UPDATE: Thomas has announced her retirement.
My reaction: Oof! Shock. Dismayed. Unbelievable. But she can say whatever she wants now. She covered the White House since JFK.
"[Helen Thomas'] 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," - Jack Ross, Mondoweiss
My original post from this morning.
The question posed at the end of the short clip is "Does Helen know that Jews lived in Israel way before the Holocaust?" The glaring fact of course is that before WWII and 1948, there was no modern state of Israel. It was Mandate Palestine: a land that was populated by a thriving Palestinian population, the majority of whom were driven out in their hundreds of thousands, with a great number murdered, by the zionist thugs who later established the state of Israel. This Prussia of the Middle East is propped up by gargantuan amounts of US military aid, refuses to make peace with its neighbours who have offered recognition of 1967 borders via the Saudi Peace Plan, has continued to encroach upon Palestinian land, regularly attacks its neighbours in assaults that kill hundreds, flouts international law, continues to build illegal outposts on stolen land, and has refused to define its borders to this day.Paul Jay, Senior Editor of The Real News Network has a new blog on Canada.com, one of Canada's busiest news websites. This is an excerpt from his most recent blog post, "IN DEFENSE OF HELEN THOMAS - on apologizing to apologists."
Thomas has nothing to apologize for. It is the Israeli regime, the illegal settlers (check out this charmer) and their enablers who owe the world -- particularly Palestinians, Lebanese and Syrians -- an apology and restitution. At most, her choice of words may have been unqualifiedly quick and injudicious, particularly in the ill-advised choice of words `go home'. But `despicable', `beyond disturbing' and Judeophobic? The attempts to discredit her -- which include rightwingnut calls for her resignation -- are overblown. She'll probably win even more fans with her courage, and her regret for causing offence is in stark contrast to the unremitting racism and unstinting support for ethnic cleansing and expulsion from the Israel-at-any-cost camp, from whom there is no apology.
Her apology was not enough to stop calls for her head from those who have wanted to shut Thomas up for years.
Ari Fleischer, President George W. Bush's press secretary, led the call in an e-mail Friday to the Huffington Post saying Thomas' comments amount to "religious cleansing."
"She should lose her job over this," Fleischer wrote. "As someone who is Jewish, and as someone who worked with her and used to like her, I find this appalling."
Perhaps Fleishcher should also add that he is someone who knows something about apologies . . . being the leading apologist for the Bush administration as their war led to the deaths of at least one million Iraqis.
But Lanny Davis, former special counsel to and White House spokesman for President Bill Clinton, went even further than Fleischer. He issued a statement on Sunday saying Thomas, "has showed herself to be an anti-Semitic bigot."
Now, Davis should know something about apologies and apologists as well. TheHill.com reported that Davis led a lobbying effort against deposed Honduran President Manuel Zelaya on behalf of Honduran business leaders. This is in defense of a regime that came to power in an illegal coup and is killing journalists and activists. Hmmm . . . defending those that kill activists . . .