During an interview with Joy Behar last night, Helen Thomas made it clear that she was standing behind her statements that Israeli Jews should “go back” to Germany and Poland. However, she did make a couple of additions to the list of countries that Jews should “return” to, such as Russia and the United States.
“They’ve been free ever since,” said Thomas, referring to the Jews after the Holocaust. “They didn’t have to go anywhere really, because they weren’t being persecuted anymore, but they were taking other people’s land.”
A visibly uncomfortable Behar then asked Thomas whether she considered herself anti-Semitic – and got something less than a clear answer. “Hell no. I’m a Semite. Of Arab background,” said Thomas. “[The Jews are] not Semites. Most of them are from Europe.”
The former White House reporter then launched into a tirade against the Israel lobby. “We have organized lobbyists in favor of Israel,” she said. “You can’t open your mouth. I can call the president of the United States anything in the book, but if you say one thing about Israel … you’re off-limits.”
Asked whether she had any regrets about making her controversial statement last spring, Thomas said her only regret was that “everybody misinterpreted it.”
“You have the Ari Fleischers and the Abe Foxmans distorting everything,” said Thomas. “So I certainly knew that and I should have kept my mouth shut probably.”
After insisting that her statements weren’t insensitive, the journalism veteran launched into a rambling diatribe about Palestinians being “pushed from their homes” in the middle of the night.
Watch the full clip here if you wish. Though you could probably hear a more rational and pleasant perspective on Middle East policy from a ranting homeless person at a bus station.
From Jeffrey Goldberg in The Atlantic:
Nir Rosen, the journalist who infamously mocked Lara Logan (and who was completely dismantled by Anderson Cooper last night), has been saying hugely outrageous things for years, as I've documented here. He is sympathetic to the Taliban; he thinks al Qaeda poses no threat to America; he wishes Americans would "get over" 9/11; and he thinks Israel is an "abomination" that should be destroyed. After I posted about his previous statements, I was flooded with e-mails from Goldblog readers who told me I missed the nuttiest thing Rosen ever said. It came in an article about his Israeli origins, in which he called his homeland a place of "bloody nationalism, paranoid identity and violent religion." In reading this treatise on Israel and its sins, it becomes clear that Rosen (who attended an Orthodox Jewish day school in New York) feels the sort of hate for Israel and Judaism that one associates with the hardest core of Hamas.No comment necessary - these haters speak for themselves.
The truly revealing part of this treatise comes at the end, when Rosen discusses ways to convince Israel to behave in a way he thinks is just: "I find myself in the unique and painful position of calling for international sanctions against Israel and wondering if a punitive bombing of Tel Aviv, the city I love, until it complies with international law, might be a good (albeit quixotic) idea."
Yes, Rosen is calling for the physical destruction of the world's largest Jewish city. I wrote yesterday that I would try to avoid armchair psychoanalysis in this matter, but sometimes these things are fairly obvious. Rosen, an American of Israeli origin, has spent his career rationalizing the actions of Israel's, and America's, most bitter enemies, and he envisions a day when the world community will conduct a bombing campaign of Tel Aviv. Nir Rosen seems to be engaged in a ferocious attempt to shed his identity to the point where he aligns himself with Hezbollah, Hamas, and the Taliban, and argues for the literal destruction of the city from which he came. It is deeply pathetic.
Although the Helen Thomas defenders in the CNN site run the usual gamut.
JOY: You owed Helen some respect. And you didn't show it. And now I have no more respect for YOU. For someone who claims to be Catholic, you sure are a Zionist and your antagonistic Jew-loving one-sided brutality towards this journalism hero who speaks nothing but the damn truth, just shows you're either really a JEW or you're bought and paid for by your JEW MEDIA CORPORATE EVILThat's me- Jew Media Corporate Evil!