Archive for Helen Thomas

The Media

Yesterday BTL wrote about the Casey Anthony case and the media frenzy. I have a few questions for the media at large: for reporters, editors, and anyone else working in “the profession of journalism”.

Why is one hacking scandal, particularly involving hacking into the phone of a crime victim, more compelling than being caught dozens of times lying about an entire country? The British media lied repeatedly about the actions of the Israeli military and populace, and not just the tabloids. They accused them of forcing women to feed babies with poisoned formula. The front page of one of their leading newspapers stated that Jenin was worse than Kosovo, a remark made by the reporter who claimed to have seen Kosovo during the war. It was a complete lie and the reporter was quietly moved to the food beat. Why didn’t that bring down the entire newspaper? Why isn’t the false accusation of genocide enough to end a newspaper but a phone hacking scandal is?

This isn’t only a British problem. Was it last summer or two years ago that the Swedish media ran with a story claiming that Israelis murdered Palestinians to harvest their organs? They actually had a photo of a cadaver after an autopsy to suggest that this was a Palestinian whose internal organs had been stolen to that they could be used for Israelis. This was yet another media blood libel. I don’t think anyone paid any price for it. But the real winner in this department has to be the NY Times. They are still the “paper of record” after it was revealed in 2006 that they buried the Holocaust for their readers because it didn’t fit their paradigm. Ditto the starvation in Stalin’s Russia, incidentally. All free.

But yesterday, Rupert Murdoch shut down a newspaper, and that was the right thing to do. As far as I know, that was the first time that the media elites have ever taken ownership of their little problems: lying and distorting to fit their paradigm.

Today Britain is in an uproar. They should be, but there is something deeply offensive about the fact that it happened over the hacking scandal and not over some of the deeper problems in the field of journalism.

British Prime Minister David Cameron called Friday for full inquiries into the News of the World phone hacking scandal and how it happened, saying it was time for action to restore public confidence.

He said the News of the World turmoil “is not just about journalists on one newspaper, it’s not even just just about the press – it’s also about the police and about how politics works, and politicians too.”

What was needed was a fresh start, he said, after decades in which politicians from both Labour and Conservative parties and the press grew too close.

“This is a wake-up call,” he said. “It’s on my watch that the music has stopped and I’m saying loud and clear that the relationship has to change in the future.”

Sliminess among reptiles isn’t surprising in Britain, or anywhere else in Europe. What is frightening is to understand the implications of the media bias in our own country. We are a nation built on European traditions, with laws and customs mostly taken from Europe. How different are we?

- Aggie

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Hey, What’s David Duke up to These Days?

Why is it always Helen Thomas? Over and over again, Helen Thomas. Why don’t we give other preachers of hate a chance to spew their bile?

If I want to hear what Helen thomas has to say, I just listen to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Veteran US reporter Helen Thomas lashed out at Israel in an interview published Friday, standing by fiery comments which forced her to quit as doyenne of the White House press corps last year.

Speaking to Playboy, she denied she was anti-Semitic but railed against Jewish lobbies she said controlled power in America, from the White House and Congress to Hollywood and financial markets.

The combative 90-year-old also reiterated her view that Jews should stay in Europe and the United States rather than moving to Israel, which she said was stolen from the Palestinians.

Jewish lobbies had power across the board in the US, she added. “Everybody is in the pocket of the Israeli lobbies, which are funded by wealthy supporters, including those from Hollywood.

“Same thing with the financial markets. There’s total control … It’s real power when you own the White House, when you own these other places in terms of your political persuasion. Of course they have power,” she added.

Speaking of which, Aggie, can you talk to “your people” and see if you can get Glee moved from Tuesday nights to Wednesday? I’m busy on Tuesdays, and I’m falling behind. Given its power, that shouldn’t be hard for the Jewish lobby to accomplish.

But Playboy? She was interviewed by Playboy? Do I have to imagine the accompanying photographs? I don’t want to, I’m screaming in agony, but I can’t help it.

I wonder what other racists and Jew-haters still have regular columns and are interviewed by national magazines. Too bad Slobodan Milosovic and Pol Pot are dead. I’d really like to know what they think about current events.

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What’s the Buzzard?

Wait, isn’t this one of the Mossad-trained vultures the Saudis “arrested” the other day?

She looks like she just spotted a dying camel.

But no, we are reliably informed that this scary hag is a formerly anti-Semitic member of the Fifth Estate:

After a seven-month retirement, Helen Thomas has a new journalism gig: columnist for the Falls Church News-Press in Virginia, as the ARLnow blog in Arlington, Va., reports.

The 90-year-old retired from Hearst newspapers in June after a media uproar over controversial comments she made about Israel. That move sent shock waves through the press corps and left White House reporters scrambling to see who’d get Thomas’ front-row seat in the briefing room.

So why’d the News-Press give her another chance?

Nicholas Benton, the founder, owner and editor of the News-Press, said in an editorial welcoming her back to journalism: “She is progressive, and following my more than eight hours of direct, one-on-one talks with her since the events of last June, I remain firmly convinced that she is neither bigoted, nor racist, nor anti-Semitic.”

There you go: progressiveness cures all!

If I should ever get cancer (God forbid), I’ll have to consider a sick-bed conversion back to liberalism.

On second thought… I’ll take Obama’s advice and just take the pain killer. I wouldn’t want to meet my maker having told a lie as my last act on this earth.

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To Helen Back

Helen Thomas needn’t worry. I’m sure the Columbia University Middle East Studies Department will rush in to fill the breech:

Wayne State University is yanking the Helen Thomas Spirit of Diversity Award, citing remarks she made during a conference Thursday.

In a brief statement emailed to reporters this afternoon, the university says “As a public university, Wayne State encourages free speech and open dialogue, and respects diverse viewpoints. However, the university strongly condemns the anti-Semitic remarks made by Helen Thomas …”

On Thursday Thomas said she stands by controversial comments about Israel that led to her resignation as a White House correspondent earlier this year.

She also sparked additional controversy with new comments: “Congress, the White House and Hollywood, Wall Street are owned by the Zionists. No question, in my opinion,” she said. “They put their money where their mouth is. … We’re being pushed into a wrong direction in every way.”

WSU officials say they have been contacted by a number of people in the wake of Thomas’ comments this year.

“A lot of people are shocked and saddened by Helen Thomas’ statements. I’ve been shocked and saddened,” said Matthew Seeger, interim dean of the college of fine, performing and communication arts at WSU.

But Seeger said the outside pressure did not influence Wayne State’s decision to pull the award. He said the award is given by the university’s Journalism Institute for Media Diversity, which works to promote the importance of diversity in the media. But the controversy surrounding Thomas’ comments meant the award “is no longer helping us achieve our goals,” Seeger said.

Aunt Agatha is in charge of awards around here, but we may want to create the Emperor Has No Clothes Award for a person or institution who stands up to convention and says NFW. Wayne State not only pulled the award they were (mistakenly) about to give her (why, now that I think about it?), but they called her remarks anti-Semitic, which they were.

Upon reflection, I’d give them only half the award. She was a vile bigot before these comments, and had no business being awarded anything other than the Order of the Iron Cross.

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Old Anti-Semitic Public Figures Never Die

More’s the pity.

They just give slanderous speeches:


Helen Thomas [photo retouched]

Disgraced former columnist Helen Thomas on Thursday not only stood by the anti-Semitic remarks that got her fired in June but also went a disgusting step further.

Speaking at an anti-Arab bias workshop in Detroit, Thomas told attendees, “Congress, the White House, and Hollywood, Wall Street, are owned by the Zionists” (h/t Detroit Free Press via Yid with Lid):

“I can call a president of the United States anything in the book but I can’t touch Israel, which has Jewish-only roads in the West Bank,” Thomas said. “No American would tolerate that — white-only roads.” [...]

Thomas claimed that “You can not say anything (critical) about Israel in this country.” [...]

“We are owned by propagandists against the Arabs. There’s no question about that. Congress, the White House, and Hollywood, Wall Street, are owned by the Zionists. No question in my opinion. They put their money where there mouth is…We’re being pushed into a wrong direction in every way.”

“Obama, he puts in charge for the Arab world a Zionist like Dennis Ross…You don’t put a Zionist in charge of the Muslim world in the White House.”

Re Jewish-only roads: that is a lie and Thomas surely knows it. As CAMERA explains:

Correction (1/28/10): A Dec. 30 A-section item from the Associated Press, about an Israeli Supreme Court ruling giving Palestinians access to a section of West Bank highway previously closed to them, incorrectly said that Israel reserves some roads for Jews. The country closes some roads to virtually all Palestinians, but they are open to all Israeli citizens and to other nationals, regardless of religious background.

But she was in a crowded theater and felt like shouting “fire”.

And speaking of despicable old Jew-hating bigots, Jimmy Carter says “you rang?”


President James Earl Carter [as we see him]

Former president Jimmy Carter lied in an interview with NPR talk-show host Diane Rehm on Tuesday. She ended the interview by asking about the Tea Party and he claimed he had never criticized them — despite smearing them as racists in 2009 in an NBC interview with Brian Williams:

REHM: Last question, very briefly, what do you think of the Tea Party movement?

CARTER: You know, I never have criticized the Tea Party movement because, strangely enough, I capitalized on the same kind of situation politically that has made the Tea Party successful — that is, an extreme dissatisfaction with what was going on in Washington.

Uh, beg your pardon, Mr. President?

BRIAN WILLIAMS: During the interview, we talked about what some see as a heightened climate of racial and other hate speech since the election of President Obama. A certain number of signs and images at last weekend’s big tea party march in Washington and at other recent events have featured racial and other violent themes and President Carter today said he is extremely worried by it.

CARTER: I think an overwhelming portion of the intensely demonstrated animosity toward President Barack Obama is based on the fact that he is a black man, that he’s African-American. I live in the south and I’ve seen the south come a long way and I’ve seen the rest of the country that shared the south’s attitude toward minority groups, at that time particularly African-Americans, that that racism [unintelligible word] still exists. And I think it’s bubbled up to the surface because of belief among many white people, not just in the south, but around the country, that African-Americans are not qualified to lead this great country. It’s an abominable circumstance and grieves me and concerns me very deeply.

Democrats, when your elder statesmen (and I do mean elder) sound like Janeane Garofalo, does that trouble you? Remember Bill Clinton’s remark to Ted Kennedy about Obama? “A few years ago, this guy would have been getting us coffee.”

Find me a current Republican or a conservative who said anything like that (or who rose to the top of his party after serving in the Klan for the better part of a decade).

Still, I’m just happy to note that there are people Carter hates and slanders who are not Jewish!

PS: It’s another slander to say that the Tea Party rallies featured “racial and other violent themes”, but Brian Williams, though a dink, is not the dink in question. But what does “racial and other violent themes” even mean? Why the use of the word “other”? Are racial themes violent? What is he saying, and more important what is he thinking?

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Isn’t This Sweet?

Awww…

The longtime White House correspondent who resigned from Hearst newspapers in June in the wake of comments she made about Israel will receive a lifetime achievement award from the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

CAIR is honoring Helen Thomas, who is of Lebanese descent and now 90 years old, at its Leadership Conference and 16th Annual Fundraising Banquet on Oct. 9 in Arlington, Va.

Speakers will also include Oxford Islamic studies scholar Tariq Ramadan.

Thomas started at the White House as a reporter during the Kennedy administration. In a video interview captured at a White House Jewish heritage event for RabbiLIVE.com that spread quickly across the Internet, Thomas advised Israeli Jews to “get the hell out of Palestine” and “go home” to Poland, Germany, America and “everywhere else.”

She’s in good company. I would worry that they might make her wear a burkha at the event, but she’s one dame whose appearance would improve in one.

[Insert grotesque image of hideous gargoyle here.]

Oh yes, Tariq Ramadan is quite the Islamic studies scholar:

When speaking to Western audiences, Ramadan preaches an amicable message of unity and mutual respect. But to Arabic-speaking audiences, he vents his deep-seated hatred of the West and his endorsement of Wahhabism, the most extreme form of Islam. Moreover, Ramadan has numerous connections to fundamentalist Islamic militants and is suspected by U.S. intelligence agencies of maintaining ties with the terrorist group al Qaeda.

Ramadan’s maternal grandfather was Hasan al-Banna, who in 1928 founded the Muslim Brotherhood. Ramadan’s father, Said Ramadan, led the Brotherhood throughout the 1950s and then was exiled from Egypt to Switzerland, where Tariq was born in September 1962.

[T]he U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) revoked Ramadan’s work visa, thereby preventing him from remaining in the United States. DHS spokesman Russ Knocke explained that the visa revocation was in accordance with a law which denies entry to foreigners who have used a “position of prominence within any country to endorse or espouse terrorist activity.” Among the items that led to this DHS decision were the following:

In the midst of a series of mid-1990s attacks in Paris perpetrated by the Algerian Islamist terrorist movement, French Interior Minister Jean Louis Debre forbade Ramadan to enter France because of his connections to that movement.

According to Spanish judge Balatasar Garzón, Ramadan had “routine contacts” with Ahmed Brahim, an Algerian believed to be the financial chief of al Qaeda and the financier of the 1998 U.S. embassy bombings in Tanzania and Kenya.

In his 2001 trial, Djamel Beghal, an al Qaeda recruiter who confessed to conspiring to blow up the U.S embassy in Paris, testified that he had studied with Ramadan.

Ramadan’s address was found in a register of the Al Taqwa Bank, which is part of a network of financial institutions that the U.S. State Department believes is helping to fund terrorism.

Ramadan characterized the 9/11 attacks, the October 2002 Bali nightclub attack, and the March 2004 Madrid train bombings as “interventions” rather than acts of terrorism.

When asked by an Italian magazine whether car bombings against U.S. troops in Iraq were justifiable, Ramadan replied: “Iraq was colonized by the Americans. Resistance against the army is just.”

There’s a lot more—but President Obama and Hillary Clinton thought he was their kind of people, so they reinstated his visa, and he can evidently come and go as he pleases.

Sounds like a great event; pity I’ll miss it. But those impacted wisdom teeth aren’t going to remove themselves!

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The Meaning of “Oooh”

The rabbi who asked Helen Thomas if she could pass the salt and got an earful of Jew-hatred tells us a little more about the incident, and—for the suspicious media—explains the meaning of “oooh”:

We were on the White House front lawn when I told the teenagers that approaching us was the most famous reporter in the world — Helen Thomas, a veteran who had covered presidents from Kennedy to Obama. We stopped her. I told Thomas that the young men were starting out in the press corps and hoped to be reporters. She kindly shared notes about journalism with us. “You’ll always keep learning,” she said. It was an honor.

Then I asked: “Any comments on Israel? We’re asking everybody today.” Like saying a password to enter a new, secret place. “Tell them to get the hell out of Palestine,” she replied, and “go home” to Poland and Germany.

The gentle give and take has now been broadcast, transcribed and thoroughly dissected. However, a strict transcription misses the accuracy of the audiovisual. Only in the director’s cut, the video, are the nonwords, the sound, the noise, the true reaction. And that was my “oooh.”

“What were you thinking when you said ‘oooh,’ rabbi?” asked Fox News, as did many of the other national and international media outlets that probed and jabbed for my innermost thoughts. Well, I was thinking “oooh.” Oooh. Most heard it the first time. Certainly during the multitude of reruns, “oooh” became part of the song. It was a response by a rabbi to Thomas’s comments, and it was from my soul.

She didn’t say that the blockade was unjust, or that aid was not getting to Gaza, or that there was a massacre on the high seas, or that East Jerusalem is occupied, or that the settlements are immoral . . . and get out and go back to West Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Haifa and Eilat. No. This was not the two-state solution. This was get the hell out and go back to the places of the final solution, Poland and Germany. The Jew has no connection with the land of Israel.

And why? Because, as Thomas went on to explain to me, “I’m from Arab descent.”

Where before I saw a foggy anti-Israel, anti-Jewish link, it’s now clear. This feeling is not about statehood. It’s about an ingrown, organic hate. It’s a sentiment that bears no connection to history, dates, passages or verses. Erase the facts, the dates and the lore. Erase the Jew. Incredibly, even the Nazis said to the Jews, “Go home to Palestine.” But Thomas and a babbling stream in our world and country dictate to Jewish people to “go home to Poland and Germany.” Yeah, I said “oooh.”

My “oooh” was the sound of the shofar ram’s horn calling a loud primal tikeya, the extended ancient whole note from my very core. My existence was being erased. Every room in every Holiday Inn in America has, next to the bed, in the drawer, a Bible, beside the yellow pages and the breakfast menu. Christianity believes in the Jewish ancestry. Islam believes in the prophets Moses and Jesus. Can we just rip away the history of Jews in Israel like a Band-Aid, one quick motion across the centuries? Oooh.

We went back to the East Room for the Jewish event and then onto the South Lawn as Marine One carried away the first family for the Memorial Day weekend. We stopped in Maryland on the way home for some kosher shwarma. The New Jersey Turnpike looked the same, but we were already traveling on a road in a post-oooh world.

I ended up posting more of this than I intended because there’s so much here. Thomas’ “Arab descent” comment has been largely overlooked, and Nesenoff’s reaction is justified. They’re still trying to excuse her, cover up her psychopathic hatred. “They” being the very media who propped her up as their figurehead for so many decades.

And “they” never really address the rabbi’s other point: that faith, lore, history, culture tie the Jews to Israel—something accepted as fact by everyone, from the most secular historian to the most devout believer (like Madonna).

But mostly I wanted to include the rabbi’s personal reaction. The world is changed, changed utterly: it is a post-oooh world.

He was not out to “get” anybody. There was no ambush (like the Turks aboard the Mavi Marmara). In fact, he sounded rather innocent. But those four simple words—any comments on Israel—brought forth a response that was as clarifying as it was irrational and hate-filled. His May 27th was my September 11th: the events and implications of those days were plain for all to see. We both said, “now I get it.”

But where he oooh-ed, I ohhh-ed: ohhh no, ohhh my God. Doesn’t matter. We were blind, as the hymn goes, but now we see.

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Helen Thomas Was The Jeremiah Wright Of The Profession Of Journalism

Of course! Why didn’t we see this before?

There she goes again.

That was the eye-rolling reaction in the White House pressroom when Helen Thomas would go off on one of her rants about the Middle East. She had been there for so long, was so admired by female journalists, was such a curmudgeonly character, that she was regarded as everyone’s eccentric aunt.

Jew hatred? Check. Crowds of arrogant intellectuals sitting in the pews? Check. Eccentric aunt/uncle in the attic? Check.

But that’s not how she was seen by much of the country, which still viewed her as the groundbreaking correspondent she once was, not the cranky columnist she had become. So when Aunt Helen snapped that Israelis should “get the hell out of Palestine” — and go back to Germany, among other places — many onlookers were stunned.

Too bad when we heard Reverend Wright we weren’t quite stunned enough. Or was that because the media declined to fully investigate and publish his odious remarks? Because they covered for the fact that Obama had been in his church, weekly, for twenty years?

It’s hard to avoid the conclusion that she was a member in good standing of a tightly knit club that refused to question why a woman whose main job seemed to be to harangue press secretaries and presidents deserved a front-row seat in the briefing room. Only the furor that followed a chance encounter with a rabbi armed with a video camera prompted the 89-year-old Thomas to retire last week.

Journalists, especially those who spend a great deal of time together, don’t usually turn on each other. If Thomas was spewing bias and bile, the reasoning went, what was the harm?

Exactly. That is exactly how they think. They have tremendous power, but use it with loosey-goosey rules like little kids in a clubhouse. When you call them on it, they are shocked and offended. Are you questioning their judgment? Their professionalism!

And, true to form, the writer launches into a long defense of Helen Thomas. But I won’t quote it here. He doesn’t want his buddies to stop talking to him.

To his credit, he notes the hatred that the Rabbi has been subjected to for releasing his video, both from the general public and from members of the press:

Nesenoff also says “there are individuals within the media” who are “pursuing an agenda,” though he declines to identify them. (Critics have derided him for portraying a stereotypical Mexican with a bad accent in a video on his Web site, which the rabbi dismisses as a harmless Purim skit.) Had they called, Nesenoff says, he would have explained that he has founded an anti-bias task force, consulted for the Justice Department in the Denny’s restaurant discrimination case and spoken with Mel Gibson about his drunken, anti-Semitic rant.

To those who say he wound up infringing on Thomas’s freedom of speech, Nesenoff says that she had a public platform “for 60 years. I had it for two minutes, and I shared my two minutes with her. It was specifically her freedom of speech that caused this problem.”

- Aggie

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A Lady’s Reputation

Chivalry is not dead! Show Helen Thomas to be a nasty old bigot, and see what you get:

“Hitler was right. Time for you to go back in the oven,” is one of the more subdued expressions to be found in the thousands of missives received by the rabbi whose interview with Helen Thomas included the veteran White House correspondent sending the Jews back to Poland and Germany.

“I asked everyone the same question about Israel, since I wanted to make a video supporting Israel,” Rabbi David Nesenoff told Haaretz, saying his encounter with Thomas on May 27, too place as the White House celebrated Jewish Heritage Month, the first such event to organized by U.S. President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle.

“I was very surprised when Thomas told me that not only was she opposed to the two-state solution, but that she thought that the Jews should leave Israel and return to the final solution, more or less,” Nesenoff said.

Nesenoff added, however, that as a rabbi he was interested in making the world better (Tikkun Olam) and repentance, saying that “Helen Thomas has the opportunity to make amends. She is still alive and could still do a lot of good.”

The rabbi also said that he had received approximately 25,000 missives, many of which he said were hate mail, following news of the incident and Thomas’ resignation.

They were threats, saying things such as ‘death,’ ‘you better watch out,’ and ‘will do to you things that were done to other people in history.’ According to Nesenoff, the letters spelled out threats not only against him and his family but also against the Jewish people as a whole.

Nesenoff added he received advice from some very prominent individuals, saying he spoke with former White House Press Secretary for U.S. President George W. Bush, Ari Fleischer, “who gave me some useful tips. I talked to Elie Wiesel yesterday, who told me ‘yasher koach’ [may you have strength]. When Elie Wiesel says something like that, you know you did something right.”

According to Nesenoff, he no longer sees a difference between anti-Semitic and anti-Israel behavior, saying that Israel was “a legitimate state and if there’s any criticism it must be specific. But people keep returning to the question: Why are the Jews living there? They took over that country.’ It is a re-writing of history while ignoring the centuries-long Jewish presence in Israel. Those are statements against Jews, with anti-Israel sentiment being only a part of it.”

The rabbi helpfully posts some of the nastier notes he received at his website here, complete with return email addresses.

Do yourself a favor and don’t read them, unless you like slumming in the cesspools of abnormal psychology.

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Yes, It Is

A couple of commenters (no regulars) have come to Helen Thomas’ defense, one of whom raised the old canard that not all criticism of Israel is anti-Semitic.

I’ll leave the yes-it-is answer for the end, but just to address Thomas’ comments themselves. They weren’t anti-Israel, they were anti-Jew. Only Jews were advised to go back to Germany or Poland (even if they and their parents were born in Israel). She said nothing of Arafat (or what’s left of him) going back to Cairo (where he was born), or other “Palestinians” going back to Jordan. Nor did she advise Jews to go back to Arab cities, towns, and villages across the Middle East, from which they were chased with bloody knives after Israel declared statehood. Nor did she recommend they return to Russia or the Ukraine, where they endured centuries of pogroms. Nor did she suggest they return to France, Holland, Hungary, or other European countries that collaborated with the Nazis by turning over their Jews to the Gestapo (though from their memoirs you’d think everyone was in the resistance).

If she had, she would have been acknowledging millennia of persecution. Which would have prompted sympathy for the Jews and understanding of the Zionist movement.

Which is why she said none of it. She just said go back to Poland (read Auschwitz), go back to Germany (read Buchenwald).

You really want to defend Helen Thomas?

Now, as for the assertion that you can criticize Israel without being anti-Semitic—I’ll allow that as theoretically possible. You can criticize Israeli olive oil, I suppose, or Israeli recycling policies. You can even go ballistic on the Israeli national soccer team.

But criticism of Israel rarely sticks to those areas of controversy. It usually goes straight for Israeli policies of self defense. Criticizing the Jewish State for defending itself against decades of hostility from its psychopathic neighbors (and you can’t dispute that) really butts right up against the ugly face of Helen Thomas—I mean, anti-Semitism.

Because really the question is: does Israel have a right to exist? God thinks so (by some accounts), but Helen and others would disagree. So many people I know say yes, Israel has a right to exist, but…

But what?

But not defend itself from suicide bombers (hence the separation barrier)? But not take out missile launchers and other terrorist infrastructure in Gaza (hence operation Eat Lead)? But not deal with Hezbollah in Lebanon? Not raze homes of terrorists as a deterrent to future terrorists (and to counteract the rewards paid by Saddam for “martyrdom operations”? Not take out Iraq’s Osirak nuclear facility in 1981? Not raid Entebbe airport?

Not blockade the murderous Hamass junta in Gaza (and that’s just what Fatah has to say about them)? Not shoot with something stronger than paintball guns when confronted with knife-wielding, pipe-swinging, trained mercenaries?

You people should listen to yourselves. It’s crazy!

I remember something Aunt Agatha said to me once, a few years ago: Israel doesn’t have to be perfect, it just has to be human.

I think the same goes for us. If we don’t have the human empathy to put ourselves in Israel’s place and ask how we would feel, what we would do, if confronted with the raw realities they face every day—then maybe we should shut up (or “retire”). How could they ride a bus or go out for pizza in the 1990s with the specter of suicide bombers detonating their ball-bearing and hex-nut filled vests? How could they live in the Israeli city of Sderot in the 2000s with Gaza-launched missiles and mortars raining from the sky?

How could they come up with the defiant beauty of “We Con the World” when the whole world (except Joe Biden and a few others) is a willing co-conspirator in the con?

And unless you’re criticizing Israeli ice cream or AM radio reception, how is criticism of the only Democratic state in the region (maybe Iraq), with the freest Arabs in region, not anti-Semitic?

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