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Home arrow Blog arrow June 2010 arrow June 8, 2010: Dear Helen Thomas with a PS to her 'Colleagues'

June 8, 2010: Dear Helen Thomas with a PS to her 'Colleagues'
June 8, 2010: Dear Helen Thomas with a PS to all her 'Colleagues' and Every American: UPDATE June 10 3PM EST @ end: Alison Weir and Jonathon Cook 



Nearly ninety-year old Journalist Helen Thomas has taken a lot of heat for daring to address the fact that any Jew without any historical connection to Israel is encouraged to settle-as in colonize-upon legally owned Palestinian land.

I learned about, Aliyah, which means ‘going up,’ during my first of seven trips to Israel and occupied Palestine in June 2005 from an American Jewess who had taken the deal and she informed me:

I get fifteen hundred shekels or about thirty-six hundred dollars a year in increments to help with my expenses. I can apply for unemployment benefits after seven months, as long as I look for a job. I just completed Ulpan, which was five hundred hours of Hebrew language immersion studies that took five months, five hours a day, for five weeks. I get subsidized rent and just moved out of the Absorption Center Projects. All the new immigrants get room, utilities, and three meals a day for the first five months in Israel. We also receive free medical care and all the doctors here are dedicated. We can go to the university with 100 percent of the tuition paid by the government. College is much cheaper here; it’s about three thousand to four thousand dollars a year. Until I am thirty years old, I can receive up to three years of education for my master’s degree.

 



On February 9, 2009, Journalist Helen Thomas, asked President Obama about Middle Eastern states with nukes.


Helen Thomas on her one question for Obama


 

Obama blew her off stating he didn’t want "to speculate" and her 'colleagues' remained mute, but the US State Department has published reams of material about President Kennedy's concern about the Israeli bomb!


In 2005, Mordechai Vanunu, the Whistle Blower of Israel's WMD's  told me:

President Kennedy tried to stop Israel from building atomic weapons. Kennedy insisted on an open internal inspection.


When Johnson became president, he made an agreement with Israel that two senators would come every year to inspect. Before the senators would visit, the Israelis would build a wall to block the underground elevators and stairways. From 1963 to ’69, the senators came, but they never knew about the wall that hid the rest of the Dimona from them.

Nixon stopped the inspections and agreed to ignore the situation. As a result, Israel increased production. In 1986, there were over two hundred bombs. Today, they may have enough plutonium for ten bombs a year."



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And looking back to December 1953, when President Eisenhower addressed the 470th Plenary Meeting of the United Nations General Assembly in India, I excerpt:

 

 

I therefore decided that this occasion warranted my saying to you some of the things that have been on the minds and hearts of my legislative and executive associates, and on mine, for a great many months: thoughts I had originally planned to say primarily to the American people.

 

 

I know that the American people share my deep belief that if a danger exists in the world, it is a danger shared by all; and equally, that if hope exists in the mind of one nation, that hope should be shared by all.


I feel impelled to speak today in a language that in a sense is new, one which I, who have spent so much of my life in the military profession, would have preferred never to use. That new language is the language of atomic warfare.

 

 

The atomic age has moved forward at such a pace that every citizen of the world should have some comprehension, at least in comparative terms, of the extent of this development, of the utmost significance to every one of us.

 

Clearly, if the peoples of the world are to conduct an intelligent search for peace, they must be armed with the significant facts of today's existence…this subject is global, not merely national in character.

 

 

On 16 July 1945, the United States set off the world's biggest atomic explosion.

 

Since that date in 1945, the United States of America has conducted forty-two test explosions. Atomic bombs are more than twenty-five times as powerful as the weapons with which the atomic age dawned, while hydrogen weapons are in the ranges of millions of tons of TNT equivalent.

 

Today, the United States stockpile of atomic weapons, which, of course, increases daily, exceeds by many times the total equivalent of the total of all bombs and all shells that came from every plane and every gun in every theatre of war in all the years of the Second World War. A single air group whether afloat or land based, can now deliver to any reachable target a destructive cargo exceeding in power all the bombs that fell on Britain in all the Second World War…But the dread secret and the fearful engines of atomic might are not ours alone.

 

In the first place, the secret is possessed by our friends and allies…If at one time the United States possessed what might have been called a monopoly of atomic power, that monopoly ceased to exist several years ago.

 

 

There is at least one new avenue of peace, which has not been well-explored -an avenue now laid out by the General Assembly of the United Nations…The United States, heeding the suggestion of the General Assembly of the United Nations, is instantly prepared to meet privately with such other countries as may be "principally involved", to seek "an acceptable solution" to the atomic armaments race which overshadows not only the peace, but the very life, of the world…the great Powers of the earth, both of the East and of the West [must] open up a new channel for peaceful discussion and initiative at least a new approach to the many difficult problems that must be solved in both private and public conversations if the world is to shake off the inertia imposed by fear and is to make positive progress towards peace…the United States pledges before you, and therefore before the world, its determination to help solve the fearful atomic dilemma - to devote its entire heart and mind to finding the way by which the miraculous inventiveness of man shall not be dedicated to his death, but consecrated to life. [1]



 This August 6th and 9th will mark the 65th anniversary of the most brutal acts of terrorism upon innocent people; America's atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

On Armistice Day, 1948 General Omar Nelson Bradley warned US:


We live in a world of nuclear giants and ethical infants, in a world that has achieved brilliance without wisdom, power without conscience. We have solved the mystery of the atom and forgotten the lessons of the Sermon on The Mount. We know more about war than we know about peace, more about dying than we know about living.

A little history:


At 2:45 AM, on August 6, 1945, an American B-29 bomber flew north from Tinian Island toward Japan. Three and a half hours later, the Enola Gay dropped "Little Boy" an 8,900-pound atomic weapon upon civilians in Hiroshima and leveled almost 90% of the city. On August 9, "Fat Man" was dropped on Nagasaki, and one third of that city was destroyed.


"Little Boy" was fueled by highly enriched uranium-235 and generated a destructive force of about 15 kilotons—the equivalent of 15,000 tons of TNT. "Fat Man" consisted of a plutonium core surrounded by high explosives wired to explode simultaneously and yielded a 22 kiloton explosion.


As a child, I could not comprehend how my country could cold bloodily target and murder Japanese citizens in order to 'save' American lives, which was the lame response I always received from every adult I questioned as to why after what we did to Hiroshima did we do it again to Nagasaki?

If THAT DAY, we call 9/11 taught us anything, it should be that America's nuclear arsenal cannot defeat 'terrorism' or provide security from the actions of a few violent mad men who target and murder innocent ones.


American money is imprinted with "IN GOD WE TRUST" but reality is we have become a nation of hypocrites, for by our foreign policy we expose that we live by the sword.


America has a nuclear arsenal of over 10,000 weapons and nearly 2,000 remain on hair-trigger alert ever since the end of the Cold War.

An estimated 150 – 240 tactical nuclear weapons remain based in 5 NATO countries and the United States is the only country with nuclear weapons deployed on foreign soil.

American taxpayers provide over $54 billion annually to maintain WMD's, which is but a drop in the bucket of the overall U.S. military spending.


Before and during the Cold War the United States conducted over a thousand nuclear tests, developed many long-range weapon delivery systems and still maintains an arsenal of about 5,500 warheads.

 

Between 1945 and 1990, more than 70,000 total USA made warheads were developed, in over 65 different varieties.

 

Between 1940 and 1996, the U.S. spent at least $5.8 trillion (in 1996 dollars) on nuclear weapons development. In addition to deploying weapons on American soil, during the Cold War the United States also stationed nuclear weapons in 27 foreign countries and territories, including Japan, during the military occupation after WWII.

 

In 1998 the U.S. Nuclear Weapons Cost Study Project determined:

 

“The bottom line: $5.5 trillion dollars. If future cleanup, stockpiling and dismantlement is included, that rises to $5.8 trillion. Even with the Cold War over, the United States is spending $35 billion a year—14 percent of the defense budget, or $96 million a day—on nuclear efforts of which about $25 billion goes for operation and maintenance of the nuclear arsenal. The rest is spent on cleanup; arms control verification, and ballistic missile defense research… this 'exceeded the combined total federal spending on education, training, employment, and social services; agriculture; natural resources and the environment; general science and space research; community and regional development (including disaster relief); law enforcement; and energy production and regulation.”

 

 

On January 17, 1961, in his Farewell Address, President Eisenhower also stated:

 

 

Until the latest of our world conflicts, the United States had no armaments industry. American makers of plowshares could, with time and as required, make swords as well. But now we can no longer risk emergency improvisation of national defense; we have been compelled to create a permanent armaments industry of vast proportions. Added to this, three and a half million men and women are directly engaged in the defense establishment. We annually spend on military security more than the net income of all United States corporations.

 

This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence – economic, political, even spiritual – is felt in every city, every Statehouse, every office of the Federal government…we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society.

 

 

Disarmament, with mutual honor and confidence, is a continuing imperative. Together we must learn how to compose differences, not with arms, but with intellect and decent purpose.

 

You and I – my fellow citizens – need to be strong in our faith that all nations, under God, will reach the goal of peace with justice. May we be ever unswerving in devotion to principle, confident but humble with power, diligent in pursuit of the Nations' great goals.

 

To all the peoples of the world, I once more give expression to America's prayerful and continuing aspiration:

 

We pray that peoples of all faiths, all races, all nations, may have their great human needs satisfied; that those now denied opportunity shall come to enjoy it to the full; that all who yearn for freedom may experience its spiritual blessings; that those who have freedom will understand, also, its heavy responsibilities; that all who are insensitive to the needs of others will learn charity; that the scourges of poverty, disease and ignorance will be made to disappear from the earth, and that, in the goodness of time, all peoples will come to live together in a peace guaranteed by the binding force of mutual respect and love. [2]

 


 

America’s prophet, Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. warned US that:
Any nation that year after year continues to raise the Defense budget while cutting social programs to the neediest is a nation approaching spiritual death.


In 1987, the Whistle Blower of Israel’s WMD Program, Mordechai Vanunu, wrote from Ashkelon prison:

No government, not even the most democratic, can force us to live under this threat. No state in the world can offer any kind of security against this menace of a nuclear holocaust, or guarantee to prevent it…A state that lives in fear of destruction must not threaten the whole world with annihilation…Any country, which manufactures and stocks nuclear weapons, is first of all endangering its own citizens. This is why the citizens must confront their government and warn it that it has no right to expose them to this danger. Because, in effect, the citizens are being held hostage by their own government, just as if they have been hijacked and deprived of their freedom and threatened…when governments develop nuclear weapons without the consent of their citizens - and this is true in most cases - they are violating the basic rights of their citizens, the basic right not to live under constant threat of annihilation…Is any government qualified and authorized to produce such weapons?


 In 1995, from Ashkelon Prison, Mordechai Vanunu also noted:


A radioactive cloud consumed rubbed out Hiroshima...A live nuclear test sentenced you. A nuclear laboratory…children women trees animals in and under a nuclear mushroom…burning… burned…flattened to ground radioactive ash-Hiroshima...Nuclear weapons gamblers win against you…Hollywood doesn't know you - you are not a Jewish Holocaust.


In April 1999, thirty-six members of the House of Representatives signed a letter calling for Vanunu's release from prison because they believed "we have a duty to stand up for men and women like Mordechai Vanunu who dare to articulate a brighter vision for humanity."

President Clinton responded with a public statement expressing concern for Vanunu and the need for Israel and other non-parties to the Non-Proliferation Treaty to adhere to it and accept IAEA safeguards, but ever since the silence from the American Government has been deafening!


And Israel returned Vanunu to prison on 23 May 2010, essentially for speaking to foreign media in 2004!

 

On April 5, 2009, President Obama stood on the world stage in Prague amongst thousands of flag-waving Czechs and spoke of good humor, home town Chicago, the will of the people over tanks and guns, old conflicts, revolution, moral leadership as the most powerful weapon, iron curtains that fell and the state of 21st century nuclear weapons and I excerpt:


We are here today because enough people ignored the voices who told them that the world could not change. We're here today because of the courage of those who stood up and took risks to say that freedom is a right for all people, no matter what side of a wall they live on, and no matter what they look like. We are here today because the simple and principled pursuit of liberty and opportunity shamed those who relied on the power of tanks and arms to put down the will of a people.

Some argue that the spread of these weapons cannot be stopped, cannot be checked -– that we are destined to live in a world where more nations and more people possess the ultimate tools of destruction. Such fatalism is a deadly adversary, for if we believe that the spread of nuclear weapons is inevitable, then in some way we are admitting to ourselves that the use of nuclear weapons is inevitable.

As the only nuclear power to have used a nuclear weapon, the United States has a moral responsibility to act…It will take patience and persistence. But now we, too, must ignore the voices who tell us that the world cannot change. We have to insist, Yes, we can.

Words must mean something.

 

There is violence and injustice in our world that must be confronted. We must confront it by standing together as free nations, as free people. I know that a call to arms can stir the souls of men and women more than a call to lay them down. But that is why the voices for peace and progress must be raised together.

Human destiny will be what we make of it...Let us honor our past by reaching for a better future. Let us bridge our divisions, build upon our hopes, and accept our responsibility to leave this world more prosperous and more peaceful than we found it. Together we can do it.



 

Yes we can do it and all we lack are the eyes to see, ears to hear and the political will to comprehend that all roads lead US to Israel:





 


1.
http://www.iaea.org/About/history_speech.html

2. http://mcadams.posc.mu.edu/ike.htm


While Israel Kills and Maims ...

The Outrage at Helen Thomas

By ALISON WEIR

 

 

Whenever Israel commits yet another atrocity, its defenders are quick to redirect public attention away from the grisly crime scene.

 

Currently, there are headlines about allegedly anti-Semitic comments made by senior White House correspondent Helen Thomas. Pundits across the land evince outrage at her off-the-cuff 25-second statement made to a man who appears to be holding a camera right in her face.

 

 

Thomas issued a public apology for her words, but this was insufficient to assuage the wounded feelings of powerful antagonists, and she has now retired from a long and distinguished career.

Before we examine her comments and evaluate their possible validity, let's look at other recent events having to do with Israel.

 

On May 31st Israeli commandos killed at least nine unarmed volunteers attempting to take humanitarian supplies to Gaza.

 

According to eyewitness reports and forensic evidence, many of these aid volunteers were shot at close range, including a 19-year-old American citizen killed by four bullets to the head and one to the chest fired from 18 inches away.

 

Israel immediately imprisoned eyewitnesses and hundreds of other aid participants, confiscated their cameras, laptops, and other possessions, and prevented them from speaking to the press for days. Among the incarcerated were decorated U.S. veterans and an 80-year-old former ambassador who had been deputy director of Reagan's Cabinet Task Force on Terrorism.

 

When they finally emerged and were able to tell their stories, many described horrific scenes of Israeli commandos shooting people in the head, of those tending the injured being shot in the stomach, of people bleeding to death while flotilla participants waved white flags and pled for help.

 

They also described being beaten brutally by Israeli forces, again and again - including those on ships that, in the U.S. media's judgment, experienced "no violence." A 64-year-old piano tuner from California, Paul Larudee, described hundreds of Israeli commandos boarding his ship. When he refused to cooperate with them, soldiers then beat him numerous times both on board the ship and after he was imprisoned on land.

 

Eventually he was taken by ambulance to an Israeli hospital. He wasn't treated, however, and Larudee believes he was taken there because Israel didn't want media to see his black eye, pronated joints, bruised jaw and body contusions.

 

Marine veteran Ken O'Keefe described similar beatings while in Israeli custody. In his case, the public was able to see his bloodied, battered face in video clips and still images - but only on the Internet, since American mainstream media failed to report on his press conference or to publish the many still photos of his injuries.

 

Other gruesome photos available to the American public only on the Internet are of Emily Henochowicz, a 21-year-old American student whose eye and eye socket were recently shattered by Israeli forces. She has since had her eyeball removed, three metal plates inserted in her face, and her jaw wired shut.

 

Henochowicz was not on the flotilla; she was taking part in a nonviolent demonstration against the Israeli assault when an Israeli soldier shot a high-velocity teargas canister into her face.

A Swedish citizen standing with Henochowicz said, "They clearly saw us. They clearly saw that we were internationals and it really looked as though they were trying to hit us. They fired many canisters at us in rapid succession. One landed on either side of Emily, then the third one hit her in the face."

 

Henochowicz is not the first to have been shot by such a canister.

 

Thirty-year-old Basem Ibrahim Abu Rahmeh died when an Israeli soldier shot one at him at close range while Abu Rahmeh participated in a demonstration against Israeli confiscation of Palestinian farmland. A video of this is also available on You Tube; U.S. networks have also chosen not to broadcast this.

 

 

Californian Tristan Anderson was shot in the head by a similar canister while he was taking photographs following another demonstration. Part of Anderson's brain was removed and he was in a "minimally responsive state" for 6-7 months.

 

 

He is now in a wheelchair, has almost no movement in his left arm and leg, is blind in one eye, and his mental functioning is significantly reduced. Photos of the shooting are also available on the Internet.

 

 

Since at least 2006 Israeli forces have closed off Gaza to the outside world, essentially imprisoning 1.5 million men, women, and children, and denying them foodstuffs, medicines, and building materials, as documented by such agencies as Amnesty International, Oxfam, and Christian Aid, which said that Israel was using food and medicine as weapons.

 

 

One of the multitudinous victims of this illegal siege is five-year-old Taysir Al Burai, who suffers from an acute neurological disorder and requires round-the-clock care. According to the UK Guardian, he could be cured if Israel would allow him to leave Gaza, but to date his parents' repeated requests have been denied.

 

Another victim is 7-month-old Mohammad Khader, whose swelling in the brain required specialized treatment unavailable in Gazan hospitals depleted by the Israeli siege. His distraught parents' applications asking Israel to allow them to travel abroad were similarly denied. Their tiny son died a few days ago.

 

Such stories go on and on.

 

Thomas' "outrageous" statement

 

Yet, the rage we see in the U.S. media is directed against none of this. People shot in the head, eyes and brain parts destroyed, the elderly beaten, small children and infants caused to suffer and die, parents to grieve - none of this has caused a hint of anger. In fact, most of it has been considered of too little importance even to report.

 

 

Instead, media reports are filled with outrage at "anti-Israel" words spoken by 89-year-old Helen Thomas.

 

 

In Thomas's lifetime Israel has ethnically cleansed over a million people, replaced them with colonists from around the world, committed dozens of massacres, tortured thousands of people, killed and maimed untold numbers of children, mangled limbs, and committed outrages on women, old people, the weak and the infirm.

 

 

It has assassinated people throughout the world, invaded numerous countries, spied on the U.S., killed and injured 200 American servicemen (the anniversary is this week), and tortured and imprisoned Americans. All while receiving more American money than any other country on earth.

 

 

For years, long before her recent words, Thomas has been the target of Israel's vicious American volunteers, the Zionist blogosphere abounding with nasty slurs on her looks and her Lebanese ancestry, this latter also consistently emphasized by the media, despite her Kentucky birth and upbringing.

 

 

One of the reasons for the ferocious animosity toward her is the fact that Thomas is one of the very few mainstream reporters to challenge the neocon engendered lies that led the U.S. into wars that have caused massive death, destruction and tragedy and to continue to expose ongoing policies of violence and cruelty.

 

 

As the same groups and individuals who pushed the US into attacking Iraq have in recent years been escalating their efforts to push the U.S. to now similarly decimate Iranians under the pretext that Iran might be developing nuclear weapons, Thomas's questioning attempted to elicit from Obama the fact that Israel already posses nuclear weapons. While the rest of the press corps has conspired in the cover-up of this fact and others, Thomas worked to expose them.

 

 

Not surprisingly, the many people complicit in these manipulations, such as former Bush spokesperson Ari Fleischer, have led the charge against her.

 

 

It is useful to examine the video and context of Thomas's allegedly "anti-Semitic" comment.

A man, apparently holding a camera right in her face, asks for her comments about Israel. She says, "Tell them to get the hell out of Palestine. Remember, these people are occupied. And it's their land…" He interrupts her and asks where they should go. She responds, "They should go home. To Germany, Poland, America, and everywhere else."

 

 

While Thomas has since apologized for her hasty words and many Israelis have the right to continue living where they are, the reality is that Israeli settlers did, indeed, come from elsewhere; they are, in fact, illegally occupying Palestinian land (a fact acknowledged even by the U.S. State Department); and international law does require that they leave.

Many commentators evince particular anger at Thomas's inclusion of Germany and Poland as places to which Israeli colonists should return, suggesting that Hitler is still in control and waiting to pounce.

 

 

The happy fact is, however, that World War II and the Nazi holocaust ended well over half a century ago. In Poland today there is a vibrant Jewish revival with a 10-foot tall Menorah being lit in the center of Warsaw during Hanukah, and Germany has become, according to the New York Times, "a country where Jews want to live." In fact, in recent years more Jews have chosen to immigrate to Germany than to Israel.

 

 

Thomas's call for colonists to return to America (this destination was left out of many articles) is far from outrageous given that a great many West Bank settlers are from the U.S.

 

 

Overall, reporting on the incident has largely departed from the standard journalistic practice of quoting people from both sides of an issue. Quotes from Thomas supporters are missing, even though the You Tube page featuring the infamous video contains a large number of comments supporting her. In contrast, quotes from Thomas's detractors, almost all of them Zionists, are ubiquitous, but generally fail to divulge the speakers' frequent conflicts of interest.

 

 

For example, the Washington Post's Howard Kurtz quotes Jeffrey Goldberg without mentioning that Goldberg is an Israeli citizen who served as a prison guard at an Israeli prison that held hundreds of Palestinians without charge, some killed in cold blood by the prison commander.

Mainstream media organizations do not seem to have investigated reports that the man who videotaped Thomas, Rabbi David Nesenoff, also made an offensive video featuring himself and another man impersonating a buffoonish Catholic priest and Mexican immigrant.

 

 

Similarly, news reports that a high school had disinvited Thomas as a graduation speaker almost never inform readers that many of the school's parents and students wished Thomas to remain, even though this unreferenced group may represent a majority of the school. Members of this group have created a Facebook page, "Helen Thomas should have been our graduation speaker," that states:

 

 

"The purpose of this group is to quietly but firmly protest the ability of a small minority to impose its will on the larger group through engaging or threatening to engage in disruptive discourse. This group affirms a belief in reasonable discussion and feel that in this scenario, a clear minority was able to override a larger majority by distorting the issues and discussion."

It is not known who will take over Thomas's front-row seat at White House briefings. Given the record of the current press corps, it is likely that Israel partisans are breathing a sign of relief.

Alison Weir is executive director of If Americans Knew. Photos and videos referenced in the article can be viewed on the website (http://ifamericansknew.org) She can be reached at

 

 


The moral failure of American liberals

 

A defence of Helen Thomas

 

By JONATHAN COOK

JUNE 10, 2010

 

The ostracism of Helen Thomas, the doyenne of the White House press corps, over her comment that Jews should “get the hell out of Palestine” and “go home” to Poland, Germany, America and elsewhere is revealing in several ways. In spite of an apology, the 89-year-old has been summarily retired by the Hearst newspaper group, dropped by her agent, spurned by the White House, and denounced by long-time friends and colleagues.

 

Ms Thomas earnt a reputation as a combative journalist, at least by American standards, with a succession of administrations over their Middle East policies, culminating in Bush officials boycotting her for her relentless criticisms of the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan. But the reaction to her latest remarks suggest that, if there is one topic in American public life on which the boundaries of what can and cannot be said are still tightly policed, it is Israel.

 

Undoubtedly, Ms Thomas’ opinions, as she expressed them in an unguarded moment, were inappropriate and required an apology. It is true, as she says, that Palestine was occupied and the land taken from the Palestinians by Jewish immigrants with no right to it barring a Biblical title deed. But 62 years on from Israel’s creation, most Jewish citizens have no home to go to in Poland and Germany – or in Iraq and Yemen, for that matter. There is also an uncomfortable echo in her words of the chauvinism underpinning demands from some Jews – and many Israelis – that Palestinians should “go home to the 22 Arab states”.

 

But Ms Thomas did apologise and, after that, a line ought to have been drawn under the affair – as it surely would have been had she made any other kind of faux pas. Instead, she has been denounced as an anti-Semite, even by her former friends.

 

The reasoning of one, Lanny Davis, counsel to the White House in the Clinton administration, was typical. Mr Davis, who said he previously considered himself “a close friend”, asked whether anyone would be “protective of Helen's privileges and honors if she had been asking Blacks to return to Africa, or Native Americans to Asia and South America, from which they came 8,000 or more years ago?”

 

It is that widely accepted analogy, appropriating the black and Native American experience in a wholly misguided way, that reveals in stark fashion the moral failure of American liberals. In their blindness to the current relations of power in the US, most critics of Ms Thomas contribute to the very intolerance they claim to be challenging.

 

Ms Thomas is an Arab-American, of Lebanese descent, whose remarks were publicised in the immediate wake of Israel’s lethal commando attack on a flotilla of aid ships trying to break the siege of Gaza. Unlike most Americans, who were half-wakened from their six-decade Middle East slumber by the killing of at least nine Turkish activists, Ms Thomas has been troubled by the Palestinians’ plight for much of her long lifetime.

 

She was in her late twenties when Israel ethnically cleansed three-quarters of a million Palestinians from most of Palestine, a move endorsed by the fledgling United Nations. She was in her mid-forties when Israel took over the rest of Palestine and parts of Egypt and Syria in a war that dealt a crushing blow to Arab identity and pride and made Israel a favoured ally of the US. In her later years she has witnessed Israel’s repeated destruction of Lebanon, her parents’ homeland, and the slow confinement and erasure of the neighbouring Palestinian people. Both have occurred under a duplicitious American “peace process” while Washington has poured hundreds of billions of dollars into Israel’s coffers.

 

It is therefore entirely understandable if, despite her own personal success, she feels a simmering anger not only at what has taken place throughout her lifetime in the Middle East but also at the silencing of all debate about it in the US by the Washington elites she counted as friends and colleagues.

 

While she has many long-standing Jewish friends in Washington – making the anti-Semite charge implausible – she has also seen them and others promote injustice in the Middle East. Doubtless she, like many of us, has been exasperated at the toothless performance of the press corps she belongs to in holding the White House to account in Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran, Lebanon and Israel-Palestine.

 

It is with this context in mind that we can draw a more fitting analogy. We should ask instead: How harshly should Ms Thomas be judged were she a black professional who, seeing yet another injustice like the video of Rodney King being beaten to within an inch of his life by white policemen, had said white Americans ought to “go home to Europe”?

 

This analogy accords more closely with the reality of power relations in the US between Arabs and Jews. Ms Thomas is not a representative of the oppressor white man disrespecting the oppressed black man, as Mr Davis suggests; she is the oppressed black man hitting back at the oppressor. Her comments shocked not least because they denied an image that continues to dominate in modern America of the vulnerable Jew, a myth that persists even as Jews have become the most successful minority in the country.

 

Ms Thomas let her guard down and her anger and resentment show. She generalised unfairly. She sounded bitter. She needed to – and has – apologised. But she does not deserve to be pilloried and blacklisted.

 

 http://www.jkcook.net/Articles3/0493.htm#Top

 




   
 
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People are illogical, unreasonable, and self-centered.
Love them anyway.

If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives.
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If you are successful, you win false friends and true enemies.
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The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow.
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The biggest men and women with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest men and women with the smallest minds.
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