Tuesday, June 8, 2010
Helen Thomas was right.
Admittedly a surprising conclusion, especially coming from me. Not only has the old battleaxe has been an ignorant and dishonest critic of Israel for decades, but initially it was her treatment of Ronald Reagan that made me grind my teeth. But now, today, in her senile dotage, it appears that Helen Thomas has finally spoken honestly and correctly.
It’s about time.
Not that she meant to, of course. Think of her as Balaam – she set out to curse Israel, but instead blessed it.
Let’s apply some Clintonian parsing and see what she really said.
As we all now know, the open ended question directed to her was, “Do you have any comments on Israel?”
Thomas replied, "Tell them to get the hell out of Palestine."
Stop right there. Tell WHO to get the hell out of Palestine? Helen Thomas didn’t say – but of course the whole world leapt to the conclusion that she meant ‘get the Jews out of Palestine.’
But why should we assume she meant for the Jews to leave?
Isn’t it just as reasonable that she meant get the Arabs to leave?
Does the fact that she used the word “Palestine” indicate that she meant the Jews should leave?
It shouldn’t – especially not for the aged Miss Thomas. Remember, up until the early 1950’s, this general part of the world was called “Palestine” – a name the British pinned on it. It didn’t refer to any country, since there was no country here – there’s never been a country called “Palestine”. But as a general territorial designation, this part of the world was frequently referred by that name. Up until the early 1950’s, when Israel as a Jewish country began to make its imprint on the world scene, if you’d referred to a “Palestinian”, you’d have been talking about a Jew in Israel.
“Palestinians”, as an Arab people, didn’t come into existence until 1967 when terrorist-in-chief Yasser Arafat decided that creating a “Palestinian” people, and retroactively bestowing on them a fake history, would be yet another way to wrest land away from the State of Israel.
Okay – so Thomas utters an ambiguous statement: “Tell THEM to get the hell out of Palestine”. Not until she makes another statement is it clear who she’s talking about. But then she adds, "Remember, these people are occupied, and it's their land."
Right on, Helen baby! “These people”? – Again, an ambiguous reference. But now we know what she meant. It’s the ARABS who must leave. Why? Because just like Balaam, Thomas states the truth: the land belongs to the Jews – “it’s their land” -- and it’s "occupied.”
She’s right about that, too. The Jewish land of Israel is indeed “occupied” by Arabs. Take a drive through the Negev, and see the almost contiguous (illegal) Beduin shanty encampments all along the highway. Take a drive through the Galil, see the plethora of (mostly illegal) Arab settlements dotting the landscape. And that’s without even talking about Judea and Samaria, where Israeli Jews struggle against their Arab occupiers on a daily basis.
So then the Jewish interviewer asks Thomas another question: But where should they go?
“They”? Who’s “they”?? The Jews? Where should the Jews go?
Again Thomas comes up with the right answer: Home. The Jews should go home. What is the home of the Jews, forever and eternal? Israel.
The Jews should come home to Israel. Helen Thomas meant to curse, and instead she blessed.
Okay, okay, admittedly, the next verbal exchange is tougher to reconcile, but remember the wicked old toots isn’t as sharp as she used to be. When asked to elaborate as to “where” these unnamed people – Jews or Arabs – should go, Thomas responds, “Poland, Germany” and then added, “and America, and everywhere else.”
The scenario of Arabs “going home” to places like Poland, Germany and indeed America is a whole lot more realistic than suggesting that any of those places are “home” to Jews. Take a look at the Arab immigration figures to Poland, Germany and America. Compare them to the numbers of Jews moving to those countries, and what do you see? The vast majority of new immigrants to those countries are Arabs, not Jews.
So Helen Thomas -- a hater of Israel and Jews if there ever was one – actually spoke the truth, quite against her will.
Jews, come home to Israel.
The Arabs will be leaving for places like Poland, Germany and America. Helen Thomas told them to.