This diary is mostly about the smear campaign aimed at Helen Thomas and how right wing propaganda easily mixes with Israeli propaganda. It is a story that people would label me as crazy if I didn't have the facts to back it up. How could such a good natured woman have so many people denounce her without even knowing the effort that went into it? How could so many people turn their backs on her even though she served her country in a way that most civilians never could?
This diary is about the demonetization of Helen Thomas. It is also about the sickening diary I read earlier today calling me an "anti-semite" for defending her. This diary, in the end, is about debunking the lies of this phony controversy. It is about setting things straight to the reactionary mob that is a part of this blog that does nothing but tear things down.
Outrage: Part 1
The story starts on May 27th when Helen Thomas was at the white house. She was interviewed for less then two minutes by a Rabbi David Nessenoff. The video was then sent to YidWithLId which forwarded it to Breitbart.tv . After that there was no stopping the right wing noise machine from painting a Hitler mustache on Helen Thomas. The shocking video that Rabbi David Nessenoff revealed was this.
In which Helen Thompson says nothing out of the ordinary in regards what most democrats believe. That the Israeli occupation of Palestinian land should end and that the settlers should get the hell out of the occupied territories and return to Poland, Germany, America, Or where ever they are from.
A very reactionary group of individuals immediately took up these right wing talking points. They did not ask for clarifications or context. They just assumed what she meant was that she wanted to destroy Israel and it's people. They twisted words that clearly showed her intention that she just wanted Israel out of Palestine, like most reality based people do, and conflated it with pure antisemitism because she mentioned Poland and Germany.
These knee jerk reactionaries didn't even question the source, Rabbi David Nessenoff, who is a complete right winger who made racist videos. So racist that he pulled most of them after his site started receiving traffic. Luckily, one survived his almost face saving purge so you could all see who this man is.
The reactionaries at this site immediately denounced Helen Thomas even though the source was less then a minute in length and came from a bigot. A bigot who distributed it liberally and rapidly to right wing sites. Soon it was on drudge and all the reactionaries where in a frenzy in denouncing her. With such ridiculous claims that what she meant was antisemitic because Poland and Germany was some sort of Jew hating slur. Which, when looked at rationally, is as ridiculous as Israelis and right wing liars claiming that Obama was Antisemitic because he took a phone call from BiBi with his shoes up. ( 1 )( 2 ) Now let's see what the "outrage" about Poland and Germany is before I head back to my main point.
Now let's get something straight about the evil that is Poland first. Poland has around 20,000 to 100,000 Jewish citizens( 3 ). Poland also protected many culturally important parts of Jewish history. Some of the Jewish Synagogues and Jewish cemeteries where maintained or restored when they where under the direct control of a Polish government. Since the main destroyers of Jewish culture in Poland was the Russian Empire, the Nazi Empire, and finally the USSR.( 4 ) The ties between Poland and Israel are very deep in such that Holocaust Museums are visited every year across Poland in the March of the living.( 5 ) Poland is also recognized by Yad Vashem as having the most righteous amongst the nations with nearly 27% being Polish.( 6 ) I don't understand the faux hatred against a nation that is one of the most historically and culturally rich Jewish nations of all time. A nation in which many Jews still travel to , in my opinion, for deep spiritual and emotional reasons.
Now the second nation that was mentioned was Germany. Yeah, they where pretty much antisemitic for a good long time. Which culminated in one of the worst wars and multiple genocides in the history of man. After the war the state was split in two. While Western Germany was rebuilt, the eastern portion was forced to pay reparations to the soviets that crippled them. The western state received a constitution that was far more superior. While the eastern state received a nod and a wink by the USSR to continue low level antisemitism.( 7 )( 8 )
Things, however, changed for the better once reunification was set into place. Since the constitution and it's strict laws against antisemitism/racism were then used as the constitution for the reunified German nation. The remaining Jews in the area where still few in numbers but things would change dramatically as reunification transformed German immigration policy.
The collapse of the Soviet Union sent a new Jewish migration to find better life chances outside of the failed state that was Russia at that moment. Israel had supposedly taken in 1,000,000 new citizens from 1991 to 2001 and Sharon was looking to recruit more in the former USSR.( 9 ) But the way Sharon got elected backfired on his demographic plans. People really didn't want to be in a country at constant war.
Between 2000-2003 around 220,000 Israelis joined the 550,000 Israeli diaspora around the world to live peacefully in more stable countries.( 10 ) It was so much a disaster that Sharon "leaked" a speech in 2004 to influence 600,000 French Jews to immigrate to Israel. He said that French Jews faced the "wildest antisemitism" ever.( 11 ) The French Jewish community got pissed as well as the government so his plan failed. During the same year, Sharon almost had a stroke when he learned that Germany had more Jewish immigrants that year then Israel.( 12 ) It was shocking to him that Israel, under his moderate Kadima, was second to the new and improved Germany. So he did what he had to do and pressured the Germans into limiting their intake of former-Soviet Jews.( 13 )
Poland and Germany are such terrible insults though. Because... they seem to have a stronger historical and cultural bond to Poland and actually want to move to Germany these days. What an insult...
Outrage: Part 2
Helen Thomas never mentioned Jew, Jewish, Judaism, ect. The question, as you can see in the top of the page, was a bait and switch. Here is the video and the full dialog.
Rabi: Any comments on Israel?
Helen: Tell them to get the hell out of Palestine.
Rabi: ohhhh, any better comments then that?
Helen: ha.. ha
Helen: Remember, these people are occupied, and it's their land.
Helen: And it's not German and it's not Poland.
Rabi: So where should they go? What should they do?
Helen: They go home.
Rabi: Where's the home?
Rabi: So the Jews...
Rabi: You say Jews go back to Poland and Germany.
Helen: And - and America and everywhere else.
She has nothing to apologize for. She first commented on Israel to stay out of Palestine. Something many people who think the two state solution agree. She also makes a comment related to the settlements and how they should go elsewhere. Such as Poland, Germany, America, and other states like Israel itself.
I also can't believe any person with a brain would believe the ending part regarding the holocaust. Since the creation of Israel was in 1948. There was no modern state of Israel before the Holocaust.
Which brings me along to the next part of the diary.
The Cowards, The Brave, and the Nuts.
A Canadian blog perfectly illustrates what happened next.( 14 )
Ari Fleischer, President George W. Bush's press secretary, led the call in an e-mail Friday to the Huffington Post saying Thomas' comments amount to "religious cleansing."
"She should lose her job over this," Fleischer wrote. "As someone who is Jewish, and as someone who worked with her and used to like her, I find this appalling."
But Lanny Davis, former special counsel to and White House spokesman for President Bill Clinton, went even further than Fleischer. He issued a statement on Sunday saying Thomas, "has showed herself to be an anti-Semitic bigot."
Davis went on, "Her `Thomas` statement that Jews in Israel should leave Israel and go back to Poland or Germany is an ancient and well-known anti-Semitic stereotype of the Alien Jew not belonging in the 'land of Israel' -- one that began 2,600 years with the first tragic and violent diaspora of the Jews at the hands of the Romans," said Davis.
That Lanny Davis will just say any old lie. But there is one more lie to add that is quite revealing. Lanny Davis also said this.
Lanny Davis statement continued, "If she had asked all blacks to go back to Africa, what would White House Correspondents Association position be as to whether she deserved White House press room credentials -- much less a privileged honorary seat?"
Now I have seen that Lanny Davis bullshit talking point used quite frequently here. I wondered where that came from. Well, I got a digging to see where that talking point came from. Low and behold I found it!
Wow, it's like they are using the same handbook or something. So I got a digging again and I found the handbook. It was The Israel Project 2009 dictionary by Frank Luntz! ( 15 )
"The single toughest issue" to defend among Americans generally and American Jews in particular is settlements, says the manual, and "hostility towards them and towards Israeli policy that appears to encourage settlement activity." [...]
Similarly, TIP says the "best argument" for settlements is this: Since Arabs citizens of Israel "enjoy equal rights," telling Jews they can’t live in the Palestinian state "is a racist idea."
The only person in the MSM to stick up for Helen Thomas as well as show people that this was just a piece of propaganda meant to distract us was Laura Flanders. What she did is something that is truly brave. She called it like it was.
Now where is the coward in all of this? Oh here he is.( 16 )
WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama says he considers veteran White House correspondent Helen Thomas' remarks about Israel "offensive."
Asked during an interview with NBC about Thomas' comments urging Israel to get "out of Palestine," Obama said he believes those statements were "out of line." At the same time, he said he recognized Thomas' long service covering presidents dating back to John F. Kennedy.
He said it was a "shame" that her career has ended in controversy, but called Thomas' retirement announcement "the right decision."
There is your coward.