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Helen Thomas resigned? Nothing surprising here

By Debbie Menon, My Catbird Seat

Helen Thomas always asks the right questions!  That is why she is known as a "top US journalist."

A long career: "You're only as good as your last story," says journalist Helen Thomas, who has been covering stories in and around Washington D.C. since 1942.

Helen Thomas, 89, began her long career with the wire service United Press International in 1943, and started covering the White House in 1960, according to a biography posted on her website. She became a columnist for Hearst in 2000. She (born August 4, 1920) is an American news service reporter, a Hearst News papers columnist, member of the White House Press Corps and author. She served for fifty-seven years as a correspondent and, later, White House bureau chief for United Press International (UPI). Thomas covered 10 U.S. Presidents.

Last week, during a briefing with White House spokesman Robert Gibbs, Thomas' criticized the American reaction to the deadly Israeli raid of a humanitarian aid convoy, saying that "our initial reaction to this flotilla massacre, deliberate massacre, an international crime, was pitiful."

"What do you mean you 'regret' when something should be so strongly condemned? And if any other nation in the world had done it, we would have been up in arms. What is this sacrosanct, iron-clad relationship, where a country that deliberately kills people?" Thomas had said.

In a recently uploaded Youtube video, Thomas can be heard saying that Israel "should get the hell out of Palestine," adding that the land was Palestinian, "not German, it's not Polish."


When asked where then the Jews should go, the senior White House correspondent said they should "Go home.... To Poland, Germany...and America and everywhere else."

"Thomas' comments are contemptible, "B'nai B'rith International President Dennis W. Glick said in a statement, adding that Thomas's "distortion of historical reality is astonishing. Her call for Jews to return to Poland and Germany-site of the Nazi genocide, the worst genocide in modern history-is beyond offensive."

Glick added that he felt "Thomas seems to have been schooled by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in a belief that Jews appeared in Israel after the Holocaust," while ignoring "historical facts that Jews have called the Land of Israel home for more than 3,000 years, long before any other group made a home in the land."

"These vile comments, unfortunately, are the culmination of Thomas' ongoing anti-Israel sentiments that she kept thinly veiled over the years," B'nai B'rith International Executive Vice President Daniel S. Mariaschin said.

"There should be no place for her in a news organization. Her comments go beyond commentary and land well in the camp that will stop at nothing to delegitimize Israel."

Thomas, in response, posted the following statement on her website, "I deeply regret my comments I made last week regarding the Israelis and the Palestinians," Thomas wrote on her website. "They do not reflect my heartfelt belief that peace will come to the Middle East only when all parties recognize the need for mutual respect and tolerance. May that day come soon."

Apologies aren't enough for some.

The director of the Anti-Defamation League, Abraham H. Foxman, said Sunday that Thomas' apology didn't go far enough.

Nothing surprising here.

A predictable response from  B'nai Brith, the White House and the Jewish Anti-Defamation League Director Foxman, all three equally insensitive and based on fallacious reason.

Just because someone has claimed a land for three thousand years does not make it theirs.

Another variation on the "land without a people, a people without a land" bull!

It might be impractical for all of those people who were born in Palestine in the past sixty years to go back to Poland and lay claim to the old house in the Warsaw Ghetto, but it is also just as unreasonable to expect a new "holocaust" and genocide to offset and compensate for whatever "holocaust" and genocide they think was perpetrated against them and their ancestors.

It is simply a question of learning to get along with neighbours and others with whom they live among and alongside with honesty and respect.

They became unwanted and unwelcome guests in Babylon, Egypt, Palestine, Germany, Russia, Poland and just about everywhere else in the world they have ever settled in three thousand years, and now the world is witness to what they have done and continue to do with impunity to poor defenseless Palestinians in Palestine everyday. You'd think they would learn.

They did not become known as the "wandering Jew" without cause.  It's time they faced up to the facts and begin mending their ways.  The world is getting fed up.

"Why do they hate us so?" they ask?

"Mirror mirror on the wall, who are the most obnoxious and disliked people of us all?"

Mr. Interlocutor, look into the mirror and repeat the question!

Doctor, heal thyself!

Helen Thomas always asks the right questions!  That is why she is known as a "top US journalist."

"I was a journalist in waiting, but I didn't want to be chasing fires and monitoring police calls," she writes in her third book, "Front Row at the White House."

Well, she went out with a flash and a bang, kicking with her boots and, as Tun Dr. Mahathir remarked recently, essentially, we may have lost the skirmish, but we have won the battle on principle, and they have shown their true colors.

Bravo! Helen Thomas.  Best wishes for a long and happy retirement.


Debbie Menon:  A long time advocate for the rights of Palestinians in the occupied territories, is a freelance writer based in Dubai. Her articles have been featured in several print and online publications. She can be reached at:

... Payvand News - 06/08/10 ... --

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