Veteran reporter Helen Thomas uttered only a few words. She said
that Jews should "ďget the hell out of PalestineĒ and go home to ďPoland, Germany and America and everywhere else.Ē
It is an elegant, truthful, concise and accurate summary of the ideology and goals of the "humanitarians" who support the cause of the Hamas
. It cut through the reams of self-righteous and evasive obfuscation about the real goals of the anti-Israel and anti-Zionist campaign. This is what it is really all about. Boycotts, blockades, apartheid slogans, negotiations, complaints based on bogus international "legitimacy" are all a smokescreen to cover up that simple goal.
Thomas's utterance was only a part of the truth perhaps, because the whole truth is too unpalatable for decent people to swallow. The unknown voice on the Turkish "freedom flotilla" who told the Israel Navy, "Shut up! Go back to Auschwitz!" was probably closer to the actual spirit of these "humanitarians." The idea is about the same though.
Thomas illustrated, as no Jewish spokesperson could have done, the only really important issue in the anti-Israel campaign in general, and the campaign for Hamas specifically. Who and what is being supported in the name of peace and humanitarianism? The Hamas
are as truthful as Helen Thomas. They write in their charter that their goal is the physical annihilation of the Jewish people, to fulfill the "words of the prophet." A flotilla of fanatics screaming "Khaibar Khaibar 0 Jews! The army of Muhammad is approaching" came to aid the Hamas
. Demonstrators for the wonderful cause carry signs that say "I hate Juice" and scream "Hamas, Hamas, Jews to the gas." All this is somehow prettified and swept under the rug, to spin the cause of Hamas into a humanitarian crusade.
Thomas said what all these progressive "peace" supporters are thinking. That was a big mistake, though it is to be noted that a lot of people actually think she should not have resigned.
Of course, Thomas's utterance was very embarrassing for a great many people. The unspeakable Philip Weiss
hastened to spin what she had said, even though she herself had apologized and her intent was crystal clear:
Part of the problem is the ambiguity: was she referring to Palestine as the whole of Israel? She might have but I doubt hers was the maximalist position. Even those who still advocate a two state solution as tenable should give her the benefit of the doubt unless she indicates otherwise.:
Some people will believe anything. If Thomas had been talking about the West Bank, she could have simply said that the Jews should go back to Tel Aviv or Haifa. Did that obvious point really escape the protean intellect of Philip Weiss?
Much money and effort has been invested in spinning, obscuring, obfuscating, euphemizing and beautifying the real aims of the anti-Israel movement. Much sophistication and thought goes into learned tomes about the
Jewish Israel lobby. A great effort is invested to find Jews and Israelis like Ilan Pappe and the Jewish Voice for Peace organization who act as facades and mouthpieces for the basic idea, and give it respectability. And here, with a few choice words, one frank old lady threatened to sweep all the cobwebs away and expose the truth. That simply wouldn't do. Thomas's remarks raised the danger that the debate would be focused on the true issues, and that must always be avoided at all costs. For the humanitarianism, the liberation theology and the ostensible peace advocacy rhetoric hide ideas that are so vile that they cannot stand the light of decent discussion; an ideology and a goal that are so repulsive that even Adolf Hitler was hesitant to write about it openly in Mein Kampf. The angelic pleas for the cause of the supposedly oppressed Gazans hide a vitriolic hatred that only a depraved and barbaric group like the Hamas would be so tactless as to advocate openly.
Fortunately for the "humanitarian" anti-Israel crowd, Jewish organizations mistakenly led the fight for her removal from White House press briefings, which was a great mistake. Thomas told the truth about what is behind all those op-eds and all those church resolutions about "peace" in Palestine. Truth is a valuable commodity, but a dangerous one.
Helen Thomas is like the little child who shouted that the emperor has no clothes. In the real world, telling the truth is not rewarded very well. Honesty is not the best policy after all. She was forced to resign. How many of us would be willing to sacrifice their careers in order to make such a signal contribution to the cause of Zionism and of Israel?
In one sentence, Helen Thomas did more to advance the cause of Israel and Zionism then, with all due respect, Alan Dershowitz did in all his books. She did more to explain the true position than Benjamin Netanyahu or Avigdor Lieberman can ever do. Nobody can say she is a right wing Zionist ultranationalist neoconservative extremist "lying scumbag" Jewish lawyer (excuse the language, I'm quoting Richard Silverstein) or any of the other convenient epithets that are used to discredit spokespersons for Israel. Tikkunistas and J people of J Street and J Call take note: This is what it is really all about.
I have to agree with the conclusion offered by Philip Weiss, for very different reasons: Thank you for your service, Helen Thomas. May there be more like you to emerge in the media landscape. I hope you continue to speak up well after 90.
We have had enough euphemisms and circumlocutions about the reasons why progressive humanitarians" find it necessary to support the Hamas regime against Israel, and why they find no fault at all with a regime that came to power by violence and advocates genocide, while at the same time they vilify a democratic and lawful regime in Israel as "extremists" and "ultra-nationalists."
Honesty is always refreshing and often constructive, even if unpleasant. It can illuminate the darkest corners of intellectual confusion. For her outstanding service to the cause of Israel and Zionism, a grateful Jewish people should perhaps award Helen Thomas the Israel prize. For her great service to the cause of peace, she should likewise be honored by real humanitarian organizations.
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Replies: 5 Comments
Well done Amir. You have hit the nail on the head. As any student of Jewish history knows full well. All of this from the UN condemnations to the "Queers against Israeli Aparteid" are symptomatic of an ancient scourge we as Jews know all too well.
Jon Geist, Thursday, June 10th
I grew up attending a Reform Jewish Sunday School, where we learned - endlessly - about the horrible history of the poor Jews. I was very bored about the whole subject. Later in life, however, I had some very important moments of (Jewish) "awakening" and realized that, indeed, what I had been taught in Sunday School was not some long-ago & far-away bit of history.
Fast forward to 911, and current history totally grabbed my attention and focused on Jews in today's world - and, more to the point, others' views of Jews in today's world. From that all-too-brief moment of unity after 911 until today, the world - instead of focusing on the dreadful reality of Islamists & jihadists, who have resurrected the new jihad for a renewed world caliphate - has, indeed, focused all its ire and hatred on Israel. I have never felt or experienced such a degree of anti-semitism in all of my 68 years on Planet Earth!! From what I perceive to be the safety and sanctity of my own cocoon, I now feel vulnerable and exposed - and I'm a citizen of the United State!!
I think it's the Helen Thomases of this world clarify what this struggle is all about. She's a mean, ugly old woman (could fill in, without difficulty, for those exaggerated
Joy D. Brower, Thursday, June 10th
the wwII allies were so anti-semitic, they gave no thought to the refugees, gave everything to germany. so we created israel. the jews were ready to endure the hate of the palestinians, -- who didn't matter -- rather than more old hate in europe. did germany invite them? are you kidding?
arthur rosenzweig, Thursday, June 10th
But she has such a Yiddishe Punnim!
Knakker, Wednesday, June 9th
If ever I have agreed with an essay of Ami Isseroff, this is definitely it. Yes, the "progressive humanitarians" have done their damnedest to dress up their Antisemitism in a cloak of righteous concern for Palestinians. Helen Thomas has stripped off the cloak with a single hateful comment.
Howard Wolf, Wednesday, June 9th
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