Helen Thomas ends her career with inflammatory anti-zionist remarks - Page 2 - VeggieBoards
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#31 Old 06-09-2010, 09:49 AM
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Think of it this way: If Ms. Thomas had made some remark that some Palestinian Gaza or West Bank residents would be offended by instead of remarks that offended some Jewish people, she would still be working. The remarks were clumsy but hardly anti-semetic. Criticizing Israel for occupying the West Bank is not anti-semetism at all.
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#32 Old 06-09-2010, 09:50 AM
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I don't think she meant anything about going back to Auschwitz. She meant that all Jews should go back to the countries from whence they or their families came to the Middle East

But it's pretty clear from the videos and transcripts that she was talking about Jews in Palestine - not Israel, and not the wider Middle East. She's talking about the occupation and the hundreds of thousands of Jews who choose to ignore the fact that their settlements are in violation of international law.



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(I'm not saying Israel, because obviously she thinks Israel shouldn't exist.)

I think I must be missing something.



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And yes, I find that statement to be not only anti-Zionist, I find it to be anti-Semitic because it chooses to ignore the entire context in which Jews came to Israel at the end of WWII. It wasn't "merely" that millions of them had been systematically exterminated in a planned, determined genocide in which many of their neighbors (including nonGerman neighbors) willingly cooperated. It was also that, when they returned from the camps, there were mass murders because their former neighbors didn't want them back, didn't want to risk losing the property that had been confiscated from the Jews. Nobody wanted the Jewish refugees - not the countries where they were born, not the U.S. (which throughout held firm to its immigration quotas, despite knowing what was happening to the Jews). In effect, what Thomas said was, "You should have stayed where you were, amid people who practiced genocide on you, and who, even after the war was over, killed you because you were Jewish and thus despised." A great thing for a child of immigrants to say.

Okay, I see what you're saying, and thanks for sharing your view. Again, I'm not sure this applies if she was talking about the occupied territories which I understand didn't get the Jewish settlements until after the 1967 war. Also, she said "Poland. Germany. And America and everywhere else." Which could include Israel. The settlements have Jews from all over the world, thanks to the Israeli "law of return" that allows Jews from all over to come and settle on occupied land.

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#33 Old 06-09-2010, 10:08 AM
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But it's pretty clear from the videos and transcripts that she was talking about Jews in Palestine - not Israel, and not the wider Middle East. She's talking about the occupation and the hundreds of thousands of Jews who choose to ignore the fact that their settlements are in violation of international law.





I think I must be missing something.





Okay, I see what you're saying, and thanks for sharing your view. Again, I'm not sure this applies if she was talking about the occupied territories which I understand didn't get the Jewish settlements until after the 1967 war. Also, she said "Poland. Germany. And America and everywhere else." Which could include Israel. The settlements have Jews from all over the world, thanks to the Israeli "law of return" that allows Jews from all over to come and settle on occupied land.



If she had just meant the occupied territories, the natural thing for her to say would have been that they should go to Israel. At least Israel would be at the top of the list one would expect the settlers in the occupied terrotories would go to if Israel withdrew from the occupied territories. I think that construing her remarks to include only the West Bank, etc., is just as much of a stretch as those who are iterpreting her remarks to be a veiled endorsement of Auschwitz.
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#34 Old 06-09-2010, 10:09 AM
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Think of it this way: If Ms. Thomas had made some remark that some Palestinian Gaza or West Bank residents would be offended by instead of remarks that offended some Jewish people, she would still be working. The remarks were clumsy but hardly anti-semetic. Criticizing Israel for occupying the West Bank is not anti-semetism at all.



Agreed, but I don't think she meant only the West Bank, for the reasons I gave in the preceding post.
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#35 Old 06-09-2010, 10:12 AM
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I don't think there's anything anti-Semitic at all about criticizing either the state of Israel OR the occupation of Gaza.



If one opposes the occupation of Tibet by China, or criticizes the human rights violations there, does that automatically make one racist against Chinese people? Of course not. Same principle applies here.
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#36 Old 06-09-2010, 10:16 AM
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I don't think there's anything anti-Semitic at all about criticizing either the state of Israel OR the occupation of Gaza.



If one opposes the occupation of Tibet by China, or criticizes the human rights violations there, does that automatically make one racist against Chinese people? Of course not. Same principle applies here.



There's a difference between criticizing a nation or a people and saying it or they shouldn't exist.
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#37 Old 06-09-2010, 10:21 AM
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But it's pretty clear from the videos and transcripts that she was talking about Jews in Palestine - not Israel, and not the wider Middle East. She's talking about the occupation and the hundreds of thousands of Jews who choose to ignore the fact that their settlements are in violation of international law.

if that were true then it would be stupid to suggest they go all the way to europe, it would be a short trip down the road to a pre-1967 area. she believes all jews in state of israel are occupiers.



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I also agree with JoanKennedy that, by the time one reaches Thomas' age, the filter between brain and tongue isn't working so well anymore.

there's another elder journalist Oriana Fallaci, she said that old age was very liberating in that she was free to offend and say her mind, there's no great reason to ingratiate themselves to anyone. she was dying of cancer at the time too.



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Let's just agree that they are two different and unrelated terms.

do us all a favor and hop on the fjord express back to your igloo and turn off the internet connection which you use to seduce our american women folk.



zionism is a larger movement to live under self-determination as a jewish people. it could have been and there were many proposals for a jewish state in various areas. relations with other non-jewish settlers have been bad for a long time now, thats the actual problem. the problem is not that jews want to live where they want to live.

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#38 Old 06-09-2010, 10:24 AM
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There's a difference between criticizing a nation or a people and saying it or they shouldn't exist.



Where did she say Jews shouldn't exist? There's a big difference between saying Jews shouldn't exist and the state of Israel shouldn't exist.



I find the whole "We should consider the displacement of the Jews/Holocaust" argument to be highly ironic, given that they have turned around, displaced another nation, and are now freely oppressing and murdering that other nation systematically. Why should we consider the displacement of one nation over another? Why does Israel deserve that land and water more than Palestine, who was there first?



I have yet to hear any justifable answers to those two questions.
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#39 Old 06-09-2010, 10:32 AM
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Where did she say Jews shouldn't exist? There's a big difference between saying Jews shouldn't exist and the state of Israel shouldn't exist.



I find the whole "We should consider the displacement of the Jews/Holocaust" argument to be highly ironic, given that they have turned around, displaced another nation, and are now freely oppressing and murdering that other nation systematically. Why should we consider the displacement of one nation over another? Why does Israel deserve that land and water more than Palestine, who was there first?



I have yet to hear any justifable answers to those two questions.





If you read my posts, you would see that I specifically said I didn't think she meant Jews should return to Auschwitz. The reason I included both "nation" and "people" in y response to you was because you had broadened the conversation. For example, there are elements in the government of China who would prefer that the people of Tibet would cease to exist as "a people", i.e., as a distinguishable group. Likewise, there are people who would prefer that Jews, as "a people", i.e., as a distinguishable group, would cease to exist.



If you want to go to the "who was there first" argument, how far back do you want to go?
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#40 Old 06-09-2010, 10:51 AM
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Mlp: If you didn't think Helen Thomas was referring to Jews as a general group, rather than Jews as an occupying force in Gaza, why the need to clarify the difference? Obviously we're talking about her, and she wasn't criticizing Jews in general, she's criticizing Israeli occupation of Palestinian land.



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Likewise, there are people who would prefer that Jews, as "a people", i.e., as a distinguishable group, would cease to exist.



And those are anti-Semites. Which I don't think is a group Thomas is a part of.
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#41 Old 06-09-2010, 10:56 AM
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I don't think she meant anything about going back to Auschwitz. She meant that all Jews should go back to the countries from whence they or their families came to the Middle East (I'm not saying Israel, because obviously she thinks Israel shouldn't exist.)



And yes, I find that statement to be not only anti-Zionist, I find it to be anti-Semitic because it chooses to ignore the entire context in which Jews came to Israel at the end of WWII. It wasn't "merely" that millions of them had been systematically exterminated in a planned, determined genocide in which many of their neighbors (including nonGerman neighbors) willingly cooperated. It was also that, when they returned from the camps, there were mass murders because their former neighbors didn't want them back, didn't want to risk losing the property that had been confiscated from the Jews. Nobody wanted the Jewish refugees - not the countries where they were born, not the U.S. (which throughout held firm to its immigration quotas, despite knowing what was happening to the Jews). In effect, what Thomas said was, "You should have stayed where you were, amid people who practiced genocide on you, and who, even after the war was over, killed you because you were Jewish and thus despised." A great thing for a child of immigrants to say.





So, while there is much about Israel's policies that is objectionable, and many of their actions are despicable, to say that the state of Israel should not exist and that all Jews should go back to from whence they came (and yeah, all those countries are going to say, "Welcome home!") is to basically say to those WWII and post WWII refugees, "Tough sh*t - you're on your own."



I also agree with JoanKennedy that, by the time one reaches Thomas' age, the filter between brain and tongue isn't working so well anymore.



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#42 Old 06-09-2010, 11:02 AM
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Kellye, if you read my posts above, you will see that IMO, she was talking about Israel as a whole occupying the territory in which Israelis live, and that all Israelis should go back to whence they came.



For those who agree with that position, I would ask, "Do you hold the same view with respect to the U.S?" After all, as late as the 1970's, we were still moving Native Americans off their lands against their will, and that was land we had magnanamously "given" them when we moved them off their original land.
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#43 Old 06-09-2010, 11:03 AM
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So, while there is much about Israel's policies that is objectionable, and many of their actions are despicable, to say that the state of Israel should not exist and that all Jews should go back to from whence they came (and yeah, all those countries are going to say, "Welcome home!") is to basically say to those WWII and post WWII refugees, "Tough sh*t - you're on your own."



What about all the other nations of people who have been displaced by war, genocide, or territorial encroachment (such as the Native Americans)? Should they ALL get their own new nation, courtesy of other people who must be displaced in order to accomodate them?
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#44 Old 06-09-2010, 11:03 AM
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if that were true then it would be stupid to suggest they go all the way to europe, it would be a short trip down the road to a pre-1967 area. she believes all jews in state of israel are occupiers.



Why pre-1967?



Why not earlier?



How about pre-1947?



Or pre-Fifth Aliyah?
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#45 Old 06-09-2010, 11:14 AM
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What about all the other nations of people who have been displaced by war, genocide, or territorial encroachment (such as the Native Americans)? Should they ALL get their own new nation, courtesy of other people who must be displaced in order to accommodate them?



Strange that you should mention the Native Americans - see my post above.



Creating new nations to avoid further genocide hasn't happened just in the case of Israel - look at the former Yugoslavia.



If a people has no place else to go, should they just suck it up and be killed in their entirety? I think GB handled the whole thing poorly, and I think Israel is handling many things poorly.



However, for those who think that the nation of Israel should not exist and yet do not favor the elimination of Jewish Israelis (75% of the population of Israel), perhaps you could start by putting pressure on your respective countries to welcome, with open arms, all those Israeli Jewish refugees descended from Jews who at one time lived in your countries. After all, if the nation of Israel is to be dismantled, the proponents of such dismantling have the moral obligation to ensure there's a safe haven for all the to-be-displaced persons. Otherwise, you're worse than Israel at its worst, since in your case, it's not your survival or eve your safety at stake, but merely your convenience.
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#46 Old 06-09-2010, 11:23 AM
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Agreed, but I don't think she meant only the West Bank, for the reasons I gave in the preceding post.



I might be wrong, but it seemed to me that she was speaking about the occupied lands. Like most statements, especially off the cuff ones, it is hard to 'prove' that exactly this or exactly that was meant when the statement was made. The impression I got from what she said was that she was criticizing the occupation.
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#47 Old 06-09-2010, 11:26 AM
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If a people has no place else to go, should they just suck it up and be killed in their entirety?



Well of course not, but they can't just take over somebody else's land. If my house burnt down and I had no place to go, would that justify me going in and squatting in yours (after relegating you to the backyard)?



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However, for those who think that the nation of Israel should not exist and yet do not favor the elimination of Jewish Israelis (75% of the population of Israel), perhaps you could start by putting pressure on your respective countries to welcome, with open arms, all those Israeli Jewish refugees descended from Jews who at one time lived in your countries. After all, if the nation of Israel is to be dismantled, the proponents of such dismantling have the moral obligation to ensure there's a safe haven for all the to-be-displaced persons. Otherwise, you're worse than Israel at its worst, since in your case, it's not your survival or eve your safety at stake, but merely your convenience.



Those nations (such as Germany) which displaced those people should be the ones to take them back, IMO, since it was unlawful and unethical to displace them in the first place. However, if the United States led a dismantlement of Israel (HAHAHA) I do think that they should have an open immigration policy towards Jewish-Israelis in that case.
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#48 Old 06-09-2010, 11:27 AM
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I might be wrong, but it seemed to me that she was speaking about the occupied lands. Like most statements, especially off the cuff ones, it is hard to 'prove' that exactly this or exactly that was meant when the statement was made. The impression I got from what she said was that she was criticizing the occupation.



She was criticizing the "occupation", but I think she means all of Israel is land "occupied" by the Israelis - that they have no right to be there (a fairly comon POV, BTW). Otherwise, why say "they" should go back to Poland, Germany, America and wherever else they came from.
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#49 Old 06-09-2010, 11:29 AM
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Well of course not, but they can't just take over somebody else's land. If my house burnt down and I had no place to go, would that justify me going in and squatting in yours (after relegating you to the backyard)?







Those nations (such as Germany) which displaced those people should be the ones to take them back, IMO, since it was unlawful and unethical to displace them in the first place. However, if the United States led a dismantlement of Israel (HAHAHA) I do think that they should have an open immigration policy towards Jewish-Israelis in that case.



Why should Germany or any country other than the U.S. take in the descendants of American Jews?
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#50 Old 06-09-2010, 11:33 AM
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Why should Germany or any country other than the U.S. take in the descendants of American Jews?



Any American Jew that moved to Israel post-WWII should be made to return to the United States if Israel was ever to be dismantled, I think. Any German Jew should go back to Germany. Any Polish Jew should go back to Poland. Et cetera, et cetera...



And those who can prove residency in the area before the formation of Israel as a nation should be allowed to stay.



I'm a bigger fan of the two-state solution, but for obvious reasons I'm not going to hold my breath for that to solve the problem, or to even be achieved.



Furthermore, I think if Israel was actually honoring the territories set out by the original formation of the nation, they wouldn't be having nearly as much trouble as they are. The problem is that they are expanding into territory which is not theirs, and never was to begin with.
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#51 Old 06-09-2010, 11:35 AM
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Any American Jew that moved to Israel post-WWII should be made to return to the United States if Israel was ever to be dismantled, I think. Any German Jew should go back to Germany. Any Polish Jew should go back to Poland. Et cetera, et cetera...



And those who can prove residency in the area before the formation of Israel as a nation should be allowed to stay.



What about the roughly half of Israeli Jews who are descended from Jews who had lived in various Arab or Middle Eastern countries? Do you think they will be welcomed with open arms?
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#52 Old 06-09-2010, 11:36 AM
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She was criticizing the "occupation", but I think she means all of Israel is land "occupied" by the Israelis - that they have no right to be there (a fairly comon POV, BTW). Otherwise, why say "they" should go back to Poland, Germany, America and wherever else they came from.



But you are reading into it--she could have been talking about the settlements, but in a rather clumsy way. It is hard to say for sure what was meant without asking her.
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#53 Old 06-09-2010, 11:40 AM
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But you are reading into it--she could have been talking about the settlements, but in a rather clumsy way. It is hard to say for sure what was meant without asking her.



I agree. And she could also have been making a veiled reference to Auschwitz, but, as I said, I think that's equally unlikely.
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#54 Old 06-09-2010, 11:40 AM
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What about the roughly half of Israeli Jews who are descended from Jews who had lived in various Arab or Middle Eastern countries? Do you think they will be welcomed with open arms?



What immigrant is?
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#55 Old 06-09-2010, 11:43 AM
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What immigrant is?



Too true - every immigrant is on equal footing to a Jewish Israeli immigratig to say, Libya or Iran.
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#56 Old 06-09-2010, 11:43 AM
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But you are reading into it--she could have been talking about the settlements, but in a rather clumsy way. It is hard to say for sure what was meant without asking her.



proceed on the assumption that she hasn't lost her mind. if the statement is to make sense and she retains some information about the conflict from her 65 years of reporting there are not many other ways to interpret the statement. why go to germany and poland?

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#57 Old 06-09-2010, 11:48 AM
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"I deeply regret my comments I made last week regarding the Israelis and the Palestinians. They do not reflect my heart-felt belief that peace will come to the Middle East only when all parties recognize the need for mutual respect and tolerance. May that day come soon."


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#58 Old 06-09-2010, 12:22 PM
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proceed on the assumption that she hasn't lost her mind. if the statement is to make sense and she retains some information about the conflict from her 65 years of reporting there are not many other ways to interpret the statement. why go to germany and poland?



why America?
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#59 Old 06-09-2010, 12:25 PM
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why America?

yeah grasshopper why go to germany, poland and america? is there a big difference in that statement or just lastworditis?

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#60 Old 06-09-2010, 07:29 PM
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all I can say is good riddance. let someone with a brain cell occupy that front row seat.

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