Sunday, June 06, 2010

Thomas and the 'Jews as European imposters' myth

Helen Thomas

The doyenne of the White House press corps, Helen Thomas, 89, has raised a storm of controversy for saying that Jews should 'get the hell out of Palestine' and 'go back to Germany and Poland.'

American Jews have rightly been stung by the suggestion that Jews should go back to the countries that oppressed them and slaughtered them - Germany and Poland.

Now Thomas has apologised, saying her statements 'do not reflect her belief in the need for mutual respect and tolerance'.
According to Ynet News:

Thomas, who will be celebrating her 90th birthday soon, made the remarks in a talk with Rabbi David Nesenoff on the margins of an event held by President Obama last week to mark Jewish heritage month.

After being asked for her opinion of Israel, Thomas responded by saying: "Tell them to get the hell out of Palestine." Turning her attention to the Palestinians, she said, "Remember, these people are occupied. And it's their land," adding the Jews should "go home" to Poland and Germany. Thomas' remarks have prompted numerous calls for her resignation.
As a daughter of Lebanese immigrants, Thomas has not been hiding her sympathy for the Arabs and Palestinians in questions she asked at White House press briefings. She has referred to the lethal raid on the Gaza-bound Marmara ship Monday as a "massacre."
It was the writer Amos Oz who remarked that, before Israel was established, a favourite antisemitic slogan was 'Jews go to Palestine'. Now it is 'Jews get out of Palestine.'
In all the furore about Thomas's remarks, nobody seems to have picked up on the fact that most Israeli Jews were born in Israel; half the Jews of Israel don't originate from Europe at all, but the Middle East and North Africa. Does Helen Thomas really believe that Jews should go back to hotbeds of antisemitism in Libya, Egypt, Iraq and even Lebanon?

Thomas articulates the widely-believed propaganda myth that Jews are colonial imposters from Europe. ( Yet the results of a genetic study yesterday proclaim that Jews are a distinct population: even Jews from Europe are closely related to non-European Jews).

People are speculating on what Thomas's motive might have been for her outburst. It seems that her family came from Lebanon and that its original name was Antonious. There is a long tradition of Christian Arabs identifying with secular pan-Arab nationalism in order to escape their subjugated dhimmi status - indeed Christians like Michel Aflak were the driving force behind it.
Neither should one underestimate the antisemitism of some oriental Christians: their clergy have never subscribed to the Nostra Aetate document of the Second Vatican Council, absolving Jews from killing Jesus.

Yid with Lid
has Rabbi Nesenoff's full interview with Helen Thomas (with thanks: Heather)

The myth of Jewish colonialism


Independent Observer said...

Ralph Nader is another famous Lebanese-American holding similarly virulent and ill-informed anti-Zionist views.

Fortunately, Joseph Farah and Brigitte Gabriel give balance.

Eliyahoo William Dwek said...

The country of Britain: has condemned Israel's actions - as "barbaric." Together with the UN and other European countries.

Let us just remember who the barbarians truly are.

It was Britain: that went out of its way to sink the ships of escaping refugees from WW2. That is how barbaric the British are. Where was the “Humanitarian Aid” of the British then?

And it was Churchill – who refused all the pleas of Menachem Begin, the Head of the Irgun - to stop the barbaric killing of the refugees on all the boats which the British sank.

Churchill was no hero of WW2, as he is made out to be. He showed his true colours as a barbarian more savage than the Germans.

Churchill could have prevented the murder of millions of Jews by Hitler. Instead, he waited for the Germans to quietly "finish the job." The European countries and the UN are in no position to talk about “Humanitarian Aid”. Their actions in WW2 show them to be savages, and less than sub-human – especially the British.

MichelleInSanDiego said...

The White House regularly offers remarks as it celebrates the contributions of various ethnic groups in the US during official weeks or months of celebration. No doubt, they each contain words of praise, encouragement, and shared values.

Here are excerpts from President Obama's remarks, reported in full at:

This is a pretty -- pretty fancy group here, pretty distinguished group. We've got senators and representatives. We've got Supreme Court justices and successful entrepreneurs, rabbinical scholars, Olympic athletes -- and Sandy Koufax. (Applause.) Sandy and I actually have something in common -- we are both lefties. (Laughter.) He can't pitch on Yom Kippur; I can't pitch. (Laughter.)

As a product of history and faith, Jewish Americans have helped to open our eyes to injustice, to people in need, and to the simple idea that we ought to recognize ourselves in the struggles of our fellow men and women.

That’s what’s led Jewish advocates to fight for women’s equality and workers’ rights. That’s what led rabbis to preach against racism from the bimah -– and to lead congregants on marches and protests to stop segregation. And that is what helped lead America to recognize and support Israel as a Jewish homeland and a beacon for democratic values -– beginning mere minutes after its independence was declared. In fact, we have the original statement by President Harry Truman on display here today.

That is why even as we never waver in pursuing peace between Israelis, Palestinians, and Arabs, our bond with Israel is unbreakable. (Applause.) It is the bond of two peoples that share a commitment to a common set of ideals: opportunity, democracy and freedom.

Eliyahu m'Tsiyon said...

Obama's greatest talent is blah blah. Thank you, Michelle in SD.

Eliyahu m'Tsiyon said...

Here is another piece on the recent genetic study, although I find the article not entirely clear.

This Is Hell said...

Something like 2/3rds of Israelis are Sephardi. Helen Thomas can sizzle in hell.

Christian Zionist said...

"Helen Thomas can sizzle in hell."

Oh, my. If she is Christian and female, she won't even get any virgins.

Render said...

Somebody needs to google search these terms...

"winston churchill jewish brigade group"


"winston churchill orde wingate"

There are individual Brits to be blamed, but Winston isn't one of them.


Heather said...

Part 2 of the video is up. It gets worse.

I wasn't sure we'd see it after she was retired.