Helen Thomas Retires From Hearst Publications

Bump and Update: Helen Thomas has retired from Hearst Publications.


Original Post: Agency Drops Helen Thomas For Israel Remarks

Via Politico, Helen Thomas' agency, Nine Speakers, has dropped her as a client due to her recent remarks on Israel.

It is with a heavy heart that Nine Speakers, Inc. announces its resignation as the agent for Helen Thomas, Dean of the White House Press Corps.

Ms. Thomas has had an esteemed career as a journalist, and she has been a trailblazer for women, helping others in her profession, and beyond. However, in light of recent events, Nine Speakers is no longer able to represent Ms. Thomas, nor can we condone her comments on the Middle East. Nine Speakers will continue to enthusiastically represent all of our other current and future clients.

At least one of their other clients, Craig Crawford, says the agency made the right decision. Others highly critical of Thomas: Lanny Davis and Ari Fleischer. [More...]

I can see calling for her to step aside from the White House Press Corps, given it's an honorary position granted by her colleagues. Plus, her lack of impartiality, to put it mildly, is unacceptable for a reporter (as opposed to a commentator.) But, demanding her own agency stop representing her? That strikes me as impeding on her First Amendment rights. Has any agency refused to represent the divine Ms. C. who repeatedly makes equally offensive comments about a variety of groups? Of course not.

Helen's offensive remarks are here. Her later "statement of regret" is here:

“I deeply regret my comments I made last week regarding the Israelis and the Palestinians. They do not reflect my heart-felt belief that peace will come to the Middle East only when all parties recognize the need for mutual respect and tolerance. May that day come soon.” (June 4, 2010)

Up in the air: Whether Hearst will cancel her contract. I'll bet it doesn't. As a private company dealing with an employment contract, that's between them. No one has to buy Hearst publications or read her.

How come this Nine Speakers agency doesn't have a website? Is it all one person, named Diane Nine? While she's registered in every directory, I can't find a website. Odd, in this day and age.

One more thought on Ms. Thomas. I didn't know until tonight she is the daughter of Lebanese immigrants. It immediately brought to mind one night in 2000 when I went to hear Ralph Nader speak, right before the November election. I was shocked by his anti-Israel remarks. Only later did I learn his parents were Lebanese immigrants. It's probably too much to expect impartiality from anyone with a direct interest on either side of the Middle East issue. But if they can't be fair, and they exhibit such strong bias that those listening take their remarks for hatred, they probably shouldn't be national reporters or politicians. Both need to leave their private agendas behind in order to serve the public.

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    One of the reasons that Amanpour (5.00 / 4) (#2)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Jun 06, 2010 at 10:37:10 PM EST
    always transfixes me with her journalism is that she has special knowledge due to her roots about ME situations, but she is without a doubt a journalist first.

    Looking forward to Amanour (5.00 / 2) (#4)
    by caseyOR on Sun Jun 06, 2010 at 10:48:27 PM EST
    taking over at This Week on ABC in August. While it is possible, and sadly maybe even probable, that Amanpour will be absorbed into the giant Borg that is the national press corps., nonetheless, I cling to the outside chance that she will fight against the groupthink and prevail.

    She called George Will (5.00 / 1) (#24)
    by gyrfalcon on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 07:56:41 AM EST
    a "national treasure."

    I have zero expectation Amanpour, whose expertise is foreign affairs, will contradict the Village echo chamber on domestic issues and politics.


    You aren't even going to give (none / 0) (#36)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 09:00:35 AM EST
    her a kudo for catching hell from Israel on 'Gods Warriors'?

    I'll give Amanpour kudos when she (3.00 / 2) (#38)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 09:15:06 AM EST
    comes to the defense of Helen Thomas.

    I don't think that's going to happen (none / 0) (#43)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 09:23:51 AM EST
    Why not? George Will is a staunch (none / 0) (#48)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 09:58:08 AM EST
    pro-Israeli, anti-Palestian propagandist isn't he? Doesn't he also resolutely despise every remotely progressive person, place, or thing on the planet? And Amanpour called him a "national treasure".

    So, if Amanpour is as even-handed as some of you think, shouldn't she throw Helen Thomas a bone...ackh, never mind.


    I don't know what criteria (5.00 / 1) (#51)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 10:09:13 AM EST
    she was using when she judged George Will a national treasure.  And I don't pay a great deal of attention to George Will either, I'm no George Will junkie :)  I'm judging her on my viewing of her own journalistic work.

    Perhaps a Naional Treasure of Bloviating Swill. (5.00 / 1) (#54)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 10:24:49 AM EST
    I'd give him (George Will) that honor myself ;-)

    I give her all the kudos (none / 0) (#70)
    by gyrfalcon on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 12:19:47 PM EST
    I have for her reporting on foreign affairs.

    My low expectations, as I said, are for her sense on U.S. domestic issues and politics.


    Well, George Will (none / 0) (#56)
    by Zorba on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 10:50:59 AM EST
    really, really, really likes baseball (which, as far as I'm concerned, is just about his only positive attribute).  From a commencement speech he gave at Washington University in St. Louis, in 1998:
    "I grew up in Champaign, Illinois, midway between Chicago and St. Louis. At an age too tender for life-shaping decisions, I made one. While all my friends were becoming Cardinals fans, I became a Cub fan. My friends, happily rooting for Stan Musial, Red Schoendienst and other great Redbirds, grew up cheerfully convinced that the world is a benign place, so of course, they became liberals. Rooting for the Cubs in the late 1940s and early 1950s, I became gloomy, pessimistic, morose, dyspeptic and conservative."

    "Gloomy, pessimistic, morose, dyspeptic and conservative."  I'd say he pretty much came up with an accurate description of himself.  I, BTW, am, and always have been, a Cardinals fan.  'Nuff said.   ;-)

    Here's the transcript of Amanpour's (none / 0) (#164)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 03:50:21 PM EST
    right-wing pandering, excessive, misplaced compliment to George Will. LINK:

    CNN's Christiane Amanpour, who was announced on Thursday as successor to George Stephanopoulos as moderator of ABC's Sunday public affairs show, "This Week," says those who believe that her international background will shortchange domestic concerns on the show are wrong...

    "The round table will continue with the amazing people like George Will, who's a national treasure, Paul Krugman, Donna Brazile and the ABC correspondents, Jake Tapper, Jonathan Karl, Martha Raddatz, who's had [an] incredibly distinguished career. I'm very very proud to be able to join in a collegial way with all these people."

    Yeah, that's journalistic impartiality for you, right there -- no...over there...further to the right. I wonder how Amanpour's presumed impartial perspective, via her "international background", brought her to that craven bit of genuflection.

    Maybe (none / 0) (#169)
    by Zorba on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 04:00:29 PM EST
    the ABC gig pays a lot more than the CNN stuff,  and she's been blinded by the moolah.....It's pretty nauseating, all right.

    I dunno (none / 0) (#182)
    by jbindc on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 04:13:32 PM EST
    I took that comment as more of an affectionate comment than anything.  I mean, should we doubt her views because she's married to Jamie Rubin, who's an informal advisor to both Sec. Clinton and Pres. Obama and worked in the Bill Clinton State Department?

    One thing you need to remember is that these Washington journalists are friends besides being colleagues.  I mean, geez, she included Donna Brazile in her list of "amazing people"!


    I like her too (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by Jeralyn on Sun Jun 06, 2010 at 10:53:01 PM EST
    Her roots may not be what you think.  From an interview with her:

    I'm born of a Catholic mother and a Muslim father and I'm married to a Jewish husband. So I have all of God's wonderful shapes in my DNA. It has helped me have an inclusive look at what religion is all about. I instinctively retreat from division. I don't want politics or religion to be a reason for division in my life or in other people's lives. I see so much war, killing and hatred; I can always see why it shouldn't be like that.

    So she doesn't have a huge interest on one side versus the other. She's got some interest in all sides.


    Jeralyn... (5.00 / 3) (#53)
    by tinky on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 10:11:22 AM EST
    what you originally posted about Helen Thomas sounds so prejudiced. Words spoken too quickly...

    Does Helen Thomas have anti-Israeli sentiments because she is Lebanese or because she is an immigrant?
    Why did you even mention Ralph Nader in mustering up a proof of patterns about Lebanese people and immigrants in general?
    When I read your comment, it felt to me like you were typifying all Lebanese, immigrants or "others" and it also felt like a type of witch-hunt, a McCarthyism, a search for the UN-American.

    A strong sense of irony is not what I want to feel when it comes to Helen Thomas. For me, she has for years been one of the only journalists willing to challenge regular opinion. I believe she is so necessary, as are people like Ralph Nader.

    My interpretation was that Helen Thomas was speaking about the people in the Settlement areas not Holocaust survivors when she said they could go back to their homes of origin. Very few people in the Settlement areas are Holocaust survivors. We heard Helen Thomas out-of-context. I am also hoping that I read you out-of-context.

    I wish that careful specificity and the details of context would create an inhospitable environment for prejudice.


    I see your point. Rather than thinking (5.00 / 1) (#141)
    by hairspray on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 02:06:43 PM EST
    "you should all go back to where you come from" it could be construed as why not reintegrate back into Europe and take your place, not as a beleagured people but as citizens of other first world countries.   If you need the room to grow there are other places to grow your religion/culture.  With Israelis becoming isolated in their increasingly fundamentalist leadership, they will need compassionate alliances with other first world societies.

    But, doesn't that construction... (none / 0) (#151)
    by christinep on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 02:40:57 PM EST
    ask people to leave their country? It seems to me that there is a vast--and important--difference between disagreeing with Israeli policy (and, I think that PM Netanyahu's extreme aggression is harmful to Irael) and disagreeing with its existence. It is quite different to say that Israel should withdraw from Gaza, stop its occupation, etc. than it is to say that the Jewish people should leave Israel and return to somewhere else. When a well-known speaker names the "somewhere" as Poland and Germany and when that well-known speaker is certainly aware of the emotional, real meaning that conveys at this point in history, well... it is more than disappointing.

    I see your point. Rather than thinking (none / 0) (#142)
    by hairspray on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 02:07:51 PM EST
    "you should all go back to where you come from" it could be construed as why not reintegrate back into Europe and take your place, not as a beleagured people but as citizens of other first world countries.   If you need the room to grow there are other places to grow your religion/culture.  With Israelis becoming isolated in their increasingly fundamentalist leadership, they will need compassionate alliances with other first world societies.

    I knew her mother was (none / 0) (#10)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Jun 06, 2010 at 11:12:50 PM EST
    British, did not know she was Catholic.  I know she lived in Iran under the Shah as a child, and they left before the Iran/Iraq war.  

    Who did Amanpour call a national treasure (none / 0) (#30)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 08:39:02 AM EST
    besides George Will?
    So she [Christiane Amanpour] doesn't have a huge interest on one side versus the other. She's got some interest in all sides.

    Jeralyn, I don't see why in the world you would support the notion that a mixed religious background is a superior path to inclusivity or impartiality. Although Amanpour, evidently thinks it's a path to divinity:

    I'm born of a Catholic mother and a Muslim father and I'm married to a Jewish husband. So I have all of God's wonderful shapes in my DNA.

    No ego problems there.


    i don't see any ego problems. (5.00 / 2) (#126)
    by ahazydelirium on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 01:34:30 PM EST
    amanpour is saying she has been exposed to the three most practiced monotheistic religions in the world, and that this exposure has given her the desire to personally live without division and conflict because she sees it in her reporting. i really don't understand your criticism.

    i would say being exposed to any way of life different from your own enables you be to be more inclusive -- or conversely, having three different ways of life converge. now, that doesn't necessarily mean you will be more inclusive, but i think it definitely helps. if you understand and accept three different faiths, it means never having the desire to impose a belief system on anyone else or the desire to wage holy war.


    Imo, exposure to monotheistic religion, (none / 0) (#166)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 03:54:44 PM EST
    be it one or three, is not necessarily conducive to rational thinking.

    Should Salon.com drop Glenn (5.00 / 4) (#8)
    by oculus on Sun Jun 06, 2010 at 11:07:12 PM EST
    Greenwald?  His views on Israel, flotilla, U.S. Congress partiality to Israel, etc. are probably considered almost treasonous by supporters of Israel.

    I bet people have tried. (5.00 / 8) (#11)
    by caseyOR on Sun Jun 06, 2010 at 11:16:38 PM EST
    What would surprise me would be if no one has put pressure on Salon.com to get rid of Greenwald for the reasons you mentioned and more.

    I am offended on an almost daily basis by comments made by Chuck Todd, Jake Tapper, Andrea Mitchell, Chris Matthews, David Brooks, Tom Friedman, Charles Krauthammer and David Broder, to name just a few.


    I haven't read anything from him (5.00 / 2) (#12)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Jun 06, 2010 at 11:30:00 PM EST
    that I could call offensive, nothing that could compare to Helen's remarks.  And you know, in the opinion of some in this house, I'm a Zionist.

    And while we're at it, (5.00 / 1) (#129)
    by jondee on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 01:40:33 PM EST
    MIT should fire Chomsky..

    This is why the Right likes consolidation and monopolies: it'll be easier to perform the great info cleansing, when the time comes..


    Mr Cronkite was recording a documentary for CBS in 1968 about the Tet offensive in Vietnam...he suggested that the US was in a stalemate in Vietnam and should get out. It was a moment that many older Americans still remember and has been shown to have been a turning point in ending the struggle. President Johnson reportedly turned to an aide at the time and said: "If I've lost Cronkite, I've lost Middle America".

    I would say that yes, Cronkite was being impartial. He objectively assessed the facts of the public record and reached a verdict -- and middle America was ready for it.

    Imo, people like Greenwald are objectively assessing the facts of the public record and coming to conclusions that many people aren't yet ready to hear. But, if somebody, with a public forum, isn't willing to speak up, early and often, the country may take forever to be ready.

    Helen Thomas has been fearlessly grilling unprincipled politicians, irrespetive of party affiliation, for 50 years. I don't doubt that many would happily dance on her grave. Imo, their gain is our loss. Her remarks were misconstrued and exploited for political advantage -- which, unfortunately serves the interests of both parties.

    I've always loved Helen but (5.00 / 3) (#25)
    by gyrfalcon on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 07:59:18 AM EST
    I don't know how you misconstrue the assertion that the Jews should "go back to Poland and Germany or wherever they came from."

    And they came from the Middle East :) (none / 0) (#26)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 08:06:50 AM EST
    I know, I'm with ya

    Donald, that is one of the most incisive, (none / 0) (#198)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 05:03:56 PM EST
    observations anybody has ever made about the value of elderly people to public discourse:
    Is she some left-wing ideological zealot whose obvious bias against Israel clouds her judgment, as Ari Fleischer, et all., would make her out to be?

    ...the lifetime sum of Helen Thomas' work product strongly suggests the opposite, that she has instead displayed persistence, tenacity and guts, and isn't at all afraid of saying what she feels that people sorely need to hear.

    I've noticed that elderly persons who feel some sense of urgency sometimes feel compelled to dispense with tact to make their points, particularly with those persons who advocate policies that run directly counter with their own personal experiences and memories gathered over the course of a long lifetime.

    Bravo Donald, I could kiss your ring.


    Oy vey... (5.00 / 5) (#14)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 06:27:27 AM EST
    Jeralyn, what you have said here doesn't sit well:
    I didn't know until tonight she [Ms. Thomas] is the daughter of Lebanese immigrants...I went to hear Ralph Nader speak, right before the November [2000] election. I was shocked by his anti-Israel remarks. Only later did I learn his parents were Lebanese immigrants. It's probably too much to expect impartiality from anyone with a direct interest on either side of the Middle East issue.

    There are plenty of Arabic people, throughout the world, who are not anti-Israel/anti-Semitic. Likewise, there are plenty of Jews throughout the world, including Israelis, who support the struggle of the Palestinian people. I count myself among the latter.

    It is about validating the humanity of all (5.00 / 1) (#59)
    by MKS on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 11:23:12 AM EST
    The Palestinians are people who deserve respect too.  I actually worry that too many in Israel would dispute that sentiment.

    A blockade of cement.  No building or repair of schools or hospitals.

    And, slowly grinding an entire people to dust. As if they all are nothing more than evil ants....

    Israel has the upper hand militarily with nuclear weapons, the best air force and army outside of the U.S., and it always wins the wars....

    If you corner the Palestinians without hope and with overwhelming oppresion, then their impotent rage will fester forever....Unless you kill all of them, their children will remember.


    I'm not sure I get your point (none / 0) (#67)
    by ricosuave on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 11:57:33 AM EST
    Are you saying it is OK for Helen Thomas to advocate the ethnic cleansing of all Jews from Israel?  Are you saying you are in favor of sending the millions of Jews living in Israel to two countries that none of them are citizens of and the vast majority of them have absolutely no family roots in or connection to?  And all of this is justified because of your support for the Palestinian cause?

    How is this an acceptable thing for a representative of a news organization to espouse, whether she is a commentator or a reporter, no matter who she is talking about or what causes she supports?  In addition (and at the bottom end of the list of why these remarks were awful), how is it acceptable that someone who is supposed to be an expert on the Middle East can make such an inaccurate assessment of the roots of the vast majority of the people of Israel?

    No matter what your opinion of Israel, I would hope that you don't support the forced deportation of all Jews from the Middle East to Poland and Germany.


    I didn't say any of those things (5.00 / 5) (#68)
    by MKS on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 12:10:38 PM EST
    And, I specifically said in another post on this thread that I of course do not agree with sending Jews anywhere.....

    I certainly did not say I supported the Palestinian cause.....I merely said that Palestinians are people too.  For that, you conclude I side with Palestinians (presumably Hamas) against Israel.

    The liberal supporters of Israel have truly disappointed in all this.  The idea that treating the Palestinian people humanely is somehow a violent political act shows how far Israel has fallen.

    You have got to deal with the Palestinians.  If you think that means grinding all the people in Gaza to dust--old men, women and children--that would be not only a horrible betrayal of the very values on which Israel was founded, but also very self-defeating too....You can't just eliminate Gaza and its people....


    Grind to dust? (none / 0) (#93)
    by ricosuave on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 12:59:28 PM EST
    I guess I could similarly accuse you of saying I want to grind the people in Gaza to dust.  I do not.  I want peace, I want fairness for the palestinians wherever they live, and I want the violence to end.

    Helen Thomas's statement cannot possibly cause the liberal supporters of Israel (such as myself) to disappoint you (unless they are calling for violence against her, which I have not heard and don't expect to hear).  You were disappointed to begin with.  My complaint is mainly that you used a discussion of Helen Thomas's statement as a launching point to attack Israel's policies.  She was not calling for the Palestinians to be treated humanely, she was calling for the Israelis to be treated inhumanely.

    Why can't her statement be condemned on its own terms, without having to defend her by attacking the policies of Israel?  She should not be defended on this, though I will say her apology was a nice one.


    The embargo (5.00 / 1) (#120)
    by MKS on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 01:25:25 PM EST
    is not just against weapons....Cement too?  My views on the Israeli/Palestinian conflict are far from pre-ordained....but they are changing rapidly based on what I am learning of the embargo and what Israel's friends are saying about the Palestinians--this general dehumanizing....

    Liberal Congressman Brad Sherman wants those on board the ship that was raided by the Israeli commandos prosecuted as terrorists.....The loss of perspective here is amazing.....It was a humanitarian shipment of civilian goods--no arms on board.  Perhaps some onboard started the violence and perhaps some onboard are members of Hamas.....But the idea was to deliver humanitarian aid to those suffering in Gaza...And for Brad Sherman, that makes all those onboard terrorists???  I guess the reasoning is that support of people in Gaza equals support of Hamas and its desire to destroy Israel....

    What is so disappointing is that such leaps of logic are being made by liberals who are usually full of light and humanity--which they are setting aside in this case.  I expect such a reaction from Cheney and Palin--but from liberals?

    As to Thomas, of course virtually no one here would agree that any Israelis should be sent to Poland....That is so wrong as to be uninteresting.  But I suppose Israelis really believe that is possible?  With all their military might and vast economic and political support here?

    But Thomas's concern for the Palestinians is an issue to be looked at.  


    Sheesh (5.00 / 3) (#73)
    by waldenpond on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 12:22:15 PM EST
    no, no, no.

    MKS was very clear.....The Palestinians are people who deserve respect too.  A simple statement that I agree with.  Your weird extreme response demonstrates you clearly and adamantly do not.

    I don't get your point.... are you saying the Palestinians should be bombed until cleansed?  are you saying the blockade should be absolute until every Palestinian has fled to a region they have no connection to or starved to death?  all of this because of your support of the elimination of the Palestinians?  



    No (none / 0) (#103)
    by ricosuave on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 01:05:40 PM EST
    I am not saying any of that stuff.  I do not support the elimination of the Palestinians, and it is sad that I have to explicitly say that when all I did say was that Helen Thomas's words were unacceptable.  My point was pretty clearly:
    No matter what your opinion of Israel, I would hope that you don't support the forced deportation of all Jews from the Middle East to Poland and Germany
    I don't see where you jump from there to accusing me of supporting genocide.  But I guess it one-ups the support for Helen Thomas's call for ethnic cleansing, which is the topic of this thread.

    The more I read your post (none / 0) (#79)
    by MKS on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 12:32:38 PM EST
    the more astonished I become.

    My post, to which you are responding, says, "It's about validating the humanity of all" in the subject line.....And, yet, you imply this is somehow support for Helen Thomas's comments......

    This is the "with us (on everything, no matter what) or against us" style of Dick Cheney....

    You seemed to have missed my entire point....Do you really disagree with the proposition of treating the Palestinian people humanely?  Is saying that a provocative act?

    I have reflexively been a strong supporter of Israel for my entire life.  But this incident is causing my to reconsider.  It is not so much the raid on the ship, as the attitude of Israel and her supporters towards those living in Gaza.  It is truly amazing how easily too many overlook the fact the people of Gaza are human and are entitled to human rights.....Can you at least acknowledge that?  


    You are reading WAY too much into my comments (none / 0) (#116)
    by ricosuave on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 01:19:44 PM EST
    I don't know where you are inferring the stuff about me wanting to treat Palestinians inhumanely, or calling for me to pass your litmus tests.  I made no statements either supporting or opposing Israeli actions in Gaza nor did I make any statements about the Israeli action on the ships trying to reach Gaza.  I have my opinions on those, but I am pretty sure that you don't know or care what they are.  And even if you do care, I believe that such a discussion distracts heavily from the discussion of Helen Thomas's remarks, which are not acceptable no matter what my opinions are.

    All I have done in any post here is:

    • Criticize the nature and accuracy of Helen Thomas's comments

    • Express my awe that these comments cannot be condemned without an accompanying diatribe against Israel.

    I have made no with-us-or-against-us type comments at all, other than to say that a person should either oppose Thomas's call for ethnic cleansing or not.  I have not compared anyone to Dick Cheney, as you did.  I have not fulfilled Godwin's law (which is the next step after comparing someone to Dick Cheney, in my opinion), nor have I accused anyone else of doing so.  I don't think any of that, or anything I said here at all, is extreme.  And, frankly, I don't think anything I have said warrants the vitriol that my comments have evoked here.


    Frustrating, isn't it? (5.00 / 1) (#154)
    by Yman on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 02:55:24 PM EST
    You are reading WAY too much into my comments ... I don't know where you are inferring the stuff

    Having someone put words in your mouth?  Sort of like those who claim Helen Thomas was advocating "ethnic cleansing", or

    I would hope that you don't support the forced deportation of all Jews from the Middle East to Poland and Germany.
    , or

    Anyone who says that the Jews of Israel come from Poland and Germany simply does not know the facts or the history of that country.

    "Diatribe against Israel" (none / 0) (#124)
    by MKS on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 01:33:37 PM EST
    Is that how you read my original comments....

    And, I get criticized for my future violation of Godwin's law?

    Your "questions" were a response to my assertion that we should treat the Palestinians humanely.....That was an unusual response...

    A simple acknowledgement that the embargo is hurting the people of Gaza.....That will not come from too many....


    You are the one, ricosuave (none / 0) (#176)
    by Cream City on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 04:09:05 PM EST
    who is reading too much not only into commenters' comments but also into reports, repeat, reports of Thomas' comments -- because you are sadly exaggerating her comments.

    Please go find and read the full question and her full answer.


    I would love (none / 0) (#18)
    by TeresaInPa on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 07:19:26 AM EST
    to have a conversation with you on this topic.  Jer has my permission to give you my email if you wouldn't mind a conversation over email.  As a liberal Christian I have over the last 10 years really struggled with this issue and even lost some friends over it.

    Sadly in the US no one but a fellow Jew is allowed (5.00 / 2) (#22)
    by Bornagaindem on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 07:28:03 AM EST
    to have an opinion that is contrary to the government line and our "free press" go along with the demonization of any one who does.

    The Palestinians are an occupied people. Just change the name of the country to Iran or Somalia  that boarded a ship in international waters and killed 9 people and you would have a different reaction to the "right" of that country to protect itself. They would have been called terrorists. We never recognize our own blind spots.

    Helen Thomas' remarks weren't anti semitic she merely expresses an opinion and her anger at the unfairness of the treatment of the Palestinians. Many people do not believe, especially in retrospect, that Israel should have been created out of whole cloth by taking the Palestinians land from them. If you were going to create a homeland for the Jews the only country whose lands were forfeit after the horror of WWII was Germany and the other countries of the Axis. That is where a Jewish homeland should have been created. Not on the backs of British occupied Palestine. In addition, the Israeli's have not conducted themselves better than any occupying power when it comes to the rights of the Palestinians. No one is saying that the Arabs in the region and the Palestinians themselves are without blame but it does no good to accept a wrong just because it is our wrong. My country love it or leave it? Sorry  my role as responsible citizen is to criticize my government as many Israelis are doing and  not to support it when it is wrong.

    Helen Thomas is a national treasure who is willing to ask the tough questions. What a shame if we lose her in the press corps. Then there will be no one but synchophants worshiping at the feet of the president once again.

    Israelis want to dismantle settlements... (5.00 / 1) (#29)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 08:21:45 AM EST
    Unfortunately, any American Jew who supports the Palestinian people is likely to be called a self-hating Jew. Anyway, here goes.

    "Israeli settlements are Israeli civilian communities in the Israeli-occupied territories (lands that were captured from Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria by Israel during the 1967 Six-Day War). Such settlements currently exist in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights. The latter two areas are governed under Israeli civil law but all three territories are considered to be under military occupation by the international community." [Wikipedia]

    It is peculiar in the extreme that most Americans are more supportive of the Israeli settlements than the general Israeli population. Our lapdog media is far too timid to call our attention to such facts -- but Helen Thomas wasn't.

    Israeli Public's Support for Dismantling Most Settlements Has Risen to a Five-Year High:

    A survey of the Israeli general public and Israeli settlers taken in early March shows three-fifths of the Israeli public (60%) support "dismantling most of the settlements in the territories as part of a peace agreement with the Palestinians."

    In contrast to the views of the Israeli public, among Israeli settlers a large majority (69%) oppose dismantling most West Bank settlements. Moreover, a majority of settlers believe most of the Israeli general public shares its opposition to dismantling settlements...

    Israeli settlers and the Israeli public as a whole overestimate the extent to which most settlement activity is driven by settlers' sense of religious or national mission..."Personal wish for quality of life, housing and community" (46%) was found to outweigh a sense of "national or religious mission to inhabit the land" (31%), while belief that the territories enhance Israel's security (15%) was rated a distant third.

    I'd recommend reading the whole story. The "misperceptions" are particularly interesting.


    Should the Jews that (none / 0) (#23)
    by Wile ECoyote on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 07:56:23 AM EST
    lived in Palestine prior to WWII been moved to your proposed homeland in Germany?  

    That woulda been up to them... (5.00 / 2) (#42)
    by kdog on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 09:22:16 AM EST
    where they wanna live, stay in Palestine or go to the newly created Jewish state in Germany.

    I believe the point is creating a new country called Israel anywhere else but a slice of Germany after WWII was a mistake and unjust to the Palestinians...and it's hard to argue with that.  No doubt the European Jews were down insanely dirty by the Germans, and deserved reparations...the post-war powers f*cked up by giving away land they had no moral right to give away...Israel should be a slice of Germany by any measure of fairness.  

    Too late now though, Israel is here to stay...and rightly so for the Israelis born on that land...they had no say in where the Jewish state was created.  And here we are with peace seemingly impossible, because of the post-war powers f*ck up.

    It's a shame Helen worded her very valid point so poorly, and so full of anger in tone.


    Should the Jews sent to the (none / 0) (#46)
    by Wile ECoyote on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 09:46:41 AM EST
    gulag and or massacred in the former soviet union deserve their own homeland there?

    I think one "homeland"... (5.00 / 1) (#52)
    by kdog on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 10:09:48 AM EST
    would suffice...African Americans don't have their own state in the US....they didn't even get their acreage and a mule:)

    No doubt though that Germany ain't the only ones who done the Jewish people dirty.  Not every sub-group that gets done dirty is gonna get a state of their own though...though it might be nice.

    It's a seriously tangled post-colonialism web brother...and a bloody one at that.  Damned if I know how to fix it...a Palestinian state is my best guess at a start, but not a cure-all...so much bad blood, so little forgiveness.


    No, of course not (5.00 / 1) (#61)
    by MKS on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 11:25:59 AM EST
    But one should recognize that displaced Palestinians need some redress.....or at least some ability to live humanely....

    I don't agree with Thomas's position ... (5.00 / 2) (#28)
    by Yman on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 08:15:35 AM EST
    ... that immigrants to Israel should return to their homelands, but the reaction to her statements is over the top.  She was discussing occupation of Palestine and the injustice done to the Palestinian people by virtue of their forced removal from their land(s).  There is nothing to suggest that he comments were based on the ethnicity/religion of the immigrants, despite the fact that almost all of those immigrants are Jewish.  Just as some Native American advocates call for a return of American land to Native Americans, a move which would disproportionately affect white Europeans, advocating for the return of American land is hardly a "racist" position.

    The claims that Thomas is calling for a forced removal of Israelis or calling for "ethnic cleansing" are also ridiculous.  Thomas stated her opinion that the immigrants to Israel "should" return to their homelands.  I disagree with her, but she did not advocate ethnic cleansing or the forced removal of either Jews or post-48 immigrants, as some have claimed.  She also did not limit her comments to Jewish immigrants from Germany and Poland, as some have claimed, evoking images of returning Jews to the Holocaust.

    Dissolution of Israel 60+ years after the fact is wholely impractical and would likely result in as much injustice to Israelis as it would mitigate among Palestinians, but it is hardly a racist position.

    Helen Thomas was calling for the (5.00 / 1) (#37)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 09:12:12 AM EST
    dissolution of the Jewish settlements in the Palestinian territories. IIRC, she wasn't calling for the dissolution of Israel.

    "Tell them to get the hell out of Palestine. Remember, these people are occupied and it's their land."

    BTW, does anybody have a full transcript of the exchange? Didn't it begin when she asked Gibbs why the US was giving Israel a free pass on attacking the aid flotilla? Notice how that got dropped from the news cycle!


    I don't think that's true (5.00 / 2) (#80)
    by CST on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 12:35:06 PM EST
    that she was just talking about settlements in Palestine.

    if that were the case - she would not have said send them back to germany or poland or the united states.  She would have said "send them back to Israel".

    I like Helen Thomas usually, I like that she asks the hard questions.  But the fact of the matter is, this statement was fairly offensive.  And I feel that once a reporter of her stature has lost credibility in that regard, people won't take her other "hard" questions seriously.

    And no, I have never read something like that from Greenwald.  I think it's very possible to strongly criticize a place without implying it shouldn't exist (and no I don't think she was advocating ethnic cleansing - just relocation).  She crossed a line there.

    Let me put it this way - if we were talking about other immigration here, and someone recommended sending all the Mexicans in the U.S. back to Mexico, regardless of whether they were born here or not - what would the reaction to that be?  And yes, I realize that analogy ignores the power structure in play, but at the end of the day, it's not really that different.


    Maybe (none / 0) (#44)
    by Yman on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 09:33:33 AM EST
    Depends on what she meant by "Palestine", which has different meanings:

    Palestine can refer to "ancient Palestine," an area that today includes Israel and the Israeli-occupied [2] Palestinian territories, as well as part of Jordan, and some of both Lebanon and Syria.[1] In classical or contemporary terms, it is also the common name for the area west of the Jordan River.

    Given the context, however (suggesting that Israeli immigrants should return to their homelands), I would infer that she meant the pre-1948, British Mandate "Palestine".


    the exchange is from (none / 0) (#155)
    by ding7777 on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 03:08:47 PM EST
    a live tape - part 2 to air soon

    Uh, I think the land was won in a war or two (none / 0) (#170)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 04:00:53 PM EST
    Shall we give what we won, and then paid for, back to Mexico??

    How about the LA Purchase? The price was way too low, eh????


    I don't know, ... (none / 0) (#197)
    by Yman on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 04:54:21 PM EST
    ... but even Bush and the wingnuts aren't crazy enough to suggest we should keep Iraq.

    Heeeeeeeeyyy, ..... maybe we should keep Germany, Italy and Japan for good measure!  After all, ....

    ... we "won" them ...


    Spare me the outrage. (5.00 / 3) (#39)
    by observed on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 09:15:40 AM EST
    Pro-Israel propaganda flows like sewage from all the major news networks in the US.
    How many people in the US even know the BASIC history of the conflict?
    I would bet that fewer than 5 per cent of US citizens know that 700,000 or so Arabs were expelled from Israel ca. 1948.  We hear all the time about the Palestinian atrocities (and I do not minimize or condone them---I have personally known relatives of Israelis tortured and murdered by Arabs), but who knows about the many Jewish massacres of Arabs, dating from long before the creation of Israel?
    Who knows that Sharon was a mass murderer, many times over, or that Begin was also a murderer and terrorist?

    What Helen is implying is that the creation of Israel was a terrible idea. There's nothing anti-Jewish in that notion---in fact, many Jews thought the same thing. It takes a special kind of craziness to think that a state which ceased to exist roughly 2000 years ago had any legitimate cause to be recreated.
    Zionism was a colonial enterprise which could never succeed without ethnic cleansing, a fact which was explicitly acknowledged by Zionists.
    Hence, bloodshed was inevitable.

    I know I will get jumped on these remarks.
    At least I won't be shot in the head unarmed, or murdered by a bulldozer.
    My only desire in regards to the Israel-Palestinian conflict is that the US disengage.
    I hate seeing our tax dollars used support the continued expansion of Israel.
    Not that I have much sympathy at all with the Palestinian viewpoint. I only feel for their suffering as people.

    I always loved the story of (5.00 / 4) (#104)
    by MKS on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 01:07:02 PM EST
    the creation of Israel.  One factoid:  During the Guatemalan Civil War, the Guatemalan military often was armed with rifles that came from Israel--because in 1948 (during Guatemala's Decade of Spring of being a genuine democracy) Guatemala provided the decisive vote in the UN for the creation of Israel, and Israel remembered its friend by delivering weapons--forgetting that the government that voted for its creation was lost in a 1954 CIA coup and replaced with thugs and butchers.....

    I always just brushed aside the problem of pushing out the Palestinians.....The reason this was of no concern was the assumption that "they" could just always go to another Arab country such as Syria or Jordan.  And also Israel was a genuine democracy that would treat the Palestinians humanely--that somehow they would be even better off under an Israeli government....But how that assumption has been questioned....

    We punished the Palestinians for the sins of the Nazis.  That basic unfairness needs to be addressed if this conflict is ever to be resolved.


    Israel (5.00 / 3) (#117)
    by CST on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 01:24:07 PM EST
    has never lived up to the promise of Democracy.

    If that was the case, Palestinians would have a vote in Israel, and the Israeli government would be gone.

    I actually find that to be a much better resolution to this than kicking out the Jews, just convert it into a true democracy.  That being said, that might also not be so realistic, since if Hamas won that election (and they might) - they would probably kick out all of the Jews, if not worse.

    But I 100% agree that the international community needs to address the concerns of the Palestinians.  And I think more people need to realize that it is not a black and white situation, that you can support the right of both of these places to exist without supporting the way they have treated each other to date.


    If Palestinians are such victims (5.00 / 1) (#153)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 02:51:33 PM EST
    in all this, then why is it that Egypt is saying it is doubtful that they will keep their border open anything more than sparingly?  They announced they would open it, but now they desire to backpaddle.  The Palestinians voted Hamas in, Egypt wants nothing to do with Hamas problems and has had a few of its own.  It is terrified that if it becomes the only open border to Gaza that they will soon have to deal with Hamas and all that that entails a lot more than Israel does.

    The convolutions of the Middle East (5.00 / 1) (#162)
    by christinep on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 03:41:28 PM EST
    I'm nutty for even putting my toe in the discussion. But, MT you raise some good points. Talking with my husband a bit ago about the shole situation, I--of course--decried Netanyahu and his reprise of aggression. After we batted that around for awhile, I wondered aloud about where a Palestinian state would be.
    It doesn't make sense to undo the decision of 62+ years ago to create the modern Israeli state. For a lot of reasons (legal and humane on all sides.) As I grew up and went through differing life stages, the "Palestinian question" remained. We all know the human, sad consequences of the unanswered question.
    Now, I wonder about the states surrounding Israel with all their combined land mass, The state of Lebanon is particularly interesting given the somewhat diversified cultural and religious nature of its inhabitant. Hamas demonstrates a strong advocacy for the Palestinians. Does that advocacy include any Lebanese partition for the accomodation of Palestinian expanded settlement? Does anyone know? Or is it more profitable for some of the surrounding states to play wedge issue politics with the suffering people of Palestine? I don't know; but, gotta' wonder.

    Lebanon (5.00 / 3) (#175)
    by MKS on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 04:07:05 PM EST
    It would be wonderful if Lebanon could provide part of the answer.

    But it really comes back to a lot of Palestinians giving up what they consider their land, or at least where they had been living for decades, because of the sins of the Nazis.

    Look at the Kelo decision here about eminent domain.  And we expect the Palestinians to swallow a loss of land many times over what happened in Kelo.....And apparently without compensation and while being shoved into the squalor and poverty of Gaza....

    What happened to the Palestinians was unjust.  Until that concept is accepted by all concerned, a way out of this mess will be impossible.


    Yes, MKS (none / 0) (#185)
    by christinep on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 04:17:17 PM EST
    What happened in the 1940s decision had harmful (and unjust) repercussions, reality for the Palestinians. From the standpoint of eventual international resolution, that finding should be acknowledged.  But, how to move to the next step without threatening the existence of Israel, which--as we all know--also suffered heartless injustices prior to the 1948 agreement? My understanding is that many people of good will from all persuasions have moved conceptually toward the reality of a Palestinian state. So, the real question is "Where?" That is why I brought up Lebanon specifically...the demonstrated interest, location, etc.

    I expect people to be tolerant (none / 0) (#187)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 04:23:26 PM EST
    of others and get along and not be so crazy that the only thing that will suffice is the killing of those they will not tolerate.  Prior to this last uptick of extremism on both sides I remember the mourning of the businesses that employed both peoples.......and now the borders would be closed.  The state solution is the only solution in my book, and it is attainable if people want it.  And if they don't want it, this is what we will have.  But Jews have lived in the region for as long as Arabs have, neither one can claim full ownership.

    True, but the settlments must stop (none / 0) (#190)
    by MKS on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 04:27:45 PM EST
    They go way beyond the UN Madate....

    The settlements must stop (5.00 / 2) (#192)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 04:31:44 PM EST
    and the only way we can get that is if we get the crazy right out of power in Israel and Hamas out of power in Palestine.  People must become reinspired to create the peace.  The only other alternative is death or degrees of living dead.

    What my spouse says of Hamas (none / 0) (#165)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 03:54:35 PM EST
    They are a terrorist promoting organization and Egypt wants no larger part of Hamas than what they currently have to deal with.  That being said, I also remember when my husband wouldn't teach students from Egypt who were part of a deal involving us selling Apaches to Egypt.  The Army doesn't require active duty soldiers at Fort Rucker to teach students of foreign nations if they cannot personally abide sharing the knowledge with individuals representing or serving other entities.  And you can pick and choose to teach some but not others.  At that time Egypt had used Apaches to suppress its population in the recent past and my husband couldn't condone that practice. That was about six years ago though, don't know what may have changed if anything on that front.

    There is Hamas (5.00 / 1) (#168)
    by MKS on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 03:58:58 PM EST
    and then there are the people living in Gaza....

    To punish Hamas, the people of Gaza are being punished....  We have got to consider the people in Gaza as victims too....And humanitarian aid to them is appropriate....

    Israel used to be the underdog.   Not really anymore.  Israel is very, very powerful....Who here in elected office can criticize Israel?


    Collective Punishment (5.00 / 1) (#172)
    by squeaky on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 04:03:26 PM EST
    That is one of the reasons that many legal scholars believe that the blockade is illegal.

    People here yammer about (none / 0) (#189)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 04:24:50 PM EST
    Israel being a failed democracy, but who voted Hamas in?  Who wants Hamas to run their show?

    You know, if I were a Palestinian (5.00 / 3) (#193)
    by MKS on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 04:33:47 PM EST
    in Gaza with nothing and the Israelis calling all the shots, and the Israelis having killed relatives of mine, I could easily vote for the government that provided the most "pushback."

    We have got to stop the Palestinians from having their backs against the wall.  If treated as cornered animals, the result is predictable.  The Arabs in the region have lost every war and suffer humiliations daily.....They only have limited options to "fight back.".....

    Somebody has got to give the Palestinians a face saving out....


    Having hamas members in the IDF would be a more (none / 0) (#139)
    by observed on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 02:03:19 PM EST
    immediate issue, IMO.
    I used to think the single-state, equal rights solution was the best, but almost nobody wants it, so the question is moot.

    Words to live by. (1.00 / 1) (#171)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 04:02:48 PM EST
    Don't stand in front of a bulldozer

    and you won't get run over by a bulldozer.


    Rachel Corrie was killed by (none / 0) (#191)
    by Andreas on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 04:30:02 PM EST
    state terrorists, not by a bulldozer.

    Honest Broker? (5.00 / 1) (#58)
    by mmc9431 on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 11:14:41 AM EST
    It's political and journalistic suicide to say anything against Israel. Look at what the media did to Jimmy Carter.

    We wouldn't tolerate the actions of Israel from any other country. The settlements not only have to stop but the existing ones need to be torn down.

    I have a very hard time accepting the premise that this land is their's because God said so. If we accepted that same argument here, we wouldn't be dealing with immigration problems in Arizona. The native Americans would merely evict us.

    I worry about anybody... (3.67 / 3) (#62)
    by kdog on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 11:27:13 AM EST
    who thinks god "chose" them special to live someplace...talk about loony-bin level crazy.

    There should be no place at the debate table for that kinda crazy superstition talk...by any superstition.  


    Thank-you! (1.00 / 1) (#72)
    by vml68 on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 12:20:15 PM EST

    Kdog that is beneath you (none / 0) (#74)
    by jbindc on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 12:25:24 PM EST
    That is on the level of Bill Maher offensive, which is pretty offensive.  You may not like, nor agree with people's religious beliefs, but those beliefs have been around for almost 6000 years, so I think to call them "loony-bin crazy" is out of line.

    You point about why that it shouldn't be a factor in choosing what land is their homeland is fair, but it's a done deal, and no one is going to move the country of Israel.


    I firmly stand by the comment... (5.00 / 2) (#81)
    by kdog on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 12:38:54 PM EST
    if you think a higher power chose you to live on a select piece of land above all others, you're f*cking nuts, case closed.  I don't care if it's been a belief for 6000 years or 60 seconds...nuts nuts nuts.

    That being said, you're right, we're at where we're at and the creation of Israel post-WWII cannot be undone now, it is now the home to native-born Israelis who know no other home...the question is how do we get the Palestinians some justice for past wrongs without wronging the Israelis today who had nothing to do with the creation of Israel.  Basically what we didn't do back when Israel was created...we did right by Jewish people wronged by Germany with no regard for the Palestinian people...a mistake paid for by mucho innocent blood on all sides ever since.  

    It's a common post-colonialism problem...how to deal with lands stolen in the past without doing harm to the innocents of today...it's a bloody mess, and in more than one part of the world.


    How far would you go back? (none / 0) (#83)
    by jbindc on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 12:45:26 PM EST
    The Romans conquered lands far and wide.  So did the Mongols, the Chinese, the Greeks, the Vikings, the Persians, and yes, even the Native Americans. Should we take away the entire southwest and California and give it back to Mexico?

    Not knowing much about the situation, I always thought it was crazy to take away land from people who were living there and give it to their sworn enemy because the world felt a collective guilt that they turned a blind eye to the Nazi Holocaust.  That being said, the Palestinians have not done themselves any favors since then by engaging in acts of terrorism - blowing up pizza joints and shopping centers - to make their point.

    I think we all need to take a collective chill pill - on this and so many other issues.


    at the time (5.00 / 1) (#86)
    by CST on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 12:53:13 PM EST
    I'm not sure they were "sworn enemies".  Pretty sure that happened because of Israel - not before it.

    Other than that, I pretty much agree with this comment.

    The one thing I will say is that there is some feeling among Jews, even those critical of Israel, that the need for a specific Jewish state has arisen not from one specific event like the holocaust, but from generations of events like the holocaust.  The holocaust was just the most recent one, and the one that happened in an era when the rest of the world could and did pay attention.  And the idea of making that Jewish state out of Germany, or some other European nation, would have been similar to putting them in the middle of their "sworn enemies" at the time.

    That's not to say carving up Palestine was a good idea either - obviously history has indicated otherwise.  Just that there were no "good" options on the table at that time.


    Exactly... (5.00 / 1) (#100)
    by kdog on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 01:04:08 PM EST
    we can't undo the wrongs of the Romans or any other conquerers/land thiefs without wronging somebody new today...there is no global reset button...sure would be nice!

    The question is what do we do now without screwing new people?  Some justice for the Palestinians in occupied territories would be nice...enough of the collective punishment of an entire people for the actions of a few.  

    Maybe another good place to start is to state once and for all that god gives lands to no select peoples...we decide such things amongst ourselves, god ain't f*ckin' involved, he/she/it left the parceling of planet earth to us....none are "chosen" or "special".  


    Let's see (none / 0) (#105)
    by jbindc on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 01:08:15 PM EST
    My sister is right now in a Palestinian neighborhood of East Jerusalem doing an internship for her graduate program in international conflict resolution.  My mother is beside herself with worry, but knowing my sister, she'll broker a peace deal in the next 6 weeks she's there and will end up with a Nobel.  She's just that kind of girl with that kind of personality!

    Israel and Palestine... (none / 0) (#110)
    by kdog on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 01:13:46 PM EST
    are full of people like your sis, they just wanna live in peace going forward, leaving the past in the past...unfortunately the lunatics who think god loves them more than the other guy, and will oppress and kill over such beliefs, are f*cking everything up!

    What else is new eh?


    Religious extremism (none / 0) (#184)
    by MKS on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 04:15:29 PM EST
    causes such grief....

    We get distorted and irrational government and politicians here.

    We get wars in the Middle East....

    All because religious people want to protect their source of personal solace....

    I want religion out of all politics and government forever....all the misery it causes.   If it gives you personal comfort, fine.  But it should give no one any additional or fewer rights--or claims to land....


    I understand your frustration (none / 0) (#188)
    by christinep on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 04:23:34 PM EST
    but misery of the kind you describe doesn't just arise from conflicts of extreme religious beliefs. Right off the bat, we have the 20th century examples of the rise and fall of fascism and the rise and fall of communism. Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot. Misery beyond misery. Extremism and the dictators it produces--whether using religion as a cover or covered in the secular--realize the same misery.

    I wish it wasn't so hard (none / 0) (#94)
    by jondee on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 01:00:13 PM EST
    to get those chill pills..

    How far would you go back? (none / 0) (#106)
    by squeaky on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 01:08:54 PM EST
    by engaging in acts of terrorism - blowing up pizza joints and shopping centers

    Your lack of historical awareness is astonishing:

    It was not replicated, as far as I have been able to determine, until January 12, 1947 when the Stern Gang drove a truckload of explosives into a British police station in Haifa, Palestine, killing 4 and injuring 140. The Stern Gang (a pro-fascist splinter group led by Avraham Stern that broke away from the right-wing Zionist paramilitary Irgun) would soon use truck and car bombs to kill Palestinians as well: a creative atrocity immediately reciprocated by British deserters fighting on the side of Palestinian nationalists.

    History of the Car Bomb, Mike Davis


    Well (none / 0) (#108)
    by jbindc on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 01:11:33 PM EST
    Since that was before the state of Israel came into being, it really doesn't ad much to what we're talking about.

    I never said Israel was innocent - what I did say was that Palestinians have not helped their cause.


    Jb, the issue is not religion per se... (5.00 / 1) (#88)
    by vml68 on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 12:54:08 PM EST
    but people using religion/beliefs to oppress other people. This applies to people of all religions who use "G0D" to justify their actions.

    If we are talking beliefs that are 6000 years old then you must be refering to Hinduism, not Judaism or Christianity or Islam.
    An example of a 6000 year old religious belief that I will gladly call "loony-bin" crazy....the practice of "Sati".


    Yes (none / 0) (#96)
    by jbindc on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 01:02:14 PM EST
    A minority of religious people in the world, however, do that.  Most religious people go about their business trying the best they can to get by.  Do they fail in that endeavor?  You betcha.  Are the hypocritical sometimes?  Yup.

    And it's my understanding that under the Jewish calendar, it's the year 5770 or something like that.


    And (none / 0) (#98)
    by jbindc on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 01:03:50 PM EST
    Just because people have religious beliefs, doesn't make them "loony" -unless of course we are also going to talk about the Native American tribes who use peyote in their religious cermeonies too.  :)

    Are there any (none / 0) (#115)
    by jondee on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 01:18:42 PM EST
    Native American tribes who believe they have to take total possession of a large piece of real estate in order to please God -- so much, that he then launches a mankind cleansing jihad as part of the beginning of the "Messianic Age"?

    I think they could use some peyote in the ME.  


    TY jondee... (none / 0) (#127)
    by kdog on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 01:38:01 PM EST
    there is harmless fun loony (taking a peyote trip to connect with spirits), and there is harmful violent loony (bulldozing a home because god says this is my land, or blowing up a pizza-shop because god says this is my land).

    I would say (none / 0) (#132)
    by jbindc on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 01:49:31 PM EST
    Physically damaging your brain cells, and other cells in your body with chemicals, for a religious experience is a little out there, too.

    Yeah... (none / 0) (#137)
    by kdog on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 01:54:40 PM EST
    but there is no violence...we should all do such little harm as the peyote-eaters.

    I'd suggest some medicinal mind expansion for the Middle East crews f*cking everything up for the peaceful, but you need your mind in a good place before ya start...so nevermind.


    What does that Catholic, (none / 0) (#140)
    by jondee on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 02:05:33 PM EST
    mystical "mortification of the flesh" and fasting and vigils etc etc do to the body and the brain cells?

    All religions have their "out there" aspects. I think what we're saying is that there's good out there and bad out there, and probably a lot of in-between..  


    Fasting (none / 0) (#143)
    by jbindc on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 02:14:51 PM EST
    Doesn't hurt you.  "Fasting" is eating smaller meals or skipping a meal or two or not eating meat on Fridays during Lent.  Goodness knows, many of us Western Catholics could skip a meal and be alright.

    The mortification of the flesh is loony and not practiced by a vast majority of the almost 1 billion Catholics.

    My point was - kdog was talking about "harmless peyote", when in fact, it is not harmless.


    Harmless... (5.00 / 1) (#149)
    by kdog on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 02:30:04 PM EST
    to all but the user...too bad all of the opiates called religion can't be like that:)

    "Three thousand years of beautiful (5.00 / 2) (#92)
    by jondee on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 12:58:06 PM EST
    tradition, from Moses to Sandy Koufax..You're Goddamn right Im livin' in the past!"

    The fact that some beliefs have long staying power, dosn't in itself exempt those beliefs from critical scrutiny, or make them less neurotic, if in fact they are.

    Also, contrary to the au courant funamentalist propaganda, even within the Judaic tradition, there's more than one traditional interpretation of what "Chosen" means.


    Done Deal? (none / 0) (#97)
    by mmc9431 on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 01:03:19 PM EST
    The done deal did not include the occupied territoty that the Israelis are continuing to build settlements on.

    Or, as the Golda Meir character says in (none / 0) (#133)
    by oculus on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 01:50:15 PM EST
    the play "Golda's Balcony," why Israel relinquish the Golan Heights.  We just get shot at from there.

    Golan was easy (none / 0) (#179)
    by MKS on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 04:10:41 PM EST
    compared to Gaza....

    The claims that God has given land (none / 0) (#178)
    by MKS on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 04:09:51 PM EST
    to one people over another certainly supports the argument that religion causes many wars and deaths....

    If we did not have such religious claims, then....


    Come on, guy...... (none / 0) (#180)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 04:12:24 PM EST
    Arewn't you in favor of people living wherever they want?

    Impartial reporters (5.00 / 1) (#63)
    by Andreas on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 11:37:56 AM EST

    Jeralyn wrote:

    her lack of impartiality, to put it mildly, is unacceptable for a reporter

    I strongly disagree. The best reporters were and are not "impartial" when they have to deal with state terrorism. Who were delivering better reports about the crimes committed by the Nazis: Those who were appalled by those crimes or those who were "impartial" ? What about "reporters" who are silent when their government supports or defends state terror? Is that "acceptable" ?

    for investigative reporters (none / 0) (#64)
    by Jeralyn on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 11:45:56 AM EST
    you are correct. I don't think of Thomas as an investigative reporter. I think of her job as similar to a news anchor, who report events neutrally so  people can make up their minds how they feel about it.

    I think (5.00 / 1) (#65)
    by jbindc on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 11:50:27 AM EST
    it's more of a hybrid.

    News anchors are readers - they spit out what's on the teleprompter.  The WH press corps (as actual "reporters") are supposed to report on the news, yes, but they are always supposed to question - no matter who's in charge.  That's been part of the problem.  The Washington media has been elevated in status and salary, and now attend the same parties and dinners as the politicians, and they socialize and sometimes even have personal relationships.  It's hard to question and be publicly tough on someone you're going to have dinner with later that night.


    Not for quite a long time, Jeralyn (5.00 / 2) (#77)
    by gyrfalcon on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 12:30:22 PM EST
    She's been a columnist for years.

    In other words (5.00 / 2) (#146)
    by Andreas on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 02:20:51 PM EST

    You want her to be silent.

    Well, your wish seems to have been fulfilled. Congratulations.

    BTW: In my mind comparing Helen Thomas to main stream "news anchors" (who are neither neutral nor simply presenting objective news) is insulting her.

    Tragic Double Bind (5.00 / 2) (#89)
    by squeaky on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 12:55:53 PM EST
    It is sad and tragic that many progressives/liberals cannot discuss the situation in Israel and the surrounding territories because of reflexively blind allegiance or for fear of being labeled an anti-semite. Both the right wing policies of Israel and the occupied territories (Hamas) are nurtured by the silence or blind support of progressives. Meanwhile the progressives living in Israel and the Palestinians living in the occupied territories are suffering by the right wing regimes that we tacitly support.

    And it is interesting to compare what those on the right and left said about tolerance and free speech for vile Mohammed cartoons, and what they are now saying about Helen Thomas' comment. The double standard is blatantly obvious and beyond reason.  

    Disagree (none / 0) (#95)
    by CST on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 01:00:22 PM EST
    it is not the same because the medium is not the same and the meaning is also not the same.

    People on facebook making cartoons poking fun at something is in no way comparable to a respected journalist calling for the dissolution of a state.

    I will also note that if you want to make that comparison - you would have to find someone who supported the original cartoons published in the Dutch newspaper that was intentionally inflamatory and offensive.  I don't think you will find that here.

    Finally, there is a huge difference between supporting free speach and supporting a paid platform for it.


    I will also note (none / 0) (#99)
    by CST on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 01:03:54 PM EST
    I would not support the south park guys having a place at the "journalist" table either.  What they do is satire, and as such there ARE different standards.

    February 2006 (none / 0) (#113)
    by squeaky on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 01:16:35 PM EST
    Daniel Pipes and the right wing Danish government plotted to incense Muslims in the local newspapers. The cartoons appeared in late January or early February 2006.

    Adam Foxman, among others, called for tolerance:

    Given the vitriolic character of the protests, the leaders of both Muslim countries and Muslim minority communities must recognize that coercion and censorship are not the answer. A situation where newspaper editors, because they dare to criticize a set of beliefs, are fearful of losing their jobs or even their lives, is profoundly unhealthy.  

    Haaretz Feb 2006


    I'd say that's 50% true (none / 0) (#122)
    by CST on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 01:30:31 PM EST
    "A situation where newspaper editors, because they dare to criticize a set of beliefs, are fearful of losing their jobs or even their lives, is profoundly unhealthy

    Bold part true.  But a job as a newspaper editor is not a right it's a privelage.  And if you abuse that privelage, you should be prepared to lose your job.

    Although in my world that would put about 99% of Fox News out of business...  A girl can dream.

    I will say this though, just because people I disagree with have lower standards of decency than me, doesn't make me feel like I should lower my standards.


    Right Wing Hit (5.00 / 4) (#128)
    by squeaky on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 01:38:35 PM EST
    As far as I can tell Helen Thomas was not trying to stir up anti-semitism, or hatred of any kind. She has been clearly frustrated by the impossibility of having any public discussion in the US media, that is critical of Israeli policies, particularly in light of the Gaza blockade.

    Yet the right wingers, and many progressives are calling for her dismissal for talking?

    Those same people said that in order to have freedom we have to tolerate speech that is offensive. They argued that no one in the press should be fired for voicing their opinion. That is 100% hypocrisy by any standard.


    My interpretation exactly (5.00 / 3) (#131)
    by lilburro on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 01:48:29 PM EST
    As far as I can tell Helen Thomas was not trying to stir up anti-semitism, or hatred of any kind. She has been clearly frustrated by the impossibility of having any public discussion in the US media, that is critical of Israeli policies, particularly in light of the Gaza blockade.

    Again, I also think it is completely ridiculous she was given no space to explain her thoughts beyond a 1 minute sound bite.


    I regret (5.00 / 4) (#102)
    by lilburro on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 01:05:14 PM EST
    that Helen Thomas' career is ending this way.  But Ari Fleischer can go f*ck himself since he has no room to talk on issues of occupation.

    How did this all begin? (5.00 / 3) (#118)
    by lilburro on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 01:24:16 PM EST
    The video on her "impartiality"?  I mean it's fine to criticize her for her comments but the video I saw was a political hit job.  She's Helen freaking Thomas, she doesn't get the chance to explain herself?  And yet these right wing jesters get to talk about ethnically cleansing Palestine??  RIIIIGHHHHHTTTT

    Well... (5.00 / 2) (#130)
    by DancingOpossum on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 01:41:20 PM EST
    the Palestinians have not done themselves any favors since then by engaging in acts of terrorism - blowing up pizza joints and shopping centers - to make their point.

    The Israelis are the ones who commit the highest numbers of terrorist acts, by large numbers--the scale is on the order of a thousand to one in terms of casualties. This is excluding the most recent attacks on Gaza and on the freedom flotilla. The Israelis were actually the first to bomb pizza parlors, for example, and hotels (the King David bombing, which killed 96 people, alone killed more people than all of Gaza's rockets combined). And they're the ones who bomb flour factories, U.N. rescue workers, schools, and so on.

    Anyone who's followed the conflict closely knows the tragic truths so well that it's easy to see why they would "lose it" and respond the way Helen Thomas did. It's regrettable that her comment was both inaccurate (most current Israeli citizens don't come from Poland and Germany but from the former Soviet Union), and badly worded, but it was hardly on the order of comments other people have made and not had to lose their jobs over.

    Here's Robert Fisk, writing during the Gaza massacre in a very good summary:

    The Sabra and Chatila massacre was committed by Israel's right-wing Lebanese Phalangist allies while Israeli troops, as Israel's own commission of inquiry revealed, watched for 48 hours and did nothing. When Israel was blamed, Menachem Begin's government accused the world of a blood libel. After Israeli artillery had fired shells into the UN base at Qana in 1996, the Israelis claimed that Hizbollah gunmen were also sheltering in the base. It was a lie. The more than 1,000 dead of 2006 - a war started when Hizbollah captured two Israeli soldiers on the border - were simply dismissed as the responsibility of the Hizbollah. Israel claimed the bodies of children killed in a second Qana massacre may have been taken from a graveyard. It was another lie. The Marwahin massacre was never excused. The people of the village were ordered to flee, obeyed Israeli orders and were then attacked by an Israeli gunship. The refugees took their children and stood them around the truck in which they were travelling so that Israeli pilots would see they were innocents. Then the Israeli helicopter mowed them down at close range. Only two survived, by playing dead. Israel didn't even apologise.

    Twelve years earlier, another Israeli helicopter attacked an ambulance carrying civilians from a neighbouring village - again after they were ordered to leave by Israel - and killed three children and two women. The Israelis claimed that a Hizbollah fighter was in the ambulance. It was untrue. I covered all these atrocities, I investigated them all, talked to the survivors. So did a number of my colleagues. Our fate, of course, was that most slanderous of libels: we were accused of being anti-Semitic.

    The whole article is worth a read btw:

    http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/fisk/robert-fisk-why-do-they-hate-the-west-so-much -we-will-ask-1230046.html

    I suspect like all (5.00 / 3) (#134)
    by JamesTX on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 01:52:30 PM EST
    other statements of this nature which get intelligent, high achieving people in trouble, she probably didn't mean to cross the line or she wouldn't have said it. Myself, having limited understanding of the complexities of Israel and the complex ethnic/cultural/national/religious implications, I learned as a very young person to simply not voice opinions about the phenomenon at all. It is too sensitive, and someone with my limited knowledge is bound to get in trouble. Interestingly, I feel perfectly at liberty to opine about world affairs and foreign relations concerning any country in the world -- even the Vatican -- but not Israel. Don't mess with it! That is a shame, because it suggests encroachment on free speech. When saying the wrong thing can get you ostracized or fired this easily, then it isn't worth mentioning. That means information and understanding cannot flow freely, and that is a problem. Part of being a state is being subject to criticism -- even unfair and ignorant criticism.

    And again (5.00 / 1) (#138)
    by DancingOpossum on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 02:02:15 PM EST
    "Dissolution" of the state of Israel, aka the one-state (or binational) solution, is not some loony right-wing Nazi delusion. It's a serious and deeply considered alternative to the dead two-state solution and the current, unsustainable situation, and is supported by scholars and activists in both Israel and Palestine (and the U.S.).

    Helen Thomas is not a reporter. (4.67 / 3) (#1)
    by caseyOR on Sun Jun 06, 2010 at 10:19:43 PM EST
    She was a reporter for many, many years. She is now a columnist, free to write her own opinions on anything she chooses.

    I have to say, though, that if impartiality was a current day requirement for reporters most of the reporters working today would be out of a job.

    the reporter who invited me (none / 0) (#3)
    by Jeralyn on Sun Jun 06, 2010 at 10:37:23 PM EST
    to the Nader event was covering the 2000 elections for a national publication. He decided against voting to make sure he stayed impartial. Not saying all of them should do that, but yes, they should be impartial.

    I thought the White House Press Corps is made up of reporters, not commentators. If so, I have no problem with them retracting the "honor" they bestowed on her, although I haven't read that has been done.

    So far its just her agency, which probably has its own self-interest at heart, particularly if other clients threatened to defect, and that's their call.  Same for Hearst -- given she's a commentator not a reporter for them.

    Personally, I probably won't ever read another word she writes (admittedly I didn't read much of her before this -- clearly I know nothing about her other than her age and that she was a pain in Bush's side, which I liked), but that's my choice and I wouldn't think of preventing anyone else from reading her "columns" or books.


    I don't know that anyone is truly (5.00 / 6) (#6)
    by caseyOR on Sun Jun 06, 2010 at 11:00:09 PM EST
    "impartial". People have their own ideas and opinions about everything. A good reporter, IMO, recognizes their own prejudices and beliefs and works extra hard to make sure none of that affects their reporting. Sadly for all of us, the current crop of journalists stalking the national stage fails that test with alarming regularity.

    The thing I have always liked about Helen Thomas is her refusal to play the "make nice" game. She asks hard questions, doesn't let Gibbs ( and didn't let Fliescher and McClelland) get away with cr@p answers to important questions. Gibbs hates her. He practically hisses at her when she persists in a line of questioning he wants to avoid.

    I don't agree with her recent remarks about Israel. But, seriously, they are hardly the most offensive, egregious comments of the day.


    a sad event (5.00 / 2) (#7)
    by The Addams Family on Sun Jun 06, 2010 at 11:07:09 PM EST
    in a long & brilliant career

    yes (4.56 / 9) (#17)
    by TeresaInPa on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 07:09:59 AM EST
    God forbid anyone not hold the popular approved view of Israel as the only victim in the fight over Palestine.

    When I found out that many ideas I had been fed about the middle east conflict were untrue such as "there are no real Palestinians" and "they are a nomadic people who never cultivated the land"... I started having a hard time with my long held pro-Israel POV.  Now I support everyone's right to hold their own opinion on the subject without being labeled radical.
    leave Helen alone, she is a freaking treasure compared to the otherwise lemming like media. A person with an opposing view point no matter what it is, is a rarity these days.


    Nothing (3.67 / 3) (#49)
    by DancingOpossum on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 10:03:18 AM EST
    ...to apologize for, at all. The level of misinformation about Israel and Palestine in the U.S. media is utterly shocking and it is long, long past time that somebody of her stature point this out. It's too bad that this duty always falls on Helen Thomas and the rest of the craven, ignorant, press corps just sits back and lets her take the brunt of it all.

    As observed notes, most Americans are hopelessly ignorant about the basic facts of the I/P conflict. The Zionist project was always, first and foremost, about ethnic cleansing and dispossession--period, and it started well before WWII. Its roots go the late 1800s and its chief tactic has always been terrorism.

    Incidentally, the notion of "the dissolution of Israel" is not some insane, KKK-and-Nazi wet dream as it is often depicted here. Helen may have expressed the idea badly, but the concept of the one-state solution is increasingly taking a key role in the debate. It's been espoused by Israeli writer Tony Judt ,who first proposed it in 2003 NY Review of Books article (www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2003/oct/23/israel-the-alternative/?page=1), and Palestinian activist Ali Abunimah, who outlined it in detail in his 2006 book "One Country." Furthermore, even two-state proponents (most notably Walt Mearsheimer) are starting to state overtly that the two-state solution is no longer a serious option (www.thejerusalemfund.org/ht/display/ContentDetails/i/10418).

    So again, Thomas was hardly saying anything outside the bounds of civil discourse. It's just that anything on this subject that doesn't follow the AIPAC-vetted script is not allowed, especially in the hallowed halls of White House and press corps that clearly intends to whitewash every Israeli action up to and including the murder of civilians (including U.S. citizens). Anyone who goes against the grain pays a heavy price for it--just ask Prof. Norman Finkelstein. Heck, just ask Jimmy Carter, whose wishy-washy defense of the Palestinians has branded him as Goebbels reincarnated.

    I wonder if people would support this action taken against Helen Thomas if she were speaking out against, say, apartheid South Africa (of which, by the way, Israel was a huge supporter) or some other regime we've dubbed a rogue state? Somehow I doubt it.


    Tony Judt is an English Jew, not an Israeli. (none / 0) (#71)
    by rennies on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 12:19:52 PM EST
    Helen Thomas (3.00 / 2) (#201)
    by norris morris on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 06:05:38 PM EST
    It is unacceptable to condone remarks that Jews go back where they came from.

    Helen Thomas suggests they go back to Germany or Poland, etc.  Uh huh, exactly where 6 million of them were murdered in our time.

    Both Nader and Thomas are Lebanese and have been openly critical of Israel's policies for a long time. That's fine as there is much to criticise in the current right wing fundamentalist leadership in Israel.

    But telling Jews to go back where they came from is an astoundingly hostile and dense response and has nothing to do with honest criticism of some of Israel's current positions.

    I'm sure Helen wold not want to go back to Lebanon, or tell African Americans to go back to Africa.  How do I view this remark?

    An anti-semitic remark from a world class reporter who has been writing opinion and not reporting of late. Too bad her Lebanese roots have not cleansed her racial animus. It was not only a stupid remark it was stupid.

    What is most offensive was the choice she gives Jews: Poland and Germany where they were methodically murdered.

    Helen has a right to her opinions, but not to  animus and anti-semitism.

    Anti Semitism on the Left (3.00 / 2) (#202)
    by klassicheart on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 10:18:06 PM EST
    That is the problem and it is being exposed. Too many people are ignorant of history and ignorant about human nature.  The sheer venom in Thomas' rant is frightening.  This is anti semitism is one of its most vile forms.  The entire Arab world has been schooled in it.  T.V. shows abound that are anti semitic and hateful.  A culture of hate and anti semitism has been incited in the Arab countries and in the West Bank and Gaza.  These people aren't prepared for peace...because they've been brainwashed in hate.  And what truly stands out in all of this is how readily people want to demonize Israel and Jews.  Notice that no one has talked about the fact that Egypt was part of the blockade of Gaza.  Nor has anyone worried about the suffering of the North Koreans.  Why aren't all these humanitarians sending boats loading with food to truly starving people in North Korea?  How about the Kurds?  They have been persecuted by Turkey and their land appropriated.  This intense and insane focus on Israel by the left is truly frightening.  Appparantly few on the left have critical thinking skills...a similar problem on the far right.  People want a scapegoat and seeing history repeat itself is depressing.  Israel is the only liberal democracy in the Middle East.  Women are second class citizens in all of the Arab countries....why isn't that a concern?  I have tremendous antipathy for all of those backward countries that execute women if they are raped...that beat them and enslave them..and whip them...the fate of women  is awful and the majority of people here have the audacity to attack Israel?  And those poor Palestinians elected a terrorist organization that believes in the destruction of Israel.  They have been schooled in hate...And Hamas, in a bloody and violent coup killed many Fatah and took over running Gaza.  None of these people are starving...but as in Lebanon, they are trying to arm themselves to carry out their charter which is to destroy Israel.  I'm sorry...no sympathy from me.  It's sad but that's what happens when you threaten another country with annihilation.  Israel is surrounded by hateful enemies...If the Arab countries wanted peace, they could have begun to restore relations.  But these reactionary and religious governments are opposed to the values of liberal democracies...that is why there is no peace.  It is a complex history...but the salient fact is that Israel is the one who has been attacked 3 times in all out war.  The Arabs lost ...but they keep trying.  If you need to sympathize, try the North Koreans who are being starved...millions have died..the Kurds...As for occupations...the Turks took over half of Cyprus and expelled and killed the Greeks.
    So the focus on Israel as the main bad actor is not only ignorant..but disingenuous..and ultimately anti semitic.  And if I recall, it was the Obama campaign calling the Clintons racist...Obama himself calling for the firing of Don Imus...and Imus didn't say anything remotely as bad as Helen Thomas.  By the way, I agree completely about Nader....once I heard his antisemitism I was turned off....But it is a problem on the left that will turn off many Jews. And they donated heavily to Democrats.  And it certainly is making an impression on me and people I know.

    more history (3.00 / 2) (#204)
    by klassicheart on Tue Jun 08, 2010 at 12:32:19 AM EST
    And in case anyone forgot their history....the Palestinians were on the side of the Nazis.  The Mufti of Jerusalem was a rabid anti semite who believed wholeheartedly in the Final Solution and wanted to help the Nazis carry it out.  These wonderful Palestinians also supported Saddam Hussein, when he invaded Kuwait.  They never accepted the Jewish state...ever...and there has been a constant state of war precipitated by this hateful idealogy.  What is really perplexing is why progressives identify with this history?  Why aren't they upset about the way women are treated?
    murdered, abused, controlled?  That is the real tragedy.  The Arab world is backward...their society is not something to emulate...and part of the reason is the way they have treated women and eliminated them from public life.  It is this hypocrisy that exposes a serious problem with many progressives.  Maybe these are the same ones who believed so fervently in Obama and bought his marketing campaign.  But brainwashing does seem to be a problem with both the left and the right.  Did you hear Obama is now in favor of lifting a moratorium on whaling?  I'd rather save animals than some people.

    Like the dog that did not bark (none / 0) (#9)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Jun 06, 2010 at 11:09:20 PM EST
    what the press corp does not do will be telling.

    question (none / 0) (#19)
    by TeresaInPa on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 07:20:26 AM EST
    what should the press corp do in your opinion?

    Withdraw her (none / 0) (#33)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 08:47:52 AM EST
    honorary position and let her retire.

    "let her retire" (5.00 / 2) (#66)
    by nycstray on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 11:55:03 AM EST
    nice . . .

    seems you got your wish though. let's hear it for the sheep.


    If it had been my call (none / 0) (#107)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 01:09:38 PM EST
    she would have been fired. Very publicly and very loudly.

    The seat at the news conferences was bestowed on her by her peers.


    A Point On Her Statement (none / 0) (#15)
    by msaroff on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 06:31:55 AM EST
    Her statement is not just one of support for the Palestinians, or of hostility to Israel.

    She is calling for ethnic cleansing, in terms very similar to those used by the late, and unlamented, Mier Kahane.

    It is not as bad, because Kahane used it as a political platform,  and this is an isolated statement, but if I were her agent, it would be prudent to at least reconsider the business relationship.

    That is how you see it - I don't agree. (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 06:36:49 AM EST
    who is for ethnic cleansing? (5.00 / 1) (#20)
    by TeresaInPa on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 07:22:15 AM EST
    there are many opposing views on just who is getting cleansed.  There are many different ways to look at that topic in this situation.

    Helen Thomas bio (none / 0) (#21)
    by jbindc on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 07:27:47 AM EST
    From Wiki:

    Thomas was born in Winchester, Kentucky. Her parents, Mary (née Rowady) and George Thomas, were Lebanese immigrants from Tripoli, Lebanon;her father's surname had originally been "Antonious". Thomas was raised as a Christian in the Greek Orthodox church. She grew up in Detroit, Michigan, and attended Wayne University (now Wayne State University), graduating with a bachelor's degree in 1942. Her first job in journalism was as a copygirl for the now-defunct Washington Daily News, but shortly after she was promoted to cub reporter, she was laid off as part of massive cutbacks at the paper.

    Thomas joined United Press International in 1943 and reported on women's topics for its radio wire service. Later in the decade, and in the early fifties, she wrote their "Names in the News" column, for which she interviewed numerous Washington celebrities. After 1955, she covered federal agencies such as the Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare. Thomas served as president of the Women's National Press Club from 1959-60.

    President Barack Obama presenting Thomas cupcakes on her 89th birthdayIn November 1960, Thomas began covering then President-elect John F. Kennedy, following him to the White House in January 1961 as a UPI correspondent. Thomas became known as the "Sitting Buddha", and it was during Kennedy's administration that she began the tradition of ending all presidential press conferences with a signature "Thank you, Mr. President".

    Thomas was the only female print journalist to travel to China with President Richard Nixon during his historic trip in 1972. (Barbara Walters was a member of the NBC News team that went to the People's Republic of China to cover the visits of President Richard Nixon in 1972.) She has traveled around the world several times with Presidents Nixon, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama, and has covered every Economic Summit since 1975, working up to the position of UPI's White House Bureau Chief, a post she would hold for over 25 years. While serving as White House Bureau Chief, she authored a regular column for UPI, "Backstairs at the White House," which provided an insider's view of various presidential administrations. Thomas is the only member of the White House press corps to have her own chair in the White House Press Room. All other chairs are assigned to media outlets.

    On May 17, 2000, after 57 years with the organization, Thomas resigned from UPI the day after the announcement of its acquisition by News World Communications Inc., a company founded and controlled by Unification Church leader Reverend Sun Myung Moon. She later described the change in ownership as "a bridge too far". Less than two months later, she joined Hearst Newspapers as a columnist, writing on national affairs and the White House.

    I suppose (none / 0) (#27)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 08:13:06 AM EST
    as bad as we're screwing up the United States, we should probably give it back to the Indians....because they're the true natives, we're just squatters.

    Actually, I'd say we are (none / 0) (#34)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 08:56:42 AM EST
    occupying :)

    I wouldn't debate you Jim with a gun to my head. (none / 0) (#40)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 09:17:30 AM EST

    Actually, ppj is right (none / 0) (#75)
    by jeffinalabama on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 12:28:31 PM EST
    about this one on the military side concerning the NVA and Viet Cong following Tet and the fighting afterwards... it took about three years or more for the VC and NVA to recover from their losses.  

    For anything you can say about VN, Cronkite's commentary caused the single biggest change of perception for the US population.


    Hackworth fwiw (none / 0) (#82)
    by MKS on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 12:40:26 PM EST
    believed and testified (later in 1971) to the same thing....

    One outstanding issue that is interesting is whether the ARVN folded in 1975 because we cut off air support, etc., or whether it was simply corrupt and refused to fight because it was part of a corrupt government.....


    I did not know that... (none / 0) (#84)
    by jeffinalabama on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 12:47:16 PM EST
    If my ideas are supported by Hackworth, I must have learned well.

    Hackworth is one of a small pantheon of regimental/battalion commanders I would have liked to serve under. It's a very VERY small pantheon. Oh well, enough thread hijacking.


    One last thread jack (none / 0) (#87)
    by MKS on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 12:53:29 PM EST
    I'm not sure how clear my post was:  Hackworth had to retire because he testified in 1971 that he believed that the North Vietnamese flag would fly over Saigon by 1975--that the war was unwinable....

    BTW,  I bought a copy of his Vietnam Primer--and actually read much of it....Fascinating study of small unit tactics that apparently became must reading for all going to Vietnam....the unofficial army field manual for Vietnam.


    I misunderstood. (none / 0) (#90)
    by jeffinalabama on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 12:56:58 PM EST
    I guess I don't agree then. Thanks.

    And he never apologized (none / 0) (#109)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 01:12:34 PM EST
    CBS should have fired him.

    Where's Squeaky when we need him? (none / 0) (#41)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 09:21:45 AM EST

    Ewwwwwwwww ....... (3.50 / 2) (#199)
    by Yman on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 05:06:28 PM EST
    You just made me throw up in my mouth a little bit.

    She has nothing to apologize for (none / 0) (#45)
    by dutchfox on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 09:34:10 AM EST
    From PULSE:
    The question posed at the end of the short clip is "Does Helen know that Jews lived in  Israel way before the Holocaust?" The glaring fact of course is that before WWII and 1948, there was no modern state of Israel. It was Mandate Palestine: a land that was populated by a thriving Palestinian population, the majority of whom were driven out in their hundreds of thousands, with a great number murdered, by the zionist thugs who later established the state of Israel. This Prussia of the Middle East is propped up by gargantuan amounts of US military aid, refuses to make peace with its neighbours who have offered recognition of 1967 borders via the Saudi Peace Plan, has continued to encroach upon Palestinian land, regularly attacks its neighbours in assaults that kill hundreds, flouts international law, continues to build illegal outposts on stolen land, and has refused to define its borders to this day.

    Thomas has nothing to apologize for.  It is the Israeli regime, the illegal settlers (check out this charmer) and their enablers who owe the world -- particularly Palestinians, Lebanese and Syrians -- an apology and restitution. At most, her choice of words may have been unqualifiedly quick and injudicious, particularly in the ill-advised choice of words `go home'. But `despicable', `beyond disturbing' and Judeophobic? The attempts to discredit her -- which include rightwingnut calls for her resignation -- are overblown. She'll probably win even more fans with her courage, and her regret for causing offence is in stark contrast to the unremitting racism and unstinting support for ethnic cleansing and expulsion from the Israel-at-any-cost camp, from whom there is no apology.

    Helen Thomas has decades of credibility with which to back her statement. The same can not be said for leading critics who are suggesting her resignation. I stand by her, the best White House press reporter ever.

    More in defense of Helen Thomas (5.00 / 1) (#47)
    by dutchfox on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 09:53:43 AM EST
    Paul Jay, Senior Editor of The Real News Network has a new blog on Canada.com, one of Canada's busiest news websites. This is an excerpt from his most recent blog post, "IN DEFENSE OF HELEN THOMAS - on apologizing to apologists."
    Her apology was not enough to stop calls for her head from those who have wanted to shut Thomas up for years.

    Ari Fleischer, President George W. Bush's press secretary, led the call in an e-mail Friday to the Huffington Post saying Thomas' comments amount to "religious cleansing."

    "She should lose her job over this," Fleischer wrote. "As someone who is Jewish, and as someone who worked with her and used to like her, I find this appalling."

    Perhaps Fleishcher should also add that he is someone who knows something about apologies . . . being the leading apologist for the Bush administration as their war led to the deaths of at least one million Iraqis.

    But Lanny Davis, former special counsel to and White House spokesman for President Bill Clinton, went even further than Fleischer. He issued a statement on Sunday saying Thomas, "has showed herself to be an anti-Semitic bigot."

    Now, Davis should know something about apologies and apologists as well. TheHill.com reported that Davis led a lobbying effort against deposed Honduran President Manuel Zelaya on behalf of Honduran business leaders. This is in defense of a regime that came to power in an illegal coup and is killing journalists and activists.  Hmmm  . . . defending those that kill activists . . .  

    Credibility (none / 0) (#69)
    by ricosuave on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 12:16:39 PM EST
    Anyone who says that the Jews of Israel come from Poland and Germany simply does not know the facts or the history of that country.  Ashkenazic Jews (the ones from Eastern Europe) are a minority there and have been for a long time.  The Hebrew language was standardized on the Sephardic (Jews from Arab countries--though ironically the word is the Yiddish word for "Spanish") pronunciations very early on.  In addition, anyone you meet with Eastern European ethnic roots in Israel is probably second or third or even fourth generation native born Israeli.  You can't use credibility to cover for facts which are simply incorrect.

    Leaving aside the odiousness of someone in 2010 advocating ethnic cleansing, her assertions about the history of the people there are false.  If her past credibility is involved here, it is only that she has besmirched a long and distinguished record with these remarks, and has (sadly) given folks like Ari Fleischer room to say "see...I was right about her all along."


    She immediately followed by saying (5.00 / 2) (#76)
    by gyrfalcon on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 12:28:40 PM EST
    "or wherever they came from."

    Let's not paste her with something extra she doesn't deserve.  She said a mouthful without people pretending she doesn't know where most Israelis came from.


    Ethnic cleansing? Yes, that's going on (5.00 / 1) (#144)
    by observed on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 02:15:01 PM EST
    right now in Israel. Your point?

    "Ethnic cleansing" (5.00 / 1) (#147)
    by jondee on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 02:25:15 PM EST
    is another propagandistic misrepresentation, i.e., lie, like that word "removal" (that Thomas never used.)

    Words of histories of usage; and in the real world of historic events, BOTH of those terms have always carried the implication of an outside agency using force and violence on another group of people. NOWHERE, in any of her statements, does Thomas advocate anything like that.



    Indeed (none / 0) (#145)
    by Yman on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 02:19:55 PM EST
    Anyone who says that the Jews of Israel come from Poland and Germany simply does not know the facts or the history of that country.

    But then again, ...

    ... no one said that.


    Sorry--John not Walt Mearsheimer (none / 0) (#50)
    by DancingOpossum on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 10:04:11 AM EST

    Read the History of Israel (none / 0) (#55)
    by vicndabx on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 10:46:06 AM EST
    I know it's Wikipedia, but still.  It always helps to have a little context.  IMO, it's gentrification on a grand scale.  As others have noted it's too late to roll back the clock on it but that doesn't change the facts.  It should lend some sensitivity to the issues those who lost out raise.

    Speaking of context, I had no idea there was natural gas in Gaza.  A dash of capitalism certainly complicates things.

    My take on Helen Thomas' comments is she was referring to people returning to their country of origin prior to their migration (chosen, forced, or otherwise) during and after the World Wars.  These countries were in fact "where they came from."  I.e. there had to Jewish people living in Germany in order for them to be expelled.  Simple.  It doesn't need to be malicious.  Why this interpretation is so hard for many to fathom is beyond me.  Of course my take may not equal what Helen meant thus YMMV.  

    Doesn't seem right to me that companies you pay to represent you drop you because suddenly they don't like you.  Seems to me that should be covered in the fine print somewhere (I assume Helen's paying Nine Speakers.)  

    Incorrect facts (5.00 / 1) (#78)
    by ricosuave on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 12:30:43 PM EST
    This statement:

    My take on Helen Thomas' comments is she was referring to people returning to their country of origin prior to their migration (chosen, forced, or otherwise) during and after the World Wars.  These countries were in fact "where they came from."  I.e. there had to Jewish people living in Germany in order for them to be expelled.  Simple.  It doesn't need to be malicious.  Why this interpretation is so hard for many to fathom is beyond me.  Of course my take may not equal what Helen meant thus YMMV.  

    sort of gets to the heart of the matter.  These countries are NOT where the vast majority of the people of Israel came from.  There are plenty of of people there who came from other places, who came during other periods, and who were born there.  There are lots of families who trace their heritage back many centuries in Israel, where Jews have lived for millenia.  Will you give them back their houses in Jerusalem that were destroyed in 1967?  When you send the millions of descendants of Moroccan, Iraqi, Iranian, Jordanian, Syrian, Yemenite, Ethiopian, Azerbaijani, Uzbek, Tadjik, Egyptian, Tunisian, and Algerian Jews back to their countries, will you get those governments to return their property and guarantee their safety?

    Taking these comments as more serious than "blacks should go back to Africa" or "send the Mexicans back south of the border" is simply madness.  These comments are simply not acceptable or defensible, and they don't lead to serious discussions on the future of the middle east.


    You have me confused with someone else it seems... (5.00 / 1) (#114)
    by vicndabx on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 01:17:18 PM EST
    I certainly didn't take her statements to mean jewish people should be relocated.  I offered my interpretation of her statements, not whether I agreed w/it or not.  Further, even if that was the point of her statements, I stated above that's a bad idea ("it's too late to roll back....")

    Your post kinda makes my point.....that Helen Thomas wasn't entirely off-base in suggesting that jewish people had a "home" in numerous countries.

    When you send the millions of descendants of Moroccan, Iraqi, Iranian, Jordanian, Syrian, Yemenite, Ethiopian, Azerbaijani, Uzbek, Tadjik, Egyptian, Tunisian, and Algerian Jews back to their countries

    I'd add Russian and German to that list also.  We can disagree on whether they lead to serious discussions or not.  Please direct your outrage at a more appropriate target.


    Do they 'condone' everything said (none / 0) (#57)
    by ruffian on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 10:52:58 AM EST
    by everyone else they represent?
    Their business though, so they can drop her if they choose.

    Maybe some other agency will pick her up. People should be able to go see her speak if they want. There are certainly people that say worse things than she did every day that have lucrative speaking gigs, not to mention TV shows.

    RETIRES (none / 0) (#60)
    by waldenpond on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 11:25:04 AM EST
    Helen Thomas retires.

    Impartiality? (none / 0) (#85)
    by ricosuave on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 12:51:25 PM EST
    This should not be viewed as a question of Helen Thomas's impartiality.  I have respected her for many years knowing that she is pro-palestinian and no friend or fan of Israel.  She has opinions and has always had them and has always expressed them.  While some have a problem with that, it is not the issue here.

    The issue here is that a respected journalist from a respected news agency has called for the complete removal of all Jews from a region of the world.  This is generally called ethnic cleansing.  In itself it is a hateful idea, but in terms of the political situation of the middle east it is both unrealistic and without foundation.  

    Total eradication of the Jewish state in the Middle East is the wild hope of Hamas and the talking point of inflammatory leaders of the middle east, but is not a serious consideration that a reporter or commentator should be entertaining.  Any commentator who says that all blacks should go back to Africa or that the solution for our immigration question is for all Hispanics to be rounded up and sent south of the border would be roundly criticized and expeditiously removed from the public eye (well...not on Fox).  This statement is on par with those kinds of statements.

    In addition, the statements about Jews of Israel coming from Germany and Poland is simply a gross misrepresentation of reality.  Whether we are talking about the ethnic history of Jews in Israel or the nationality of those who went there over the last 62 years (or even since the late 19th century), the Jews of those countries make up a minority.  And the people of Israel today are largely native born descendants of people who came to the country, not the primary immigrants, and are from a mix of heritages.

    She made a flippant remark based on an oversimplistic and incorrect characterization of the history of the people of Israel that suggests a completely unrealistic and extreme solution to a problem that many people care about.  She didn't simply oppose the state of Israel or criticize it (as she has done many times in the past), she publicly called for its destruction and the dispersal of its people.  Far from helping us to understand the situation as we expect from a reporter or commentator, she promoted ignorance of the actual situation and helped extreme ideas be accepted in the mainstream.  

    I am glad she apologized, and I hope more people take the fine words of her statement of regret to heart than the original comments she made.

    I agree that her comments were (5.00 / 3) (#91)
    by Dr Molly on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 12:57:30 PM EST
    strange and offensive, but this is incorrect:

    The issue here is that a respected journalist from a respected news agency has called for the complete removal of all Jews from a region of the world.  This is generally called ethnic cleansing.

    She never said 'the complete removal of all Jews from a region of the world'. She was clearly talking about the settlements.

    Let's try to be accurate.


    Lets call this (5.00 / 2) (#101)
    by jondee on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 01:05:11 PM EST
    intentionally loose "complete removal" interpretation what it is: a dastardly lie.

    "Removal", in the universe I inhabit, 99.9% of the time implies FORCIBLE removal; Thomas never said anything like that.


    Please don't call me a liar (none / 0) (#123)
    by ricosuave on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 01:31:09 PM EST
    Especially without looking at the facts--but even if I am incorrect and she applied the comment only to settlers, it is not a polite thing to say.

    I am fine with "dastardly."


    Did she use the word "removal"? (none / 0) (#125)
    by jondee on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 01:33:56 PM EST
    Not just settlers (none / 0) (#121)
    by ricosuave on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 01:29:37 PM EST
    Here is the section from the news story Jeralyn linked to:

    "Remember these people are occupied and it's their land," Thomas says in the video. "It's not German and it's not Polish."

    Asked what Jews in Israel should do, Thomas says "go home." Asked where that home is, she replies: "Poland. Germany. And America and everywhere else."

    I don't see anywhere there, or in any other account that says she was referring to settlers.  That wouldn't even make sense, as nobody talks about today's settlers coming from Germany and Poland.  I believe my characterization was accurate.

    To her credit, she did not apologize for the statement in a conditional way that stuck to the words and said this refers only to settlers.  She outright apologized for the whole statement and called for peace and tolerance.


    See today's Greenwald column. (none / 0) (#112)
    by oculus on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 01:16:11 PM EST
    No Thomas reference until about half-way point.  Gist is cozy, adulatory relationship between w/i the beltway media and WH.

    Here's part of what Greenwald said in defense of (5.00 / 3) (#174)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 04:05:21 PM EST
    Helen Thomas, today - LINK:
    As for the Helen Thomas condemnation fest and subsequent resignation today, the central issue -- as both my Salon colleague Gabriel Winant and The American Prospect's Adam Serwer adeptly document -- is not the perception that she's guilty of bigotry, but the wrong kind of bigotry. Anyone who doubts that should compare the cheap, easy and self-righteous outrage orgy against the powerless, 89-year-old columnist to the total non-reaction in the face of the incessant and ongoing anti-Arab bigotry of The New Republic's Marty Peretz, or to the demands of then-House Majority Leader Dick Armey that the Palestinians leave the West Bank and go back to where they came from, and similar statements from Mike Huckabee (still gainfully employed at Fox News).

    I'm sure Obama and Gibbs are thoroughly pleased by this turn of events: the ousting of Helen Thomas took the headlines off the GOM BIG OIL SPILL and the Israeli massacre


    Then they are probably also grateful (5.00 / 1) (#177)
    by oculus on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 04:09:16 PM EST
    for the hubub in LIma.

    Got cut off there... (2.00 / 1) (#181)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 04:12:29 PM EST
    I'm sure Obama and Gibbs are thoroughly pleased by this turn of events. The ousting of Helen Thomas took the headlines off the GOM BIG OIL SPILL -- and the Israeli massacre of 9 people on the Gaza aid flotilla, including an American citizen. The biggest bonus is, of course, that neither Obama, nor Gibbs, will ever be confronted by a journalist as fearless as Helen Thomas. Nice work fellas.

    "Almost" isnt good enough (none / 0) (#119)
    by jondee on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 01:25:09 PM EST

    What is Helen Thomas' ouevre (none / 0) (#136)
    by oculus on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 01:53:51 PM EST
    re Israel/Palestian issues?  What is the best source to find out what she has written, said in the past?

    Thomas receives award from (5.00 / 1) (#152)
    by oculus on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 02:42:59 PM EST
    American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee UPI  June 14, 2009.  Bill Clinton was the keynote speaker.

    Fairly consistent (none / 0) (#163)
    by ricosuave on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 03:42:45 PM EST
    I don't know where to point you to her comments (and I don't much care for the groups that collect up selective comments from folks to disclose their "bias" anyway, and I fear that if you google for her comments you will come across much of that BS) but Helen Thomas has been pretty consistent over recent years in criticizing Israel and trying to raise the plight of the Palestinians.  Most people who have only noticed her recently might know her from the uncomfortable questions she asks at white house press briefings on the Iraq war.  She has similarly asked uncomfortable questions about US policy toward Israel and about Israeli actions in West Bank and Gaza.

    Her questions are sometimes harsh and often very direct, and she does not hold back in criticizing the Israeli government (or he US government for its support of Israel).  I remember many times when I thought her questions were unfair or overly rhetorical, but I never remember her making any comments in the past that took the tone of this one (that the solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is that Israel no longer exist, and including a standard anti-Israel propaganda point that the people there are simply a small group of interlopers from Europe who ought to go home).

    As far as I know, she has always been strongly critical of Israel, it has always been publicly known, and she has always been well respected by many (if not most) American Jews despite the fact that they disagree with her.  I think she has severely damaged that respect, though, which is a shame.


    Before Obama became a candidate (5.00 / 1) (#173)
    by oculus on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 04:03:57 PM EST
    for U.S. President, he worked with organizations sympathetic to the plight of the Palestinians.  

    Yeah, but unlike Helen Thomas, Obama (5.00 / 1) (#183)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 04:15:23 PM EST
    left his sympathy for Palestinians at the White House door.

    I have seen this before (5.00 / 2) (#186)
    by MKS on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 04:22:42 PM EST
    Almost a stampede to justify abuse of an entire people to serve a broader political goal....

    It is ugly and I'm afraid cannot be stopped....


    She wasn't ... (none / 0) (#150)
    by Yman on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 02:33:31 PM EST
    ... speaking about "Jews", and certainly not all Jews as you were arguing yesterday.  Look at the video again.  She was arguing for the return of Palestinian land to the Palestinian people and, in answer to the reporters question about where  that those who immigrated to Israel post-1948 and the formation of Israel should return to their homelands.

    Not a position I agree with, but also not a position that is, per se, anti-Semitic, as you claimed.  Unless, of course, you have something other evidence of Thomas's anti-Semitism that you're hiding in your coffee.  Could be the cause of all your choking.  If so, by all means ...

    ... keep it secret.

    She said what she said and she meant what (none / 0) (#167)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 03:58:36 PM EST
    she said.

    She got caught and is paying for her views.

    The pity is she has had them for years and they colored her work.

    Oh well, better late than never.


    In other words, ... (none / 0) (#195)
    by Yman on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 04:45:55 PM EST
    ... you can't respond to the substance of my comments, since they're factual, as opposed to yours.

    Fair enough.


    Sorta' like the Arizona situation (none / 0) (#159)
    by christinep on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 03:28:57 PM EST

    2012: Thomas for POTUS; Nader for VP. (none / 0) (#200)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 05:10:53 PM EST

    That Lyndon Johnson story.... (none / 0) (#203)
    by desertswine on Tue Jun 08, 2010 at 12:25:13 AM EST
    mentioned far upstream - where Johnson supposedly said "If I've lost Cronkite, then blah, blah, blah..." has since been de-bunked as just more stupid right wing myth. Why the h would Johnson say anything like that anyway?

    WSWS on ousting of Helen Thomas (none / 0) (#205)
    by Andreas on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 01:32:22 AM EST
    The ouster of veteran White House correspondent Helen Thomas, after an anti-Israeli comment, is yet another demonstration of the politically foul and utterly conformist milieu of official Washington. ...

    The campaign against Thomas was spearheaded by two of the most odious figures in Washington circles, Ari Fleischer, the former Bush administration spokesman, now working for a sports and entertainment firm, and Lanny Davis, a Clinton White House aide, who last year served as Washington spokesman for the Honduran military junta.

    With his usual instinct for accommodating himself to right-wing bourgeois public opinion, President Obama joined in the pileup against Thomas after her resignation was announced, calling her comments about Israel "offensive" and her forced retirement from Hearst "the right decision."

    Helen Thomas ousted over anti-Israeli comments
    By Patrick Martin, 9 June 2010

    Thank you Andreas (none / 0) (#206)
    by DancingOpossum on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 11:45:35 AM EST
    I keep forgetting to read WSWS but when I do, I always find their articles illuminating.

    The resulting media uproar was predictable and disgusting. It was prompted not so much by Thomas's reference to Jews going back to Germany and Poland, but by her reference to the Palestinian people as suffering under occupation in the land they had lived in for centuries.

    Thomas showed anger over the basic injustice that underlies the establishment of Israel, the dispossession of the Palestinians.

    Well, that's the point, exactly. We are not allowed to talk about the real story of Israel or question its legitimacy, despite the overwhelming evidence that it is a rogue state that practices apartheid, ethnic cleansing, and crimes against humanity on a near-daily basis, not even when it kills (as it repeatedly does) our own citizens.