Helen Thomas bares it all in the April 2011 US edition of Playboy Magazine. And by “ALL,” I don’t mean her naked skin, I mean her naked, unashamed, dislike of Jews, or just Israel. You can decide.
Thomas, 90, the former “dean” of White House journalists, the Hearst reporter who received a front seat at White House press conferences and was given the honor of usually asking the first question of the POTUS, “resigned” in 2010 and was stripped of many honors after she said told a Jewish video blogger, Rabbi David Nesenoff, that Jews should leave Israel and return to Poland or points elsewhere. (Note: During the George W. Bush administration, Ari Fleischer, has her placed in a back row for questioning Bush on Iraq too much)
In the article, which has sullied my copy of Playboy, Thomas says, “I think theyâ€™re wonderful people [The Jews]. They had to have the most depth. They were leaders in civil rights. Theyâ€™ve always had the heart for others but not for Arabs, for some reason. Iâ€™m not anti-Jewish; Iâ€™m anti-Zionist. I am anti Israel taking what doesnâ€™t belong to it. If you have a home and youâ€™re kicked out of that home, you donâ€™t come and kick someone else out. Anti-Semite? The Israelis are not even Semites! Theyâ€™re Europeans, and theyâ€™ve come from somewhere else. But even if they were Semites, they would still have no right to usurp other peopleâ€™s land. There are some Israelis with a conscience and a big heart, but unfortunately they are too few.”
But I guess that is why she wants Jews to return to Poland and point elsewhere, and not just Zionists?
I won’t rehash her comments here; we are familiar with them. But what David Hochman’s article brings to light is that Thomas stands by her comments, and wishes that she had said them louder and earlier.
Interviewed at her favorite Palestinian restaurant near duPont Circle, and later at her apartment, she realized she made a slight faux pas when she offered Hochman a plate of ham sandwiches and then said, “Oh, I hope I havenâ€™t served the wrong thing.”
Thomas notes that she knew she had touched the third rail of American politics by criticizing Israel and Jews, but she says, she knew exactly what she was doing â€” she was going for broke. She had reached the point of no return and was fed up. After leaving her position, she says that former President Jimmy Carter called to comfort her and discuss Israel’s violations, and some DC reporters formed a group of Jews for Helen Thomas.
Thomas goes on to say that she was against the Jackson Vanik bill that directed the USSR to free its Soviet Jews, because the Jews would go to Palestine. Adding, “I mean, they [the Palestinians] are living there and these people [Israeli Jews] want to come and take their homes and land and water and kill their children and kill them. How many are still under arrest in Israelâ€”never been charged, never been tried, never been convicted? Thousands. Why?”
Later in the interview, she criticizes Holocaust remembrance in the Jewish community, and becomes outraged when Hochman tells her that people think she is demented. SHe cires tears at the thought that her obituary, one day, will lead with her White House lawn comments and not her decades as a journalist.
People used to say the read Playboy only for the articles. Now I see what they mean.