Comments

  1. Daniel says

    wait,what exactly was her crime here? Suggesting that the Israelis shouldn’t be able to just do whatever they please to whomever they please?

    Sorry, but I must say I don’t really disagree with her here. The only thing that disappoints me is that she apologized.

    Because God forbid anyone criticize Israel.

  2. John says

    She’s of Lebanese origin, not a lesbian.

    She’s 89! She might lose her job? I’m sure she’s quacking in her boots.

    It’s not my blog, so whatever, but I think this one got through the search filter on the misspelling of “lesbian” angle. I have always believed that a human being was involved in this blog and not that it was computer generated.

    I remember Helen sticking it to LBJ, Nixon, Reagan and Bush. She’s a good person.

  3. LemmyC says

    I have to agree with Daniel – What on earth did she say that was so wrong? The only quibble I have is if she actually said _Jews_ should get out of Palestine (but that word isn’t part of the quote); I would simply say that Israel should get the hell out of Palestine, and there certainly isn’t anything wrong with that sentiment.

  4. Observer1000 says

    This is obviously a side-show created by the right in the US to deflect criticism away from the idiocy of Benjamin Netanyahu (sorta like the Perez Hilton rant against Miss sluts-her-name). But, I have to ask Daniel et al which concentration camp in Germany and Poland they suggest the Jews go back to, considering that that was the last place of “residence” of German and Polish Jewry?

  5. JeffNYC says

    In her apology she says that “…peace will come to the Middle East only when all parties recognize the need for mutual respect and tolerance…”

    Mutual means mutual.

    But she forgot the one thing that’s even harder than mutual respect and tolerance.

    Acceptance.

  6. Feral says

    She didn’t say Jews should get out of Palestine meaning Gaza and the West Bank, she said–and meant–that they should go “back to Germany and Poland,” ’cause, you know, that worked out so well for them the first time.

    It pains me to say that Helen Thomas is a bigot, but it’s plain as the nose on her face. She’s also woefully ignorant of the fact that half the citizens of Israel are not of Eastern European descent but actually from the region.

    It’s akin to suggesting that certain Native-American tribes “go back to Germany”!

  7. Gregoire says

    I don’t neccessarily think her comment was wrong, just naive and unrealistic. I’m actually surprised by the outrage, although people have been gunning for her for ages.

  8. yonkersconquers says

    She clearly spoke in anger, stung by the reprehensible needless deaths of 9 unarmed people last week by Israeli forces.

    I don’t agree with what she said and she has apologized. The story isn’t Helen Thomas. The story is Israel’s disproportionate, free wheeling and frankly stupid use of force.

  9. Snowlowe says

    A sad end to an illustrious career. I wouldn’t go as far as what she said, but I have to admit I get more and more tired of Israel’s actions by the day.

  10. b mac says

    Strange comment from her, as Israel has been home to the Jews before that land was even called ‘Palestine.’ Jews were in that land, called Judea, until driven out by the Romans, who then renamed the territory Palestine, then inhabited by greeks and romans. Arabs showed up about 800 years later. So it seems that the Jews are already in their ancestral homeland and Helen should STFU already.

  11. Ian says

    What’s up w/Israel? Helen apologized already and she was under a lot of stress from the boat incident. Does she have to crucify herself on a cross to make them happy….oh, er….wait.

    Although I think really that it’s those in government and the White House who have simply found an excuse to try to get rid of her, as she’s been the only journalist for over a decade now who asks the tough questions in the WH Press Room. Once she’s gone then everyone in there will be administration lapdogs.

  12. Ian says

    So it seems that the Jews are already in their ancestral homeland and Helen should STFU already.
    Posted by: b mac

    Um, NO. Current research has definitively proven that the original Israeli Prophets actually came from south west Arabia. So other than a book of fiction called the Bible, the jewish people technically have NO land rights originally given to them to be in Palestine/Israel other than plopping themselves into the territory, same as we Americans did by displacing Native Americans.

  13. Craig says

    Feral, let’s put things in context. Israel is trying to get people to repatriate Israel…only if they are Jewish. Muslims and Christians that were driven out over the centuries are not welcome in the same manner. In most cases, Israeli law prohibits non-Jews from acquiring more land and denies them rights to water resources.

    A comparable American situation would be if the Mormons seized southern Illinois and northern Missouri where they started from, put all non-mormons (whom they consider sub-human trash) into ghettos of the worst land in the area and walled off from their God given land from them. Periodically the Mormons would go into these ghettos to harass the people they displaced and respond to kids throwing rocks at fine Mormon soldiers with machine gun fire. To top it off, the Mormon then call for all Mormon, wherever they are in the world, to come back to this area to get given land to settle, but prevent any and all other people that might have occupied the region at one time from entry.

    In as much as I support Israel’s right to exist and defend itself from external attack, its internal policies are reprehensible religionism on par with the most fanatical Muslim states (eg Iran). Israel’s continued oppression of its own people (people to whom they deny citizenship on account of religion) is a crime against humanity. They fact that the crime has occurred slowly over the course of 60 years instead of in a relatively short people like the Holocaust, is no excuse or defense for Israel’s behavior. It time for Israel’s ability to play the victim card is long overdue.

  14. Mike C. says

    FERAL pinned it. I don’t think everyone understands what Thomas was saying. She was not speaking of the West Bank or Gaza, she was talking about Palestine, AKA, Israel. She was saying the the state of Israel should cease to exist. Good-bye to gay pride in Tel Aviv and that beautiful city. Good-bye to Israelis. Under her picture, it would all cease to exist, and Israeli Jews should be forced to repatriate to Europe so Palestinians could take over their country

  15. Justin Lippi says

    Why are you promoting this stupid racist idea that anyone who is anti-Israeli is anti-Jewish? Thomas said ISRAEL should get the hell out of palestine, not “the Jews”, as you said. You are making a terrible conflation there.

  16. voet says

    It amazes me that so many posters claim to know what Helen Thomas meant by her remarks. I am not aware of any anti-semetic comments from her in the past. I wonder if, at 89, her mind may be starting to go. She has had a remarkable career. It is too bad that this is what people will remember.

  17. John says

    Having read the inane pronouncements of Leviticus, I reject the Bible as authority for anything.

    Leave Helen alone! She’s 89 and was surely one of the most admirable women of her generation. Hasn’t your old grandma blurted out some blunt opinion on occasion?

    If we can leave Brittany alone, we can leave Helen alone.

    I

  18. says

    Don’t feel she did anything wrong at all. This isn’t even a gay issue but since it’s here I honestly think it is time we start questioning are unquestioned support of all things Israel.

  19. Feral says

    There is nothing wrong with criticizing Israel (there sure are a lot of things wrong with their policies, especially and obviously toward the Palestinian people).

    There is something wrong with a) conflating all Israelis and/or Jews with their government; or b) suggesting that the state doesn’t have the right to exist, as if there’s any nation on Earth that wasn’t taken in similar fashion. The founding fathers were terrorists to the British, as the first Israelis were, as Hamas is, etc.

    It starts to smell like covert anti-Semitism when Israel is singled out in that manner. Certainly, if you feel strongly about the latter, you should start by handing your leases/the keys to your flat over to the next Native-American family you can find.

    That said, for goodness sake, have at their policies, human rights records, etc., just spread your criticism around, for God’s sake. It’s the only functioning democracy in the region, and is surrounded by countries where you–yes, YOU–could be jailed or even stoned to death just for being born gay.

  20. Ty says

    Israel treats the Palestinians like we did to our Native Americans. Shameful. The fact that Jews blindly support Israeli policies is as frightening as the Germans supporting Hitler.

  21. james Brown says

    I’m just sorry that Helen is “going out” on a sour note. She was a pioneer as a female reporter. I wish she could have gone out in a happier manner.

  22. says

    Here’s the actual transcript. Decide for yourself whether she’s saying “Israel should get the hell out of the occupied territories” or “Jews should get the hell out of Israel”:

    Nesenoff: Any comments on Israel? We’re asking everybody today–

    Thomas: Tell them to get the hell out of Palestine.

    Nesenoff: Ooh. Any better comments?

    Thomas (laughing): Remember, these people are occupied, and it’s their land, not German and not Polish.

    Nesenoff: So where should they go? What should they do?

    Thomas: They should go home.

    Nesenoff: Where is home?

    Thomas: Poland. Germany.

    Nesenoff: So you’re saying the Jews should go back to Poland and Germany?

    Thomas: And America, and everywhere else.

    Once she gets to the word “Poland,” it’s hard to interpret this as anything other than “Jews should leave Israel.”

  23. Feral says

    Ty, see “a)” in my post above. “Jews” (not a monolithic group) do not all “blindly support” Israeli policies. Go look at polls taken in Israel (let alone Jews in the diaspora) and you’ll find a far-ranging field of opinions regarding government policy, about the Palestinian state and otherwise.

    And as for comparing Jews to Germans under Hitler, have you heard of Godwin’s Law?

  24. rjp3 says

    She is almost 90 !
    And she spoke the truth of almost 100 years of experience.

    The experiment of taking back Palestine and creating a Jewish nation has FAILED — how many people have to suffer and die.

    The Palestinians and the followers of radicalized Islam are NOT going to let us live in peace as long as this fabricated nation exists.

    Yes it is an American outpost but at what cost ?

    Remember in America you are free to speak the truth but corporate powers WILL punish you.

    Bravo Helen.
    There was nothing anti-semetic about her comment. At all.

  25. acoop says

    helen thomas is 89. file what she said sh*t my [old nana] says. this doesn’t excuse her comments, but seriously folks. go see avenue q. it’s not like she shot a bunch of people in the face.

  26. Buster says

    FIRST, let’s stop equating “the Jews” to “the Israeli government”. There are plenty of Jews, both in Israel and elsewhere, who do not condone the actions of the Israeli government. To suggest otherwise, whether obliquely or overtly or ‘cleverly’ is anti-semitism and ignorant and stupid. (How many of you enjoy being considered responsible for the actions of the Bush administration just because you’re Americans?)

    SECOND, Helen Thomas, as a private American, has every right to hold whatever level of ignorant and bigoted opinion she wishes.

    BUT THIRD, as a White House correspondent for a national news organization, Ms. Thomas should be able to kept a strong public distinction between her personal opinions and her public news gathering role. It is certainly valuable to have people in the press corps who will ask the administration tough questions about Israel’s terrible behavior in Gaza. It is NOT appropriate to have a reporter who suggests that “the Israelis” should be sent “back to Poland and Germany” anymore than it would be appropriate to hear Katie Couric say on tape that the Islamic migrants should get the hell out of Europe or Tom Brokaw tell everyone that he thinks hispanic Americans should be shipped back to Mexico. Making public statements on poliitical matters compromises the standard of public objectivity required in the news profession.

    There’s a difference between being a news correspondent and an editorial writer. Rush Limbaugh or The New York Times editorial page can make statements like these. A White House correspondent cannot. Ms. Thomas made a serious misstep over that line and that is why she had to lose her job.

  27. Baazigar says

    yeah, Towleroad is indeed pro-Israel.

    Never care to post about anything that is happening to the Palestinians but when it come to Israel being the “victim”…..

  28. jamal49 says

    Helen’s point is well-taken. The majority of jews who settled and continue to settle in Palestine (aka Israel) are European jews and American jews. They are caucasian, not semitic. The Europeans and Americans have systematically shit on Palestinian Arabs, Jews and Christians and have created what is an apartheid state. So, her comment that jews should go back to Germany, Poland, the USA refers to the European usurpers who flooded Israel and it is a sentiment that states the obvious: Israel is a “state” created on the backs of the people who lived there for centuries prior to the partition of Palestine in 1948. I wouldn’t have apologized for anything, but the reich-wing has jumped on this as an opportunity to divert attention from the murderous, genocidal policies of the Israeli government. Once again, AIPAC has seized the moment and turned the truth on its head.

  29. JeffNYC says

    “The majority of jews who settled and continue to settle in Palestine (aka Israel) are European jews and American jews. They are caucasian, not semitic.”

    Not true. My grandparents were born in Belorussia. Their grandparents several generations before came to Belorussia from Holland. Their grandparents several generations before had come from Spain. Their grandparents several generations before had come from Judea, later known as Palestine.

    I am Semitic.

  30. John says

    Al Jazeera (English), the tv station, had a special on this the other day, and it seems that most of the Israeli Jews that have been there since Modern day Israel emerged came in the 1920s and 1930s. This was the time that Menachim Begin was an active terrorist leader. Those Israeli Jews defeated the Palestinians. Since then the Arabs have been defeated and divided time and time again. This can’t go on too much longer however. The Jews in Israel can’t survive the astronomical Palastinian birth rates.

    I sympathize with Israelis who have become combative and oppressive in the face of ongoing Arab “resistance”, but time is defnitely on the Arabs’ side. There is hope though: Look how passive Egypt has become. Egypt is blockading Gaza too. (No one mentions this btw). It is possible to quiet the Arab enemy.

    By working aggressively for peace now, the world avoids the “moderate” regimes being taken over by muslim fanatics. How many Irans can the world deal with? Turkey as a radicalized Muslim theocracy is scary.

    I can’t believe that an international peace keeping force couldn’t keep the Arabs from shooting stuff into Israel. The wall is keeping the suicide bombers out. Now if there were some big handouts from the Gulf States to the West Bank and Gaza on the scale of the U.S. handouts to Israel, I think we could buy peace.

  31. Rob in LA says

    Helen was right. My family comes from Palestine. My grandparents came to the USA because they wanted to raise their children in a safe environment. Our family business was an olive orchard on land that had been in my family for over 600 years. My grandfather tried to keep the orchard operational while traveling back and fourth, but Israel made it impossible to obtain a Visa to travel there. Then they said we abandoned our land (about 300 acres) and plowed the orchards and built Jewish settlements, giving our land to Jews for free. This happens every day there…Americans need to wake up and see Israel for the horrific acts they are doing to people. Thank God for people like Helen Thomas for speaking their minds — I’m just sorry she felt like she had to apologize.

  32. says

    HELEN THOMAS, JEWISH ANTI-SEMITE.
    Editor, DailyCaller.Com:

    I read your article, then listened carefully to the remarks of White House Correspondant Helen Thomas on YOUTUBE. She is better capable than anyone to assess Middle East conspiratorial machinations funded by La Cosa Nostra and The Vatican. She is saying that both Jew and Palestinian are hostage in Israel, Gaza, Lebanon, Jordan, Syria. She is telling the Amerikka: Get everyone out of the region! It’s going to blow to smitherines–including–Iran. Don’t bother with the gay and lesbian crowd throughout the region. They conspired with La Cosa Nostra and the Universal Catholic Church to sanction the region with a continuous barrage of missiles from every direction. Since Netan-yahu is a fag, since Ahmadinejad is another fag, one must wonder why the holiest gathering site for global religions is not unified. Their leaders very much appear to be in unity, in straight drag, in bed with one another. Both have had access to nuclear weapons of mass destruction for 20+ years. This conflict could have been over and done with years ago–except for one problem. It is this one problem that Helen Thomas addresses directly. Geographical Israel is not the Israel blessed by Adonai. Thomas knows what a farce Christianity has made of Biblical end times prophecy concerning Israel of promise. The promise land is Earth when Messiah, Bonnie Bass, takes by force the Everlasting Throne of David. Israel is an allegory. Israel/Zion is a constellation of people world over–both Jew and Gentile. Take over NOW. You KNOW who you ARE.
    Bonnie J Bass, Messiah
    6034 Turnberry Dr.
    Banning, CA, 92220 USA
    Ph: 951-797-3086

  33. OtherSilentBob says

    I don’t think she said anything out of line! I wish more people would speak out against the Jewish treatment of Palestine….which is now the largest concentration camp we have seen.

  34. WHL says

    Over 2/3 of the Jews who live in Israel today were born there. They have no more connection to Poland or Germany than you or I do. Indeed, probably less. They are Middle-Easterners, not Europeans. The silly suggestion that they be sent “back” to Central Europe is one I would expect from an 89 year old, to whom the “settlement” of Israel is not history, but part of her life experience. (How would Helen feel if we decided to send HER ‘back’ to Lebanon?) But we must think more clearly.

    ALL the players in this area regularly behave horribly to each other: Israeli, Palestinian, Lebanese, Christian, Jew, Mohammedan.

    If there is any way to improve the situation in the Middle East (and maybe there isn’t), it must involve addressing the the reality of what exists there now, and NOT wasting time on dumb arguments about who should or shouldn’t be there based upon battles fought in 1967, 1947, 1099, 638 or 64 B.C. “Do overs” are for grade school playgrounds, not real world geopolitical problems.

  35. kilpat says

    I know I probably shouldn’t post anything , but screw it, I’m too angry not to. First of all, please cease to describe Jews as a “race”. This is an invented term and it is exactly what got millions of people killed in the holocaust. It is a fabrication, a mirage. Jews are hardly more of a “race” than are Muslims or even, dare I say, Christians. It is simply not true that Jews did not accept converts; recent research has shown that there was an expectional amount of conversion (both voluntary and coerced) from the Hellenistic period until the coming of the Christian Roman Empire. I’m sure many people of the Jewish religion were semitic. . .but then so were the Phoenicians, the Egyptians, the Arabs, and many of the early Christians. That some of these people believed in Yahweh and the Torah does not make them a “race”. The idea that the “Jews” were a race of people, and not simply a form of “heresy” dates back only 600 years, to the Black Death and the Inquisition, in which the idea that something inherently “Jewish” in Jew’s blood makes them particularly degenerate and evil. THe Inquisition is over. Why are we still using it’s vile terminology?
    As for the raison d’etre of the State of Israel,I agree that there should be some form of refuge for the victims of the holocaust and of the last 2,000 years of Christian oppression, but why, pray, must it be in this particlar highly contested spot? There is no archaelogical evidence for the Exodus (or for mass slavery in Pharaonic Egypt on any level) and little for the supposed Kingdom of David and Solomon. Indeed, there is little historical evidence for a state governed by the followers of Yahweh until Hellenistic times. We are composing foreign policy in the 21st century based on a collection Bronze Age texts! Why does no one else find this insane? We cannot found states based on the principle that an Indo-European Sky deity gave a certain parcel of land to a very particular group of people millenia ago, especially since that group of people may never have existed as we imagined them to! Add to this the fact that many so-called Palestinians are likely the descendants of the ancient inhabitants of the area when the Arabs invaded and are simply converts to Islam, and the whole situation is exposed for the deeply complicated fiasco it is.
    Also, we gays cannot ignore that the Palestian authorities loath us and impose the death penalty on people like us all the time. I find it hard to fathom why so-called “radical queer groups” are so vociferous in support of the Palestians when they’d be shot on sight in Nablus, and probably tortured beforehand. But we must also remember that the American Jewish Lobby is hardly the most powerful wing in US politics when it comes to Israel; in reality, a great deal of support for Israel comes not from Jews, but from Evangelical Christians who sincerely believe that once Jewish control is completely established in Palestine, Jesus will come again and bring about the End of Days, after which all said Jews will either convert to Christianity, or be cast into the pits of hell to burn for all time. They look forward to this event with joy. Why does no one else find this chilling? WHy do Jews willingly accept the support of people who look happily forward to their eventual absorption into Christianity, or else, their final eradication from the earth? Why? We’re not so far from Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale when our country is dictating policy based on rightwing Protestant religious belief.

  36. Shorty says

    Ok so America gives Israel us$10B per year for support.Israel in return can do whatever they want and nobody can say a thing.
    Personally I think the old generation of this world with old ideologies are the ones ruining everything for us the young generation. Racist, hatred, you name it, is more common and profound among the older generation. Younger people are getting along fine not until some parent comes in and tell some story about slavery, holocaust whatever. Can we move on people and love each other. Israel is in the bible and quran, the story is so clear they are the chosen one. Think of it as your spoiled little brother or sister your parents give anything and they don’t act responsibly, that is Israel deal with it. The young educated generation can change all this. Not any democrat or republican that i see or some 89yr old. We must find peace,love, trust and respect amongst us first then we can achieve something. Otherwise, the entire world is in a mess and no one can fix it at this point. i just have to pray and hope the Lord can help us

  37. Kyle says

    What she said was inexcusable. Jews are God’s chosen people, and Israel is the Jewish homeland, pure and simple. It is written 930 times in the Bible. Look it up. The Bible is the inspired word of God. It is true. You have to believe. We are living in the end times. Time is short. Believe in Christ, He is the Way. Also watch Jack Van Impe. He will explain all.

  38. Bill Perdue says

    Feral is the bigot here.

    Jewish emigrants from the CIS, the former USSR, are flooding into Germany, wary of getting caught in a deathtrap in zionist occupied Palestine.

    The zionists are not happy about it.

    From EJP, the European Jewish Press:

    “Since the fall of the Berlin wall, about 200,000 immigrants from the former Soviet Union have come to Germany as contingency refugees, those who could prove Jewish ancestry and therefore gained a status that almost guaranteed a visa to Germany… An Interior Ministry source confirmed the accepted belief that Germany has become the country with the fastest growth rate of a Jewish population since 1990.
    “Jews from the former Soviet Union have only two places where they can go to relatively easily. That is Israel or Germany…” http://www.ejpress.org/article/in_depth/1969

    From the New York Times

    “This change ( a German tightening of immigration laws for Jews) was welcomed by Israel, which has complained for years that Germany’s encouragement of Jewish immigration had the effect of discouraging former Soviet Jews from going to Israel itself. Indeed, last year for the first time, more former Soviet Jews, many of them no doubt attracted by Germany’s generous social services network, settled in this country than in Israel.

    “It shouldn’t come as a surprise that at the end of the day Israel would like to see the Jews immigrate to Israel, not to Germany,” Shimon Stein, Israel’s ambassador to Germany, said in an interview.”
    http://www.nytimes.com/2005/02/20/world/europe/20iht-rhine.html

    Both stories are about 5 years old.

  39. Reginald Brown says

    Good for her! It’s about f…ing time someone from the MSM spoke truth to power. The Israeli’s are acting no differently from the Nazi’s in WWII. Gaza is a concentration camp. Denying food, building, medical supplies is dehumanizing no matter who does it!

    Thank you Helen for the ‘balls’ to tell others what they do not want to hear. Live long and prosper. Keep up the great work.
    You go girl!!!

  40. Reginald Brown says

    6 million Jews
    20 million Soviets
    1/3 of the Polish population
    Thousands of gypsies, homosexuals, intellectuals, anti-Hitler Youth,…

    6 million of anybody is a lot of deaths, but the Soviets @ 20 million are more than 3 times the 6 million Jews, not to mention 1/3 of the Polish population and the gypsies, homosexuals, intellectuals, and anti-Hitlet Youth, which begs the question, who suffered the most and why is it only the 6 million Jews that are mentioned in this clip?!

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