A month short of two years ago my friend Rabbi David Nesenoff gave me a video which contained a short explosive interview he had conducted with Helen Thomas. There on tape the veteran White House correspondent gave a statement that many people (including me) saw as telling the Jews to go face another Holocaust.
The progressive media has had two years for her hateful words to sink in. In the two-years since, Thomas now unencumbered with a “front line” media job has made new anti-Semitic comments, but the media still tries to protect her by claiming her slanders are political, not hateful. Their claim is that she isn’t anti-Semitic, but simply anti-Israel–a dangerous affront to the truth.
For example last month Michael Calderone wrote at Huffington Post:
Thomas, a former WHCA president who covered 10 administrations before retiring from Hearst newspapers in 2010 over controversial comments about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,]
Charles Lewis, former investigative producer for ABC News and CBS’s 60 Minutes, recently created a new website to honor “independent” journalists. Called Investigating Power, the site/foundation is funded by the usual list of big money progressives such as Barbara Streisand and the MacArthur Foundation.
One of the site’s initial honorees was Ms. Thomas. In their chronology of her career the site reported:
After making controversial comments about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Thomas retires from Hearst Newspapers.
This progressive site honoring investigative reporting whitewashed Ms. Thomas’ statements as being about the “Israel- Palestinian conflict.” If people got forced out of their jobs just because they made false and slanderous statements regarding Israel, the NY Times newsroom would be empty, and Mike Wallace would have been ousted from 60 Minutes decades before his death. Heck, even in Israel you don’t get fired for being anti-Israel (have you ever read the Israeli paper Ha’aretz?).
Michael Miner of the Chicago Reader said:
A year ago I wrote at length about the Society of Professional Journalists and its Helen Thomas problem. Thomas, then 90, had made remarks that greatly troubled many SPJ members as anti-Semitic–I’d describe them as anti-Zionist, but not everyone believes that a serious distinction
That’s where Miner is wrong. The now-famous Helen Thomas video was released precisely to make that distinction.
What I hadn’t counted on when I broke the story was how much the mainstream media loved and wanted to protect Ms. Thomas. Within a few days of the original post, David was being slandered by Mediaite, Juan Cole was accusing me of selectively editing the video (and other affronts to Ms. Thomas), and Helen Thomas had resigned under fire.
Two years later, the liberal media is still defending her, claiming that she is not an anti-Semite but simply anti-Israel.
There are some people who believe that any criticism of Israel is Antisemitism, a belief as ignorant as Antisemitism itself. There is, however, a great deal of crossover between hatred of Israel and hatred of the Jews. To find out what people really mean, you need to examine the words they use.
Just two days before the video’s release, Thomas berated then WH Press Secretary Robert Gibbs for America’s initial reaction to the violence created by a terrorist shop trying to enter Israeli waters. Using the modern-day version of the anti-Semitic blood libel, Thomas complained that Israel committed a massacre and that Israel is a terrorist state. In an earlier interview she compared the IDF to Nazis.
I mean, you can’t remain neutral. I remember the rabbi who spoke at the Martin Luther King march on Washington. Heschel had a cameo appearance, and he said, “The greatest sin of all in the Nazi era was silence.” When you remain silent to the suffering and the incredible aggression against a people, then you are culpable.
If you want more proof of Helen Thomas’ hatred, then examine what she has said since her “resignation.”
Just six months after her firing retirement Thomas was at it again (again it was captured on video and again the story was broken on The Lid and Big Journalism).
Ironically, in a speech at an Arab anti-bias conference Thomas was asked about her statements on that video.
“I paid the price for that,” said Thomas, a longtime White House correspondent. “But it was worth it, to speak the truth. The Zionists have to understand that’s their country, too. Palestinians were there long before any European Zionists.”
Alluding to the anti-Semitic claim that Jews control the media, Thomas said, “You can not say anything (critical) about Israel in this country.”
That was the nicest thing Thomas said all night. In her speech about discrimination against Arabs she launched into an anti-Semitic tirade about how those rich Jews control America (video embedded below).
In a speech that drew a standing ovation, Thomas claimed:
[.. the whole question of money involved in politics.We are owned by propagandists against the Arabs. There’s no question about that. Congress, the White House, and Hollywood, Wall Street, are owned by the Zionists. No question in my opinion. They put their money where there mouth is…We’re being pushed into a wrong direction in every way.
Remember what I said before about examining people’s words? When she said that, “Palestinians were there long before any European Zionists,” Thomas was simply being historically inaccurate and biased against Israel. But when she said, “the media Congress, the White House, and Hollywood, Wall Street are owned by Zionists,” Thomas was using traditional anti-Semitic libels straight out of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion.
And she wasn’t done. In March 2011 Playboy interviewed her
When asked by the interviewer if she had a personal antipathy toward Jews themselves, Thomas labeled the Jews as Arab-haters and denied they had an historical connection to the Jewish State.
I think they’re wonderful people. They had to have the most depth. They were leaders in civil rights. They’ve always had the heart for others but not for Arabs, for some reason. I’m not anti-Jewish; I’m anti-Zionist. I am anti-Israel taking what doesn’t belong to it. If you have a home and you’re kicked out of that home, you don’t come and kick someone else out. Anti-Semite? The Israelis are not even Semites! They’re Europeans, and they’ve come from somewhere else. But even if they were Semites, they would still have no right to usurp other people’s land.
Thomas ignored that Jews have lived in what is now Israel without interruption since the biblical Joshua won that little skirmish in Jericho almost 3,600 years ago. She also forgot there were more Jews kicked out of Arab lands and moved into Israel than Arabs who left the Holy Land in 1948.
Beyond the numbers, Semite means descendant of the biblical son of Noah, Shem. Abraham, the father of the Jews was a Semite. Does Ms. Thomas feel (as fellow anti-Semite Louis Farrakhan does) that today’s Jews are impostors and have nothing to do with the Jews of the bible?
Helen Thomas made some claims about the worldwide “Jewish” conpiracy a little later in the interview.
PLAYBOY: That stereotype of Jewish control has been around for more than a century. Do you actually think there’s a secret Jewish conspiracy at work in this country?
THOMAS: Not a secret. It’s very open. What do you mean secret?PLAYBOY: Well, for instance, explain the connection between Hollywood and what’s happening with the Palestinians.THOMAS: Power over the White House, power over Congress.PLAYBOY: By way of contributions?THOMAS: Everybody is in the pocket of the Israeli lobbies, which are funded by wealthy supporters, including those from Hollywood. Same thing with the financial markets. There’s total control.
In the end, that is the difference between being Anti-Israel and Anti-Semitic. It is entirely reasonable to say, “I disagree with Israel’s polices and here’s why,” but once you complain of an Israeli lobby that runs the world and suggest that the Jews are not really the Jews, as does Helen Thomas,you are being Anti-Semitic.
Three weeks ago, Chicago Sun Times columnist Michael Sneed wrote an item about Ms. Thomas’ controversial award from the PLO:
The turn of the screw: Veteran White House reporter Helen Thomas, 91, who was forced into retirement after making incendiary remarks about Israel..]
The progressive media’s protection of Ms Thomas’ bigotry continues…