Helen Thomas, Veteran White House Correspondent, the Face of the new Anti-Semitism
Years ago, my friend Louis Marano, himself a veteran UPI editor and reporter, explained to me that anti-Zionism is the new anti-Semitism. (The very epitome of a stand-up guy, Lou is a Christian who has a background in Jewish history and, perhaps in part because of his knowledge and also his character, has great understanding of Jewish perspectives).
Since our conversation about this took place years ago, I will paraphrase. Over drinks Lou explained to me that anti-Semitism is a mutating virus that has always been with us. In the ancient world, the world of Egyptian, Babylonian, Greek and Roman conquerors, as well as during the Crusades, it was anti-religious: Jews were hated for believing differently. If Jews would abandon their beliefs and forsake their heritage, they were spared.
Not so in Hitler’s time. Here I will quote him because I do recall his exact words: “Hitler turned it into a racial thing.” Hating Jews as a people–defined by the Nazis as racially inferior–was the new tactic for channeling this age-old hatred into genocide.
The aftermath of the Holocaust coincided with, and perhaps in some ways contributed to, growth in the world’s consciousness regarding the concept of “race”: it became recognized that hating people, or singling people out, or enslaving them, or judging them, based on race, was wrong. Nowadays it is politically incorrect — for good reason– and accurately assessed as ignorant to be a racist. Therefore, few individuals go around in polite company saying they hate this or that group. If they did, they would be shunned.
Today’s hard left, all around the world, and a small element of the extreme right (think Pat Buchanan) have found a new outlet for their hatred, Lou explained to me. It is anti-Zionism. The narrative is, it’s not Jews who we object to–no no no, only those pesky Zionists. If they would simply give up their presence in a certain geographical region, not only the problems of that region–but virtually all of the problems of the WORLD–would be solved (hmmmm…where have we heard this “theory” before?).
What is a Zionist? Simply someone who believes Jews should have a homeland.
Any why do Jews need a homeland? First off, why ask that question? When there are over 40 Muslim nations, why shouldn’t there be one Jewish nation?
Second, anyone with even a cursory familiarity with ancient and modern history knows Jews have always been a part of the middle east, have always had a presence on the land that is Israel. And anyone who does not understand the need for a Jewish homeland in the aftermath of the Holocaust, I would not dignify by debating, because such a person is so insensitive and bigoted as to be unreachable.
It would appear more of these bigots are outing themselves: Helen Thomas, asked if she had anything to say about Israel (on a day to celebrate Jewish heritage at the White House) said this.
The point of this post is not to go into elaborate justifications for Israel’s right to exist. I’m done doing that. Frankly, doing so was always absurd. Israel exists, its people will defend themselves when they are attacked, and when its security is threatened, its leaders will defend it, as would the leaders of any sovereign nation. So bigots, get used to it. Because the Jews aren’t abandoning Israel. And this time around, if you want to fight with the Jews, you might get more than you bargained for. The point is that while perhaps I shouldn’t be surprised by this, I am, because this woman is a veteran White House correspondent, a member of the elite mainstream media–for UPI, then Hearst–for 60 years in total. This entire time, she has harbored extreme and hateful attitudes. Consider her statement: not, Israelis should not do this or that, Israel did this or that that was wrong, not even Israel should not exist but “[Israelis] should go back to Germany…and Poland.” Let’s analyze the statement: the first countries to roll off her tongue were Germany and Poland, the countries that slaughtered the greatest numbers of Jews during the Holocaust. Is it an accident those were the countries she chose? What she is saying would be the equivalent not of telling black Americans to “go back to Africa” because their ancestors’ presence in Africa predated slavery. Because it is at once intended to de-legitimize and to wound, it would be the equivalent of saying something to black Americans that at once attempts to de-legitimize them as Americans and that strikes at the heart of their historical tragedy, like “go back to slavery” or “go back to the slave ships.” It would be correctly viewed as monstrous and ignorant beyond belief.
Helen Thomas is a bigot. She is also very old and possibly senile. But the woman spewed hatred so vile that if she said something comparable about any other racial or religious minority in this world she would be universally shunned. There’s no fool like an old fool. And there are none so blind as those who will not see. If the Dems and media make excuses for her, or simply ignore this, it will be indicative of their hypocrisy, their selective morality, and their utter refusal to confront blatant bigotry – and will be extremely revealing about what Israel and its supporters can expect from them in times of trial, which may be upon us soon.
Postscript: If anyone, after hearing this “objective” 60-year-mainstream-media reporter’s spew, complains to me about the bias of Fox News, they are getting an earful.