-bound humanitarian aid flotilla last week, which resulted in nine peace activists dead. So, verbal missteps are understandable.
What she should have said is something like this: World War 2 saw unspeakable acts against a people of Jewish faith. The United States may have been late to the party in stopping this, but it was the last just war waged by our country. The U.S. and her allies in World War two could have opened their borders and provided a refuge, a new home, for Jews displaced by World War Two. But America was Anti-Semitic itself.
In this way the anti-Semitism that gave birth to the holocaust also gave birth to the irrational solution to establish a new country for Jewish people based on using a religious document as a real estate deed.
And it is this anti-Semitic residue that unjustly sticks to anyone critical of the criminal policies of the Israeli government today.
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A freelance writer, Davis Fleetwood has worked as a writer/ media consultant for Dennis Kucinich’s 2008 presidential campaign and served as a contributing editorial commentator for The Uptake. His videos have been seen by over 14 million viewers. He has been called (among many other things) “one of the most prominent voices in YouTube politics.” (-You Tube News & Politics chief, Steve Grove) He was a “Best of YouTube, 2007” nomination. His book DROPPIN’ KNOWLEDGE LIKE A CLUMSY LIBRARIAN, is now available from No Cure For That Press, and his first full length feature documentary, MANIFEST DESTINY’S CHILD, is due out on DVD this June.
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