Helen Thomas has lost her marbles.

Helen Thomas was born in Winchester, Kentucky. Her parents, Mary (née Rowady) and George Thomas, were Lebanese immigrants from Tripoli, Lebanon.[2][3][4] She was brought up in Detroit, Michigan, and attended Wayne University (now Wayne State University), graduating with a bachelor’s degree in 1942.

I have to hold back on everything that I want to say. The fact that she is of Lebanese origin is significant. The fact that she apparently kept these racist, anti-Semitic views to herself for so long is strange.

Has her advanced age led her to this or was she always like this and was able to keep herself in check?

UPDATE: An apology was posted on Thomas’s Web site: “I deeply regret my comments I made last week regarding the Israelis and the Palestinians. They do not reflect my heart-felt belief that peace will come to the Middle East only when all parties recognize the need for mutual respect and tolerance. May that day come soon.”

About the author

Rabbi Yonah


  • I have a hard time believing that she hasn’t always been this way. Old age has a way of removing the normal filters from people. They stop paying attention to what is “polite” and speak their minds.

  • OMFG. Way to support ethnic cleansing, which apparently Helen Thomas thinks is ok as long as the people really deserve it. I have to agree w Jack. That’s too extreme a position to just spontaneously come out over one incident, or even a series of them.

    What about the hundreds of thousands of Jews kicked out of Arab lands? I don’t think they’ve exactly been tendered the invitation to return.

    • Obviously Ms. Thomas doesn’t realize that half of Israel’s population comes from Arab and Muslim states or that over 65% of its Jewish residents were born in Israel.

  • I’ll be shocked if she’s fired. I’ll be even more shocked if this “off the cuff statement” makes real headlines. After all, this is really just another dog-bites-man story.

  • She is ignorant to history. Early Jewish text, the Bible and even the Quran states that Israel was there in ancient times.

    This is the lie that is being used those who don’t know history.

  • As Rabbi Jonah reveals – she is an ARAB. That is all we need to know. The fact that half of Israelis believe Arabs should be expelled is of course irrelevant:

    Some deluded anti-semites might say that fact is more ‘staggering’ (as themiddle says), but Helen Al-Thomas is an ARAB (possibly a terrorist???) therefore more attention should be paid to her words.

    I truly believe that with the right PR and marketing Israel can overcome it’s image problems. Jewlicious performs an admirable duty in this respect. Keep up the good work.

    • It’s funny you should think we provide an admirable duty, Cabel, since really we are just reporting facts.

      It’s also cute to see you ignore what Helen Thomas said. Any comment about that?

  • The Bible has no jurisdiction. And the Jews who colonized Palestine are predominantly European immigrants. You freaks are no more ‘Israelite’ than I am.

    Who cares what the Quran says, you have no right to kick people off their land because your ancient comic book says so. Religious freaks.

    And before you open your mouth about ‘the Arabs’ look in the mirror. You’re as hateful as the caricature/straw-man you tear down.

    It’s a good thing there is no Two State solution now. Let’s see what you guys do next, since our Congress is bought and paid for.

    I don’t believe all those idiots actually support Israel. It’s a political embarrassment and liability. It’s against the ideals we should aspire to.

    But yea, bring up that she’s an Arab. There are plenty of us NON-Arab and NON-Jews who are sick of you supremacist douchebags pushing around a virtually defenseless people.

    We don’t fall for your inanely idiotic sloganeering –

    ‘we left Gaza and got rockets’

    ‘save Gaza…..from Hamas’

    ‘when Palestinians love their kids more than they hate Israel there will be peace’

    ‘human shields!!’

    ‘Hamas charter!!’

    Literally, the only people who support you are the CHristian Zionist psychos, the right wingers, and the corporate Liberals.

    Everyone else has the chance to change. And in time you will lose. Zionism requires way too much LYING and murder and subjugation of the indigenous people for it to perpetuate itself.

    Good luck – you’re going to need it, now that people are waking up.

    • “Supremacist douchebags,” “Congress is bought and paid for,” “Jews who colonized,” “You freaks…”

      Are you sure it’s Zionism that requires too much lying?

  • I agree with Cable. Just because 50 per cent of Israeli Jews believe the mirror image of what Thomas believes, it does not mean it is significant. There is a major difference – Israeli Arabs are a terrorist population, therefore it is right under international law to expel them.

    I congratulate Jonah for revealing that she is Lebanese. We must all dwell on what that means. To maintain peace, we must fight to ensure Israel is Arab-free, whilst maintaining the pressure on anti-Semites like Helen Thomas.

    • Helen Thomas has apologized for making this remark.

      She could have been a Martian and having said this would have been unacceptable. Her background is irrelevant to the discussion.

  • Thomas has revealed her antipathy to Israel before. A fight with her at this time will only play into our enemy’s hands. What’s to gain from that? Be sagacious.

    I also applaud Rabbi Yonah for revealing her Lebanese background. I would appeal to Jewlicious readers to consider the long-term effects of continued Muslim mass immigration.

    At the very least, we need to stand up to HIAS, who continues to speak in our name for open borders.

  • Clearly, Helen is wrong, misguided, and out of line – no need to take her lies apart in detail as they are so transparently false (email me if youd like for detail).

    But her venom is nothing new and, unfortunately, seems to be more than commonplace these days from all fronts.

    What is really shocking though:

    1) The MSM has not picked up on this story at all,
    2) The “dog bites man” argument that one of the posters mentioned above is being trotted out by her defenders – BUT THEY FAIL TO RECOGNIZE THAT SHE IS PART OF THE WH PRESS CORPS., NOT SOME SENILE OLD LADY LIVING IN AN OLD AGE HOME,
    3) Her statement seems to bringing out many rabid revisionist anti-semites (yes, anti-semites) to her defense.

    I guess is her close relationship with Obama has finally made her comfortable enough to come out and explicitly say what she has always implied in the past

  • What a relief to learn that this ugly, arrogant, hateful and stupid old witch is not Jewish. God knows we have enough of self-hating psychos at it is.

  • For Helen and those who thing like her:
    We, the Jews of Israel are not moving from Israel which is our homeland FOREVER.
    The Arabs moved to this place from the surrounding countries (Lebanon, Syria, and Egypt) following its prosperity, and are actually an Islamic fiction. Even the Koran contains to reference to Jerusalem. Israel is the Jews country with united Jerusalem its capital.
    I wish you long life knowing that Israel is STRONG FOREVER.

  • Dear Helen Thomas. Do you recommend any specific locations in Germany or Poland that Jews should go back ? What is your opinion about Dachau or Bergen Belsen in Germany, or perhaps you prefer Auschwitz or Treblinka ? By the way, I would like to recommend that those Jews will all get jobs to support themselves. After all, arbeit macht frei…

  • She could have been a Martian and having said this would have been unacceptable.

    That’s nice, but Martians don’t usually say things like this, do they? You know who tends to say things like this? Those from populations on the opposing side of the conflict.

    I know, as a community, let’s support bringing them over here by the millions.

  • Kelsey, there are plenty of people who were born here or whose ancestry is, say, Irish, who say the same things about Israel and its Jewish citizens. I’m not suggesting that you aren’t likely to find this type of bigotry or false impression of history among Arabs and Muslims, since these views are presented often in their media, but the fact is that what matter here is what she said and not whether she’s of Arab descent or not. In fact, I think bringing it up distracts from the subject at hand.

  • My comment was swallowed. Anyway, who you are from informs how you perceive a conflict.

    I am quite sure I would have a different view on the conflict if I were brought up a Muslim.

    So would you. And let’s not blame it all on the media.

    • Kelsey, I have a different view of the conflict because I’m Jewish. Does that mean my ancestors shouldn’t have been let into this country?

  • Jews everywhere should stand with Glenn Beck, the last man of any integrity and wisdom left on TV.

    • Actually Cabel, Jews tend to vote Democratic and their values tend to slant left. Once again, sadly for you, your sarcasm misses the point.

  • Helen Thomas clearly is an anti-semite, despite your views on the conflict. Her words speak volumes. It doesn’t matter which segment of the medium chooses to report or ignore this. Glenn Beck is still a tool.

  • TM, Muslim mass immigration is not working out so well in Europe, and I am concerned there are ominous signs that it will not do well here either.

    The open borders ideals of HIAS and her sisters (for the US, not Israel) is most speculative.

  • Wow. Check out comments on Huffinton Post link below. 14,000 comments – got throught the 1st few pages ALMOST ALL OF WHICH SUPPORT OR AT LEAST DEFEND HELLEN.

    What is even scarier is the couple of posters who criticized her were basically shouted down.

    I always thought “never again” was more of a slogan for our generation……I think I have been proven wrong. Unabashad anti-semitism seems to be everywhere now and not many seem to be concerned or critical, ESPECIALLY LEFT LEANING LIBERAL JEWS (they may not all be jews, but when I see names like Rosenberg, Cohen, Beinhart, I assume they likely are).


  • EverythingIsPalestinian Wow. Check out comments on Huffinton Post link below. 14,000 comments – got throught the 1st few pages ALMOST ALL OF WHICH SUPPORT OR AT LEAST DEFEND HELLEN.

    What is even scarier is the couple of posters who criticized her were basically shouted down.

    I always thought “never again” was more of a slogan for our generation……I think I have been proven wrong. Unabashad anti-semitism seems to be everywhere now and not many seem to be concerned or critical, ESPECIALLY LEFT LEANING LIBERAL JEWS (they may not all be jews, but when I see names like Rosenberg, Cohen, Beinhart, I assume they likely are).



    EverythingIsPalestinian Wow. Check out comments on Huffinton Post link below. 14,000 comments – got throught the 1st few pages ALMOST ALL OF WHICH SUPPORT OR AT LEAST DEFEND HELLEN.

    What is even scarier is the couple of posters who criticized her were basically shouted down.

    I always thought “never again” was more of a slogan for our generation……I think I have been proven wrong. Unabashad anti-semitism seems to be everywhere now and not many seem to be concerned or critical, ESPECIALLY LEFT LEANING LIBERAL JEWS (they may not all be jews, but when I see names like Rosenberg, Cohen, Beinhart, I assume they likely are).


    Sorry for the confusion

  • P.S. Ive tried posting on huffington post in the past to put some sanity into the picture but they eventually delete my posts. Even worse, they then deregister me and do not allow reregistering with the same email

    All very tame posts but reason is just erased

  • first of all…it is well known that thomas is lebanese…and she has been making pointed comments and questions in regards the middle east for years

    i would like to know why her family emigrated from lebanon in the teens?

    she was born here in 1920

    there was no israel…lebanon was a beautiful country…why did they leave

    i would like to thank jewlicious for leaving up the post of the jew hating bastard

    it is always nice to see in print their absolute ignorance

  • Democratic party first…Israel last. When is Jewish America going to wake up from their slumber and realize that Israel is on the front line of a war in which the goal is to wipe ALL JEWS off the planet. Unfortunately, Jewish America has the wrong enemy. The smartest-stupidest people in the world (Jewish America)attack Israel supporters like Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck, Pat Robertson, etc., while SILENT when Democrats like Helen Thomas calls for ethnic cleansing of Jews living in Israel. Jewish America… you are digging your own grave.

  • Old age does have change how one filters/self censors their views. Like a child, she spoke what she believed. Her tepid and formulaic apology is worthless. This is a person that was alive and well during and after World War II. These “traditional” as in age-old anti-Semitic views are and probably always have been part of her personality. Her background (hidden, by a name change — as was the case for many immigrants of all faiths and backgrounds in the era her parents came to the USA) undoubtedly has shaped her world view too. Can you imagine the uproar if someone said all Blacks (of course people in the Klan do this all the time) back to Africa? The silence of the mass media on this is deafening and sickening to boot.

    Oh, by the way, as others have noted in some other places: Ms. Thomas “listen up” go back to Lebanon! How does that feel?


  • Spoke with my mom who informed me that Thomas is from a Lebanese Christian family. Detroiters know her well, and are not surprised that she has gone off the deep end. Apparently some of her extraordinary bigotry has leaked out in the past.

    And yes, its hard to come to terms with the fact that many in the world hate us. But, Christians United for Israel, and the hundreds of Christian supporters at today’s rally in LA, show us that we do have some friends.

  • Helen Thomas would have been fired days ago if she would have made a similar comment about blacks. If she would have said all the blacks should go back to where they came from, Africa…….. then she would have had Rev. Al Charlatan and “I have a Scheme” Jackson calling for her job and staging protest outside her Calvert St. apartment in DC. Because the comment was about Jews she gets a mulligan.

  • darn, the cursor keeps jumping. what i meant was “well, let me see…” (I am thinking)

  • Helen Thomas has not ‘lost her marbles’ – you may disagree with her point of view, but that doesn’t make it crazy. And she never suggested ‘ethnic cleansing’ – she said “they should go home” and “get out of Palestine” – that doesn’t suggest force, she’s saying it’s what people should do. If you regard Israel the state as an occupation of Palestine, and there’s plenty of reason to regard it that way – then asking the occupying population to withdraw and stop waging war on the native population makes a lot of sense – or does it, in America?

    Those on this board who criticize Thomas – fine – everyone’s entitled to an opinion. But refrain from making comparisons to Nazism, or regarding her as a terrorist. Why do we refer to Israelis as ‘soldiers’ and Hamas as ‘terrorists’? I agree that Hamas’ actions are reprehensible, but so also are the actions of the Isaeli army.

    Her remark is not comparable to suggesting blacks go back to Africa – totally different. Africans were seized and brought as slaves. Mostly European Jews moved to settle Israel voluntarily, and without input from the native population.

    • Well, Josh, you might need to catch up on some reading on e.g. where Jews originally come from, where they have resided during their history and why, from what point on African people shipped to the US became slaves, and, oh, the difference between a soldier in uniform with their national emblem on display or a terrorist aka guerilla with non such features. You’d be amazed.

  • Thank you, Helen Thomas, for speaking up for all the decent people everywhere. The Jews are obsessed with themselves and their own interests and affairs, and totally oblivious to other people’s plight. Moreover, in the past they often betrayed their host countries – e.g. being communist functionaries and executors of totalitarian regimes. Sorry to disappoint you, Helen, but Jews would not be welcome back anywhere in Europe where they might have come from, they’ve done enough harm there already. Good riddance, stew in you own Palestine-fueled jews! Josef

  • To The Truth Hurts:

    What you said is completely untrue:

    “Aside from Fox, no mention yet of this incident in MSM…..”

    In fact, I heard about this immediately on the “liberal” MSNBC network. Your comment has NO connection to reality.

    And Fox has very little connection to reality. MSNBC is certainly predominantly liberal in opinion, but not disconnected from reality, and still willing to give major airtime to a conservative like Joe Scarborough. Far more fair and balanced than Fox.

  • Im just wondering…Israel supporters say because jews originally were in that land they have a RIGHT to it.

    Thats just such so awesome.
    Ok..Native Americans should reclaim their land.
    White south Africans should leave.
    White australians…

    hell all the white trash should go back to britain…

    I mean all u need to do is prove you were their first?

    • Dumb, re-read what I wrote above. Understand it. Then hide in a corner and be ashamed of yourself.

    • Well, Dumb, you also need to buy real estate, get the international community to commit to giving you that land as a home because of your historic links, offer to compromise and share it with another group who also wants that land, and then win the war of extermination and ethnic cleansing that the other side launches against you.

  • froylein….i dont know how old you are…

    But America has a thing called freedom of expression.

    She aint Muslim
    She Is American
    She has been working in the white house for 50 yrs and with how many presidents

    She Could not express her opinion without severe consequences.
    SHE SAW ISRAEL FORMED , she thinks it was a wrong Idea…how can you call her wrong.

    she even said they should come to America. How can you call her Anti -Jew…bloody ridiculous.

  • NY Jew,

    You posted 2 days after my initial post and 3 days after the clip went viral.

    MSM did eventually pick up story (how could they not???) but the inital silence was deafening.

    You may not think Fox is MSM as they do not bash Israel as much as others, but I consider them MSM as it is network news…just the flip side.

  • Dumb, I don’t know how old you are, but you are certainly not old enough to follow this conversation going by how you again misread what I wrote above. Honi soit…

  • Why so much hate and name calling? Helen Thomas has the right to express her views, like all of us. We don’t have to agree with her but she, like you and me, has the right to express them, none-the-less. And why is anyone, Jew, Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, European, Arab, Asian, American, African, etc., always labeled a traitor or anti-Semitic for expressing a point of view contrary to Israel? Why can’t one be in support of Israel and her right to exist, and still voice an opinion when they feel Israel is wrong in some of the actions she has taken? I remember being a kid and watching a from report from Israel, who was refusing to allow Orthodox Ethiopian Jews to remain in Israel, solely because they were black Jews, and that was, unbelievably, actually said by some of the Israeli press at the time, who also stated they should go back where they came from. Eventually, a Christian organization had to intervene and Israel finally allowed them to remain in Israel for good. I didn’t paint all Israeli Jews as racists because of that incident or because of what the Israeli reporters had said about the Ethiopian, Orthodox, Jews, so why paint Thomas as a terrorist and anti-Semitic, because she has a different point of view? Her experiences have obviously been different from a lot of Israelis but that doesn’t make her a terrorist anymore than it makes Israeli’s terrorist because of their experiences and point of view. Palestinians and Israelis have both participated in terrorist activities and both have said they were just protecting themselves and each ones right to exist. I think the press, liberal as well as conservative, and now ultra conservative, (strangely it used to be just the press reporting the actual facts, without tainting them with their personal biases and POVs,) have done us all a disservice, by not reporting all of the FACTS and different points of view among Israeli’s. I also don’t think most Israeli’s realize or understand why many Americans now feel our very right to exist is being threatened by Israel’s, over the top, aggression, whether warranted or not. Thomas certainly should not have added that all Israeli Jews should, “go back home to Poland, Germany and or America.” That statement was over-the-top, mean and painful, to say the least, even if Israeli said the same thing about Orthodox, Ethiopian Jews. But can Israeli Jews understand our concern when we hear American Jews who proudly state their first loyalty and allegiance is to Israel and not the United Sates of America? And many wonder why Jews, Israeli as well as American, embrace the far right, who’s very belief system is predicated on the destruction of Jews when Jesus returns, because they ( Jews) are nonbelievers who will once again, refuse to convert and thus leave Israel to the “true faithful.” I have listened to that very statement voiced in many evangelical sermons. It may be simplistic and optimistic but Americans want peace. We are tired of the hate, the killing and young men and women dying, as I am sure Israelis and Palestinians are as well. We want Israel and Palestine to live in peace, side by side, like the Catholics and Protestants have finally done, after decades of detesting and killing one another because of religious bigotry and real estate. Helen Thomas remarks and the reactions to them, should be the catalyst for a sorely needed, respectful and open dialogue, between Israel, America and Palestine, so that we all have the right to exist and coexist and to flourish, in peace. Sadly, I have no doubt many will label me, because I respectfully, sans any name calling and with full support for Israel’s right to exist, peacefully, side by side with a Palestinian state, anti-Semitic. So be it. Name calling will not stop me from always praying for peace.

  • Well, Helen Thomas is 89 years of age. She’s not in the league of being a raw model any longer. She’s 89 and why should we take notice and destroy her forever because of one faulty step?

    I’m not perfect, I’ve said stuff in my life that I have bitterly regret. I’m not destroyed by that no more than the love I experienced for making amends.

    Hate comes in different shapes and forms, why should we use almost same techniques to shuffle out someone we tend to dislike.

    I can’t see this as other than a hasty thought based on an old concept, “If we can’t live together, I’ll move your or my ass away”. Nothing antisemitic in that one, if was from the other side of the table.

    Don’t go the same way as others in this.

  • It’s unfortunate that Helen Thomas’s comments hurt some feelings, but why is she anti-Zionist just because she is anti-Israeli government? Many Jews and non-Jews alike are disgusted with Netanyahu’s unyielding and cruel stance regarding Gaza. We must not confuse the issues or sink to name-calling when someone expresses a legitimate point, that perhaps Israel should get the hell out of Palestine, for example. lol’s comments, while a little profane for my taste, show the anger many people are increasingly feeling towards the Israeli government, and towards people who use their own biases to justify any actions they take. Anything can be justified using one’s own ‘bible’ (or Torah or Koran), but until other religion’s rights are respected, peace cannot come.

  • In fact, why not impound all Arab-“Americans”? We know that they have children, and are therefore a demographic threat. If we put them in camps it would be better for us, and better for them. We have discovered from Gaza that the Arab does not like to be put in a holiday camp, but we need to be protected against future Helen Thomases.

    • Who is this “we” you’re talking about Cabel?

      Stop polluting our discussions or you’re history on this site.

  • You tools. Crying out over this makes you no better then the extremists who do horrible things in name of an ideology. Spewing insults and anti this and that terms only makes the case for your uneducated opinion.

  • Being anti-Zionist is not the same as being anti-Semitic. According to Israeli government documents, 750,000 Arabs were ethnic cleansed from the territories Israel won in the 1948 war so there would still be a Jewish majority. The ethnic cleansing was government policy and was carried out by the army (again according to government documents). Since then Israel has had a policy of paying Jewish people to immigrate from all over the world while at the same time not allowing the ethnic cleansed Arabs nearby to return to their homes or be compensated for their property. (Before partition they owned 93% of the land in Palestine, according to British documents, so according to international law and basic principles of fairness they still own most of Israel.)

    • Harvey, what Israeli government documents show that 750,000 Arabs were ethnically cleansed so there would be a Jewish majority? What British documents show that the Arabs owned 93% of the land in Palestine? What international law indicates they still own most of Israel? Being anti-Zionist is not the same as being anti-Semitic, but being an ignorant person who asserts falsehoods as truths is pretty sad.

    • Harvey, it’s not my fault you don’t know of what you speak. I’ll give you one example. Let’s take your claim about 93% Palestinian control over Palestine. I know where you got that. You saw somewhere that Jews controlled just 7% of Mandatory Palestine’s land and therefore assumed that the rest of it was Palestinian. It wasn’t. In 1948, prior to the war, the Palestinians controlled, via ownership and common lands, about 21 million dunams of land. The Jews, via ownership, controlled about 7 million dunams of land. This was out of approximately 100 million dunams in Mandatory Palestine. Some sources claim another 9 million dunams of public land under Palestinian control because of certain Ottoman laws. By the way, much of this land was owned by foreign land-owners, not by the Palestinians who lived there.

      One other important detail: of the land in Mandatory Palestine that was arable, about 21% was owned by Jews.

      Now, please, if you have no clue about any of this, then why comment at all?

  • “Literally, the only people who support you are the CHristian Zionist psychos, the right wingers, and the corporate Liberals.

    Everyone else has the chance to change. And in time you will lose. Zionism requires way too much LYING and murder and subjugation of the indigenous people for it to perpetuate itself.

    Good luck – you’re going to need it, now that people are waking up.”

    I could not agree with you more. Who is Israel trying to kidd? Terrorists–that is all you are, just like the people you accuse of being terrorists. People are indeed waking up.

  • themiddle,

    thanks for the correction. do you also have a rebuttal for the ethnic cleansing and the seizure of arab farms, houses, businesses, vehicles, and bank accounts? or for the denial of the right to return or at least receive compensation? you sound too well-informed to believe the old story about 750,000 people suddenly leaving their homes and belongings voluntarily while the soldiers just watched.


  • Sure, Harvey. First of all, you need to modify your language. There was no ethnic cleansing. There was a war between two nations and it was a war of extermination launched by the Arabs. Their first attack was the day after the 1947 partition plan resolution when near Jaffa, an attack was launched against a bus and seven Jews were killed. The larger war was launched by the Arab states against Israel on the day after it declared statehood. In that war, the Arabs evicted or murdered every last Jew who was in the territory they took over. During that war, there were many attacks against the Jewish population that emanated from Arab villages and towns. There was also a large number of Palestinian Arabs who fled their homes and villages on their own. For example, the Arabs of Sheikh Munis were asked by the Haganah forces to stay and not leave – something that happened in many other places, such as Haifa – but they fled anyway, abandoning their village. If you read Ephraim Karsh’s “Palestine Betrayed” you will learn that there was a significant move to by Arab leaders to encourage Palestinians to evacuate their homes. It is true that in some cases the Israelis encouraged Palestinians to leave as well, but this was not done on the basis of ethnic cleansing but a desire to prevent the possibility of another war breaking out soon and on a regular basis because of the deep rift between the Jewish and Arab communities.

    By the end of the war, the Arabs had evicted every last Jew from their territories, in Gaza and the area they named the West Bank. Not one Jew lived there and Jordan even created a law prohibiting Jews from being citizens. On the other hand, Israel, with only 600,000, allowed 100-150,000 Arabs to remain within its borders. A year later, it would offer the UN a deal where the Arab nations would call off the war against Israel and accept the armistice as a permanent settlement and in return Israel would accept 100,000 Arab refugees. The Israelis were rebuffed.

    Oh, and another small correction, the 750,000 number you’ve given is hotly debated. When UNWRA was established, a key question was how to determine who was a refugee and deserved assistance. They decided that anybody who had lived in Mandatory Palestine from 1946 on was a refugee. Needless to say, the ranks of refugees swelled at that point.

    Here is a good article for you to read. This is an Israeli leftist who advocated that Israel should remove itself from the West Bank and Gaza.

  • themiddle,

    thanks. interesting article. i take it that you agree with the interviewee that the right of conquest still exists, whatever the UN may say about refugees having the right of return, and that the right of conquest trumps individual property rights.

    given that partition was and still is the only solution, how likely do you think it is that israel will withdraw from the west bank settlements? what about east jerusalem? does it belong to israel by right of conquest? and what do you think of the arab league proposal as a basis for negotiations?


  • Excuse me??? Did you say that her background is irrelevant?? That is the most moronic thing I have heard so far!! That is THE MOST RELEVANT!! This did not come from some uneducated person sitting on their sofa in small town USA. It came from someone who actually has a dog in this fight (A rabid dog that wants nothing other than to kill everything) BECA– USE OF HER BACKGROUND!!! And she apologized?? I don’t believe what I heard was an apology from her. And by the way…She may have been born in Kentucky but her parents were Lebanese immigrants were they not? So Helen, how’s bout you take her own advise and GO THE HELL HOME!!!

    • No, Tonya, she could have been from anywhere and those sentiments would have been unacceptable. There aren’t enough, say, white supremacists who hate Jews out there for you? How about neo-Nazis? What about old school Soviet Communists? Yes, sure, there are plenty of Arabs and Muslims who inherently dislike Jews, but there are also those who don’t. Her background – which in this case is meant to implicate her Arab roots – is not necessarily what drove her to say what she said. Hatred can come from anywhere.

  • I’m not anti-Jew (I believe anti-Semite to be a misnomer), nor do I deny the Holocaust and the suffering of the Jewish people.

    However, I’m sad that there has been a lot less reasonable discussion over the comments made by a knowledgeable and well-respected veteran reporter regarding the state of the Palestine/Israel.

    I appreciate that taken out of context, it might be upsetting to hear with regard to certain sensitivities about ethnic cleansing. But in the interest of historical accuracy – certain things are abundantly clear:

    – Prior to the end of WWII, the jewish population in ‘the region’ was 33%, today it is close to 80%. Clearly this is not a result of some kind of declining fertility rates among Arabs, but one of migration.

    – The history of the various divisions of Judaism from Mizrahi, Sephardic and Ashkenazi Jews are not of the Israel / Palestine region, dating back in most cases to the Middle Ages.

    So if we can accept the fact that the majority of the Jewish population has migrated to Israel within the last 100 years – is it not accurate to claim that the previous inhabitants of this land are under occupation? Is it not reasonable to suggest (more politely than Thomas mind you) that the occupiers go back to where they came from?

    I’m interested in a reasonable rebuttal to this. Save your knee jerk rhetoric for someone else.

    • Jerry, thanks for acknowledging that there was a Jewish population in the region before WWII. There was also a Jewish population there 100 years earlier, 500 years earlier and 2500 years earlier than that. Also, the etymology of anti-Semite doesn’t leave any room for you to claim that the term is a misnomer. It was invented by a hater of Jews specifically to disparage Jews.

      Being a reporter does not buy anybody credibility. You have to earn it and you can easily lose it. It’s not an automatic form of moral superiority to be a journalist. I can think of one veteran reporter who I know personally and have known for years and he’s simply a sleazy liar. He is considered a good reporter because he can get stories and writes well, but I’ve seen him author pieces which reveal a deep bias and lack of objectivity. Thomas’s age and seniority as a reporter do not buy her credibility or a pass. You also may think she’s knowledgeable, but her remarks about Jews going back to Germany and Poland from Israel suggest a lack of knowledge and an indefensible deep bias.

      As to the meaning of her comments, the majority of the Jewish population which migrated to Israel had to migrate there in the past 100 years, often because of the way they were treated in Arab countries like the one from which Ms. Thomas’s parents hail. Old Jewish communities, some of them ancient, found their members hounded and punished in Arab and Muslim lands and had to flee. They found refuge in Israel. They rebuilt their lives there. They lost what they had before and nobody is offering to return it. Over half of Israel’s population today is from or descended from those countries. Now, either Thomas knows this or she doesn’t. If she does and she still said what she said, then her comments are hateful and pernicious because they obliterate the past of these refugees. If she doesn’t know this and said what she said, then her comments are ignorant and purposely refer to the two countries where more Jews were killed than had ever been murdered in the past as the places where Jews really belong. Not where they found remnants of the outside wall of the Temple, but rather where Jews were murdered in unbelievably huge numbers less than 100 years ago. That’s where she wants the Jews to end up. In other words, if this is what she meant, her comments are pernicious and hateful.

      The comments were not made out of context. They reflect her thinking, as you will learn in an interview conducted with her a couple of months ago and that is going to be released shortly, where her deep dislike of Israel and its Jewish residents becomes readily apparent.

      However, there is more. You see, it weren’t just the Jews who moved into Mandatory Palestine. Quite a few Arabs did as well. It’s recorded and remarked upon by the British, who were running things at the time. We don’t know whether the migrant Arabs were part of the attacking forces that often targeted the Jewish residents of the area, but we know there were many who lived locally attacking Jews long before 1948 and when the Jews were a minority in the area. The Jews’ sin? Living and breathing. They would purchase land to build a community and then would find themselves under attack so often that they actually had to invent a system of building small communities overnight and establishing perimeters to defend themselves from the inevitable attempted attacks. This was land purchased legally and at exorbitant prices.

      The attacks that took place against Jews inside Mandatory Palestine were mirrored by attacks or government sanctions on Jews in other foreign Arab and Muslim lands. Even as they brought medicine, better mortality rates and increased incomes that caused many Arabs to migrate to the region, the Jews were continually attacked.

      And then, a war was launched against them, a war that was intended to clear out the Jews entirely, as we see and learn from what happened in the areas the Arabs conquered in that war. “Arab East Jerusalem” is only Arab east Jerusalem because all of the Jews were evicted; every single home inside the so-called West Bank (named so by Jordan that tried to annex it) is considered a settlement because all the Jews who had lived there were either killed or evicted. The Jordanians even created a law preventing Jews from becoming citizens of their country. Up until the Arab riots of 1929, targeting Jews of course, there had been a Hebron Jewish community for a couple of thousand years. In 1929, after the riots, those Jews who weren’t killed left Hebron. They moved to areas with larger Jewish populations, where they could be safer. Today, any Jew who lives in Hebron is called a “settler” or, to put it in your terms, an “occupier.” Same goes for east Jerusalem where no Jews were allowed to remain.

      But of course, you meant that the Jews are “occupiers” of Tel Aviv as well. 65% of Israelis were born in Israel. A greater percentage of Palestinians was born outside of Israel. The “occupiers” are people who were evicted or lived in inhospitable, sometimes dangerous countries, which in some cases fought the Jews in Israel. That’s the war that led to the departure of so many Arabs, after their refusal to compromise peacefully over the land. By then, only 23% of the land of Mandatory Palestine was left and the Jews were offered the arid, mostly desert 55% of that. The Arabs, which had already been given the 77% of Palestine east of the Jordan, were offered the 45% of the remaining 23%, which would have given them 88% to 89% of all of Palestine. They refused. Twice. They launched a war, and they even evicted or killed those Jews who were unfortunate enough to be in the areas conquered in that war by the Arabs. Some of them are the “occupiers” who live in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv today. And they continue to offer the Arabs next door, those who brought the wars and violence upon the Jews, Israel and themselves in the first place, compromises that would involve sharing the land. Three times in the past decade alone.

      Yet, not only are they rebuffed, but a little immoral disinformation industry led by those who launched the wars and supported the wars has opted to maintain the supposed refugee status of the Arabs while ignoring the refugee status of the Jews who moved to Israel. It attempts to depict the Jewish people as foreigners in a place where articles of their heritage going back 1800 and 2000 years are found with some regularity, where their language resembles that which was spoken 2000 years ago, before the Arabs even arrived on the scene, and where some of the population predates Islam. To this end, some of these countries, that you support in your views and comments, continue to play the disinformation and pawn game. Sixty two years after the war, for example, Lebanon, the country from which Thomas’s parents hail originally, refuses to grant the Palestinians who are there, who were born there and who have lived there most or all of their lives, the rights all other Lebanese enjoy as citizens. Apparently, the Lebanese want the Palestinian Arabs who were born in Lebanon to go back to where their parents came from.

  • Thank you, Themiddle for such a polite and well reasoned response.

    I was of the (perhaps mistaken) impression that ‘Semites’ were a rather broad and non-deonimational category defined by language that encompassed the Middle East and North Africa and as such included Jew as well as Arab alike.. and as such anti-semite as a term to describe anti-Jew and anti-Israeli sentiments respectively was inaccurate.

    I’ve also been of the impression that Jews are culturally defined in no small part by the lack of a homeland, specifically with reference to Exodus and diaspora. I certainly understand the need for the creation of a homeland in the wake of WWII – but that particular regions seems to be the cradle of civilization for more than just the Jewish people. It seems to me that the legacy of Colonial powers carving-up of nation states: from Cypress to Pakistan to Northern Ireland to Iraq to Iran to Rwanda seems to be at the root of so many of the world’s conflicts – Israel included.

    I watched the Helen Thomas video – and while I’d point out that she did mention going back to “America and everywhere else ” I’d agree that her mention of Germany and Poland first was inappropriate. Did she mean that Jews should go back to death camps or that these respective nations are free from the clutches of tyranny now and safe to return to?

    My personal feelings are that Israel – and in fact any of the Islamic states bely the fundamental flaw in mixing religion and government. I believe that all men are equal but the Israel situation truly saddens me. I have not only a good number of Jewish friends, but a great respect for the people, culture and their legacies (and food!!). I cant help but feel that Isrealis are much like Nero while Rome is burning around them – in this case, the court of public opinion that is being poisoned against Jews by the actions of the Israeli government and extremist settlers.

    I do sincerely hope for peace in your land and in my time for ALL people..

  • Semites may mean something, but anti-Semite is a specific term that was invented to attack Jews. Seriously, look up the etymology.

    I don’t disagree that carving up the world, as the colonial powers did, is a source of friction to this day. However, just as one example, Jordan, which is a bunch of lines drawn on a map by the British, became a state just two years before Israel. The people around whom it was founded, the Hashemites, cannot point to the same historic links to the place as can the Jews in Israel. They are a monarchy that represses those who openly oppose the regime. They did not seek to help the Palestinians achieve a state when they controlled the West Bank, but instead tried to annex the territory and make it all part of Jordan. They literally destroyed Jewish building including synagogues after capturing eastern Jerusalem.

    Do you see anybody referring to Jordan the way they refer to Israel? Do you see anybody attacking its legitimacy? Do you see anybody calling the Hashemites occupiers?

    I will say one final thing to you. The court of public opinion is being poisoned against Jews by people who either hate Jews or have political motives against Israel and Jew-bashing is a convenient short-cut that also has the added benefit of dividing the Jewish people. In a world where suicide bombers murder large numbers of civilians in Iraq or Afghanistan almost daily, where you have a genocide in Sudan, where Russia rapes Chechnya or where one country has declared its intentions to destroy another country while it builds nuclear capabilities, the constant attacks and attention that Israel attracts are far from reasonable. The extremist settlers are not representative of Israel, which has now offered the Palestinians a state three times in the past decade. The Israeli government is a democratic and fair one that may have lots of room for improvement, but also has to deal with the complexity of never having had a respite from the decades of war and threats from some of its neighbors. This is a government that left every inch of Sinai to forge peace with Egypt. It left every inch of Lebanon and Gaza and received attacks and rockets in return. It made peace with Jordan as soon as it was able to, and has offered peace to the Palestinians that included most of the Territories as well as formulas that would allow both nations to share holy sites.

    I would encourage you to reconsider where you place your blame. Even as Israel makes mistakes, and it does, and even if the presence of Israeli troops governing another people is a terrible thing, nothing in this conflict happens in a vacuum. Israel has extended its hand in peace and compromise 5 times (some would say 6) since 1937 with 3 of the offers coming in the past decade. If you’re looking for culprits, perhaps you would do well to look elsewhere.

  • Oh, and by the way, my land is in the US. So thanks for wishing me peace on my land. I hope that we will defeat the forces arrayed against us in Iraq and Afghanistan soon so that ALL of our troops can come home safely.

  • I wonder if the same detractors condemned Israel in the same way Helen has been. It seems to me that Helen spoke profane things but the Israeli’s were committing profane acts. It is better to commit profane acts of murder (Flotilla) than speak profanely (by saying the Jews should return to Poland, America etc.)?

  • That old racist (Lebanese) ARAB woman Helen Thomas’ ‘ethnic cleansing’ view reflects the ‘conflct of the middle east’ Arab racism & Islamic bigotry that is.

    You have to thank that old Arab hag for being honest, at least, at her last days…

    Take a good look at this “moderate” Arab and tell me it’s not about Arab racism.

    The basic attitudes of the intolerant Goliath Arab Muslims world is that: ‘You Jews are “outsiders” here in the middle east!’ The Arab Palestinians who’s parents or grandparents came over from Arab land and occupy the Jews’ original homeland? they’re OK, they’re “home.”

    Because the entire middle east is ‘Arab Muslim land’ all other non-Arab non-Muslim minorities are “outsiders” especially the Jews, Why? Because they’re neither Arab nor Muslim…

    Now, let’s here some radical liberals defending the Arab Muslim bigotry with “occupation and poor palestinians” slogans.
    The same radical liberals that couldn’t care less what the Islamic Palestine or Hezbollah have in store for them, exactly what kind of Islamic states are in line with liberals’ supposed claim for defending human rights, or even women’s rights?

    I guess, that Palestinian crimes against humanity like torturing fellow “rivals,” honor killing epidemic and oppressing Christians are OK with liberals’ values.

    Not to mention the total fear in totalitarian like “Palestine” for speaking out, unlike in democratic free Israel, there’s virtual no freedom of the press or speech.

    That’s besides Palestinian & Hezbollah’s routinely horrindeous crimes like taking the lives of their civilians for no more as toys in their games of bloodshed, in use of war.

  • The shaeful Arab Helen Thomas’ racism & ethnic cleansing views, at at time that most Palestinian Arabs are not “natives”, they’re actually immigrants from Syria & other surrounding Arab lands. mostly their immigration occured in the years between 1880 and 1948.

    Let’s remember that it was the Mufti that founded the Arab Israeli conflict in in 1929 by his genocide campaign to ´Kill all Jews,´ nothing has changed since.

    The Islamic Mufti influenced Arabs’ racism by his Islamic radicalism!!!

    The Arab world Keep on branding everything Israel does for defense as “racist” Because racist sepremacist (almost all of) Arabia & racist Palestine don’t even allow Jews to live in their “pure-arab” apartheid land.

    And what is Arab terror on Jews all about if not raw anti-Jewish racism?

    And what is the motivation behind all the bloody cruelty upon its people by Hamas / Hezbollah to cause civilians to die in order to blame Israel for it, Is it not bigotry?

    Try to conduct a poll in ALL OF ARABIA about Jews…

    Most Israeli Jews are “brown.” BTW! And Arabs are often treated far better than Jews, look at all court cases!

    On a side note:
    We should never forget what Arab Palestinian (PLO, Arafat) Muslims did to Lebanese in Damour. All the while they keep on talking about Sabra Shatilah

  • Yes perhaps people have to “lose their marbles” to tell the truth. Although suggesting that the jews go back to Poland and Germany is going a tad too far she is 100% right about the fact that jews are occupiers in the middle east. This land was forcibly taken and continue to be forcibly taken from others with the consent and financial help of the US govt. And we the american citizens will pay not only financially but through loss of life for this.

  • Mario, there were Jews there before Jesus was born. There were Jews there after Mohammed died. There were Jews there before the advent of political Zionism as well. Today, 65% of Jewish Israelis are born in Israel and of all Jewish Israelis, about 53% come from Arab and Muslim countries where they were made, how shall we put this, UNCOMFORTABLE enough to leave en masse and rebuild their lives elsewhere.

    As for stolen land, the side that launched a war of ethnic cleansing in rejection of a partition plan that divided the remaining 23% of Palestine that hadn’t already been given to the local Arabs, was not the Israelis. They just happened to win. Wherever they lost, every last Jew was killed or evicted. And yet, even this wasn’t enough, which is why we had the ’67 war where the Arabs lost even more land. Stolen? No. Won in defensive wars and it appears that the losers of those wars want a do-over.

  • 1) I support Helen Thomas. Palestinians are being murdered through genocide in their own country (Palestine) by squatters.

    2) There is no shame amongst israeli zionists that perpetuate the “holocaust”lie. It’s an industry to make money.

    Jews, give it up. Teach your children the truth. Then maybe they won’t be so hated. Nobody likes a liar.


    • Tom

      W are not going to give up now or ever. We have been scapegoated, marginalized, victimized and hunted down for too many generations to let give up now when face with racist jerks like you.

      The lie is the lie that you tell yourself – we are spreading truth, defending liberty, democracy and freedom of religion.

      Itpf that is too much for you then tough.

      Jews are not now, or ever going to give up because someone on a blog thinks a few jabs and stabs will bring us down,

      Not now

      Not ever

    • One more thing Tom

      There is no genocide of Palestinians, the Holocuast is not a lie, and for spreading falsehoods you are like a muderer.

  • Helen Thomas is brave and greatest journalist
    the zionism is aparthaid and criminal racism

    idf= new nazis

  • As a Jew myself, I live Kosher, observer the
    Sabbath, and honor Jesus as the Messiah and
    Jehovah as G..d. I understand your unwillingness
    to submit. Their are many false brethren, and
    ordeals for honest Christian types. And the
    stigma of Goy, living among non Kosher people,
    Sure, Very difficult. God knows. But, there
    will be a reckoning for the righteous, not by
    man, but by g..d. I will pray for you all.
    Mormons are also very cool…Not perfect,
    but part of G..d plan…They suffered to
    help free the slaves of American and around
    the world more than any other…Prayers and
    blessings to them…Sure, My family is very
    Jewish, not practicing, Jew Goy…I consider
    all humanity sons and daughters of God..We
    live in such prosperous time…

  • Hebrews build Jeruselum. Jews, (primarlity,) are Hebrew
    decended. Islam sprung from Christianity, Christianity
    from Judaism/Zoroastrianism. Islam dominated Vast
    territories and resources, easy to assimilate the
    Palestinians into Any Number of Islamic countries…
    Leave tiny Israel in peace. She deserves it.