Helen Thomas: Her Anti-Jewish Bigotry

This diarty is NOT about Ms. Thomas' views on Israel/Palestine.  She has every right to her views.  This concerns the clear bigotry against Jews entwined throughly in her stereotype-laden comments.

For accuracy, she is captured on video telling israeli Jews to "get the hell out of Palestine..." and to "go home to...Poland and Germany..."  (Links:  (1) youtube and (2) rabbiLIVE.com, see details below.)

These comments include three core anti-Jewish themes:

  • Jews as alien intruders
  • Jews not having the rights of others (i.e., choice of where to live)
  • Trivializing the Holocaust (why else mention Poland and Germany?)
For consideration, I share this statement by Lanny Davis (former advisor to Pres. Clinton):

Helen Thomas, who I used to consider a close friend and who I used to respect, has showed herself to be an anti-Semitic bigot. This not about her disagreement about her criticisms of Israel. She has a right to criticize Israel and that is not the same as being an anti-Semite.

However, her statement that  Jews in Israel should leave Israel and go back to Poland or Germany is an ancient and well-known anti-Semitic  stereotype of the Alien Jew not belonging in the "land of Israel" — one that began  2,600 years with the first tragic and violent diaspora of the Jews at the hands of the Romans.

If she had asked all Blacks to go back to Africa, what would White House Correspondents Association position be as to whether she deserved White House press room credentials — much less a privileged honorary seat?

Of course Helen has the right as a private citizen under the First Amendment to speak her mind, even as an anti-Jewish bigot — but not as a member, much less privileged member with a reserved seat, in the WH press corps.

(Video links:  (1) http://www.youtube.com/... (2) http://rabbilive.com/...

Widespread Anti-Semitism on Progressive Websites UPDATE

The full title of Joshua Holland's article in AlterNet is Ridiculous "Study" Supposedly Finds Widespread Anti-Semitism on Progressive Websites. It was written by Adam Levick.

As intellectually dishonest as this study could get, to quote Holland, it is not actually far from the discourse occasionally seen on progressive blogs like Daily Kos and MyDD. Take this exchange in the comment section of a diary recently posted about the Gaza siege (edited for generality):

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I dodged a teachable moment last week

I've been taking my children to political rallies, receptions, and house parties since they were babies. Many Iowa Democrats have claimed not to recognize me without a small child riding on my front, hip or back.

At the same time, I've avoided exposing my kids to political scenes likely to turn confrontational, such as anti-war demonstrations. An article I read years ago in Mothering magazine persuasively argued that because young children cannot understand abstract political concepts, they are likely to be disturbed by the anger they encounter at a protest rally. (Sorry, no link--they don't put most of their content online.)

I've also been influenced by my mother-in-law. In her 30 years as a preschool teacher, she learned that young children are easily confused by upsetting images. After 9/11, some of the kids in her class did not understand that television networks kept showing replays of the same scenes. They thought that another plane was crashing into another building every time they saw tragic footage from that day.

Living in the Des Moines suburbs, it's usually no challenge to keep my little ones from volatile political scenes. They get that not everyone votes the same way, but politics to them means coming with Mommy or Daddy to hear a candidate speak, help deliver yard signs or vote on election day.

When Fred Phelps and his clan from the Westboro Baptist Church planned a trip to central Iowa this month, it occurred to me that sheltering my children from their hatred might not be an option.

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Ethnic cleansing of Israelis from the West Bank?

Mark Elf of Jews sans frontieres is sometimes so hard hitting that it is difficult to quote his material. But this article about Bibi Netanyahu regarding the expansion of settlements on the West Bank was so interesting that it deserves attention. Netanyahu is now contending that the stoppage of settlement building in the West Bank is equivalent to the Nazi concept of "Judenrein:" the ethnic cleansing of Jews from Germany in the 1930s.

This is not a new tactic of Netanyahu, who has used the Holocaust at every turn to continue the opposite reality: the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians. But this time he repeated the notion before German diplomats.

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French Court Convicts Murderers in Ilan Halimi Case

As some of you might remember, a few years ago, a French Jew Ilan Halimi was brutally murdered by a gang who lured him into their home, and they tortured him for three weeks, finally leaving him for dead near train tracks. He died on the way to the hospital. He was only 23 years old.

http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?c id=1246443775397&pagename=JPost%2FJP Article%2FShowFull

Youssouf Fofana, 28, was sentenced to life in prison. He was one of 27 people on trial in the kidnapping, torture and murder of Ilan Halimi, who was 23 years old.

Halimi was found naked, handcuffed and covered with burn marks near railroad tracks in the Essonne region south of Paris on Feb. 13, 2006. He died on the way to the hospital after being held captive for more than three weeks. The horrific death revived worries in France about lingering anti-Semitism and led to deep anxiety in France's Jewish community, the largest in western Europe.

As the verdict was announced, Fofana, who headed the self-styled "gang of barbarians," mimicked applause. Fofana's sentence means he will have no possibility of parole for 22 years.

Now let us not forget how remorseless the murderer was:

The leader of the "barbarians", Youssouf Fofana, smirked at Halimi's relatives and shouted "Allahu akbar!" ("God is Greatest!" in Arabic) at them as he entered the courtroom.

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