Helen Thomas Trips Up

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RabbiLive got a provocative comment from the iconic White House correspondent Helen Thomas — sort of the Max Blumenthalesque treatment of the Israel-Palestine issue from the other side of the coin.
Helen Thomas, in my view, is right to talk about the problems of Israeli occupation of Palestinian territory. She is clearly passionate about that.
But then arguing that Israelis should “go home” and go back to “Poland, Germany, America, and everywhere else” is just way over the line.
Responsible commentators on the Israeli and Palestinian/Arab/Muslim side of the equation need to really get beyond the hyberbole. Israel is not going anywhere and shouldn’t. Helping to secure a new equilibrium in its own long term political and security interests, Israel should do much more to facilitate the creation of a Palestinian state on its border.
But Helen Thomas, who I mostly admire, was wrong on this one.
– Steve Clemons

Comments

113 comments on “Helen Thomas Trips Up

  1. Paul Norheim says:

    From the Lebanese newspaper “The Daily Star”:
    “The worst thing that could happen is for Thomas

    Reply

  2. Paul Norheim says:

    Matthew Yglesias on hypocrisy:
    “Leveling Up, Not Down
    To say something else about Helen Thomas, one thing I

    Reply

  3. David says:

    Helen Thomas slipped up and has paid dearly for her mistake. The reasons for her anger are quite justified, her particular prescription unsettling. But we have lost a journalist with a wonderful track record of courageous, unrelenting investigative journalism. She asked the tough questions, the questions that needed to be asked. That particular comment was hard to defend. Wish the same could be said for Israeli commandos shooting civilians in the head at point blank range, repeatedly. But some things are legitimately off limits, others apparently not.

    Reply

  4. Kathleen Grasso Andersen says:

    Israel’s Political Occupation of Obama’s Press Corps, Yvonne Ridley http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article25656.htm

    Reply

  5. Kathleen Grasso Andersen says:

    Israel’s Political Occupation of Obama’s Press Corps, Yvonne Ridley http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article25656.htm

    Reply

  6. Sweetness says:

    I have to say, I really like this remark by Jon and think it’s worth reposting…
    Posted by jon, Jun 07 2010, 8:08AM – Link
    Helen Thomas’ error was in saying that the Jews should go
    home. One of the Jews structural problems has been that they
    are the quintessential rootless cosmopolitans, accepted and
    tolerated in many places, but not able, ultimately, to rely
    securely on any of the countries that they have lived in. The
    point of Israel’s founding was to provide a jewish state in the
    historical homeland, so that Jews would then have a home. The
    US has provided Jews a home here, and they have thrived. But a
    pessimist might say that it is always a risk, and that at some
    poin the US may turn on the Jews as other nations have.
    Should Jews have gone back to Poland and Ukraine after WWII? I
    find that problematic at best.
    I never understood why Jews were not made reparations in
    Germany after WWII. Seized property should have been restored,
    and state lands and funds transferred to Jews and jewish
    organizations throughout Germany, in proportion to the
    depredations made. And similar reparations should also have
    been made to the other groups and peoples that the Nazis had
    tried to eradicate.
    Germany had benefited greatly from the contribution of Jews to
    society, culture, science and industry. And Germany has
    suffered for that loss ever since.
    The world needed a demonstration that genocide ethnic
    cleansing does not work and would be tolerated. And the
    dearth of jews in Germany today gives hope to racists
    everywhere.
    Finally, I would give Ms Thomas the opportunity to explain her
    remarks further, in a context where she can gather her
    thoughts, and where they will not be selectively edited. Perhaps
    what she meant was despicable. But perhaps she had an
    enlightened and nuanced set of ideas, which might assist Jews
    and Arabs to reconcile over Israel and Palestine.

    Reply

  7. Sweetness says:

    Carroll writes: “It was nadine who said the Turkish ship and the people killed brought it on themselves …just like the zionist said Rachel Corrie brought it on herself. And it was marcus who said the USS Liberty asked for it by being in a hot zone.
    If you google Rachel Corrie ‘cartoons’ you will get thousands of hits to jewish and israeli sites and blogs where they have cartoons depicting her as a ‘retard’, a terrorist and “pancake’ Corrie and so on.”
    Funny, they sound like you, Carroll…
    As to “no more rules,” that’s what you’ve been pushing for, dear…enjoy!

    Reply

  8. Sweetness says:

    Don Bacon writes: “The Constitution was written to call the federal government into existence and structure a government which would protect our inherent rights. “We, the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect Union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”
    Strikes me, Don, there’s a lot more than “right” in your quote.

    Reply

  9. Sweetness says:

    Carroll: “I don’t know how fucking stupid and venal I am sweetness, how fucking supid and venal do you think I am?”
    I don’t need to think about it, Carroll, you willingly display yourself…all the time.

    Reply

  10. Sweetness says:

    Posted by Cee, Jun 07 2010, 12:58PM – Link
    Sweetness, Many of those who call themselves Jews now converted. Don’t blame me for letting you know.
    SN: Here’s the thing, Cee, Judaism isn’t a biological club. Jews don’t claim it’s a biological club. That’s what Nazis do and did.
    Jews have always accepted, though not always sought out, converts. Always. Traditionally, at least for some time, converts have been discouraged from converting–or to think carefully before converting–but they’ve been accepted. Check out the story of Ruth…it’s a tradition of the Jewish people.
    That said, re: Shlomo, there have no been genetic studies done that show Middle Eastern ancestry among Eastern European Jews and other Jews and also a great deal of genetic commonality within Ashkenazis and Sephardim.
    I don’t play the genetic like you, Carroll, and Shlomo, but if you want to play it, the Khazar thesis, which has been around for quite a few years, at least since Arthur Koestler, has been debunked. Not by Jew-y science and history as Carroll might claim, but by good, old fashioned science and history.
    Here’s an abstract of one study:
    http://www.cell.com/AJHG/abstract/S0002-9297%2810%2900246-6
    All that said, the origins of the Jews and various aspects of their history is fascinating and filled with all kinds of controversies. My suggestion, though, is that you delve into them with a modicum of intellectual honesty and leave your political axe at the door.
    The fact is, even if every Jew in Israel were a direct descendant of the Khazars, they’d still be “home” in Israel–just as much as anyone else is “at home” in the place where they’re born.

    Reply

  11. Sweetness says:

    An unqualified defense of Helen Thomas
    SN: Okay, let’s see…
    by Jack Ross on June 7, 2010
    Her comments [telling Israelis to leave Palestine and "go home" to Europe] do not reflect a desire to see Israel/Palestine judenrein, but rather an ominous sense of what a dangerous place Israel has become, and will only increasingly be, for its people.
    SN: Okay, but that actually isn’t what she said, is it? She said they should “go home” to Poland and Germany. It’s on the tape.
    But the more important point is that the cries of “historical ignorance” by the Zionists only reflect their own.
    SN: Okay…
    It was the Zionists, with a mighty assist from Stalin, who stood in the way of the surviving Jews of Europe being able to return to the only homes they ever knew.
    SN: Hmmm. Who do you think had a mightier hand? A bunch of Zionists…or Stalin? The record–and this is actual history, Carroll–is that many Jews were KILLED when they tried to return “home.” Moreover, why “go home” to a place where all your neighbors turned against you and blame you for the war?
    Ross: The anti-Zionists of that time, most notably the great Lessing Rosenwald, passionately and rightly argued that the suggestion that the Jews should not simply cast down their buckets but be transferred en masse to Palestine was an insult to all that the war against Hitler had been fought to achieve.
    SN: I think there’s sense to this thesis. I probably would have been an anti-Zionist had I been living there at the time. However, most of the DPs didn’t want to “return home.” They didn’t all want to go to Palestine and to call them “Zionists” is a mistake. But they definitely wanted out. But this has nothing to do with Helen’s remark.
    Ross: Along with his friends in the Reform rabbinate, Rosenwald had also not been shy about calling out the proposition that there existed a Jewish “nation” for what it was – a fundamental and dangerous concession to the doctrine of Hitler.
    SN: The adoption of the 19th century notion of “nation” was a natural move for people living then, and I think, a mistake. But this doesn’t mean there is no such thing as “the Jewish people.” I’m sorry. The Jews, though they were spread all across Eastern Europe, shared a language, a calendar, foods, a holy language, memory– how much more does anyone need before they are willing to call a group an “ethnic group” or “a people”? For a people spread across and among other ethnic groups, that’s pretty people-y to me. And the same goes for Ladino speakers.
    The Nazis focused on Jews as an inferior BIOLOGICAL group–but Jews have never seen themselves as a biological group.
    Ross: Indeed, per Helen Thomas, there could be no happier consequence of the fall of Zionism than the rebirth of Judaism in Poland that we have already seen in Germany.
    SN: The rebirth of Judaism in Germany and Poland is great. But again, THAT isn’t what Helen said, is it? We can argue about what Helen should have said or might have meant, but… Also, it’s kinda sorta curious why anyone should regard Eastern Europe as the “special home” for the Jews when, of course, that was the one place in the whole world where they were told in no uncertain terms, “We don’t want you.”
    Shorter Helen: Go home to where they murdered you. Good advice.
    Jack Ross is author of a forthcoming book on the American Council for Judaism and Rabbi Elmer Berger.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    Reply

  12. Paul Norheim says:

    I’m also a bit surprised that some smart regular bloggers at
    TWN sometimes tend to ignore or forget the direct context of
    the issues discussed: they may perhaps focus on the larger
    picture, but not the direct context: The fact that Steve Clemons
    posts this here and now on his blog.
    let me give a couple of examples.
    First, this Helen Thomas post. Steve actually offered some clues
    in his response to Nadine and Pangloss above on this thread:
    a) “I posted Helen Thomas’ comments that were clearly anti-
    Israel because she went over the line.” (to Nadine Jun 06 2010,
    6:58PM)
    b) “I believe strongly in a two state approach to Middle East
    problem solving, and I am a friend of Israel and the Arab Middle
    East. I can’t stand by and offer criticism of those who are
    undermining both American and Israeli interests with hyper-
    likudist strategies and not equally show my hackles when
    someone makes anti-Semitic comments like these.” (To
    Pangloss Jun 06 2010, 7:03PM)
    In plain English: Steve says that he wrote this comment as a
    reaction to a comment that went over the line, and to show the
    DC establishment that he is not biased on the Israel/Palestine
    conflict.
    My second example will be the Cordesman essay, posted by
    Steve on the same day (last Sunday).
    Here is an excerpt from Steve’s friend Helene Cooper’s comment
    on the Cordesman essay – published in NYT:
    “By HELENE COOPER
    Published: June 4, 2010
    WASHINGTON

    Reply

  13. Sweetness says:

    Paul writes: “When I read Steve’s post, I typed my immediate reaction, that was almost word by word identical with the characterization of the editorial blogger quoted above. I have not changed my mind since then. But I also fully agree with Greenslade that the reactions against Thomas were “disproportionate.”
    She deserved the firestorm reaction to the content of her comments–which were both factually wrong and morally pathetic–but she didn’t deserve to be fired or jilted.
    Keep her in the front row asking tough questions…
    Katrina VH came out in her defense. Maybe she can find her a platform on The Nation.

    Reply

  14. Paul Norheim says:

    Don,
    For what it’s worth, here is an opinion from “Greenslade Blog”,
    The Guardian (UK), that perfectly mirrors my view on this issue:
    “Helen Thomas went over the top, but why is she gagged in the
    land of the free?
    Whatever one thinks of the views propounded by the (former)
    doyenne of the White House press corps, Helen Thomas, one of
    the series of punishments administered to her seems
    disproportionate.
    Soon after the 89-year-old journalist was filmed saying that
    Jews should “get the hell out of Palestine” and go “home” to
    Germany and Poland, she lost her job.
    As Michael Tomasky points out, it was her reference to Germany
    and Poland that did for her. It was, quite simply, a disgraceful,
    thoughtless and indefensible statement. She went way over the
    top.
    So, despite her having issued an apology on her website, it was
    probably no real surprise that Hearst newspapers announced
    her immediate “retirement”. She has had a long run, after all.
    But it’s the next bit of the story that concerns me. She was also
    dumped by her speaking agency, which issued a statement: “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.”
    The agency’s president, Diane Nine, later emailed HuffPost to
    say: “We no longer represent Helen for books or lectures or
    anything else.”
    So, in the land of the free, where freedom of speech is
    guaranteed under the constitution, a person who expresses
    what are deemed to be controversial views is effectively gagged.
    Has Ms Nine never heard of Voltaire?
    I note that Thomas was also required to step down from
    delivering a high school graduation speech.
    I imagine it’s just the beginning of a process of public, and
    media, exclusion for Thomas. That may be a personal problem
    for her (though, at her age, she may not care). But, as she
    would be the first to grasp, it has wider implications.
    It is one of those rare occasions in which one can see clearly
    how people in America who are willing to express anti-
    establishment opinions are demonised, marginalised and finally
    excluded from public debate.
    Did I say “people”? I mean, of course, those who are identified
    as liberals. Right-wing TV and radio hosts can say what they
    like, however outrageous. Some iconoclasts are obviously freer
    than others.”
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/greenslade/2010/jun/08/fre
    edom-of-speech-usa
    ———————————
    When I read Steve’s post, I typed my immediate reaction, that
    was almost word by word identical with the characterization of
    the editorial blogger quoted above. I have not changed my mind
    since then. But I also fully agree with Greenslade that the
    reactions against Thomas were “disproportionate.”

    Reply

  15. Don Bacon says:

    Helen Thomas, the daughter of Lebanese immigrants, was a ground-breaking US woman journalist. After obtaining a journalism degree in Detroit, and being laid off from her first job, Thomas joined United Press International in 1943 and reported on women’s topics for its radio wire service, earning $24 a week. 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

    Reply

  16. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Thomas was set up. I imagine it was for the gaff she committed in asking the cowardly empty suit Obama about Israel’s nuclear weapons. Watching this self important asshole rabbi on Fox News this morning, one could not help but sense a carefully thought out agenda.
    Meanwhile, this embarrassing and useless monkey Biden gets away with saying “no big deal” about piracy, murder, kidnapping, and the illegal detention of hundreds of civilians. Remember, one of the ships that was pirated was an American flagged vessel. Thats a fuckin’ act of war. But don’t tell Obama, Biden, or Clinton.

    Reply

  17. PissedOffAmerican says:

    I see the Firsters in Los Angeles held a big pro-Israel demonstration. What did they do when the invited speaker from Americans For Peace Now got up to speak??? They booed and hissed him so completely that he wasn’t heard.
    These are the people we are sending billions to Israel for? Well, how ’bout these people take their bigoted booing and hissing asses and immigrate to their country of choice???
    Helen Thomas had the right idea, she just singled out the wrong Jews.

    Reply

  18. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “I can speak from firsthand experience that the when you become elderly, the first thing that goes is the filters”
    No shit. Its a good thing that rabbi didn’t approach you, because you probably woulda advocated carpet bombing Gaza, (as you have done on this blog), and if the rabbi had the good sense and moral spine to disagree with you, you woulda attacked him about the size of his penis.

    Reply

  19. Don Bacon says:

    Helen Thomas is professionally dead. Yippee. A woman who for decades asked the tough questions and spoke what was on her mind, said something that was overly insensitive, drawing attacks from others who profess to expanding discourse. And now she’s professionally dead.
    Let’s all obey the guidelines and don’t say anything that is inappropriate, or insensitive, or we’ll be as dead as Helen.

    Reply

  20. I.V. Holtzman says:

    Thank you, Helen, for saying the truth even when no one wants to hear it. Israel is just the most recent Crusader colony of Europeans. How can so many of us fail to see the wrongness in the survivors of Hitler’s holocaust going on to commit lebensraum in someone else’s continent?

    Reply

  21. ... says:

    thanks for the 8:21pm dons… that is my general feeling that i tried conveying in my 8:24pm post, but glenn greenwald is always so very good at pointing out the doulble standards and hypocrisy…

    Reply

  22. nadine says:

    Sweetness:
    Yes, Carroll always show her true colors. Note that most of the TWN posters see nothing wrong in her anti-Semitism and to my knowledge, Steve Clemons has never reproved it.
    About the Shlomo Sand book: modern genetic studies of Jewish populations have already disproved the theory that modern Jews are descended from mass conversions, not Jewish immigrants from the Levant. Google it.

    Reply

  23. ... says:

    ditto dons remarks to wigwag and dan k…
    it is more then interesting how many are falling on their literary sword when it comes to the topic of israel… could it be that the conversation is held in a tight narrow lane and anyone who strays from it immediately becomes road kill? perhaps there is undue control over what can or can’t be said in the media as w&m have suggested and have been further supported by beinart and others??

    Reply

  24. DonS says:

    Then again here’s a rather sobering reflection on the Thomas flap from Glenn Greenwald:
    UPDATE: 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).
    That’s because, as I wrote the last time Peretz had one of his vicious anti-Arab rants, severe punishment is meted out to those who engage in the wrong kind of prejudice while those who spout the right kind do so with total impunity. That, and the fact that there are consequences for the actions only of the powerless in Washington, but never the powerful. Then again, look at the bright side: with Thomas banished, White House press briefings and presidential news conferences will be much friendlier and more harmonious with the amiable, star-struck Ed Henrys remaining in place.
    http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/glenn_greenwald/2010/06/07/washington/index.html
    So where is the line between social interaction with the bigwigs and loss of objectivity? The 4th estate has long since turned into more stenography than grilling the powerful.

    Reply

  25. DonS says:

    Wig wag, that’s a very generous reading, informed, of course by your own experience and observation you say. How each one of us ages is different, off course, but undeniably predictable.
    Dan Kervick, your point too is well taken. Who knows what motivated Helen to persevere in such a highly visible spot?

    Reply

  26. YY says:

    Now all that’s left in the WHPC are tire swingers..

    Reply

  27. Kathleen Grasso Andersen says:

    Another persepctive on Helen’s comments.
    http://www.truthout.org/helen-thomas-under-siege-about-israel-comments-retires60218er
    Frankly, I’m glad Helen retired and won’t be participating in the daily farce we call a White House Press Conference/Briefing…her presence there lends it a legitimacy it no longer deserves.

    Reply

  28. Dan Kervick says:

    “I can speak from firsthand experience that the when you become elderly, the first thing that goes is the filters.”
    While not that far up there yet myself, we have all seen this kind of thing many times. On the other hand, Thomas should have been smart enough to walk away before this inevitable embarrassment occurred. She could have done the grand retirement tour and pulled in the accolades. Now she had to be pushed out in disgrace instead of exiting in class at the top of her field.

    Reply

  29. Kathleen Grasso Andersen says:

    Sweetness….”only a few red skins”???? Wow. See what I mean by caucasian superiority toward other colors of people? Guess those “red skins” are not the chosen people and we don’t need to address the holocaust that happened to them to make room for white colonizers. It’s not important, so let’s just dismiss that handful of “red skins”.
    At a minimum, Jews should get out of Palestine..you know the other “State” in the so-called two-state solution…Jews need to go back to Israel and get out of Gaza, and the West Bank…The US needs to insist that Israel honor UN Resolutions about the 1967 borders. period.

    Reply

  30. WigWag says:

    Now that Helen Thomas has retired, I’m for giving her a break. I can speak from firsthand experience that the when you become elderly, the first thing that goes is the filters. Usually, your filters leave you long before your memory and your intellect do; anyone who reads my rants on the Washington Note, knows only too well how fragile the filters in the elderly can be.
    Just three years ago, James Watson, the co-discoverer of DNA (along with Francis Crick), made a comment to the Sunday Times of London which read, even generously, suggested intellectual impairment on the part of African Americans. Despite the fact that he is a revered figure, there was just no alternative reading of his comments that could be viewed as anything other than repugnant.
    Watson created the field of molecular biology and everything that we know about genetics has its roots in Watson’s and Crick’s path breaking work in the 1950s. Watson surely knows that African American and White Americans are genetically identical when it comes to intelligence; but he was 79 when he made his comment and like all elderly people he was prone to gaffes.
    Watson was chancellor of the renowned Cold Spring Harbor Research Laboratory on Long Island; it’s a world class center for research into molecular biology and Watson founded it. Nevertheless, the Board of Cold Spring Harbor had no choice but to dismiss him and they did.
    Now the same thing has happened to Helen Thomas. Surely she knows that most of the Jews from Germany, Poland and the rest of Europe are still there; they never left. Or at least their charred remains and their disemboweled bodies never did.
    Helen Thomas is now going off to a well-deserved retirement.
    That should be the end of it.

    Reply

  31. Carroll says:

    Posted by Cee, Jun 07 2010, 1:19PM – Link
    >>>>>>>>>>>
    Yes Glick is one sick girlie.
    I came across her years ago and the most striking thing is how much she absolutely hates America.
    She has written some pieces about how despicable the US towards israel that are unbelievable.
    In one she wrote about how Israel could defeat the US militarily…..a first class hater and delusional at that.
    Like I say all the time, these people are a cult, they are nuts.

    Reply

  32. Cee says:

    Carol,
    Glick is one twisted chick. When does she lose her job at the Jerusalem Post? Don’t answer.
    I’d like to know when Helen Thomas EVER mocked the dead! Anyone???
    Black-face Obama?
    Jacobson and Maimonides have much in common.
    From The Guide to the Perplexed book III chapter 51:
    Some of the Turks, and the nomads in the North and the Blacks and nomads in the South, and those who resemble them in our climates…their nature is like the nature of mute animals, and according to my opinion they are not on the level of human beings, and their level among existing things is below that of a man and above that of a monkey…

    Reply

  33. rc says:

    “(Reuters) – Turkey called for international punishment of Israel for its deadly raid on a Turkish Gaza-bound aid ship at a summit Monday where Ankara will also urge an immediate end to Israel’s blockade of the territory.” — DB
    So what happens if Turkey blockades Israel that blockades Gaza?

    Reply

  34. Cee says:

    Sweetness,
    Many of those who call themselves Jews now converted. Don’t blame me for letting you know.

    Reply

  35. Cee says:

    Sweetness,
    I’m glad you actually went to read about the book. We can agree to disagree on it.
    At to what rc posted:
    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,” said Davis.
    For goodness sake! Enough with these exodus myths.
    The Bible Unearthed makes a good case that this DID NOT HAPPEN.
    This fairy tale was created for religious and political reasons.
    The American Zionist organizations at the time did not fight for a more open immigration policy to allow Jews into America
    Correct. I seem to recall that a rabbi Wise didn’t want the quotas raised. It shocked me. I then understood one of the reasons that the St. Louis was turned away.
    Lanny Davis statement continued, “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?”
    Blacks were brought HERE IN CHAINS! No comparison.

    Reply

  36. Carroll says:

    CoteretNews, analysis and opinion from the Israeli Hebrew print and electronic media
    Fellini in Bilin
    June 7, 2010 Didi Remez
    Watch this video from the suppression Friday

    Reply

  37. Carroll says:

    An unqualified defense of Helen Thomas
    by Jack Ross on June 7, 2010
    Her comments [telling Israelis to leave Palestine and "go home" to Europe] do not reflect a desire to see Israel/Palestine judenrein, but rather an ominous sense of what a dangerous place Israel has become, and will only increasingly be, for its people.
    But the more important point is that the cries of “historical ignorance” by the Zionists only reflect their own.
    It was the Zionists, with a mighty assist from Stalin, who stood in the way of the surviving Jews of Europe being able to return to the only homes they ever knew.
    The anti-Zionists of that time, most notably the great Lessing Rosenwald, passionately and rightly argued that the suggestion that the Jews should not simply cast down their buckets but be transferred en masse to Palestine was an insult to all that the war against Hitler had been fought to achieve.
    Along with his friends in the Reform rabbinate, Rosenwald had also not been shy about calling out the proposition that there existed a Jewish “nation” for what it was – a fundamental and dangerous concession to the doctrine of Hitler. Indeed, per Helen Thomas, there could be no happier consequence of the fall of Zionism than the rebirth of Judaism in Poland that we have already seen in Germany.
    Jack Ross is author of a forthcoming book on the American Council for Judaism and Rabbi Elmer Berger.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Zionism is and was a cult based on tribalism that saw an opportunity in the holocaust and seized it.

    Reply

  38. Carroll says:

    Posted by Sweetness, Jun 07 2010, 11:41AM – Link
    Carroll, you ARE ugly, but you can’t help it. It’s that separate, but unequal way you were raised–so I TRY to cut you slack
    >>>>>>>>>>>>
    Well, there you go again.
    That’s some big inferiority complex you have.

    Reply

  39. Sweetness says:

    Carroll, you ARE ugly, but you can’t help it. It’s that separate, but unequal way you were raised–so I TRY to cut you slack.
    History is history and Jewish history is part of the great flow of history in general.
    Your willingness to ignore certain parts of history in favor of others is basic ignorance.
    You can’t–with any integrity–argue for ignoring “Jewish history” and expect anyone to respect “Palestinian history” or “black history” or any of the other histories.
    One of the strikes against Israel and its historians is the way they ignored–tried to obliterate Palestinian history. That was and is wrong and, in fact, it’s been Israel’s “new historians” who’ve put it back on the map for the Israeli public and the larger world (except for the Palestinians who always knew it).
    But now, you would have the world do the same to Jewish history.

    Reply

  40. Carroll says:

    Posted by Sweetness, Jun 07 2010, 11:25AM – Link
    Carroll always willing to show her true colors:
    “The Helen flap is a lot of outrage over nothing. And she is right, the Jews should have stayed in Germany and Poland. There would have been a lot less chance of them being holocausted again there then where they are in Israel….and they wouldn’t have recreated a midget Naizdom in the ME that is a threat to the world.”
    That’s right: The Jews should have stayed in those places where their long-time friends and neighbors killed them and deported them to the gas chambers.
    Hahahahaha.
    Guess what? Many DID try to return to their homes, particularly in Poland and they were killed and blamed for the war.
    Hahahahaha.
    And I LOVE this helpful tidbit: “…a lot less chance of them being holocausted again…” True, there was hardly any of them left! But what the hey, let’s give it another go and see what happens this time.
    I think the only question left about you dear is …HOW FUCKING STUPID AND VENAL ARE YOU?
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    No sooner did I point out the habit of personally attacking the messenger ….then Volia!
    I don’t know how fucking stupid and venal I am sweetness, how fucking supid and venal do you think I am?

    Reply

  41. Sweetness says:

    Posted by rc, Jun 07 2010, 10:54AM – Link
    Helen isn’t an anti-Semite that I know of.
    However, she DID quite clearly suggest that the Jews go back to Poland and Germany.
    Jay makes good points, though I have some real questions about Hamas’s desires and intentions.

    Reply

  42. Carroll says:

    Posted by Sweetness, Jun 07 2010, 11:10AM – Link
    A good review of the Shlomo Sand book by Rabbi Wittenberg in the Guardian
    What Sand ignores and Cee doesn’t know is that the Jewish religion encompasses the notion of “a Jewish people.” They go hand in hand
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    sweetness, not to be ugly, but what you don’t realize is no one cares about the history of jewish ‘people’ except people like yourself who are into all that.
    History is just history, everybody has some.

    Reply

  43. Sweetness says:

    Carroll always willing to show her true colors:
    “The Helen flap is a lot of outrage over nothing. And she is right, the Jews should have stayed in Germany and Poland. There would have been a lot less chance of them being holocausted again there then where they are in Israel….and they wouldn’t have recreated a midget Naizdom in the ME that is a threat to the world.”
    That’s right: The Jews should have stayed in those places where their long-time friends and neighbors killed them and deported them to the gas chambers.
    Hahahahaha.
    Guess what? Many DID try to return to their homes, particularly in Poland and they were killed and blamed for the war.
    Hahahahaha.
    And I LOVE this helpful tidbit: “…a lot less chance of them being holocausted again…” True, there was hardly any of them left! But what the hey, let’s give it another go and see what happens this time.
    I think the only question left about you dear is …HOW FUCKING STUPID AND VENAL ARE YOU?

    Reply

  44. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Israel is pushing the planet towards WWIII, and I for one, don’t want to see such a catastrophe inflicted on mankind from some shithole little racist enclave of wackjob zealots who think God has singled them out for exception. We suffered such a calamity at the hands of Nazi Germany, and now we are going to let Israel inflict us with the same insanity?? I thought we were supposed to LEARN from history.

    Reply

  45. Don Bacon says:

    Something to watch:
    (Reuters) – Turkey called for international punishment of Israel for its deadly raid on a Turkish Gaza-bound aid ship at a summit Monday where Ankara will also urge an immediate end to Israel’s blockade of the territory.
    Leaders from Russia, Iran, Pakistan and Afghanistan are to attend the Eurasian and Middle East talks, but Israel is sending a diplomat from its consulate in Ankara rather than expose a higher-ranking figure to the fury over last week’s killings.
    “Israel committed a crime against all international laws and regulations,” Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu told a news conference with his Afghan and Pakistani counterparts ahead of the summit, which includes key enemies of Israel.
    Turkey wants a final declaration by the two-day meeting of the Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA) forum to condemn Monday’s raid by Israeli commandos in which nine Turks were killed.

    Reply

  46. Don Bacon says:

    Carroll’s on the right track, but I would point out that US politics, including all the participants in it including the press, historically has never been a tea party — nor should it be.
    “I’ll stand by [you] but if you can’t take the heat, get out of the kitchen.” — Harry “Give ‘em hell” Truman

    Reply

  47. Sweetness says:

    A good review of the Shlomo Sand book by Rabbi Wittenberg in the Guardian:
    “”How can we denationalise national histories?” asks Shlomo Sand, quoting with approval the French historian Marcel Detienne, before sharpening the challenge in his own words: “How can we stop trudging along roads paved mainly with the forged materials of national fantasies?” This is the key issue in a book intended, from the title onwards, to be provocative.
    Uncomfortable books, if they are good, can be important. National narratives do need deconstruction; they often blind us to different perceptions of the world and deafen us to the just claims of others. This is certainly true of the Middle East, and I am one of many Jews who would agree with Sand that a decisive factor in the future of Israel will be its capacity to be far more attentive to the narratives and rights of its Palestinian and other non-Jewish citizens.
    But the book is a great disappointment. Its sweeping attempt to take apart the entire history of the Jewish people from its origins to present day Israel and prove it to be a wilful fabrication is marred by tendentious premises, the misreading of key events and the ignoring of central texts and institutions.
    Sand’s argument begins with 19th century European concepts of nation- and people-hood. He maintains that Jewish historians such as Graetz were deeply influenced by Germanic notions of the “Volk” on which the idea of the modern state is built. This nationalism was sharpened by the discourse of race and eugenics current then and later in Europe, with such disastrous results for Jewry. Sand traces a line from Graetz to the Zionist historians who, he argues, employ such bioethnic concepts to invent an imaginary entity, a racially continuous Jewish people who were exiled from their land, and therefore deserve to return to it 2,000 years later. Such continuity, argues Sand, is a fiction and the Jewish people are therefore an “invention”.
    A key point for Sand is the fate of the Jews after the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem by the Romans in 70CE. Sand attempts to prove that the exile of the Jews in the wake of this and subsequent defeats never happened. It is a fiction of modern Jewish historiography: hence neither later North African nor European Jewish communities can be the products of a diaspora of exiles, but are rather the result of mass conversions of the most racially diverse populations. Therefore there is no genetic continuity between today’s Jews and those who once inhabited ancient Judaea.
    The flaws in Sand’s argument are both historical and conceptual. The idea of exile, he suggests, was adopted from the Christian view that the Jews were punished with dispersion for the crime of killing Jesus. But this makes no sense. The paradigm of exile and return is found in the Bible in Deuteronomy and Jeremiah in relation to the destruction of the first temple by the Babylonians in 576BCE. It is thus part of the Jewish narrative centuries before Christianity. Further, contrary to what Sand maintains, serious historians of the period consider that the Romans did indeed kill or sell as slaves very many thousands of Jews. The rest of the population was banned from access to Jerusalem, which was renamed Aelia Capitolina. This would surely engender a sense of exile in any people.
    What is indisputable is that early Jewish communities grew through conversion. But Sand’s key thesis, that the bulk of modern eastern European Jewry owes its origins to the converted kingdom of the Khazars, has been widely debated, and rejected, especially in the wake of Arthur Koestler’s famous book on the subject. Sand’s allegation that this whole episode was hushed up because it vitiated the Zionist notion of Jewish ethnobiological continuity, cannot be maintained.
    Equally important is what Sand fails to discuss. To vast numbers of Jews, arguments about racial origins are both ugly and, more importantly, irrelevant. Instead, Jewish continuity is premised on religious factors, including observance of the Torah, the study of the Talmud, the creation of communities, the life of the synagogue and the bonds of the liturgy. These are what form the vital links between generations of Jews. To examine Jewish history almost without reference to its religious life and literature is like attempting to discuss Islam without mentioning the Hadith, the Shariya or the role of the Muslim community. Whereas Sand is quite right that Jewish life has always reflected local cultures, his claim “that there had never been a Jewish people’s culture” cannot be taken seriously.
    Sand virtually ignores persecution and antisemitism as contributory factors in forming Jewish narratives, just as he omits the role of hostility towards it in fashioning Israeli attitudes later.
    In the final chapter Sand offers a severe critique of the limitations of Israeli democracy. It is a tribute to the country’s liberalism, which he acknowledges despite deep reservations, that his book has been widely read there. Rejecting the practicability of a bi-national state, he stresses the urgent need for an end to the occupation and for the genuine equal participation of all the country’s citizens in its civic processes if it is to avoid profound conflicts within its pre-67 borders. In this, I agree.
    Sand makes it clear from the outset that he identifies with those excluded by the Jewish-Israeli narrative. Regrettably, the book lacks the empathy for the outsider which one might have expected. Instead, it is driven by a sustained polemic against a misreading of Judaism imposed more by the author himself than by those “authorised historians” whose supposed repression of “cheeky little facts” he sets out to unveil. Ironically for a book intended to deconstruct myths, it may well be taken up by those with an alternative mythology in which the Jews have no right to a state at all. Sadly, this would be unlikely to further the interests of Palestinians, or Israelis, or peace.
    Jonathan Wittenberg is rabbi of the New North London Synagogue. His books include The Silence of Dark Water: An Inner Journey (Robin Clark/Joseph’s Bookstore).
    What Sand ignores and Cee doesn’t know is that the Jewish religion encompasses the notion of “a Jewish people.” They go hand in hand.

    Reply

  48. Bart says:

    “Israel is not going anywhere and shouldn’t.”
    Why is this not debated more? They seem to be in a
    bad geographical position.

    Reply

  49. fyi says:

    Hellen Thomas is only saying what hundreds of millions of Muslims think.
    Don’t shoot the messenger.

    Reply

  50. rc says:

    fyi — the tail end of Paul Jay blog at:
    http://communities.canada.com/shareit/blogs/reality/archive/2010/06/07/in-defense-of-helen-thomas.aspx
    Do I think all Jews (that came after 1948) should get out of Palestine? Well, no more or less than Europeans should get out of North America, or the Portuguese should get out of Brazil, or the British should get the hell out of Australia. There does come a point where such things are simply not possible.
    There’s really no need anyway, there’s plenty of land and resources. The only issue is, are the rights of the people who owned the land before colonization going to be respected now; is there proper compensation; do they have the right to self-determination and so on.
    In the case of the Palestinians, what Israel needs to do has been made very clear in UN resolutions and in the demands of the Palestinians. In spite of the illegal blockade of Gaza, almost no one, including the Hamas representative I interviewed a few weeks ago, says the Jews have to get out. Ok there are some that say it, people get very angry after 62 years in a refugee camp, but what most Palestinians want is to live as equals with Jews in a truly democratic state.
    It’s way past time that we can discuss Israel and Palestine without the McCarthyite witch hunt atmosphere that has ruled for sixty years.
    I said in my last blog, not all criticism of Israel is anti-Semitism – but some is.
    Helen Thomas’ isn’t.

    Reply

  51. samuelburke says:

    and the rachel corrie goes unamed in the american press.
    and the jewish american community knows little of rachel corrie.
    and the wheels keep falling off the wagon.

    Reply

  52. Cee says:

    I never understood why Jews were not made reparations in
    Germany after WWII. Seized property should have been restored,
    and state lands and funds transferred to Jews and jewish
    organizations throughout Germany
    I’ve wondered the same thing. I’ve also wondered how things would have turned out if the Herlz Plan A of going to Uganda would have been a better option.
    He didn’t believe in that myth of a blood tie to the Biblical land of Israel.

    Reply

  53. Cee says:

    Turkish jihadists
    LOLOLOLOL!
    Facts=hate to Kotza. I’m sure he wouldn’t read the books ( Ben Gurion Scandals, Jewish History, Jewish Religion and The Invention of the Jewish People) that I’ve included in my posts. The truth hurts.
    “There never was a Jewish people, only a Jewish religion, and the exile never happened – hence no return.”

    Reply

  54. Sweetness says:

    Shorter Helen Thomas:
    Jews, go back to where they murdered you.

    Reply

  55. PissedOffAmerican says:

    ” didn’t see what nadine posted above that Steve Clemons removed. However given the levels of vitriol that a number of regular commenters on his blog exhibit — including, yes, outright anti-Semitism”
    Really??? Well, like that lying bigot Nadine, who is obviuously unable to show us examples of her false claims about what is posted here, I doubt you can show us examples of “outright anti-semitism”. But give it a shot. I’m not one to deprive you of playing the victim.

    Reply

  56. David says:

    nadine,
    I have, you missed it, and I will continue to. Israel is the topic at the moment, but if you will notice, I also condemn terrorist murders of innocent Israelis. I also condemned the US invasion of Iraq, and go back as far as condemning US aggression against the Viet Namese, Grenada, Panama (to get Noriega in an abominable act of murderous military aggression).
    And I condemn in advance any military attack on Iran. I also condemn the US overthrow of Mossadegh in Iran, the democratically elected government of Guatemala (for United Fruit), Reagan’s military aggression against Nicaragua, Hitler’s invasion of Poland, Britain’s fire bombing of Dresden – the list is long, the acts ranging from despicable to diabolical.
    What Israel is doing to Gaza is despicable. Shooting and innocent 4 times in the head on a peaceful ship is diabolical. If there is a just God, I would not to be the Israeli commando who did that, nor would I want to be a Palestinian operative who sent a young girl to blow up herself and a group of Israeli civilians.
    I’m still waiting for you to do something besides be an apologist for the current government of Israel, no matter what it does.
    That’s it for me entering into a debate with you. It’s a dead-end street. It is good that Steve gains some information he might not otherwise have from reading your posts, and it shows real class that he invites you to continue to post, I think in part because it is never good to silence anyone, although I find his rules for posting on TWN first-rate. If I thought there was a chance of gaining some useful insight, I would continue the conversation with you.
    Questions I learn from. WigWag I learn from. Jimmy Carter I learn from. POA is superb at substantiating his perspectives. Chris Hedges I learn from (his book War Is a Force that Gives Us Meaning is a must read). You are obviously quite intelligent. Wish you were more insight oriented.

    Reply

  57. jon says:

    Helen Thomas’ error was in saying that the Jews should go
    home. One of the Jews structural problems has been that they
    are the quintessential rootless cosmopolitans, accepted and
    tolerated in many places, but not able, ultimately, to rely
    securely on any of the countries that they have lived in. The
    point of Israel’s founding was to provide a jewish state in the
    historical homeland, so that Jews would then have a home. The
    US has provided Jews a home here, and they have thrived. But a
    pessimist might say that it is always a risk, and that at some
    poin the US may turn on the Jews as other nations have.
    Should Jews have gone back to Poland and Ukraine after WWII? I
    find that problematic at best.
    I never understood why Jews were not made reparations in
    Germany after WWII. Seized property should have been restored,
    and state lands and funds transferred to Jews and jewish
    organizations throughout Germany, in proportion to the
    depredations made. And similar reparations should also have
    been made to the other groups and peoples that the Nazis had
    tried to eradicate.
    Germany had benefited greatly from the contribution of Jews to
    society, culture, science and industry. And Germany has
    suffered for that loss ever since.
    The world needed a demonstration that genocide ethnic
    cleansing does not work and would be tolerated. And the
    dearth of jews in Germany today gives hope to racists
    everywhere.
    Finally, I would give Ms Thomas the opportunity to explain her
    remarks further, in a context where she can gather her
    thoughts, and where they will not be selectively edited. Perhaps
    what she meant was despicable. But perhaps she had an
    enlightened and nuanced set of ideas, which might assist Jews
    and Arabs to reconcile over Israel and Palestine.

    Reply

  58. DonS says:

    “Now, will Obama move to head this off, or will he watch from the sidelines as Turkey delivers a huge slap in the face to US and Israeli interests, and a huge victory for Hamas and Iran?” (nadine)
    US and Israeli interests are not the same. Please specifiy which you mean.
    “BTW, the UN Iran sanctions vote has been put off for three weeks due to this flotilla business. How very convenient for Iran that Turkey chose to instigate this incident just now, don’t you think?” (nadine)
    Israel created it’s own crisis by it’s stupidly executed intervention. Black still not white.

    Reply

  59. rc says:

    Steve C. re: “kotzabasis, Jun 07 2010, 4:46AM”
    What IS your policy about mental patients participating on this site of yours that alleges to be close to those who govern in the US?
    There seems to be a rather strong quotient of paranoid responses imho.
    Still very informative, especially if you’re the doctor checking for pulse rate and fever. But can we get a simple voting (like/dislike) rating system going so that quality can float to the top by consensus.
    Swimming round with the turds and finding gems is ok for a while, but really I’d rather just drop in from time-to-time and not have to spend my mental time and energy afterward erasing some of this material from my daily allocation of brain cells.
    POA is fine and healthy rage, but some of the other postings are coming from places of illness imo — institutionalized or not.
    (Newbie)

    Reply

  60. kotzabasis says:

    Steve
    You defame yourself by the often open and sotto voce deliberate provocative anti-Israeli titles you post. As I

    Reply

  61. rc says:

    “Uncle Sam Goddam”
    “Welcome to the Land of United Snakes …
    “Only Approved Questions Get Answered …”
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x6mu-m9e6dQ
    4 Helen Thomas — well done old girl, you’ve got more ‘balls’ than all the rest of those Washington sycophants put together!

    Reply

  62. nadine says:

    Don Bacon, the envelope is titled “US leadership of NATO” and Turkey is pushing it. First they undermine Obama’s sanctions objective by cutting a separate deal with Iran and Brazil, then they send Turkish jihadists to run the Israeli (& US supported) blockade of Gaza and stage a provocation by attacking the Israelis, now they speculate about sending Turkish warships to run the blockade, an official act of war.

    Reply

  63. nadine says:

    larry, if there was going to be an Obama learning curve, we would have seen the signs by now. Obama is incredibly arrogant and terribly ignorant, and he works in a tight circle of advisers who are true blue believers in him.
    “He should be reflecting on our part in the genesis of this latest mess.”
    It’s not in Obama to accept blame. He will blame Bush.
    So far we haven’t seen a single Plan B out of this administration, just more Plan A whenever they get in trouble. Their idea of adjustment is to send Rahm Emmanuel out to talk about new messaging, while they leave the policy unchanged.

    Reply

  64. Don Bacon says:

    larry,
    The “crazies and the jackals” that “are out there pushing the envelope” — who are they?
    What envelope are they pushing?

    Reply

  65. Don Bacon says:

    larry,
    Examples of “outright anti-Semitism” by commenters here that weren’t removed — do you have them? Or are you just blowing smoke and making overly insensitive remarks?
    I won’t find it surprising and disturbing — or in fact, shocking — if you can’t come up with any.

    Reply

  66. larry birnbaum says:

    By the way I agree with nadine re Obama’s strategic blundering. I think he’s incredibly smart, I voted for him, I like what he is doing domestically. But the lack of clarity over what our policy is, the ambiguity and “strategic distance”, have excited the crazies and the jackals and so now they are out there pushing the envelope. People get killed as a result of miscalculations like this. Good intentions are not enough. He has a big learning curve to go up (Martin Kramer has a good summary of this) and the sooner he gets going the better for everyone, including the Palestinians. He should be reflecting on our part in the genesis of this latest mess.

    Reply

  67. Don Bacon says:

    nadine,
    I don’t see any evidence that Erdogan is whipping anything. It already is a domestic crisis in Turkey — and why not? The Turks refused to be pushed around, and their citizens murdered, like the Americans. Turkey hasn’t been politically neutered concerning Israel, like the Americans.
    Cyprus is just off Turkey’s shores, and there are war threats. So Turkey must be prepared.
    Hamas not a terrorist organization — we’ve been over this. Any government or group that is anti-America or anti-Israel is “terrorist.” Any person who wants to get back at the US or Israel for killing a family member is a “terrorist.” Any anti-Israel party who wins an election is “terrorist.” It’s really overdone. Yawn.

    Reply

  68. larry birnbaum says:

    I didn’t see what nadine posted above that Steve Clemons removed. However given the levels of vitriol that a number of regular commenters on his blog exhibit — including, yes, outright anti-Semitism — that never get even a mild rebuke, I find it surprising and disturbing — in fact, shocking — that something she wrote would be the one thing Steve finds so over the line that it warrants removal.

    Reply

  69. Don Bacon says:

    Mossad chief: Obama’s perceived military “softness” weakens Israel — June 1, 2010
    Meir Dagan, head of Israel’s Mossad external security service, warned Tuesday, June 1, that the progressive decline of American strength over the past decade and the perception of the Obama administration as “soft on military options for solving disputes” have cut deep into Israel’s military and diplomatic maneuverability and made it fair game for its enemies.
    Whereas opposition factions maintain the peace process between Israel and the Palestinians and other neighbours is stalled by Netanyahu’s allegedly hard-line positions, the Mossad chief puts it in a different perspective: Whatever the prime minister may do and whichever policy he may pursue, in Dagan’s view he is stuck with the endemic weakness stemming from American weakness and the Obama administration’s waning support for Israel.
    He warned the lawmakers that the current US administration is in the process of making of Israel “a liability instead of an asset.”
    Son of a gun, that sounds familiar.
    “A liability instead of an asset.”
    Now I remember:
    “Israel as a Strategic Liability?”
    Anthony Cordesman, CSIS — June 2, 2010
    It’s amazing how things come together simultaneously and how the Washington/TelAviv axis works so smoothly in promoting identical propaganda.

    Reply

  70. mj says:

    White House correspondent Helen Thomas’ comments in this video are a valid perspective.
    Many indigenous people around the world would agree and suggest the same — including the indigenous peoples of America.
    Of course it is hardly practical in cases where long-term inter-generational settlement has occurred. However it is feasible where settlement is recent (e.g. the last 60 years) and new immigrants are involved. She is talking about turning back the tide, not turning back history.
    Much of the tension in the ME is due to people of European extraction, often with dual citizenship, stealing the land of the indigenous people settled there. The indigenous people living in Palestine were Jews, Christians and Moslems. Indigenous people the world over experience this situation as well.
    Apart from the odd bloody Crusade, and previous Greek, Roman, Turk, Egyptian, Persian invasions, the peoples of this region lived their lives in an interdependent relation.
    The natural homeostatis could still return to this area if external forces stopped exporting their problems to it.
    Helen Thomas makes a valid practical observation about dissolving the current problems in the lands formally know as Palestine (circa 1948).
    However, that said, it is not likely to happen voluntarily. In fact, as Europe crumbles away in its post-industrial phase, there is likely to be more emigration to those parts of the world that have energy and resources.
    I congratulate her for her courage. No doubt she will now be a target for certain forces that seek to stifle free speech. She has one factor on her side: she is an old woman who probably cannot be touched.

    Reply

  71. nadine says:

    Don Bacon, I have read debka for years with a skeptical eye as to whether their stories panned out or not.
    When their stories are about Iran or Afghanistan or other places far from home, they are wrong more often than they are right.
    But when their stories are about Israel, Palestine or other places close to home, they are right far more than they are wrong.
    Exactly what are skeptical about? Erdogan is massing ships in Cyprus; that is confirmed. Erdogan has proclaimed that Hamas is not a terrorist organization and has his support; that is public. That he is whipping the incident into a domestic crisis can be confirmed from the Turkish papers.
    So what exactly, don’t you believe?
    Ad hominem is not an argument.

    Reply

  72. owy says:

    I have come to realize that it is no longer
    possible for me to support any kind of sectarian
    government, whether it is Jewish, Christian,
    Secular Humanist, White, Black or Rainbow. We
    should be working towards a world where every
    government is responsible for fostering the health
    and well-being of all it’s citizens regardless of
    their background.
    Jews should be safe and secure wherever they
    choose to live just like every one else. But I no
    longer believe a two-state solution is possible or
    even desirable. It seems perverse for the United
    States, an explicitly non-sectarian government, to
    be the champion for a restrictive “Jewish
    Democracy”.
    It seems equally perverse that the Jews, victims
    of Hitler’s desire for a ethnically pure state,
    would respond by trying to form their own
    ethnically pure state. It didn’t work then, and it
    won’t work now. It’s just creating a lot of bad
    blood.

    Reply

  73. nadine says:

    “I countenance only what is just and what is humane, and I condemn anyone, anywhere, anytime who is guilty of anything which is unjust and/or inhumane. There really are no circumstances which make injustice or inhumanity acceptable. ” (David)
    Oh really? could you point to any examples where you have condemned somebody besides the Israelis? I must have missed them.
    btw, while you’re watching videos, here’s some Gazan home video about Hamas’ humanitarian activities
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iC9g-PyDnBo&feature=player_embedded

    Reply

  74. Don Bacon says:

    “Steve, I’m sure you don’t care for debka”
    That makes two of us.
    “debka. . . a good source for what Israeli intelligence is thinking.
    Debkafile carried a story in 2008: “

    Reply

  75. Cee says:

    David,
    You may want to watch this Chris Hedges video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=elU3etpW-YQ&feature=player_embedded#!

    Reply

  76. nadine says:

    Steve, I’m sure you don’t care for debka, but they are a good source for what Israeli intelligence is thinking. Nobody can afford to ignore this report. If you have your own sources to check it, please do. If Erdogan keeps pushing, we will have a shooting war in Mideast, while our useless media keeps showing pictures of oil covered pelicans:
    Turkish troops deployed in Cyprus, top intelligence ranks Islamized
    DEBKAfile Special Report June 6, 2010, 1:55 PM (GMT+02:00)
    Turkish Prime Minister Recep Erdogan is clearly spoiling for more trouble with Israel. This is manifested by the steps which are revealed here by debkafile’s military and intelligence sources. The peaceful outcome of the Rachel Corrie incident Saturday, June 5, and Israel’s efforts to keep the crisis under control have had no effect on his determination to raise rather than de-escalate Turkish-Israeli friction.
    Friday, Erdogan made sure his close aides leaked word to the media that he was preparing a large wave of flotillas to challenge Israel’s blockade, to be escorted next time by armed Turkish warships with himself possibly on board.
    To this, our sources add:
    1. The prime minister’s office in Ankara is forking out millions of dollars to the IHH (Insani Yardim Vakfi), the Istanbul-based terrorist group linked to al Qaeda and Hamas, with orders to purchase 8-10 large ships for a formidable fleet to challenge the Israeli Navy and its enforcement of the 20-mile blockade of the Gaza Strip.
    This is the second time he is recruiting the IHH terrorists who assaulted Israeli commandos boarding the Mavi Marmara on May 31, leaving nine people dead and 45 injured in consequence.
    The Washington Post Sunday called for the Erdogan’s government’s ties to the IHH to be one focus of any international investigation into the Marmara incident, pointing to its support for Hamas, which the United States has named as a terrorist entity. The paper called foreign minister Ahmet Davutogolu’s statement that the Israeli attack “is like 9/11 for Turkey” obscene.
    2. Last week, ahead of the Marmara incident, Erdogan began deploying at the Turkish end of Cyprus air, naval and marine units, holding them ready to combat Israeli takeovers of Gaza-bound vessels. He was only restrained from sending them into action by the last-minute intervention of President Barack Obama’s NSA James Jones and President Nicolas Sarkozy’s chef de bureau who, according to debkafile’s Washington and Paris sources, threatened him with isolation in NATO and Europe if he went ahead.
    Saturday, the Turkish leader had his aides leak to the media that he was seriously thinking of leading the next flotilla in person to dramatize his confrontation with Israel.
    3. At home, the Turkish prime minister shored up his intelligence ranks ahead of his planned showdown with Israel, replacing professional directors for the first time in modern Turkish history with civilians, radical Muslims close to him personally.
    debkafile names them for the first time here as Hakan Fidan, the former head of TIKA, the Turkish International & Development Agency, who is appointed head of the Central Turkish Intelligence Agency – MIT, the equivalent of the Israel Mossad; and Istanbul Governor Muammer Guler, who is the new Undersecretary for Public Order and Security, who in fact directs Turkey’s special operations against terrorists.
    By these appointments, the Turkish prime minister put paid to any lingering hopes still cherished by some circles in Israel of preserving the long-held back channels to Ankara.
    And finally, Turkey’s state prosecutors are instructed to prepare charges of murder and piracy on the high seas against Israeli prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu, defense minister Ehud Barak and chief of staff Lt. Gen. Gaby Ashkenazy.
    http://www.debka.com

    Reply

  77. Don Bacon says:

    Redneck and lawyer jokes — don’t even think of it. I live with a redneck and her brother’s a lawyer. I used the term “lawyer jokes” one time and he exploded. I was over his line, apparently.
    I’m sorry. I just can’t let it go. You take away my freedom to speak and I’m outa here. It’s basic.
    “Any comments can be removed — particularly if I am notified of how inappropriate they are.”
    Lord forbid I should make an inappropriate comment, after it’s been notified.
    “Say what you have to say, not what you ought. Any truth is better than make-Believe!” — Thoreau
    I’ve seen guys attack Steve Clemons and seen him respond: “Have a nice day.” That was on TPMCafe. I commented: “Steve Clemons — that’s class.”
    Travel fatigue, I guess. Steve’ll be back, better than ever. That’s class.

    Reply

  78. David says:

    What Don Bacon says cannot be discounted. The facts on the ground are that the Occupied Territories are extensively colonized. One state better describes the reality. And demographically, that can very well mean Israel will eventually have a majority Arab population within the geography it actually occupies. How to work backward to a just two-state solution I am unable to imagine at this point.
    How does one befriend both Israel and Palestine at this point? Those of us who call for justice for the Palestinians, no matter how much we might say that what we really want is a just peace for all parties, wind up being villified as somehow pro-Islamist and/or anti-semitic. But then Howard Dean caught evermore hell in the ’04 presidential campaign for suggesting that the United States needed to be more fair-minded toward the Palestinians, and there is no way he can be branded as anti-semitic. But that didn’t matter – how dare he not simply blanket-endorse Israel?
    And the degree to which Jimmy Carter, and then Goldstone, were villified suggest to me that domestic political dynamics preclude the United States being able to do anything to broker a just peace. It really does seem to me that the rest of the world has to take the lead, and the best thing the United States can do is not get in the way.
    For my own position, I will state it one last time and let it go. I am for peace in the Middle East, which is impossible without justice for all innocent parties and acceptance of just resolutions to the conflicts by all parties. It also means an end to all violence against innocents, direct or through blockades which cause human suffering. And it means nobody launches rockets, sends missiles from aircraft, or fires weapons at anyone else except in commonly understood, legitimate law enforcement that any fair-minded person would say was unavoidable to protect innocent people from harm, what we would call responsible enforcement of just laws of civil co-existence.
    But the innocent are made to suffer, the innocent are killed, and the perpetrators of the violence and carnage rationalize their conduct and roll on as forces against the possibility of a just peace.
    Actually, my own personal perspective is shaped in part by wondering 40 years ago what was going to become of the children born into the refugee camps which Israel would bomb in retaliation for attacks on them. It wasn’t part of a debate with anyone. I was just either reading or listening to the news one day about an Israeli raid on a Palestinian refugee camp, and that was the question which popped into my mind. I don’t think I was ever “pro-Israel or anti-Israel,” nor was I ever pro-terrorism by anyone against anyone else. I just wondered What are the dynamics at play here, what are their origins, and where are they headed? I do have the answer to the question about where they were headed, and it is an answer that is really disheartening.
    I’ve said elsewhere how much the moral center of Jewish friends at UF during the civil rights movement meant to me. I guess that prompted me to expect the State of Israel to have a moral center informed by whatever informed those friends, and I think there are Israelis who embody that very same moral core, but the government of Israel does not, not by a long shot. I cannot speak from this perspective regarding Palestine. I didn’t know any Palestinians. I do, however, know what is just and what is unjust, what is humane and what is inhumane. I countenance only what is just and what is humane, and I condemn anyone, anywhere, anytime who is guilty of anything which is unjust and/or inhumane. There really are no circumstances which make injustice or inhumanity acceptable.

    Reply

  79. nadine says:

    Steve, I think your crowd very dangerously has the wrong end of the stick. The I/P impasse is a symptom, not a cause. It is a symptom of Palestinian and Arab intransigence increasing everywhere as a response to the rising tide of Islamism.
    Pressuring only Israel (and US has no leverage on the Pals, despite the gusher of aid it pays for) will do nothing but encourage the extremists, who now include PM Erdogan, that the US is backing away from Israel, and may jettison the alliance altogether if the price of it becomes too high.
    So Erdogan is about to raise the price of the Israeli alliance for the US. He’s reading every hand-wringing “What To Do About Israel” story in the NYT, and thinking, “the time is ripe.” You may be sure of it. Even now, he’s whipping the flotilla incident into a national crisis inside Turkey. This useful crisis is helping him consolidate power domestically as well as internationally.
    At some point, even Obama will have to push back, if only to keep from being dumped as a Jimmy Carter-style wuss by 60% of American voters.
    Then Obama and all you pro-engagement types will have bred the very war you fear.
    Erdogan is following Lenin’s maxim: “Probe with a bayonet. If you meet mush, advance. If you meet steel, retreat.”
    Don Bacon, I fear that without leadership from the White House, the few adult types in Washington are unlikely to be able to act effectively, even if by some wonder they are all pulling in the same direction.

    Reply

  80. YY says:

    Wrong only in the sense that it was stupid. I’m sure she’s now getting her share of piled on abuse and threats for this. What really must be avoided is that she gets drummed out of her position as a result. Because what is not needed is more reasons for the feckless, gutless, and job protection at any cost to journalism bunch that the White House Press Corps is, to continue to be what Helen Thomas isn’t.
    Hopefully she survives this to retire when she’s truly ready. Back handed compliments do not help when you’re dealing with the right wing in the USA.

    Reply

  81. Sweetness says:

    Helen’s comment isn’t about a one or two-state solution…
    It spoke to the question of “home” and where the Jews’ home is.
    The Holocaust was a pretty decisive statement on the part of much of Europe that Europe was not the Jews’ home.
    And in fact, after the war, when many displaced Jews attempted to “go home,” they were blamed for the war and killed and hounded.
    (Carroll will no doubt tell us that they brought all this down on their heads, but she’s yet to produce any credible evidence for this. And Cee wants to remind us that “the Jews” aren’t “the Jews” at all, but a figment of their own imagination, which actually isn’t a bad way to come into existence now that I think about it.)
    Helen’s mention of Poland and Germany makes it clear that she’s not talking about the occupied territories or recent immigrants to Israel–since they haven’t come from Germany or Poland–but about the original founders of Israel.
    As far as Helen telling WASP America Cum Pilgrims to go back home to England, well, it would not be over the line only because no one would take it seriously. No one except a few red skins objects to the institution called “America” and many folks are quite proud of it.
    Moreover, it’s not clear to me that England IS “home” to WASP America anymore. WASPS are indigenous to these shores, and Israelis are indigenous to those shores.

    Reply

  82. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “That you take down my comment and leave up Kathleen’s comments, and the hundreds of other TWN comments that say “Jews control America,” “Jews control the world,” “Israel has no right to exist,” “Israel should be wiped off the map,” and “the Jews deserve what they get, they brought it on themselves, just like last time”
    I have seen NO POSTS here that say those things, Nadine. Care to point one or two of them out to us?

    Reply

  83. Steve Clemons says:

    DonS — Thanks for trying to restore balance to the force. Actually, I am not demanding an apology — I just thought I deserved one because I did not believe or argue the things I was said to have — and that ticked me off. But I actually like Nadine’s posts and learn from them. I want to know how well informed, passionate people with other views than my own see this challenge.
    Nadine and I generally disagree — but as far as my bilateral relationship with her — it’s been pretty fair. I don’t want to get in the way of the fun and foul the rest of you have (for the most part).
    Nadine — Thanks for your follow up post. That is exactly the kind of post I hope you write more of. I am reading and listening to your structured arguments, and while I disagree with them, they do reflect a legitimate part of the national security debate. I would only hope that you will continue to listen to mine as I think that the national security consequences to the United States of allowing Israel and Palestine to set the temperature for its possibilities in the Middle East is wrongheaded and dangerous.
    So, let’s all move on. I need to pack and fly to Okinawa.
    All best,
    Steve

    Reply

  84. Don Bacon says:

    Yes, Obama has been weak in the sense that he hasn’t really changed much of anything. But until now he really hasn’t HAD to do anything.
    We shouldn’t presume that Obama will sit on his hands and do nothing while in this crisis Iran and Turkey take a hold of I/P. There are some grown-ups in Washington who are capable of action (I presume). There is a viable movement in Israel to remove the blockade. It will have to be done.
    As for the new Iran sanctions, don’t fret that they will be delayed. They, like the previous ones for twenty years, don’t amount to a hill of beans. China will say yes, we support them, we’ll sign on — but while you (the US) actually implement them don’t expect us (China) to do anything. Nothing except continue to do business with Iran, that is, which will actually move further away from the West and into Asia.
    Meanwhile Hillary Clinton will now have to actually engage in some statecraft — that alone will be worth the price of admission.
    Two-state solution? Dead as a doornail. Look at the maps, and the intentions of the parties. It’s close to one-state now, and that’s the way it will have to work out.
    I hope I wasn’t overly insensitive.

    Reply

  85. nadine says:

    “where you fabricate the one-state solution ruse I have no idea.”
    DonS, even you should have been able to understand what “Jews get out of Palestine, go back to Poland and Germany” means.
    It’s not subtle and it doesn’t take much to interpret it.
    But apparently the bar was still too high.

    Reply

  86. nadine says:

    Steve, you have made it clear that you do not side with Helen Thomas’ one-state solution, and I apologize for saying that you did.
    However, your good intentions towards Israel will not calm my fears that Obama’s displays of weakness, passivity, and distancing himself from Israel (which judging from your statements, you do support) are about to ignite a shooting war in the eastern Med. Erdogan is mulling sending the Turkish navy to break the Gaza blockade, making it official, and Ayatollah Khamenei says he’s like to send Revolutionary Guards with them. Could they be more open? They plainly have no fears of US pushback.
    Now, will Obama move to head this off, or will he watch from the sidelines as Turkey delivers a huge slap in the face to US and Israeli interests, and a huge victory for Hamas and Iran? BTW, the UN Iran sanctions vote has been put off for three weeks due to this flotilla business. How very convenient for Iran that Turkey chose to instigate this incident just now, don’t you think?
    At least Ben Katcher has begun to *question* if Turkey is still an ally of the US. Better seven years late than never.
    Criticizing Israel, Outside of Israel
    June 04, 2010
    In a much-discussed essay in the New York Review of Books this month, journalist Peter Beinart argues that groups like the American Israel Public Affairs Committee and the Anti-Defamation League squelch criticism on these shores by regarding critics of Israel as enemies of Israel. Beinart and Steven Rosen, formerly of AIPAC, debate the issue.
    audio here: http://onthemedia.org/transcripts/2010/06/04/04
    I must say, Beinart comes off sounds like a self-absorbed college kid to me. If he feels something, nobody can tell him anything about unintended real-world consequences of his emoting his feelings all over the blogosphere and the Dem establishment; only his feelings matter.

    Reply

  87. Don Bacon says:

    “Say what you have to say, not what you ought. Any truth is better than make-Believe!” — Thoreau

    Reply

  88. Paul Norheim says:

    Excellent, Don. I’m a big fan of Thoreau. Have even a photo I took
    of my dad in Thoreau’s cabin.

    Reply

  89. Don Bacon says:

    Paul,
    What’s next? I feel Henry David Thoreau, and maybe a dash of Edward Abbey, coming on. Stay tuned.

    Reply

  90. Paul Norheim says:

    “Whose job is it to define Thomas’s rights? Or mine? Nobody’s.
    And not Paul Norheim’s………….I don’t agree with what you say
    but I will defend to the death your right to say it………….she has
    no requirement to be “responsible” according to any arbitrary
    Steve Clemons or Paul Norheim definition. I’m frankly surprised
    that Steve Clemons is attempting to limit free speech (short of
    personal slander). It’s out of character for him, I judge.”
    ————————-
    Sorry Don, but I think you’re starting to sound pathetic, quoting
    Voltaire, the Constitution… what’s next? I can’t speak for Steve,
    but I did certainly not offer any opinion regarding her “rights”,
    “freedom of expression” etc.
    I simply reacted, and found her comment outrageous, the moral
    equivalent of bad taste. Go back to Germany? Poland? One
    could ask: When precisely did the majority of Jews leave
    Germany and Poland. But a better question would be: When
    were the majority of Jews no longer able to leave Poland and
    Germany? And under which circumstances?
    Yes, the Palestinians are paying the price that the Europeans -
    prominent among them Germany and Poland – should have
    paid, but that does not make Helen Thomas’ remark more
    appropriate.
    I do also think, like many others, that Biden’s “what’s-the-big-
    deal” comment was outrageous. Yeah: “I don’t agree with what
    you say, Mr. Biden, but I will defend to the death your right to
    say it”. Sure.
    But I still think it was outrageous and dumb. Just like Helen
    Thomas`comment was outrageous and silly.

    Reply

  91. Steve Clemons says:

    Pangloss — Helen Thomas speaks around the country, sits in the first row of the White House Correspondents pool, and demands to be heard and listened to. I don’t care how old she is. These comments were completely out of line. I believe strongly in a two state approach to Middle East problem solving, and I am a friend of Israel and the Arab Middle East. I can’t stand by and offer criticism of those who are undermining both American and Israeli interests with hyper-likudist strategies and not equally show my hackles when someone makes anti-Semitic comments like these.
    I have long admired Helen Thomas and I will continue to on many fronts — but not when it comes to a balanced and constructive view to Israel-Palestine relations.
    best regards,
    Steve Clemons

    Reply

  92. Kathleen Grasso Andersen says:

    Steve…oooooppps…nadine…my point is simply that I think the wrong people were punished for the Holocuast and that Palestinians were unjustly made to pay the price of others’ crimes. I don’t think anyone deserves to be treated cruelly.

    Reply

  93. Cee says:

    I wish people would read The Invention of the Jewish People by Shlomo Sand.
    Secondly, isn’t this an old comment from Helen?

    Reply

  94. Steve Clemons says:

    Nadine — I remove plenty of other comments that go over the line. I posted Helen Thomas’ comments that were clearly anti-Israel because she went over the line. You used your time at bat to blast me personally — which I won’t tolerate when you assert disgusting comparisons that are your assertions rather than anything I have said or written.
    I do not read all of the comments on this blog. I have them trolled by others — and I read what I can. Some are removed without deliberation or fanfare. I banned two commenters yesterday from ever posting on the blog again.
    I am civil with you and expect the same. You should have apologized and gotten back to the kind of sensible counter points you often publish here. I respect that. You should be big enough to realize that you screwed up on that post and get beyond it.
    But to be fair to Nadine, I have a policy that any comments can be removed — particularly if I am notified of how inappropriate they are.
    But I will not — absolutely will not — explain myself further about these policies or defend them on a one by one basis.
    I hope you keep posting Nadine — but you had best figure out a way to develop a presence here that does not involve defaming me with things that aren’t true.
    best regards,
    Steve Clemons

    Reply

  95. pangloss says:

    So great to beat up on a 90 year old woman for a slip up. Why
    would you think you need to comment on it Steve. She already
    apologized. Can’t you find anyone your own age to thump, god you
    serious people are simply how disgusting and shameful but oh so
    smug.

    Reply

  96. Don Bacon says:

    questions,
    I’m glad that you agree with me that Ms. Thomas can say whatever she wants, as can you and I. She didn’t go over any line and she has no requirement to be “responsible” according to any arbitrary Steve Clemons or Paul Norheim definition. I’m frankly surprised that Steve Clemons is attempting to limit free speech (short of personal slander). It’s out of character for him, I judge.
    But since talk of freedoms drives you crazy then let me help you. Here’s a quickee “Rights 101″ for you.
    1. Our rights our inherent. They don’t come from the Constitution. The government didn’t give them to us. We were born with them. This is best expressed for Americans, and for anyone really, in the Declaration of Independence: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” Liberty includes many things including the right to say whatever we damn well please. (It’s corollary is the right to silence.)
    2. The Constitution was written to call the federal government into existence and structure a government which would protect our inherent rights. “We, the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect Union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”
    3.The Constitution is not a compendium of rights. It was never intended to be. There

    Reply

  97. ... says:

    steve, i too agree her comments were over the line and wrong headed – just like israels actions towards the flotilla i might add!

    Reply

  98. Helena says:

    She is saying that the occupied lands are being populated by illegal settlers coming from elsewhere, and these folk should go back to where they came from and leave the people who’ve always lived there in peace.
    At last that’s what I get from this.
    Hey, she didn’t mean all the people in Israel; she accepts the state of Israel !!!
    Nothing over the line here.

    Reply

  99. nadine says:

    That you take down my comment and leave up Kathleen’s comments, and the hundreds of other TWN comments that say “Jews control America,” “Jews control the world,” “Israel has no right to exist,” “Israel should be wiped off the map,” and “the Jews deserve what they get, they brought it on themselves, just like last time” is eloquent enough, Steve.

    Reply

  100. DonS says:

    marcus, pushing the limits are you?

    Reply

  101. marcus says:

    btw; the face on that women…WOW….no anti-defamation league spokesperson could dream up a better face to represent the anti-semitic peoples army that carroll pines for.
    aiming low with recruitment efforts, with that mug on your leaflet.

    Reply

  102. Kathleen Grasso Andersen says:

    marcus…more’s the pity, our foreign policy position on the Goldstone Report was so knee jerk wrong…he saw wrongs on both sides and called for self investigation…but we are so unwilling to be fair in our support for the human rights of the Palestinians, we won’t call for honoring UN Resolutions when they address Israel.
    Istead of being a force for good, we are a merely a farce… a really poor one, at that.

    Reply

  103. Steve Clemons says:

    Kathleen–I’ll leave your comment up, but please don’t go further with this argument. It disgusts me.
    I have warned Nadine in the past that I have certain rules about civility — particularly when I am attacked — and as I try to maintain the same kind of civility towards her and others in making reasoned comments and trying to create a reasonable platform for debate, I absolutely expect the same from those who don’t pay a dime to support this site.
    So, I have deleted the Nadine comment to which your post refers. I will delete any other comments that go over the line of reasonable civility in debating these issues. If you want to flame up some storms, please do so on your own blogs — or somewhere where that sort of thing is welcome.
    I will not deal with folks who refuse to play by the rules I have set here. It’s a waste of my time, and I don’t have much time to waste.
    Nadine, you are welcome to blog here — and I get a thousand times over that you disagree with my views. That is fine. I welcome the back and forth — but if you go over lines I have set, I will simply remove the items. Stop the screaming and over the top accusations and assertions of what I believe and what I am doing. Your distortions of my views are outrageous.
    So stop it. Seriously. We’ve been through this before, and my patience is wearing.
    Thanks, steve

    Reply

  104. Kathleen Grasso Andersen says:

    nadine…blacks did not come here and wipe us off the map, so Helen Thomas has no reason to say blacks should go back to Africa…let me ask you, If Helen Thomas had said,”Pilgrims go back to England”, would you think she was over the line?
    Meanwhile, speaking of displaced peoples in general, the Obama Adminstration is reviewing our previous refusal to adopt the UN Declaration of Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the US State Department has established a webiste for people to watch the review process and submit comments..Thumbs up, BO
    Check it out…you might be interested to see what the world thinks are “indigenous peoples rights” in this context. I wonder what Helen Thomas thinks about this. http://www.state.gov/s/tribalconsultation/declaration/
    This would be good for Native Americans and Palestians who share the same human rights fate.

    Reply

  105. marcus says:

    Of course the reporter has every right to say what she likes and anyone else has every right to condemn her for saying them,there are CONSEQUENCES.
    The Gazans can elect who they like .”democratically ? ” ( certainly not democratic by western standards where an armed militia is prohibited from standing in national elections.) But perhaps in the arab world that`s OK., but there are CONSEQUENCES to every election.
    I cannot understand the logic of saying that since hamas was democratically elected that they are not held to account for throwing their political opponents off the roofs of office towers in downtown gaza city ? not to mention waging war all the while never accepting resposibility for the CONSEQUENCES, in fact they are absolved of resposibility for all kinds of things by far too many people simply because they were “democratically” elected.
    If they had another election in Gaza and the choices were peace and prosperity or war and deprivation and the voters chose the latter…….then they would deserve whatever grief comes their way.
    I think that the population deserves a second chance at the ballot box,but since noboby is calling for an election after the hamas takeover,perhaps it`s because the results are a forgone conclusion,with hamas winning by a landslide….if that`s the case….then either way they deserve whatever grief comes their way.

    Reply

  106. Carroll says:

    Actually Helen and kathleen are both right and not over the line at all. No one but politicans and people in Steve position have to watch what they say about the Jews, zionist and Israel….the rest of the world is free to say, and is saying (very loudly) what they think.
    I am reminded of what Ron Suskind wrote about the Bush WH staffer he interviewed who said something like…..they, the Bush adm, “were creating reality and all the rest of us could do was sit back and complain about it and they would keep right on creating reality”. Well the public of the world is now ‘creating reality’ where it concerns Israel…and all the blogs and MSM media and DC can do is sit back and complain about the new Israeli ‘reality’ we are creating.
    The taboo is dead, the Jews aren’t special or victims, …we now talk about Israel and the zionist the same way we talked about the communist and the nazis and terriers and Islamist and others.
    And the more Israel and the US zionist screech and howl and slur and threaten Americans and murder civilians, the more we will create a new reality on them and Israel.
    That’s just the way it is now.

    Reply

  107. questions says:

    ugh, here I go again.
    Don Bacon, read the Constitution — ya know, the part about “Congress shall make no law abridging…” — Congress did not make a law abridging Helen Thomas’s “right” to free speech. She can say whatever dumb shit she wants. But her boss can fire her for saying that dumb shit in the context of news given that she’s a reporter.
    There’s nothing about rights here. She made a dumb comment in a work-like context and she needs to deal with that.
    Please stop screwing with the Constitution on “freedom” issues. Drives me crazy.
    I WILL STOP POSTING
    I WILL STOP POSTING
    I WILL STOP POSTING

    Reply

  108. Neo Controll says:

    Nadine, no amount of medication, save a fatal dosage, can counteract the effects of too much non stop hasbara work.

    Reply

  109. Kathleen Grasso Andersen says:

    What’s Yiddish for “Yankee go home”? I’m with Helen on this one. Indigenous Jews lived peacefully with Musilms and Chrsistians in Palestine but European Jews brought their fear to Israel and punished Palestinians for what their home countries did to them.. they need to go home and receive reparations from those who victimied them and leave Palestine.
    And the there’s the issue of caucasians and their white superiority over brown people…why is it okay to actually wipe Palestine off the map but not okay to talk about wiping Israel off the map?

    Reply

  110. Don Bacon says:

    SC: “Israel is not going anywhere and shouldn’t.”
    Actually Israel is going somewhere — into land that doesn’t belong to them. That was Thomas’s point. Israel’s whole policy in centered upon the dispossession of another people from their land.
    Here you can see how Israel has expanded from its mandate size to what it was in 2000. It’s worse now.
    http://tinyurl.com/y8a6wpp
    As for Helen’s rights:
    SC: “Helen Thomas, in my view, is right to talk about the problems of Israeli occupation of Palestinian territory. . .But then arguing that Israelis should “go home” and go back to “Poland, Germany, America, and everywhere else” is just way over the line.”
    Thomas’s argument that Israelis should “go home” and go back to “Poland, Germany, America, and everywhere else” is no more over the line than Cordesman’s ridiculous statement that “the real motives behind America’s commitment to Israel are moral and ethical.” Cordesman made his statement and Thomas has the right of freedom of speech to make hers. We may not agree with it (I don’t) but that doesn’t mean she’s over any line.
    Whose job is it to define Thomas’s rights? Or mine? Nobody’s. And not Paul Norheim’s.
    PN: “I agree that her comment was way over the line and extremely insensitive.” Well, bullshit. The last time I checked we have the freedom in this country to make “extremely insensitive” statements. It what keeps the pols riled up, and also keeps Fox news at their ratings peak, for another thing. Let ‘er rip, Helen. I don’t agree with what you say but I will defend to the death your right to say it.

    Reply

  111. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Amazing. This sack of shit Biden says “no big deal” when Israel commits crimes of epic proportions, even killing an American citizen involved with the flotilla, and seriously maiming one a day later in the West Bank, yet Steve and the media jump on Thomas for an ill advised slip of the tongue that is FAR LESS despicable than saying “no big deal” when Americans are murdered and carnage is unleashed on humanitarian activists.
    Insensitive???? Try catching a tear gas canister to the side of the head because some fuckin’ racist IDF zealot knows he will NEVER be held accountable by the Israelis OR the Americans. Now THATS “insensitive”. But hey, its “no big deal” to Biden, Clinton, or Obama.
    But what Thomas said, THATS a big deal, by golly!!!

    Reply

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