Thoughts on Helen Thomas
The other week we saw Israeli commandos board a ship carrying humanitarian aid to Gaza while still in International waters. The end result was hundreds arrested and detained. Many were brutality beaten and 11 were shot dead. The world screamed in outrage as Israel went into spin mode and started having everyone from its ambassador on down to its de-facto pundits within mainstream media craft stories that suggested the people who were on board the ship where folks were killed, were attached to some sort of terrorist organization.
Actually, lemme back up a sec, cause that’s the latest spin. The initial spin was when the Israeli commandos boarded the ship they were facing an ‘armed militia’ which caused them to shoot. The only problem was no weapons were found. This led to Israel changing up again. This time they said they switched the story and said the folks on the ship came at them with metal pipes, rushed them and made them fearful for their lives hence 11 people had to be killed including an American citizen..
Now, I’m not no military expert, but since my tax dollars pay for many of the weapons and high-end training used by our good friend in the Middle East (Israel), I would venture to say, that those commandos knew exactly what was going on. If they didn’t then our money is being wasted. I find it hard to believe that an army with ‘superior’ intel capabilities and precision training stormed a ship and were caught off guard by these ‘humanitarian activists turned terrorists’. I find it hard to believe this uber trained military outfit didn’t have undercover operatives amongst the flotillas to convey information that would allow for a smoother take down..
If we use our common sense we’d note that many of the folks aboard the flotillas included nobel laureates, professors and seasoned peace activists. It seems pretty far-fetched to think they would be consorting with terrorists, knowing that it would kill their credibility in the court of world opinion in addition to putting them in danger. These humanitarian workers have been well aware of Israel’s military might and would not try to go against them. The flotilla people have long been and continued to act in the long tradition of civil disobedience. Part of that tradition means acting non-violently to maintain a moral high ground. To suggest these folks were doing otherwise, even if its the Israeli ambassador spouting the story is in insult to our intelligence. The bottom line is Israel messed up and has been in spin mode ever since..Part of their defense is to use allies and friends in media and government to come down hard on anyone speaking against them. Folks are quickly labeled anti-semitic and black-balled from influential circles if possible. In short Israel can do no wrong.
Such was the case with longtime White House correspondent Helen Thomas who was caught on tape responding to a question..’Do you have anything you would like to say to Israel’? Thomas responded ‘Yes-Get the Hell out of Palestine‘… She then noted that Palestine was occupied land. When pressed as to where they should go, Thomas retorted, They should go back home to Germany, Poland and the United States. The outcry against Thomas calling for her ouster was deafening with former Bush press secretary Ari Fleisher leading the charge and everyone from Obama’s press secretary Robert Gibbs to no-name schleprocks dragged up and placed on talk shows, joining the chorus.
The amount of anger that was directed at Thomas was overkill. First and foremost her remarks have a political context which could and is debated. When I heard her remarks I immediately thought of the new Israeli settlements that have caused lots of uproar and been heavily criticized. If Israel as was stated by Ambassador Michael Oren will have peace when we have a two states, than Thomas wasn’t off base when she said ‘get out of Palestine’. Sure her blutness ruffled feathers, but really when you consider what folks like Minister Pat Roberston and actor Mel Gibson, the late Reverend Jerry Falwall and numerous others have said about Israel, Thomas’ remarks are no where in the ballpark. What really angered her detractors was her stature. She gives a boost to a POV that has long been silenced here in the US while vigoriously debated elsehwere including in Israel.
Seems like the Zionist lobby wanted to send a strong signal by being relentless with their shut down of Thomas. Don’t speak ill of Israel. Don’t oppose Israel and don’t you dare give credibility to any POV or argument Zionist find problematic. This has long been a tactic used especially when Israeli policy was dead wrong.i.e Their support of Apartheid, South Africa or in recent days the tactic Zionist supporters of Israel used to intimidate including threats to blacklist UC Berkeley student Senators who voted to divest student funds from Israel.
Real News Network CEO Paul Jay wrote an insighful essay folks should peep that addresses this issue called ‘In defense of Helen Thomas on Apologizing top Apologist’. We also had a discussion on the topic which I am also including…