In Defense of Helen Thomas

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“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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6 thoughts on “In Defense of Helen Thomas

  1. You are an idiot-a reactionary idiot who knows no facts, historical or otherwise.

    If Kucinich hired you as an amazingly biased media consultant, then he has less reason to be president than I ever thought.

    Reading you, and listening to your video by mistake,makes me think one thing and one
    thing only: SHUT-UP!

  2. I believe your video shows a lack of knowledge of the area’s history.
    Israel was `owned` by many groups over the course of thousands of years. From the Israeli kingdom around the 11th century BC, and the British, who took it from the Ottoman Empire (which no longer exits), and ruled it between 1920 – 1948.

    The Ottoman Empire didn’t care much for Israel. Most of the population at the time, Jews and Christians, were living in a few large cities. 1831 was a turning point, when Ibrahim Pasha, the son of the Ruler of Egypt took over Israel, and for logistic and political reasons sent Egyptians farmers to occupy the land, while slathering the Bedouin tribes, among others. In 1841 the Ottoman Empire managed to fight him off, while sending the Egyptians farmer to scatter across the land. In 1857 the Ottoman Empire understood the a barely occupied land calls for trouble, she sends massage for people to come and occupy it – Algerians, Chechen people who fled from the war with Russia, and people from Bosnia, who just lost a war to Austria, as well as Templers and Americans.
    Another wave of Egyptian settlement was in 1869, when the work on the Suez Canal was over, and a lot of worker who had no home to return to migrated north to the already exiting Egyptian settlements in Israel.

    Another turning point was at 1917, with the Balfour Declaration, in which the British said they “view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people”. This move made the Arab countries around furious, and the arab population in Israel responded with slaughter of Jews. The British, not wanting to anger the Arab countries more, withdrew the Declaration, and more – they started preventing Jews from coming to Israel, while Arabs could do so freely, a thing which they did in masses. Even in 1946, While Holocaust survivors came to what they thought would be a safe place, they were turned back by the Brits.
    After the declaration of the State of Israel, when the Palestinians fled to Gaza, Jordan and Egypt themselves refused to help the Palestinians, refused to acknowledge they have any sort of leadership (In hopes of taking over that territory for themselves), or even allow them to go back to their original homes. Even now Egypt will shoot any Palestinian who crosses its border.

    So those Arabs, who came from many neighbor countries, in the sole purpose of occupying the land, and preventing Jews from doing so – These are the Palestinians you speak of. They have no common background, no shared history; no more claim to the land than any of the other groups occupying the area at the time – The Bedouin nomads, the Druze people, and the Christians, all of which are now citizens of Israel, with full citizen rights.

  3. The fact is that more than half of Israel’s Jewish population is comprised of Mizrahi Jews, whose families have always lived in the Middle East. Did Helen think Israel’s Mizrahi and North African Jewish majority, whose families came to Israel from countries like Syria, Yemen, Egypt, Iraq, Morocco etc. also belong in Germany or Poland, the charnel house for their Jewish kin of Europe? What about the Israeli descendants of all the Jews whose families had always lived in Israel. On one side of my family I can trace my lineage about 600 years in Sefat and 300 years residence in Jerusalem. I was the first lineal descendant of my grandmother to be born outside Israel in hundreds of years. Helen Thomas called for ethnic cleansing, not religious cleansing, and distorted the truth by saying the Jews of Israel, a Middle Eastern people belong in Europe.

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