Windows and Doors

Windows and Doors

Helen Thomas Retired, As Well She Should Have

Helen Thomas has resigned, effective immediately, from her position as a syndicated columnist for the Hearst Corporation. The step, taken in the aftermath of her recent comments suggesting that Jews should get out of Israel and “go back home, to Poland or Germany”, should be welcomed by all intelligent people.
Unlike many in the Jewish community however, I do not think that the issue is her supposed hatred of Jews. Clearly she hates Israel, but that is neither the same as anti-Semitism, nor is it grounds for either her dismissal, for which many had called, or her subsequent retirement. A free press guarantees the right of people to freely express their ignorance and rage.
Nor should her retirement be welcomed because it opens a potential slot in the White House Pressroom for bloggers like Andrew Sullivan, as A.S. suggested earlier today. Though, as a friend commented to me, the notion of all those bloggers needing to get out of their underwear in order to work, is interesting. For the record, I always wear clothes when I write!
The problem with Thomas’ comments is that they reflect either a hatred which skews her understanding of reality, or the thinking of an aging mind no longer up to the task of interpreting complex events in the contemporary world. Either way, the time for Thomas to go, has surely come.


Her claim that Israel/Palestine belongs to its “original inhabitants” is simply inane. A country based on who was there first would require that the area called Israel and Palestine today, be reserved for idol-worshiping Canaanites and Philistines, who were the “original inhabitants” as far as we know.
If Ms. Thomas wants an area not only free of Jews, but free of Muslims and Christians as well, that would be the way to go. Otherwise, her comments show Thomas to be either a dotty old woman, or someone filled with more hate and rage than people previously understood – emotions which render her analysis of world events irrelevant. In either case, her retirement is entirely appropriate.
Perhaps her most egregious error from a moral or spiritual perspective is her claim that peace will only be found when some group is eliminated from the picture. In traveling down that road, Thomas joins enemies of peace on both sides of the Middle East conflict, people who fantasize about the disappearance of entire cultures and communities from the land they call home.
To be sure, after more than sixty years of journalistic service, Ms. Thomas’ career should not be defined by this moment alone. None of us would survive a test in which the only measure of our lives was a recounting of our worst gaffes. So with no malice or sense of triumph, we should simply welcome Thomas’ departure from a position which she was no longer fit to hold.

  • Hector

    > “Clearly she hates Israel, but that is neither the same as anti-Semitism, nor is it grounds for either her dismissal,”
    I was trying to consider her outburst as merely anti-Israel, but once she said the Jews there should go back to Germany and Poland, that crossed the line into antisemitism. Do you disagree, Rabbi Hirschfield?
    > “Ms. Thomas’ career should not be defined by this moment alone.
    I agree. We should add the following moment from 2006, where she presents “Hezbollah’s view,” to the list.

  • withyobadself

    the ceo and higher ups of ABC CBS NBC CNN FOX ,most corporations and banks are JEWISH.. america is basically jewish run… so of course the jews would fire that reporter..the jews worship money and power.. which are golden idols of the world… when jesus walked threw the jewish temple he saw high priest use thier religion to make money and gain power of the world… thats why he trashed the place and called the jewish temple a den of thieves.. the jews still run thier temples as a den of thieves…. the jews killed thier messiah and use thier religion to make money and gain power of the world.. that is why god will always punish the jews from the holocaust and present day…

  • Alan L

    What has been missing from critiques of Helen Thomas’s anti-Semitic diatribe is any discussion of the precise way in which it trumped the usual slurs we hear from political figures (e.g., Jesse Jackson’s “Hymietown,” Reverend Wright’s “them Jews”). By picking Poland and Germany as the ultimate destinations to which she wishes Israelis would go, Thomas was, deliberately or carelessly, saying that they should be uprooted and sent to places where 6 million of them were liquidated. In other words, Thomas was not voicing the usual prejudice, but something much creepier, a sort of flippant pop blueprint for a repeat of 1939–45, echoing the shout from one of the seaborne “peace” protestors, “Go back to Auschwitz!”
    Of course, Thomas doesn’t care that nearly half the Israelis are of Middle Eastern heritage, that many Israelis can claim a family residence in “Palestine” longer than her own in the United States, that a Jewish presence in Israel dates to the dawn of recorded history, that many of Israel’s older generation were ethnically cleansed from cities like Baghdad and Cairo after the 1967 war, or that her views are in sync with the Hamas charter and Iranian promises. Note also that Thomas is not concerned with occupation in such places as Tibet, Cyprus, or Ossetia; such human-rights violations as Turkey’s treatment of the Kurds; such violence on the high seas as the North Korean attack, Iran’s hijacking of a British ship, or the pirates off Somalia. All these are mere abstractions — unless they involve the Jews.

  • fred

    Make no mistake, Helen Thomas wasn’t forced out because her remarks were offensive to the media elite. Thomas said on camera what most in the msm really believe. The only reason to drum her out is simply to distance themselves from her remarks, not because they disagree with a word she said. Her mistake was revealing out loud the common beliefs held by the vast majority of those in the msm. I wish she would actually be allowed to stay on so that she could be held up as representative of the true nature of the msm. By forcing her to quit only makes it appear she is an abberation and allows the media to continue to hide their true agenda. You can read the reaction of liberal anti-Semites in the comments.

  • Robert

    Helen Thomas merely said what most of the MSM believe? Really? You mean like Deutsch, Wallace, Safer, Walters, Brooks, Cohen, Goldberg, Rich, Siegel, Stein…? There being no Jews in the MSM, of course.

  • A Thompson

    She was asked her opinion and she gave it. Not a popular one but it her constitutional right to speak her opinions. Now she ‘retires’? I am so sure the two events had nothing to do with each other. Free Speach is just that. As soon as you strip one person of it, we all lose it.

  • Terry

    Her claim that Israel/Palestine belongs to its “original inhabitants” is simply inane. A country based on who was there first would require that the area called Israel and Palestine today, be reserved for idol-worshiping Canaanites and Philistines, who were the “original inhabitants” as far as we know.
    I am not Jewish, however, I read the Torah every morning. I liked your comment “original inhabitants” which would mean that the USA belongs to the American Indians.
    Post #1Since when is George Bush and Dick Cheney Jewish. The idiot CEO of BP is not Jewish.
    Read more:

  • Fred
  • Hector

    A Thompson writes: “She was asked her opinion and she gave it. Not a popular one but it her constitutional right to speak her opinions.”
    Yeah, she had her constitution rights. Rights come with consequences, of course.

  • Henry

    HTs comments were anti Semitic…. being an Anti Zionist equates to the politically correct antisemitism of today.

  • Miriam

    Rabbi Hirschfield, in his wise and balanced statement, has correctly characterized the “enemies of peace” in the Middle East as the extremists on both sides who want to eliminate “entire cultures and communities from the land they call home.” Unfortunately these extremists do more than just fantasize, and so far they have succeeeded in perpetuating the deadly stalemate in the region.
    About Henry’s comment that “being an Anti Zionist equates to the politically correct antisemitism of today,” while this may be true in certain specific cases, as a blanket statement it is a false and destructive notion that is doing a lot more harm than good to both Israel and the worldwide Jewish community.
    Read more:
    Read more:

  • withyobadself

    terry all the educated jews know the jews run america… the banks and corporation run the white house….

  • Jon

    You do know you’re an a$$hole, right?

  • Nathan Shapiro

    For the life of me I cannot understand why you would say Helen Thomas’ comments were NOT anti-Semetic. They most certainly were and cannot be construed in any other way. It’s this benefit of the doubt that Jewish Americans like yourself have given to people of her ilk that has allowed these radical beliefs to fester and become mainstream. As I wrote in my blog:
    “Israel’s most hateful critics, those that seek to delegitimize any defensive act by the Jewish State, are not humanitarians, peace activists or progressives, but anti-semites. They have successfully hidden this truth with the defense that being anti-Israel does not make you an anti-semite. The American Jewish community and the mainstream media have accepted this canard to the point of incredulity.”

  • withyobadself

    so who are the real jews ??is it the american jew or israelin jew?? I get the feeling the israelin jews would love to kill all the american jews if they had they chance.. they sure have no problem bombing palastine children in thier beds.. does your jewish bible tell you god is ok with this killing??

  • Barb

    Helen just doesn’t know the truth…the Jews have been scattered for a long time…God is calling them home (which is rightfully theirs as He gave them Israel and surrounding areas and they and their land will be protected by God….it is all written…don’t be mistaken, God is in control and the world had better stand up for the Jews and Israel as we will all be accountable for their welfare….be fore warned…

  • Leon Chattah

    You are intelligent and well educated so why do you say such a poppyseed pablum? Have you heard of Lashon Hara? Surely you had.
    To dress up the truth to spare embarrasment and shame is one thing, to do it to excuse guilt is not only not proper but it makes you an accomplice. With all due respect, Rabbi, shame on you for been unable to stand and support the truth even if politically incorrect.
    You know that Chesed without Gevurah is an abomination and that compassion and forgiveness do not exclude responsability and even punishment. Rabbi, you too ought to publicize a sincere and honest retraction. Please do not join the Age of Aquarius!
    Shalom u Brachah!

  • Solomon2

    Anybody who watched White House news conferences when Israel was a topic knew that Thomas nursed a scarcely-concealed hatred of the Jewish State, and has done so for many years.

  • withyobadself

    barb, throughout history the jews havent been able to pass the test god has giving them from adam and eve to cain and able to killing the messiah they were waiting for which was jesus who came to liberiate the jews from the jewish religion that was made by man to control its people and gain power of the world.. that is why god has punished the jews over and over again . that is why the holocaust happened… there is now a cult called the raelians , put a is in front of that guess what that spells,these raelians say the space people shown them how to clone humans.. the raelians say the space people said they created man and the old testament and the leader of the aliens is named yaway.. well these space aliens are really the fallen angels that were changed into another form.. and thier leader is lucifer… the raelins said they have built a landing pad in israel.. well i know god is going to let lucifer land in isreal to punish the jews again and let the end of the world happen as lucifer takes over the world….. look up raelians on the computer….

  • Wiil

    It is not surprising that such racist loathing creates a siege mentality in Israel. Worse is the fact that Israelis know it’s not just ‘the black Islamic banners’ with which they have to contend, but also the irrational hatred of much of the rest of the world.
    The realities of Gaza, Israel and the West Bank–where, with Israel’s assistance, the Palestinian economy is booming–are deemed irrelevant to the conventional narrative. Israel is a cartoon villain, beyond sympathy, beyond even redemption.
    What is deeply shocking–and frightening–is that the narrative the world accepts is always that of Israel the evildoer… The hatred that Israel arouses is absurd, even obscene… The Muslim world and the Western Left are in an unholy alliance; they do not want to improve the Jewish state, they want to remove it.

  • withyobadself

    the jews were waiting for a messiah that would lead them to battle and kill the romans and get thier land back … instead thier messiah was a messiah of love….I have a question for the jews… what if jesus really was the son of god… do you jews ever wonder that.. im not saying become christians … cause thats another religion made by man … religion is the middle man created by dont need religion to talk to god.. just talk to him..

  • Hector

    “just talk to him”, says withyobadself.
    Who says you can just do that?
    Can you just go up to any king and just talk to him?
    Who told you that it is OK to do that with God?

  • Renegade Wizard

    Maybe she decided to liberate herself from working for a circus show selling illusions of reality.

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