Helen Thomas, liberal icon and veteran White House correspondent for UPI and Hearst, owned up to her hatred of Jews this week when she declared
that Jews should "get the hell out of Palestine!” and go back to Germany. Her remarks are only the latest and worst in her long history of Israel-bashing. They are also an embarrassment to the establishment Democrats who have lately been using Thomas to raise campaign cash.
Only last month, Thomas headlined Rep. Jan Schakowsky’s big campaign fundraiser
, the “9th Annual Ultimate Women’s Power Lunch” in Chicago. The list of guests
included all of the major Democratic candidates for federal office, including Senate candidate Alexi Giannoulias and 10th district contender Dan Seals. Senator Dick Durbin was also there, as were representatives of J Street
, the new lobby for left-wing policies on Israel.
Rep. Schakowsky and her guests were well aware of Thomas’s record of anti-Israel rhetoric, and were invited
to distance themselves from her views. None did. Instead, Rep. Schakowsky declared proudly of Thomas: “She’s so awesome!
Thomas’s comments are also problematic for Giannoulias, whose family foundation funds
radical anti-Israel groups such as Electronic Intifada, which it honored at a benefit last year.
In the days ahead, the media establishment will likely condemn Thomas’s explicit antisemitism, and distance itself from her views (with a few protestations, no doubt, about the supposed differences between anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism). Yet for Democrats in Illinois and beyond, who have placed Thomas on a pedestal, Thomas is a problem that will not go away. Antisemitism is ascendant on the left. Voters are noticing