Rod Dreher

Rod Dreher


Why Jews couldn’t ‘go home’ to Poland, Helen

posted by Rod Dreher

I’ve hesitated blogging on the Helen Thomas affair, mostly because I’ve been away at meetings in New York, and I didn’t have time to monitor the comboxes for anti-Semitism. My view is that her opinions are obnoxious and wrong, but that she is entitled to hold them and work as a journalist. If we started drumming people out of the profession for holding obnoxious and wrong opinions, there’d be no end of it. That said, I’m glad she’s gone.
I’ve decided to put up a blog about this, though, after reading a Richard Cohen column a friend just sent me. It’s about what happened to Jews who, in the immediate aftermath of WW2, tried to take the course of action that Helen Thomas offered last week. Excerpt:

In the Polish city of Kielce, on July 4, 1946 — more than a year after the end of the war — rumors of a Jewish ritual murder triggered a pogrom in which 42 Jewish Holocaust survivors were killed. The Kielce murders were not, by any means, the sole example of why Jews could not “go home.” When I visited the Polish city where my mother had been born, Ostroleka, I was told of a Jew who survived Auschwitz only to be murdered when he tried to reclaim his business. In much of Eastern Europe, Jews feared for their lives.
For that reason, those who had struck out for home soon returned to DP camps and the safety of — irony of ironies — Germany. Some of the camps were under the command of Gen. George S. Patton, a great man on the screen, a contemptible bigot in real life. In his diary, Patton confided what he thought of Jews. Others might “believe that the Displaced Person is a human being,” Patton wrote, but he knew “he is not.” In particular, he whispered to his diary, the Jews “are lower than animals.”
The Jews, Patton felt, had to be kept under armed guard, otherwise they would flee, “spread over the country like locusts,” and then have to be rounded up and some of them shot because they had “murdered and pillaged” innocent Germans. All of this is detailed by Allis and Ronald Radosh in their book about the founding of Israel, “A Safe Haven.”

What follows below the jump is the deposition one Szmul Wasersztajn gave in 1945 about a pogrom he witnessed and survived in the small Polish town of Jewadbne, in 1941, in which Poles turned on their Jewish neighbors and slaughtered all but seven — that is, one half the town killed the other half. Wasersztajn was a survivor. This is the land Helen Thomas would have had, and would have, the Jews return to:

Before the war broke out, 1,600 Jews lived in Jedwabne, and only seven survived, saved by a Polish woman, Wyrzykowska, who lived in the vicinity.
On Monday evening, June 23, 1941, Germans entered the town. And as early as the 25th local bandits, from the Polish population, started an anti-Jewish pogrom. Two of those bandits, Borowski (Borowiuk?) Wacek with his brother Mietek, walked from one Jewish dwelling to another together with other bandits playing accordion and flute to drown the screams of Jewish women and children. I saw with my own eyes how those murderers killed Chajcia Wasersztajn, Jakub Kac, seventy-three years old, and Eliasz Krawiecki.
Jakub Kac they stoned to death with bricks. Krawiecki they knifed and then plucked his eyes and cut off his tongue. He suffered terribly for twelve hours before he gave up his soul.
On the same day I observed a horrible scene. Chaja Kubrzanska, twenty-eight years old, and Basia Binsztajn, twenty-six years old, both holding newborn babies, when they saw what was going on, they ran to a pond, in order to drown themselves with the children rather than fall into the hands of bandits. They put their children in the water and drowned them with their own hands: then Baska Binsztajn jumped in and immediately went to the bottom, while Chaja Kubrzanska suffered for a couple of hours. Assembled hooligans made a spectacle of this. They advised her to lie face down in the water, so that she would drown faster. Finally, seeing that the children were already dead, she threw herself more energetically into the water and found her death too.
The next day a local priest intervened, explaining that they should stop the pogrom, and that German authorities would take care of things by themselves. This worked, and the pogrom was stopped. From this day on the local population no longer sold foodstuffs to Jews, which made their circumstances all the more difficult. In the meantime rumors spread that the Germans would issue an order that all the Jews be destroyed.
Such an order was issued by the Germans on July 10, 1941.
Even though the Germans gave the order, it was Polish hooligans who took it up and carried it out, using the most horrible methods. After various tortures and humiliations, they burned all the Jews in a barn. During the first pogrom and the later bloodbath the following outcasts distinguished themselves by their brutality: Szlezinski, Karolak, Borowiuk (Borowski?) Mietek, Borowiuk (Borowski?) Waclaw, Jermalowski, Ramutowski Bolek, Rogalski Bolek, Szelawa Stanislaw, Szelawa Franciszek, Kozlowski Geniek, Trzaska, Tarnoczek Jerzyk, Ludanski Jurek, Laciecz Czeslaw.
On the morning of July 10, 1941, eight gestapo men came to town and had a meeting with representatives of the town authorities. When the gestapo asked what their plans were with respect to the Jews, they said, unanimously, that all Jews must be killed. When the Germans proposed to leave one Jewish family from each profession, local carpenter Bronislaw Szlezinski, who was present, answered: We have enough of our own craftsmen, we have to destroy all the Jews, none should stay alive. Mayor Karolak and everybody else agreed with his words. For this purpose Szlezinski gave his own barn, which stood nearby. After this meeting the bloodbath began.
Local hooligans armed themselves with axes, special clubs studded with nails, and other instruments of torture and destruction and chased all the Jews into the street. As the first victims of their devilish instincts they selected seventy-five of the youngest and healthiest Jews, whom they ordered to pick up a huge monument of Lenin that the Russians had erected in the center of town. It was impossibly heavy, but under a rain of horrible blows the Jews had to do it. While carrying the monument, they also had to sing until they brought it to the designated place. There, they were ordered to dig a hole and throw the monument in. Then these Jews were butchered to death and thrown into the same hole.
The other brutality was when the murderers ordered every Jew to dig a hole and bury all previously murdered Jews, and then those were killed and in turn buried by others. It is impossible to represent all the brutalities of the hooligans, and it is difficult to find in our history of suffering something similar.
Beards of old Jews were burned, newborn babies were killed at their mothers’ breasts, people were beaten murderously and forced to sing and dance. In the end they proceeded to the main action–the burning. The entire town was surrounded by guards so that nobody could escape; then Jews were ordered to line up in a column, four in a row, and the ninety-year-old rabbi and the shochet [Kosher butcher] were put in front, they were given a red banner, and all were ordered to sing and were chased into the barn. Hooligans bestially beat them up on the way. Near the gate a few hooligans were standing, playing various instruments in order to drown the screams of horrified victims. Some tried to defend themselves, but they were defenseless. Bloodied and wounded, they were pushed into the barn. Then the barn was doused with kerosene and lit, and the bandits went around to search Jewish homes, to look for the remaining sick and children. The sick people they found they carried to the barn themselves, and as for the little children, they roped a few together by their legs and carried them on their backs, then put them on pitchforks and threw them onto smoldering coals.
After the fire they used axes to knock golden teeth from still not entirely decomposed bodies and in other ways violated the corpses of holy martyrs.

Taken from the book “Neighbors,” by Jan T. Gross.



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Mont D. Law

posted June 8, 2010 at 8:10 pm


2 things
First, I’m not sure what your argument is – that it is proper & just that the western (European & North American) destruction & hatred of the Jews be paid for by the Palestinians? Because the modern state of Israel certainly has not been a positive development for them.
Secondly, collective punishment is immoral – whether its Heydrich in Czechoslovakia or the Gaza blockade. No history changes that.



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BobSF

posted June 8, 2010 at 8:23 pm


In the ethic upheaval that was the “stabilization” of central Europe by Western and Russian powers after WWII, it’s naive to believe that the only solution would be send people back to their actual home towns. The truth is that Catholic Poland, before, during, and after German occupation, was largely quite happy to be rid of the Jews. The same was true of other Catholic and Christian countries, including some of the winners of WWII. No one wanted them.
Religious and racist bigotry against one people presented a problem and that problem was “solved” with religious and racist bigotry against another people. Turn back time and erase the pre-war Zionist movement, and the solution would have been quite different. Certainly more difficult in the short term. Hard to imagine it could have caused more trouble in the long term.



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Peter

posted June 8, 2010 at 8:43 pm


I don’t think I’ve seen anyone defend Thomas’ comments, although there are those who want to protect her groundbreaking legacy. It was a ridiculous, offensive things to say and Jews (and others) are properly appalled.
On the other hand, Helen Thomas didn’t kill 9 peace activists trying to bring humanitarian aid to Gaza. I think it’s helpful to keep a little perspective here.



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lancelot lamar

posted June 8, 2010 at 8:47 pm


Helen Thomas was always an evil, venomous, dishonest woman. I’m glad she exposed herself as a bigot and anti-semite, and was humiliated before the press corps dishonored itself again by honoring her as they would have done had she retired on her own.



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pagansister

posted June 8, 2010 at 8:48 pm


Her offensive statement did one thing…forced her into retirement. She is almost 90….which is no excuse for her outburst…but hopefully the good things she did in her career will be remembered. Unfortunately the last thing she did in her career will probably be the first thing remembered.



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AnotherBeliever

posted June 8, 2010 at 9:02 pm


It is nauseating what human beings are capable of. ALL of us are capable of atrocity. What happened in Poland is that people lived up (or should I say down) to their potential chose to commit the atrocities.



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kevin s,

posted June 8, 2010 at 9:12 pm


“Unfortunately the last thing she did in her career will probably be the first thing remembered.”
Why is this unfortunate? If these beliefs were sincerely held, in this day and age, doesn’t that trump her accomplishments?
“On the other hand, Helen Thomas didn’t kill 9 peace activists trying to bring humanitarian aid to Gaza. I think it’s helpful to keep a little perspective here.”
Yeah, that was helpful, Peter. Thanks for that.



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Scott Lahti

posted June 8, 2010 at 9:43 pm


I’ve hesitated blogging on the Helen Thomas affair, mostly because I’ve been away at meetings in New York
Not to worry – the gents on my gun-owners’ list took a few whacks at the toothless, gibbering hack journo, after noticing she received a “Visionary” award from The Brady Campaign:
The Brady Campaign to Ensure State Violence, or, To Helen, a Handmaiden Shoah ‘Nuff
One blogger linked within, from TheTruthAboutGuns.com, had a bit of sport:
Helen Thomas Put Out to Pasture. Pastures Object.
“Helen Thomas, doyenne of the White House Press Corps (or ‘Corpse’ as the O-Man would pronounce it) since…um…the dawn of the Industrial Age has been unceremoniously dumped by her employer the Hearst Organization, following her remarks, saying Jews should ‘get the hell out of Palestine,’ suggesting they go instead to Germany, Poland and the United States. The fomer gal-pal of Oscar Wilde and rumored inspiration for his classic ‘The Picture of Dorian Grey’ was suddenly and emphatically fired after a career that spanned the better part of a century, after espousing a decidedly non-objective point-of-view in a recent interview caught on tape.
“…Don’t feel bad for Ms. Thomas, however. She’s apparently secured a lovely gingerbread house down in Dade County, Florida, where she’ll spend her sunset years luring orphans into her home for baking parties.”
Captcha: protest issuing
What Captcha said.



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BobSF

posted June 8, 2010 at 10:16 pm


What’s really happening is that Israel’s supporters are desperate to change the conversation from the flotilla incident, and a certain political movement in this country is thrilled to see Thomas vilified. She’s been a pain in the side of presidents — of both parties — for decades and a particular target of the right since she gave Bush a (turns out deserved) hard time on Iraq.



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MH

posted June 8, 2010 at 10:22 pm


Everyone has thoughts they self sensor, but as people age their brains start to lose this inhibitory mechanism. So you get the stereotype of the elderly person who spouts something racist or offensive. This isn’t senility, but part of the brain is slowing down and can’t control another part.
So when someone 90 says something offensive and was previously able to hold it together better, it’s probably this dynamic at work. So you might want to judge their earlier self separately from their current self, as they really are two different people.



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kevin s,

posted June 8, 2010 at 10:24 pm


“What’s really happening is that Israel’s supporters are desperate to change the conversation from the flotilla incident,”
What would it accomplish to change the conversation in this country? Are you suggesting that, had the flotilla incident not occurred, Israel’s supporters would be just fine with a reporter telling Jews to go back to Poland?
“and a certain political movement in this country is thrilled to see Thomas vilified.”
I’m thrilled to see anyone vilified for these remarks. Aren’t you?
“She’s been a pain in the side of presidents — of both parties — for decades and a particular target of the right since she gave Bush a (turns out deserved) hard time on Iraq.”
To the degree she was a target on the right, she was so long before GWB’s presidency.



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Artie

posted June 8, 2010 at 10:26 pm


For the record, Helen Thomas said:
“Remember, these people are occupied, and it’s their land.It’s not Germany, and it’s not Poland.”
[ So where should they go? What should they do? ]
“Poland, Germany — and America and everywhere else. Why push people out of there who have lived there for centuries? See?”
Clearly, her remarks were not career enhancing. But amidst all the righteous indignation and charges of antisemitism, there’s no discussion of the occupation. And that occupation is a major obstacle to peace in the region regardless of how indelicately it’s articulated.



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sigaliris

posted June 8, 2010 at 10:44 pm


Thanks for that, MH. I was thinking along similar lines. My father, once a paleoconservative leader, has Alzheimer’s now, and has probably had it for a long time. It’s impossible to tell, in retrospect. He has said some remarkably offensive things during the past few years. Did he really mean them? It’s hard to say. Possibly they were long-held beliefs finally bursting to the surface. Possibly, also, they were random sparks from a deteriorating consciousness. It is just as well, either way, that Helen Thomas won’t be speaking out in public any more. But the venom directed at her may be misplaced. A sick and elderly person should be eased off the stage with some compassion, I think.
The Palestinian problem, of course, can be and should be discussed, regardless of the state of Helen Thomas’s brain.



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Scott Lahti

posted June 8, 2010 at 10:56 pm


I’m thrilled to see anyone vilified for these remarks. Aren’t you?
I might use words other than thrilled – perhaps tasked with a grave responsibility, as one feels when dispatching unto his eternal reward le burglaire du chat who thinks executing the droit de seigneur upon the lady of the house falls under the Fair Use provisions codified within the union edition of the Common Criminal Code. Or perhaps “honored” and “grateful” for the opportunity to allow the unleashing of our largely-sublimated stores of energy designed for moral, and on dire occasion mortal combat – though we feel more honored and more grsteful still when the demonic threats prompting their unsheathing are held at bay by the understood prospect of swift vengeance instanter upon the original aggression. Enabling the moral and cognitive education of ourselves, however, difficult as it is, is as nothing compared to catalyzing in another the profound transformations of character any education worth the name entails. The upkeep on such elite faculties is of necessity exorbitant, and admits of rest only in the sense that an athlete or an artist admits a decent interval for breakdown and repair, and refreshed insight, before the next painstaking bout of sustained effort. See, e.g., “The Energies of Men”, the classic essay by William James, for more on the captivating phenomena of the “second wind.”
Oh, and speaking of, e.g., running marathons, what say you, O Don Quicksoak de la Captcha:
of pastas
Nobody knows carbo-loading like our Captcha, the Artist Formerly Known as Captcha Crunch.



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Joe Magarac

posted June 8, 2010 at 11:07 pm


I thought you could like the Jews (and even love some of them) but be opposed to US aid to Israel. I have felt that way for years.
I stand corrected. Apparently anyone who opposes the existence of Israel is anti-semitic and a contemptible bigot. I didn’t realize.



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BobSF

posted June 8, 2010 at 11:17 pm


My overarching position on this is:
1) People 90 years old sometimes say off-handed things that shouldn’t be taken so seriously.
2) People walking around a party and asked for off-the-cuff remarks about an issue shouldn’t be treated as though they’re offering deep, well thought out positions on international affairs, especially if they’re being egged on in a jovial way by someone who is twisting their words.
What would it accomplish to change the conversation in this country? Are you suggesting that, had the flotilla incident not occurred, Israel’s supporters would be just fine with a reporter telling Jews to go back to Poland?
See my comment about egging-on and twisting above.
I’m sure her comments would have caught flack. Just not as much. Flack is fine. Vilification isn’t.
I’m thrilled to see anyone vilified for these remarks. Aren’t you?
No, especially not 90yos. The thing about on-the-fly, off-handed remarks is that they’re subject to interpretation. Israel out of Palestine? Well, that’s established U.S. policy, no? I certainly wouldn’t argue that Israel be abolished and everyone “return home”. What’s done is done. I would however certainly agree with Ms. Thomas that some American Jews — the ultra-Zionists and arch neoconservatives who have gone there in recent decades — should return to America. They’re not helping.
To the degree she was a target on the right, she was so long before GWB’s presidency.
True. It just got worse after she went after him.



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Theophilus

posted June 8, 2010 at 11:36 pm


That bit about continuing anti-Semitism after WWII touched my family personally. My grandfather was ethnically Germanic and grew up in the Ukraine, and fled with the Wehrmacht to Poland to avoid certain deportation to Siberia or death at the hands of the Red Army for no reason but his race. But it was not until the war was over, when he was 14 years old, that he had to change his name from Jakob to Erwin. Jakob sounded too Jewish to be safe. Up till the day of his death his oldest friends who knew him in Europe before immigrating to the Americas in 1948 still called him Jakob, though everyone else knew him as Erwin.



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The Western Confucian

posted June 8, 2010 at 11:39 pm


“There are now maybe 55,000 Jews in Poland, many emigrating from Israel following Poland’s admission to the EU,” writes Gary Leupp — The Ambush of Helen Thomas.



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Pat

posted June 8, 2010 at 11:59 pm


I’m of two minds on this – of course the comment about going back to europe is extremely clueless, but I sort of agree with her suggestion of going to America. I’ve always felt that if we winners in WWII were that concerned enough about the jews’ need for a homeland, we should have given them some of our own territory.
OTOH, I suppose parcelling out the losers’ possessions is one of the perks of winning. Folks who know some history, feel free to correct me.



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kevin s,

posted June 9, 2010 at 1:34 am


“OTOH, I suppose parcelling out the losers’ possessions is one of the perks of winning. Folks who know some history, feel free to correct me.”
The mandate for Palestine dates back to WWI, which makes Helen Thomas’ statements all the more galling. If anything, it is the British, who divvied up the Ottoman empire, who ought to provide refuge. Really, though, you are correct. Nobody musters up much sympathy for the Ottomans anymore.
Certainly, one of the perks of winning a war is that you keep the territory you were protecting. Israel only declared independence in response to invasions and attacks by neighboring Arab states. Once they declared independence, the Arab world declared war, and lost.
By any measure, Israel is a sovereign state with a right to defend itself. Assertions to the contrary are mere propaganda.
If Helen Thomas had recommended that black people go back to Africa, I doubt we’d hear much hemming and hawing about how she’s just a doddering old lady who can’t be helped.



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Viktor

posted June 9, 2010 at 1:37 am


Hello sir
Although I understand that such incidences cannot be forgotten, you must remember that something like this cannot represent an entire nation
Some people in 1945 Soviet-occupied Poland were frustrated that this whole WWII mess was because of Poland’s refusal to surrender (which would have paved the way for the Germans to annilate every Jew in Poland)
As a result, some people were frustrated, and a few unfortunately used their anger violently
However, it is also hurtful for me to read this article, because my family went through a lot of things to save Jews. My grandfather as a child threw bread across the wall to the Jewish side in Warsaw, and was caught by the Germans. He was heavily beaten and tortured, to the point where he fainted. He later woke up to find that his right arm was completely burnt, as the Germans left his body close to a fireplace. He was 9 years old…
Jews for centuries called Poland their homeland because the rest of Europe persecuted them. It’s not a coincidence that Poland then had one of the largest Jewish populations in the world
To keep things fair, the French set up an organization to help ship Jews to concentration camps, the Czech paid their citizens to report Jewish hiding placed to the Germans, and last but not least, the UPA army from the Ukraine went to Polish and Jewish homes, lined up the family members, and peeled off the skins starting from the youngest family member to the youngest, including pregnant women, before slaying them. Often, they would cut off the wombs of pregnand women, and used their umbilical cords to hang them



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Viktor

posted June 9, 2010 at 1:39 am


sorry for the typos, I meant from the youngest to the oldest
I’m still a bit disturbed after reading this article



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Lord Karth

posted June 9, 2010 at 2:16 am


I’m not entirely convinced this wasn’t just an excuse by the Hearst corporation to get rid of Ms. Thomas. Some people just choose to hang around in their jobs for far too long, and these kind of “incidents” are just justifications for doing what should have been done a long, long time ago.
Your servant,
Lord Karth
Captcha poetry: “trumping claims”



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Charles Cosimano

posted June 9, 2010 at 2:35 am


The world is coming to an end for sure. I agree with Lord Karth!
Helen Thomas has been an embarrassment to the Hearst Organization for a long time and this was probably seen as a godsend in the front office.
What is most telling is that they felt safe in retiring her, that she did not have a fan base large enough or vocal enough to force them to reconsider. She should have remembered the fate of Walter Winchell, who went from being one of the most powerful men in journalism to handing out mimeographed copies of his columns on street corners.
Of course she will probably set up a website and continue to produce material for her three and a half fans. And of course now that she is an official Bad Person she is free to say anything she wants because the bad guy does not have to follow the rules.



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Michael C

posted June 9, 2010 at 6:54 am


Let us please remember that there was as much hatred of Jews in N America prior to WW2 as there was in Europe, Pattens views were pretty mainstream. The story of the SS St Louis and its 900 refuges is sobering.
The situation up here in Canada was even worse than in the USA. It was quite common to see signs saying “Christians Only” on building and public spaces in Quebec into the 1950’s, and there was a a famous “dogs and Jews not admitted” sign in Manitoba.
Now unfortunately one may not criticize the political policies of Israel without being called an anti-Semite, which branding is worse than being described as a member of the KKK.
As for the rest of it…..what BobSF said



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Craig

posted June 9, 2010 at 7:14 am


Does anyone really believe she was saying “holocaust, what holocaust?” I realize many people dislike Helen Thomas, and that many people feel it is important to show their solidarity with Isreal. But could we please take a look at what she actually said? Or ask for clarification? Isn’t it most likely–especially given her mention of America–that she meant Palestinians were unjustly and unnecessarily suffering, and much of that at the hands of much more recent immigrants?
Perhaps young men like these:
http://andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/the_daily_dish/2010/05/faces-of-the-day-1.html
Is that really antisemitism? Is that even an unreasonable opinion?



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Richard

posted June 9, 2010 at 7:49 am


There is only one person responsible for the grossly offensive comments by Helen Thomas, and that is Helen Thomas. She has been anti-Israel and probably anti-Jew for decades, and was finally caught on tape saying something not so easily swept under the carpet.
I think Helen Thomas heself would object to this as condescending and offensive: “A sick and elderly person should be eased off the stage with some compassion, I think.”



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Craig

posted June 9, 2010 at 8:42 am


Yes, if Thomas was indeed sneering at the suffering of Jews or mocking the holocaust, she should certainly be fired, shunned, etc.
But one must strain to render her words’ meaning thus, so why are we so quick to? All this outrage begs the question of why what she said is (to quote Richard, above) “grossly offensive” or would need to be “swept under the carpet.” I think it’s wonderful that Americans wish to distance themselves from antisemitism, which is indeed vile! I’m just not so sure what Thomas *said* is antisemitic, and it seems creepy that we’re apparently so willing to pounce on her.



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Michael C

posted June 9, 2010 at 9:13 am


It has come to the point where any criticism of Israel is construed as anti-Semitism unfortunately, and the word carries such power…collective guilt I guess.



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Elizabeth Anne

posted June 9, 2010 at 10:30 am


Craig,
Let’s switch it up a bit. If anyone, in any context, for any reason, were to suggest that black Americans ought to just go back to Africa, would we be suggesting that there was any defense?



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kevin s,

posted June 9, 2010 at 10:56 am


@Craig,
Talking about sending the Jews back to (insert region here) is a slur that predates World War II. I might believe that a college freshman is ignorant of this fact, but not Helen Thomas.
The best, most charitable reading of her statement is that the Jews are occupying land that isn’t there’s, and that they should leave to avert conflict. This is an egregiously unfair reading of history. The Jewish people create a state where none existed in the wake of WWI, and defended it against military attack.
If Israeli Jews must leave, then Americans must leave as well. Speaking of collective guilt, I think this is what drives the pro-Palestinian animus on the left. They see Palestinians as the Native Americans in this struggle, and project their own guilt onto the situation.
In doing so, they fit the facts (with capable help from propagandists) to this narrative. The sneaky Jews, like the sneaky Americans, used Zionism, their own version of Manifest Destiny, to procure land from an innocent, peaceful people.
In the process, they make a number of arguments and assumptions that are, indeed, anti-Semitic. Consider the description of neo-conservatism as a shadowy cabal of Jewish power brokers.
Again, I can see why a college freshman might view things through this lens, but Helen Thomas knows better.



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Chuck Bloom

posted June 9, 2010 at 11:02 am


Al Campanis.
Remember that name? He self-destructed in a “Nightline” interview about black managership in Major League Baseball. All future mention of hisname begins with that brief, indelible mistake in front of a microphone.
Her “outing” was also self-inflicted so people should know that an open microphone means you choose words carefully – regardles sof who is holding that mic.
Sympathy for the Palestinians (whose plight lay at the feet of Israel’s Arab neighbors as much as Israel because the 1948 partition, which allowed for a Palestinian state of its own was rejected by the Arab League in favor of a policy of annihilation) and scorn for the recent heavy-handed Israeli raid is NOT anti-Semitism (I’m a Jew and I wish this would be solved although it ain’t gonna happen in my grandaughter’s grandchildren’s lifetime).
All the feelings and Ms. Thomas’ statements are merely reflective of the attitude that nastiness and ignorance make news far quicker than goodness and reconciliation.
Captcha words (perfect metaphor) gloomier the



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Rick Road Rager

posted June 9, 2010 at 11:34 am


The comment about Patton was right on!!! In the movie,one of his military aides is killed and, at the funeral, he asks why such nice young men have to die!! Of course, he also comments that,”Compared to war, all other human endeavors are almost trivial.” Or words to that effect. During my 20-plus years of military service (active and Reserve), I met more than a fair share of those “warlovers”.
War is almost always portrayed as a grand and glorious adventure! It
s nothing but a very dirty, difficult and dangerous job!! Not to mention really boring most of the time too!
As for the Israelis, we Americans should make it very clear to all concerned that we will stand with them against any and all aggression.
Conversely, they need to be much more flexible in dealing with the Palestinians!!! As a people greatly persecuted throughout history, they should understand the plight of the “displaced persons’ in Gaza.



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Charles Cosimano

posted June 9, 2010 at 11:39 am


This is going to really rankle some folks but the thing that actually bothers me about this is not what Helen Thomas said. Those were just the sort of lunatic ravings one would expect from her following her long career as the Washington Press Corps comic relief. What inspires contempt is the fact that she cravenly apologized.
Just once I would like to hear someone say something really offensive and then say, “Yes, I said it. I meant it. It was the truth and the folks who don’t like it can go to hell.” At least that would be honest.
But let us shed no tears for her future. Al Jazeera is certain to pick up her contract and there is not doubt that the Saudis will give her web hosting and all the bandwidth she can ever hope to use.



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Robert

posted June 9, 2010 at 11:49 am


Israelis can’t stand one word of criticism. Helen didn’t say to send all jews back to Poland, Germany or America. She was very specifically talking about the jews taking over the Palestinian’s land in Gaza. This has been edited out of the mainstream media and her words twisted – no surprise. She has been the only voice in the White House Press Corps against US and Israeli policy and Ari Fleischer is leading the charge against her, he being the spokesman and defender of murderers and warmongers. So much phony outrage over her words – much more than there has been against Israelis killing innocent civilians in the aid Flotilla to Gaza.



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hlvanburen

posted June 9, 2010 at 12:27 pm


“On the other hand, Helen Thomas didn’t kill 9 peace activists trying to bring humanitarian aid to Gaza. I think it’s helpful to keep a little perspective here.”
No she didn’t. She simply left a huge black mark on her career, one that will unfortunately be remembered as her last act prior to retirement. No lives were lost, no people harmed in it other than herself. But it is still a dam# shame that it happened.
Sad…very sad.



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CAP

posted June 9, 2010 at 12:43 pm


what of this situation . .
israel is aggressively promoting worldwide jewish immigration to bolster their state. the largest bloc of recent immigrants to israel have been from what is commonly referred to as ‘the former soviet union’. besides the national interest of the nation of israel, many make the move because of a russian ethnic bigotry towards jews.
but what many on the ground there will tell you, is that many of these immigrants bring with them a strong russian bigotry towards muslims. so, what you are seeing is russians, also jews, who are suddenly arriving in a land that they have no historical connection to, and advocating a very harsh punitive approach to arabs whose families have lived on that land for centuries. some of the most hardline zionists in israel today, like avignor lieberman, are from this this bloc.
so what of the argument, that says to these russians; look, why go to israel and seize and occupy palestinian land rather than just stay in russia, where there does exist some measure of anti-semitism, but certainly not at the life-and-death degree of pogroms and such? is that anti-semitism? is that really just one of those blanket ‘why dontcha go back from where you came frum!’ rants?
what of all of this helen thomas kerfluffle if the ‘go back’ angle was examined instead in a contemporary context, rather than suggesting that you are advocating 2010 jews to be sent back to the gas chambers of the last century?
what if she had just said, ‘why don’t people stop going to palestine and seizing and occupying palestinian land and homes?’ would that be anti-semitism? should that question immediately brand someone a jew-hater and a nazi sympathizer?



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Richard

posted June 9, 2010 at 12:51 pm


Pardon me, folks, but all this effluvia overlooks the very simple point that Helen Thomas is clearly an anti-Semite and has been engaging in anti-Semitic tirades for decades.
Racism is always unpleasant, no matter who is practicing it, and no matter the victim. Helen Thomas is free to criticize Israel all she wants, but it’s obvious her issues aren’t just with that nation, they are with Jews as well.
Please spare us all the moral equivalence games and expressions of sadness. She said stupid, ignorant, and reprehensible things and should’ve been fired. Helen had every right to say them, but we don’t have the obligation to listen or employ her or provide her a pulpit for her obnoxious views. She ought to be glad she got the chance to preserve her dignity and resign. Good riddance.



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Denis

posted June 9, 2010 at 1:08 pm


In both Kielce and Jedwabne Poles resented the fact that many of those who collaborated with the Communists were Jews. This, for example, is from the wikipedia entry on the Jedwabne Pogrom:
As soon as the Soviets entered Jedwabne, local Polish government was dismantled. At first, many Polish Jews were relieved to learn that the Soviets, rather than the Nazis, were to occupy their town, and unlike Gentiles publicly welcomed the Red Army as their protector.[6][16] Some people from other ethnic groups in Kresy, particularly Belarusians, also openly welcomed the Soviets.[16] Administrative jobs were offered to Jews who declared Soviet allegiance. Some Jews joined a Soviet militia overseeing deportations organized by the NKVD. At least one witness testimony says that during round-ups of alleged anti-Soviet people, armed Jewish militiamen were seen to be guarding those prepared for deportation to far-eastern Urals, for security reasons, due the proximity of the Germans.[6][15]
In a number of countries in Eastern Europe–Lithuainia, the Ukraine, Poland, for example–Jews were hated for this reason. Of course, it’s usually the innocent Jews who were mistreated by angry mobs.



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Franklin Evans

posted June 9, 2010 at 1:11 pm


Good gosh, too many choices here! Let’s see, I can muster contempt for the Ottoman Empire, being Serbian on my father’s side. I have more than enough personal contempt for how the Jews were treated in Europe, my Jewish mother and her immediate family being the surviving exceptions to the Holocaust. Where, O where do I begin?
How about on the side of being human?
No matter how much of history is (re)written by the victors, some facts are quite easy to see. All sides of conflicts had crimes of which to be ashamed. The biggest waste in this exercise is in pointing fingers without acknowledging that fact. It is for that, more than anything else, that the chicken-egg argument over Israel/Palestine/Trans-Jordan (remember that one?) will never be settled.
Shorter Zionism: We must have our own land, and we must not hesitate to fight for it.
Shorter Arab response: We don’t care where they go to die, the Jews should be eliminated. If they’re here, we’ll do it. And by the way, Palestinians, just get out of the way for a few days and we’ll push them into the sea… oops, we mean months… oops, we mean years… and no, you don’t get to assimilate in our lands, just stay in your camps so we can make use of you later.
Shorter Israeli conservative stance: How many of us need to die before we get any sort of respect for defending ourselves as we see fit? And by the way, if you had a horde of enemies bent on your destruction on your border, how well would you sleep at night if the rest of the world required you to leave your doors unlocked and your backs turned? And really, with the egregious contempt others show for the lives of Jews, why shouldn’t we just return the favor?
Shorter Palestinian stance (in two parts): [1] We don’t want to be painted by our fanatic brothers, but we don’t have much ability to do anything about them. And by the way, enough of us agree with them to not want to do anything about them. [2] We get money to wage a guerilla war, our kin get money when we become martyrs, and we get forever-virgins in the afterlife. What’s not to like?
And to help avoid wasting the time of those who want to respond with “But what about Arab so-and-so, he/she doesn’t agree with the fanatics” or “there are many Jews who are sympathetic to the Palestinians”: Yes, I’m using a broad brush. I can see it in my hand. If you want to offer a rebuttal, show me where each attribute is actually false, not exceptions to it.



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kevin s,

posted June 9, 2010 at 1:15 pm


@Robert
“Helen didn’t say to send all jews back to Poland, Germany or America. She was very specifically talking about the jews taking over the Palestinian’s land in Gaza.”
First of all, nobody thinks she was referring to all Jews. Second, she was referring to Israelis in all of Palestine, not just Gaza. What she did say was sufficiently offensive. Do you understand why?
“This has been edited out of the mainstream media and her words twisted – no surprise.”
If anything, most reports are omitting the part where she said they should “go home”, which is probably the most cringe inducing part of the whole exchange. The whole thing is actually worse than the sum of its parts, in my view.
“She has been the only voice in the White House Press Corps against US and Israeli policy”
Which, to me, calls for a re-examination of those who oppose US and Israeli policy. Do they agree with Helen Thomas? You seem to.
“and Ari Fleischer is leading the charge against her, he being the spokesman and defender of murderers and warmongers.”
Lanny Davis led it with him. You know that, so are you just being disingenuous?
“So much phony outrage over her words”
My outrage is sincere, I assure you.
“much more than there has been against Israelis killing innocent civilians in the aid Flotilla to Gaza.”
Um, you are referring to the international acrimony directed at Israel for that whole affair? There is plenty of rage there. I do not share in that rage because I think the soldiers had the right to be on the ship, and that they had a right to respond when attacked.



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Denis

posted June 9, 2010 at 1:24 pm


Jewish emigration to British-occupied Palestine was nothing unusual in the post-WWII period. There were mass movements of populations, mostly German, after the war. Many moved into other people’s homes,or into homes built on land confiscated from others. It’s absolutely absurd to suggest that people should move back to where their great-grandparents lived pre-WWII, just because the land they live on now might not have been acquired in the most kosher way possible. According to that logic, all Americans should just move back to the countries their ancestors left, and leave this land to the descendants of the people who lived here before the European settlers arrived. Go back to Lebanon, Helen, and give your Manhattan flat to a Native American family!



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Geoff G.

posted June 9, 2010 at 1:50 pm


Lord Karth got it right. She’d been around long enough to become a Washington institution and Hearst couldn’t get rid of her. But she’s pushing 90!
I’m deeply suspicious of the argument that Jews can’t live in Poland or Germany (or the US, for that matter) simply because of events that happened 70 years ago. We’ve had two full generations grow up with the full realization of exactly where Antisemitism leads. You might as well say that because the Romans once slaughtered Christians in the Colosseum, that Christianity will never take root in Italy (Fun fact: one of the worst Christian persecutions in the Roman Empire took place immediately before Constantine became Emperor and changed everything).
The real confusion here is the difference between being anti-Zionist and anti-Semitic. No matter what the conservative blogosphere says, they are not the same thing at all. There are, in fact, anti-Zionist Jews. I personally view this as a variant on the standard AIPAC/neocon line “You must endorse everything the government of Israel does or else you’re Hitler!” Poppycock!
In fact, you could well argue that Thomas, by encouraging Jews to move to the US, i.e. her own country, was displaying philo-Semitism. She apparently wants to welcome more Jewish people here.



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Robert

posted June 9, 2010 at 2:10 pm


http://www.theproblemwithkevin.com
@Robert
“Helen didn’t say to send all jews back to Poland, Germany or America. She was very specifically talking about the jews taking over the Palestinian’s land in Gaza.”
“First of all, nobody thinks she was referring to all Jews. Second, she was referring to Israelis in all of Palestine, not just Gaza. What she did say was sufficiently offensive. Do you understand why?”
You are wrong. Listen to her words, available at Democracy Now for the entire video of her comments.
“This has been edited out of the mainstream media and her words twisted – no surprise.”
“If anything, most reports are omitting the part where she said they should “go home”, which is probably the most cringe inducing part of the whole exchange. The whole thing is actually worse than the sum of its parts, in my view.”
“She has been the only voice in the White House Press Corps against US and Israeli policy”
“Which, to me, calls for a re-examination of those who oppose US and Israeli policy. Do they agree with Helen Thomas? You seem to.”
Like I said, can’t take one word of criticism. If you criticize Israeli-US policy, you must be an anti-semite.
“and Ari Fleischer is leading the charge against her, he being the spokesman and defender of murderers and warmongers.”
“Lanny Davis led it with him. You know that, so are you just being disingenuous?”
What has that got to do with anything? Ari is a lying defender of murderers who has a personal vendetta against her for her daring to question his lies as White House spokesman.
“So much phony outrage over her words”
“My outrage is sincere, I assure you.”
I was talking about phony outrage in the media over her opinion while outright murderers lie and get away with it. You can be outraged all you want about one person speaking her opinion.
“much more than there has been against Israelis killing innocent civilians in the aid Flotilla to Gaza.”
“Um, you are referring to the international acrimony directed at Israel for that whole affair? There is plenty of rage there. I do not share in that rage because I think the soldiers had the right to be on the ship, and that they had a right to respond when attacked.”
Yes, those poor commandos in full modern day stormtrooper uniforms supplied by the USA armed with multiple weapons firing on innocent people in international waters from helicopters before landing, the videos being confiscated by the Isreali government and edited to only show their heroic boys getting hit by people defending their lives. If the Isrealis truly only wanted to stop the flotilla, they could have done so non-violently by surrounding the ships or disabling them.
Read more: http://blog.beliefnet.com/roddreher/2010/06/why-jews-couldnt-go-home-to-poland-helen.html#preview#ixzz0qNbq8OvD



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Alicia

posted June 9, 2010 at 2:13 pm


This is a good post and discussion, and I especially like Franklin’s comment. Yes, it’s probably way past time for Helen Thomas to retire. Her comments don’t negate her career achievements, but they do show that she is human, and as liable to bias and to making ugly comments as any other human being.
Christopher Hitchens has an excellent piece on the Flotilla fiasco in SLATE: http://www.slate.com/id/2256168/
I agree with Franklin’s summary of the views of “all sides” and also agree with Christopher Hitchens’s reminder that these people on the flotilla were mostly Hamas supporters, not “peace activists.” I’d love to see both sides held accountable for a change, but I’m not holding my breath.



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Oskar Chomicki

posted June 9, 2010 at 2:21 pm


Thomas’ remarks are obviously beyond the pale, but why is Rod using Gross’ account of Jedwabne as proof that the Jews could not return to Poland? Gross’ portrait of Poles as willing participants in the Holocaust has been challenged by several scholars, including Marek Jan Chodakiewicz (see http://www.iwp.edu/news_publications/book/the-massacre-in-jedwabne). It seems a little odd to depict Poland as an unmatched hotbed of violent anti-Semitism when Jews made up a substantial minority in Poland for hundreds of years before World War II. To be sure, there was a good deal of anti-Semitic sentiment and political agitation, but we shouldn’t accept Gross’ account as paradigmatic of the Jewish experience in Poland. After all, part of the reason there were so many Jews in pre-war Poland was because they had fled other less hospitable European countries.



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Alicia

posted June 9, 2010 at 2:35 pm


Another interesting link from “The Daily Dish”:
http://andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/the_daily_dish/2010/06/smarter-israel.html
No one’s hands are clean.



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Rod Dreher

posted June 9, 2010 at 2:59 pm


Oskar, I’m not saying that all Poles behaved that way. I am saying that if Jews had to worry that they would face that sort of reception if they returned to Poland, no wonder they didn’t want to go back.
I blogged here not long ago about a film a Jewish-American filmmaker had done about the Polish farm family that risked life and limb for THREE YEARS to save his wife’s ancestors from the Nazis. The filmmaker’s stated goal was to show his grown sons that not all Poles were the same, that there was good to be found among them. One thing he discovers, though, in talking to the elderly Poles from the good family is that they were alone in their village in trying to help Jews.



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BobSF

posted June 9, 2010 at 3:24 pm


Jewish emigration to British-occupied Palestine was nothing unusual in the post-WWII period. There were mass movements of populations, mostly German, after the war. Many moved into other people’s homes,or into homes built on land confiscated from others
It’s precisely the fact that there were other large movements of population, confiscation and reassignment of land, and general upheaval for so many people that makes the emigration to a place so far away so unusual. (The only other long-distance movement I can think of was the escape of so many “former” Nazis to South America — an extremely different case, I hope you would agree.)
There’s a lesson that people seem to ignore in the resettlement of populations after WWII. Grievances fade with time if people and their children and their children’s children have opportunity and hope, if they have decent lives and some prospects for betterment. The lives of the people who live in Gaza have gotten worse and worse, decade after decade. They watch as billions of U.S. dollars subsidize the construction of nice homes on what used to be their grandparents’ land.
Oddly, we expect them to get over it.



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Conformer with a cause

posted June 9, 2010 at 3:50 pm


“One thing he discovers, though, in talking to the elderly Poles from the good family is that they were alone in their village in trying to help Jews. ”
Given the death penalty they faced for doing so is that really that surprising. No need to slam one form of racism by indulging in another…



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MH

posted June 9, 2010 at 3:56 pm


Land is like the bird in the Maltese Falcon. It doesn’t have owners, merely possessors for the current moment.



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Yossi

posted June 9, 2010 at 4:32 pm


Sad thing: the Polish Resistance was just as bad–handing over Jews they found hiding.
Interesting side note: Helen Thomas is of Lebanese descent and was raised Greek Orthodox–not sure if she still practices.



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Denis

posted June 9, 2010 at 5:17 pm


While it’s true that the Jedwabne massacre occurred in post-WWII Polan, Jews were, on the whole, better treated by the Communist authorities than Catholic Poles, many of whom were killed, imprisoned, or sent to camps by the Soviet occupiers. Jews, on the other hand, dominated the country’s pro-Soviet governing elites, which is one of the reasons so many Poles resented them. All the same, the idea that Jews could now return to Poland is absurd, no less so than a large-scale return of the descendants of the country’s ethnic Germans.



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kevin s,

posted June 9, 2010 at 6:01 pm


“You are wrong. Listen to her words, available at Democracy Now for the entire video of her comments.”
Democracy Now has the same thing as YouTube. She told the Jews to go home. That’s the only thing missing from the press accounts.
“Like I said, can’t take one word of criticism. If you criticize Israeli-US policy, you must be an anti-semite.”
What culture would appreciate the admonishment to go home? Name one.
“What has that got to do with anything? Ari is a lying defender of murderers who has a personal vendetta against her for her daring to question his lies as White House spokesman.”
I don’t cede the premise of the question, but even if I did, I fail to see why Davis’ co-leading of the charge is irrelevant, unless you are also accusing Bill Clinton of being a murderer.
“I was talking about phony outrage in the media over her opinion while outright murderers lie and get away with it. You can be outraged all you want about one person speaking her opinion.”
I think the answer is that thinking people don’t really think past presidents committed outright murder. The outrage, in general, is sincere.
“Yes, those poor commandos in full modern day stormtrooper uniforms supplied by the USA armed with multiple weapons firing on innocent people in international waters from helicopters before landing, the videos being confiscated by the Isreali government and edited to only show their heroic boys getting hit by people defending their lives.”
Do you have any evidence that the video was edited? Accusations by crazy websites don’t count.
“If the Isrealis truly only wanted to stop the flotilla, they could have done so non-violently by surrounding the ships or disabling them.”
On five of six boats, that’s exactly what happened. On the one boat that fought back, that’s not what happened.
Do you agree with Helen Thomas on this one?



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disgusted

posted June 9, 2010 at 6:04 pm


The majority of Poles sympathised with the Jews in WW2, in a country which had been a safe haven for Jews for centuries thanks to Poles tolerance.
This piece is disgusting and racist. Not only does it paint a very distorted view of what actually happened in Poland during and after the war, it seems to imply Poles in general are murderers, and any Jew landing in Poland today will be drowned or stoned. What the heck are you on?!!



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Robert

posted June 9, 2010 at 7:11 pm


kevin s,
June 9, 2010 6:01 PM
http://www.theproblemwithkevin.com
“Democracy Now has the same thing as YouTube. She told the Jews to go home. That’s the only thing missing from the press accounts.”
You didn’t listen to her meaning and words, picky picky.
“What culture would appreciate the admonishment to go home? Name one.”
Tibetans. Again, she didn’t say for Israel to be emptied and people returned to Europe and America, she was talking specifically about Gaza and Palestine which the Israelis have created the new Apartheid in.
“I don’t cede the premise of the question, but even if I did, I fail to see why Davis’ co-leading of the charge is irrelevant, unless you are also accusing Bill Clinton of being a murderer.”
Clinton, Bush, all murderers.
“I think the answer is that thinking people don’t really think past presidents committed outright murder. The outrage, in general, is sincere.”
I think people who order assasinations, invasions and sanctions that starve innocent people are murderers. Thinking people = brainwashed people in your meaning. They won’t consider that their USA did anything wrong.
“Yes, those poor commandos in full modern day stormtrooper uniforms supplied by the USA armed with multiple weapons firing on innocent people in international waters from helicopters before landing, the videos being confiscated by the Isreali government and edited to only show their heroic boys getting hit by people defending their lives.”
“Do you have any evidence that the video was edited? Accusations by crazy websites don’t count.”
I would rather believe a reporter involved in humnanitarian aid than lying murdering Isrealis with a track record of lying about the USS Liberty raid that killed our sailors, the invasion of Gaza just before O’Bomb’em took office that killed thousands of Palestinians and how many Israelis – maybe 4 was it and now have created this big lie of how their poor commandos were attacked – haha.
“If the Isrealis truly only wanted to stop the flotilla, they could have done so non-violently by surrounding the ships or disabling them.”
“On five of six boats, that’s exactly what happened. On the one boat that fought back, that’s not what happened.” Any resistance will be met with brutal force by the Israelis, like shooting peace activists in the head. It was totally unnecessary.
Do you agree with Helen Thomas on this one?
Read more: http://blog.beliefnet.com/roddreher/2010/06/why-jews-couldnt-go-home-to-poland-helen.html#preview#ixzz0qOrLE76o



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Geoff G.

posted June 9, 2010 at 7:19 pm


Rod Dreher:
One thing he discovers, though, in talking to the elderly Poles from the good family is that they were alone in their village in trying to help Jews.
Which means precisely nothing as far as the discussion here is concerned, except that there was one exceptionally brave family in the village.
Did everyone else in the village not help because they were antisemitic? Or perhaps they were afraid of the Germans? Or perhaps they felt justified in just keeping their heads down and looking after their own families?
You yourself have wondered if you would have acted firmly against racism if you’d been a Southerner during the civil rights movement of the ’60s. And that’s a scenario where you would not have been facing execution, merely ostracism. Does that make you a racist? Don’t be silly.



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Tom

posted June 9, 2010 at 11:55 pm


Out of all countries in Europe, Poland had one (if not the) largest population of jews on its soil before WWII. This is no coincidence. It is because for centuries jews were persecuted all over Europe while in Poland they were able to exist normally and practice their religion.
Sure, there were some pogroms but these did not represent the average pole’s views. A few low life and disposable garbage which every country has in its margins was responsible and allowed to commit all kinds of autrocities given the extraordinary circumstances and political atmosphere during and after WWII.
Infact, note the top country (Poland) sited for saving the jews during the holocaust (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Righteous_Among_the_Nations_by_country). Note that the penalty for helping save jews was death to that person and their family.



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Antonius Magnus

posted June 10, 2010 at 1:37 am


I’m not sure to what time period Tom is referring; Poland was a decent place for Jewish people until the sixteenth century, when the tolerant magnates who really ruled (mostly Roman Catholic but still some Orthodox) took the Jesuit missionaries sent by the Pope as educators of their children. When these kids grew up, they had the Jesuit’s view of Jewish people, not those of their more tolerant parents. The result was that Jewish people began to be treated in the lands of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth like they were in the rest of Europe, where the first persecutions broke out at the hands of Crusaders at the end of the eleventh century, mostly in the region that would later become Germany.
This process also purged Orthodox Christians from the ranks of the magnates, until only Peter Mohilo was left.
Jews were forced to work as middlemen, merchants and landlords (because they couldn’t get other work due to bans on Jews from entering Vilnius, Warsaw, Krakow, and many other cities) so they moved to the steppe and settled there, doing what work they could–wealthy landowners often employed Jewish people to oversee farms and collect rents and taxes, which made them hated by the people who lived there, mostly Ruthenians but some Poles also, resulting in the Khmylnytsky pogroms of 1648-1652. Racial hatred of Jews was endemic in these areas to the present day.
As to Helen Thomas’ claims, I have heard the same anti-Jewish garbage from many other people who have NOT been publicly censured in any way; the Israelis have bent over backward to accommodate some of the most vicious and unreasonable murderers in the region (Hamas and Fatah), far beyond what any other Western democracy would have done, and when they try to defend their lands from terrorists, they are vilified. I am glad Netanyahu is in power and not Olmert during this troubled time.



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kevin s,

posted June 10, 2010 at 2:12 am


“You didn’t listen to her meaning and words, picky picky.”
I certainly did. Here is the link:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RQcQdWBqt14
What should Israelites do? They should go home.
“Tibetans.”
Cute. But the fact that you can not answer my question sincerely is telling.
“Again, she didn’t say for Israel to be emptied and people returned to Europe and America, she was talking specifically about Gaza and Palestine”
No. She was asked where Jews should go, and she told them where they should go. That, specifically, was the exchange. You are making stuff up.
“which the Israelis have created the new Apartheid in.”
Oh good. The apartheid canard.
“Clinton, Bush, all murderers.”
So you are out of your mind, then. Glad we established that.
“I think people who order assasinations, invasions and sanctions that starve innocent people are murderers.”
So Palestine is run by murderers. Correct?
“Thinking people = brainwashed people in your meaning.”
You just called Bill Clinton a murderer. It is incumbent upon you to demonstrate how you can level a compelling argument, and evince non-brainwashedness.
“I would rather believe a reporter involved in humnanitarian aid than lying murdering Isrealis with a track record of lying about the USS Liberty raid that killed our sailors,”
So, to answer my question, you have no evidence that the video in question was edited. Just your preference to believe that it is so.
“the invasion of Gaza just before O’Bomb’em took office that killed thousands of Palestinians and how many Israelis – maybe 4 was it and now have created this big lie of how their poor commandos were attacked – haha.”
It was not four. Why, since you are some sort of chancellor of truth, do you feel compelled to lie?
Also, w/r/t Helen Thomas, I asked whether you agreed with her on this one. You merely reposted my question. Do you agree with her analysis?
Take a stand, macho man.



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stari_momak

posted June 10, 2010 at 2:26 am


Look, Jews have been persecuted. But at the same time, Jews have displayed a lot of hostility towards the people amongst whom they live. People who form not only the majority, but who actually produce the food, etc, necessary for survival.
For example, Postville, or, on a higher level, the ADL and ACLU. Or spend a half hour or so at Hebe, or Jewcy.com. Clear level of hostility there.
I imagine for a Pole or Russian in, say, 1890, living next to a shtetl village was like living next to Postville, 24/7.
http://consumerist.com/2008/05/immigration-raid-reveals-meth-lab-at-nations-largest-kosher-meat-plant.html



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Che

posted June 10, 2010 at 2:43 am


Rod;
I think that your view is a shallow one. It’s easy to accuse Polish mob of killing innocent “second half of Jedwabne population”. BTW – American Civil War, where both “halves” of our nation were brutally killing each other, is one of the gloomiest in history. War always brings up the worst instincts. In everybody. But before you start accusing uneducated, poor and primitive Polish peasants, do some soul searching in your own backyard. When Jews were being murdered by Germans and – sometimes – Poles and when concentration camps were going full speed, American Jews, with knowledge of Holocaust, did NOTHING to stop the slaughter. Not a single drop of food, weapon, medication. Not a single, voluntary, military formation to help brothers and sisters in Europe. Zero. Oh, there was one attempt. Somebody in U.S. Army was considering option of… bombing railways leading to Auschwitz. Why didn’t they do a thing? I guess such tasteless topic was not going well with making deals over a lobster dinner in NYC or some other Washington. Sorry for being sarcastic but there’s a reason for it. Anybody remembers ships full of Jews escaping nazi Germany only to be turned back from America, directly to nazi concentration camps? It’s still on somebody conscience. So, as rabbi Avi Weiss once said to me in Chicago: be careful judging history, very careful.
Old lady’s comments about Jews going back to Germany and Poland were unfortunate but one should regard them as a desperate cry for solution for the nation, which after being persecuted for ages, is turning into an oppresive one (Gaza, international killings, blocades, discrimination, hiding truth, denouncing UN disarmament resolutions, etc.).
There’s one more thing. One might ask, why during the course of history, Jews were usually hated and separated and did not “fit” in almost every country they settled in (for long time Poland was about the only exception). There’s simple answer to that. As a group of people of strong convictions, different religion, distinctive customs and enormous sens of independence, Jews did not easily “merge” into host nations. So during tough times (wars, conflicts, depression, political turmoils) they did not evoke common sympathy and solidarity actions, resulting in sacrifices. Which, of course, does not justify Holocaust but helps to explain some behaviors of “such indifferent and cruel people” as simple Poles.
And something else, Rod, to think about. American casualties in two wars, protecting Israel among Arab countries: Iraq – over 5,000 and Afganistan – over 1,000, with strong chance for the third one in Iran. Question for you to answer: how many Jewish soldiers died in these conflicts? And always remember: Jewish nation and state are much bigger then current Israeli government. So, while judging history be careful, very careful…



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Nahum

posted June 10, 2010 at 2:45 am


The crux of the matter is that Jews living in Israel are home.And no one, no one, has the right to say that they are not.
The Land of Israel, all of it, is the homeland of the Jewish people. The landscapes of the Bible are the place that we were formed as a nation. Hebron – where the Patriarchs are buried, and david first reigned as king. Beth El – where angels appeared to Jacob. Shechem (Nablus) where Joseph is buried, jerusalem where the Temples stood. Any political solution to the Israel-Arab conflict must be built on the recognition that the Land of Israel is home for Jews.
1000 years of Jewish history in Poland (and Germany, and Spain as well – and nearly every other country where they have lived) proves that Jews, without a homeland of their own, are vulnerable to antisemitism.
Only in the independent and sovereign State of Israel can Jews live a completely Jewish life. it is the only place in the world where the Jewish holidays are the national holidays, where Hebrew is spoken everywhere, where the Hebrew Bible is studied in all schools, religious or secular. It is the only Jewish community in the world that is growing rather than shrinking – and more Jewish children live in Israel than any other country.



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Ian

posted June 10, 2010 at 5:53 am


The Jews were lucky the British were in Palestine in 1941, when Rommel and Graziani were on the ascendant in Libya and Egypt, and the Vichy French were in Lebanon and Syria.
After that danger was gone, some of them led by Menachem Begin started terrorist actions against the British in early 1944, before D-Day. Begin was later Prime Minister of Israel. He had plenty of opprtunities to fight the Nazi Germans, but always left that to other people.
And Palestine was a UN Mandate, with one year notice each way. The British notified the UN in 1947, and left in 1948. Despite massive international criticism, no other nation would themselves take on the Palestine Mandate. On the day the British sailed from Haifa, the Jews declared the State of Israel. The US Truman administration recognized Israel that day.



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Michael C

posted June 10, 2010 at 6:54 am


Israel………….another subject where people are unable to have a discussion without throwing epithets at one another.
It is no wonder we are reduced to war and murder



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Ian

posted June 10, 2010 at 11:30 am


Something that people don’t realise is that the modern State of Israel is not geographically the same as the Palestine Mandate. The Mandate included what is now the Kingdom of Jordan, entirely within the Eastern part of the former Mandate. The State of Israel is based on the Western part of the Mandate, and also areas of Syria and Lebanon, notably the shore of the Sea of Galilee that was Syrian. Those smallish areas of Northern Israel were not in mandatory Palestine.
It should be noted that the Arabs did get a state within Palestine, which is the Kingdom of Jordan. But the Jordan part of Palestine is the desert part, and without the Holy Places.



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Martin

posted June 10, 2010 at 11:37 am


Bad move mentioning Kielce and Jedwabne, especially Jedwabne. The authenticity of these ‘pogroms’ have been questioned since they’ve occured, take for example Jedwabne and the deposition of Szmul Wasersztajn, there was an exhumation that was conducted in 2001 but was afterward halted because the evidence that was being exhumed was contradicting Szmul Wasersztajn’s testimony and reaffirming what the villagers had been saying for 69 years, that the Germans were responsible. Also, there was the fact that before the massacre a good portion of the Jews in the village aided the NKVD in rooting out ‘fascists’ when Jedwabne was occupied by the Soviets, so there is some motivation to make the massacre stick to Poles to avoid an embarrassing fact, that there was much collaboration between the Jews and the NKVD during the Soviet Occupation. As for Kielce, many are now becoming more convinced that it was a communist provocation connected with the run up to the Legislative Elections of ’47, most of the documents on that ‘pogrom’ remain classified and closed to the public and researchers. Most of what is taken as fact comes from the works of Jan Tomasz Gross, who has been discredited by an actual historian, Jerzy Robert Nowak, especially when it comes to Jedwabne.
http://www.pacwashmetrodiv.org/events/jedwabne/pogonowski.text.htm



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Robert

posted June 10, 2010 at 1:53 pm


It’s like trying to have a rational discussion when you enter a room full of drunks – it won’t happen. I tried posting three or four times but the post doesn’t appear. Believe what you want – Helen’s words were twisted and the rest of the world has condemned Israel’s actions in the flotilla raid.



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oferdesade

posted June 11, 2010 at 5:58 am


ian – actually the jews were not so lucky. you see, before 1936 hitler had no intention to exterminate the jews. that same year, the arab riots convinced the brits to clamp down on jewish immigration. at that point, hitler had conquered poland and had a lot of jews on his hands. he realized nobody was going to take them off his hand (especially after ship of the damned returned from its round-the-world trip – nobody would take them…



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