Monday, June 07, 2010

Al Campanis and Helen Thomas 

Remember Al Campanis? He was the general manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers from 1968 to 1987. The end of his tenure came when he appeared on Ted Koppel's Nightline and made certain infamous remarks responding to a question from Koppel as to why there weren't more black managers and executives in baseball. Campanis responded along the lines of "they may lack certain necessities" or thereabouts. End of career.

And then there's Jimmy the Greek. Jimmy was the betting line maven who used to do the NFL Today with Brent Musburger, focused on betting lines and points spreads. One day he was a couple drinks into a bender when he made some idiotic comments about the advanced musculature of black athletes . End of career.

Now we have Helen Thomas. Considering the blatant and rabid anti-semitism captured in that video, she should face similar exile. Let's see. Her slurs, in my view, were infinitely more grotesque.


By Blogger MTF, at Mon Jun 07, 08:50:00 AM:

Yes. Why hasn't the President denounced her? And, what's up with the lame statement from her employer in all this? Hearst should be ashamed of having employed her for all these years. If they knew, they must share in the complicity. What does Oprah have to say (she's partners with Hearst in her popular magazine venture)? Do Hearst newspapers, like the Houston Chronicle, agree with this position?

Hearst needs to be clear with the public on why they employ this witch.  

By Blogger Progressively Defensive, at Mon Jun 07, 09:29:00 AM:

Uncool, Mr. Tigerhawk. Her comments do not make her anti-semetic.

It is what it is; I don't agree with the views of Ms. Thomas, but her point was that those in Israel are recently arrived intruders on Arabs that were there and they should go back to Europe, etc., where they were 1 or 2 generations ago. There is not an anti-semitic word or sentiment in that thought - it is a political viewpoint. I doubt Ms. Thomas has any hostility to Jews.

The Palestinians have every right to feel conquered, exploited, and oppressed by Israel because they were. And it is legitimate to take their side on this issue. And it is legitimate to be pro-Israel, too.

But the writing is on the wall, here in the New York Times, for instance. The USA ought not to be dragged into Israel's war: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/06/weekinreview/06cooper.html  

By Blogger Cardinalpark, at Mon Jun 07, 10:09:00 AM:

PD - Her comments are patently anti-semitic. You are wrong. By asserting that Jews should return to certain particularly offensive European graveyards, she is condemning them for no other reason than their Juewish heritage -- irrespective of whatever connection Jews there may have had to their homeland, which certainly pre-existed World War II and the Holocaust.

Since you are probably ignorant of that, let me direct you to read up on, for example, Theodore Herzl. Or, in the alternative, read up on The Balfour Declaration.

Her comments are not about what some might call the occupied territories, which came after the 1967 war. Her comments speak to Israel's existence itself.

Let me give you a different analogy. Annybody in this country who said blacks should return to Africa or the Caribbean would instantly be called a racist.

Thomas's comments should earn her ostracism from the White House press room and Hearst. If they do not, then her sponsors should be labelled anti-semitic.  

By Blogger TigerHawk, at Mon Jun 07, 10:10:00 AM:

Progressively Defensive:

1. That post was not written by "Mr. TigerHawk."

2. You are correct in your implication that Helen Thomas' opinions are well within the mainstream of "progressive" opinion in this country, and European opinion generally. The scandal here is that the Thomas "gaffe" is just the mask slipping. She is not the only person in the mainstream media to hold these views, and would be quite at home in many American university faculty meetings.

3. Her opinion, nevertheless, is asinine. Jews are west Asians and north Africans, just as Arabs are. We know this, because virtually nobody converts to Judaism. Today's Jews are the descendants of the Jews of Roman times and before. The fact that they spread from that part of the world during the Middle Ages is sort of beside the point or, at a minimum, a matter of arbitrary line-drawing.  

By Blogger Tom P, at Mon Jun 07, 10:31:00 AM:

I would argue that Ms. Thomas' words were within the bounds of free speech. Her words were obviously anti-Jewish and expressed disdain for Israel, but she should not be penalized because of them. Criticized, yes.

However. I think that the same right of free speech should and must be maintained for others. People, for example, who oppose mosques in Manhattan at ground zero. People who oppose invasion by illegal aliens. People who think the current Washington/Hollywood groupthink is not only asinine but destructive. These people have a much right as Ms. Thomas to speak their minds. Any other action would be opposed to the founding principles of the Republic, IMO. And, come to that, would be opposed to the alleged "Progressive" belief in the right of people to express themselves.

In short, Liberals (and Conservatives) your right to freely express political opinions depends on not getting in the way of others expressing political opinions that you disagree with. In the case of people like Ms. Thomas, you can certainly offer her a shovel to dig herself deeper, but you cannot deny her the right to speak without harming your own right to speak.

Do as you would be done by.  

By Blogger Bomber Girl, at Mon Jun 07, 10:35:00 AM:

PD - If you believe that a comment that Jews should "go home" to Poland and Germany is not anti-semitic and that her tone is not hostile ("get the hell out") to Jews you have clearly as little grasp of history (recent history, as noted by CP, and past as TH has described) as Ms. Thomas. She is, of course, entitled to her political view and her right to express it. But see it for what it is.

Even she has backtracked, under pressure: "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."  

By Blogger Dawnfire82, at Mon Jun 07, 10:47:00 AM:

Mr. (Ms.?) Progressively Defensive,

"recently arrived intruders on Arabs that were there and they should go back to Europe, etc."

Oh they are? I guess the fact of three generations of native born Israelis doesn't make them any less of intruders? Collective group presence is all that matters? Alright then. Let's take a little stroll through history.

The Arabs conquered that land from the Byzantines, who inherited it from the Romans, who conquered it from the Jews, who had rebelled against the Greeks, who had conquered it from the Persians, who conquered it from the Babylonians, who conquered it from the Jews, who conquered it from a somewhat amorphous and mysterious ancient people typically called Canaanites. Since the Canaanites are extinct, the oldest claimant group is STILL the Jews. Weird for a bunch of intruders, right?

And this ignores the fact that there has been a continuous Jewish presence in the land for millennia. It also ignores the fact that the modern Arabs' claim to the land despite their 'expulsion' directly empowers a similar and much more ancient claim by Jews despite the Diaspora. It also ignores the presence of the (majority) Sephardic population who ended up in Israel after being expelled from Arab countries. And I don't mean 'expelled' like Palestinians mean expelled, where they mostly left to get out of the way of an impending war that they lost. I mean expelled like the governments rounded them up, seized their possessions, and then threw them out of the country by force.

A practical example to illustrate this. My mother's family arrived here in this country two generations ago. From Poland. As war refugees under similar circumstances as the explosion of Jewish immigrants to the Palestinian Mandate. I'm a native born American, served 5 years and shed blood in this nation's Army, married a native born American woman, and have a native born American son.

Ought I be sent back to Poland as well? After all, I'm from Texas, which *everyone knows* was 'stolen' from Mexico (or at least from Indians). Am I some sort of intruder who has so little legitimate claim to my home that some fuckwit in the press can call for my expulsion to some (as far as I'm concerned) foreign land where I have no citizenship, no wealth, and do not speak the language, and feel morally and intellectually secure?

Let's extend this! After all, most everyone in the United States is an 'intruder.' Unless you're a full blooded Iroquois, your ancestors came from somewhere else. To hell with your home, your family, your life you have built here, you need to go back to wherever you "came from" because you're an intruder.

I could go on and continue with the populations of Turkey (Turks come from central Asia), Australia (duh), Canada (again), France (the Franks were barbarian invaders), Italians (Lombards and Romans were both invaders), and so on, but I think it's pretty clear by now that this line of thinking is fucking stupid and you should be ashamed for defending it. It is a license for legitimizing generational blood feuds over whether given land belongs to the "right" group of people.

Tribal, multi-generational blood feuds! Now that's Progressive.

Or alternatively, I suppose, this could only be a special set of restrictions that only applies to Jews. Which makes it anti-Semitic.

Pick one.  

By Blogger ruralcounsel, at Mon Jun 07, 10:54:00 AM:

I'm awaiting her condemnation by the Southern Poverty Law Center any minute now as a new hate group.  

By Blogger John Foster, at Mon Jun 07, 11:08:00 AM:

Don't feed the trolls.  

By Blogger Tom P, at Mon Jun 07, 11:10:00 AM:

ruralcounsel said: "I'm awaiting her condemnation by the Southern Poverty Law Center any minute now as a new hate group.'

Wouldn't she qualify as an old hate group?  

By Blogger BrendaK, at Mon Jun 07, 11:55:00 AM:

Tom P - No one has said that Thomas can't say whatever she wants; rather that there are consequences, social consequences as meted out by the listening public, attendant to expressing any opinion -- much less such a profoundly ignorant opinion.

'Free speech' as you are referring to it only pertains to restraints imposed on the government from penalizing private persons for their speech.  

By Blogger Cardinalpark, at Mon Jun 07, 11:58:00 AM:

re a comment above - Helen Thomas is absolutely entitled to speak her mind, addled and bigotted as it is.

But she is not entitled to her job as a journalist, and in the White House press room, in light of her bigotry (see Campanis, Jimmy Snyder, et al).

No free speech issue here at all.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Mon Jun 07, 12:24:00 PM:

"her point was that those in Israel are recently arrived intruders on Arabs"

Maybe the upside here is that this kind of staggering ignorance of history can be at least partially corrected.  

By Blogger Georg Felis, at Mon Jun 07, 12:29:00 PM:

Since there is no way a "Good Progressive" such as Ms. Thomas will be kicked out of that exclusive Liberal club of the Washington Press Corps, alternate methods must be used.

I hereby accuse Ms. Thomas of being a *gasp* Closet Republican!

There we go, that should do it. Three days, tops....  

By Blogger AmPowerBlog, at Mon Jun 07, 12:36:00 PM:

American Power tracked-back with, 'Helen Thomas Announces Retirement'.  

By Blogger MTF, at Mon Jun 07, 12:48:00 PM:

The bigger issue is the issue that comments like those from PD presents: antisemitism has gone mainstream. It's worth noting, for example, that Gibbs in his condemnation today of Thomas' comments, said he thought only "most" of the WH Press Corps disagreed with her. Some, apparently, agree.

This is bigger than Helen Thomas.  

By Blogger Christopher Chambers, at Mon Jun 07, 02:20:00 PM:

"Considering the blatant and rabid anti-semitism captured in that video, she should face similar exile. Let's see. Her slurs, in my view, were infinitely more grotesque."

TH you are so full of it. In the immortal words of Samuel L Jackson in Pulp Fiction: "It's not the same damn ballpark...it's isn't even the same m-fing sport." As Campanis and Jimmy go, their comments were--and under the veil still are--a continuing an odious and nasty tradition of recism which has tainted this country from the beginning. Original sin--I think you yourself called it. The rant of an old lady who's utterly lost touch with her craft and reality, in the same vein as these attacks? Do I have to smack you? If she'd prepared an essay tracing German and Polish jews as basically European colonizers and conquistadors, flushed it with support and came to the conclusion that maybe, just maybe, we shouldn't knee-jerk everything Israel does as righteous and cool as if we're watching Otto Preminger's "Exodus" (funny how those ships were running guns to the Irgun, eh?)you'd still whine self-righteously. The payoff here for you and yours is that Thomas took it to a whole 'nother level, as old folks often do. Ask Dick Cheney. Wait...young folks, too--Malkin, your gal-pal Coulter, Rush and that turd Beck. Frankly, I'd rather have hung out with Campanis or Sndyer than such a gang of assholes. Because Jimmy the Greek, et al ironically didn't think what they said was wrong and actually thought they were being helpful, as the society at the time told them so. Thomas vehemently disagrees with the policy, but that vehemence infected her, and she doesn't have the tools anymore to fight it off or harness it to produce reasonable arguments.

Don't pull this typical wingnut "let's pull African Americans into this" crap again.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Mon Jun 07, 02:26:00 PM:

I thought everyone knew the Jewish faith originated in Poland rather than the middle east.

Joe Biden was giving a speech the other day where he specifically mentioned how Moses was frolicking in the Vistula on day near Krakow and tripped over the tablets with the 10 commandments.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Mon Jun 07, 02:33:00 PM:

Nitpicking aside, the exile of Miss Thomas is a terrible loss as a role model for Halloween.  

By Blogger Escort81, at Mon Jun 07, 03:34:00 PM:

I actually agree with Christopher Chambers in the narrow sense that Helen Thomas is "an old lady who's utterly lost touch with her craft and reality," and, "she doesn't have the tools anymore," but, it took this incident to get her out of the White House briefing room. Whether it compares to other outrageous statements made in the past by sports reporters or GMs is kind of secondary. I understand Cardinalpark was trying to use a sports-related analogy, as I often do. I am as big a sports fan as anyone and think sports play an significant role in society, but there is a difference in importance between hard news and sports. Al and Jimmy said stupid things and were canned because of it, and because their employers understood it was bad for business and did not want to be associated with them.

Thomas needed to be out of the WH briefing room when Reagan was in office. She didn't have the tools in the 1980s.

Clearly, Cardinalpark's post was the straw that broke the camel's back, because she is outta here.

The benefit to the American people is that a Tony Snow (may he rest in peace) or a Robert Gibbs won't have to waste time dealing with her rants, and can deal with reporters who have somewhat less of a personal political agenda.

BTW, I wonder if Helen Thomas wants the small population of Ethiopian-born Jews in Israel to go back to their place of origin? Maybe. Boy, the logistics of what she proposes are really overwhelming. Do she really believe Putin and Medvedev are prepared to repatriate hundreds of thousands of Russian Jews who came to Israel over the last few decades (since the fall of the USSR), much less all of the others who are of Russian extraction, but have been in Israel or the British Mandate for a number of generations?

The "everybody out" or "back on the boat" mentality is just wishful thinking on the part of anti-Zionists. But it reflects the true fact (based on poll after poll over the past decade) that a clear majority of those in Gaza, and at least a significant plurality of those in the West Bank do not want a two state solution. There is not a desire to live side by side with Israel. Some Israelis do not want a two state solution, either, wanting no Palestinian state, but a majority do -- all of Labour and a good part of Likud. As long as that imbalance exists -- that most Israelis want two state peace and most Palestinian Arabs do not, there realisticallly can't be much progress toward a lasting peace. What leader can force peace on a population that doesn't want it?  

By Blogger MTF, at Mon Jun 07, 04:45:00 PM:

"I actually agree with Christopher Chambers in the narrow sense that Helen Thomas is "an old lady who's utterly lost touch with her craft and reality," and, "she doesn't have the tools anymore," but, it took this incident to get her out of the White House briefing room."

While I couldn't actually tell what CC was ranting about (as usual), my view is that you couldn't be more wrong, in saying the above.

This event most definitely shouldn't be seen as the isolated problem of an old crank, but instead the reflection of the sense she had that these sentiments are so commonly held that she believed she could safely say these things publicly and without criticism. She felt that her anti-semitism is OK, socially speaking.

Minimizing the prevalence of these beliefs by trying to sweep it under the rug, by calling it only the ravings of a crazy old hag, is precisely the wrong approach.  

By Anonymous SmaryMarty, at Mon Jun 07, 04:55:00 PM:

But Al Campanis was a genuine nice guy. I watched his interview with the Steeplechase Funny Face and Koppel just goaded Campanis, gleefully, into those regretted remarks. All agreed Campanis had not a racist bone in his body. Thomas is and always has been disgusting thru and thru.  

By Anonymous feeblemind, at Mon Jun 07, 05:01:00 PM:

Politically incorrect speech consigns old Helen to the dust bin of history.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Mon Jun 07, 05:02:00 PM:

At the bottom all land titles are "by Right of Conquest". What land you can take and hold is yours. The Huns didn't start off living in Hungary.

And what of the Jews who were forced into Israel from the Middle East - they didn't all come from Poland and Germany. In fact didn't the Jews in those countries suffer a big drop in population a few years back? Were there really that many left to move to Israel?  

By Blogger Cardinalpark, at Mon Jun 07, 05:26:00 PM:

CC -

Quick grab your meds again...

1) First, the poster was CP, not TH
2) Which is it? Were the Campanis and Jimmy the Greek slurs infinitely worse, as I think you suggested, because racism was the "original sin" of the US? Or in fact, was it trivial, and you'd like to have a beer with them both because they meant well.
3) I think I can now say with a high degree of confidence that you're a bigot.

How hilarious is that, huh? Professor Chambers, who is a professional in the study of bigotry, actually espouses it.

When faced with eliminationist rhetoric from Helen Thomas, until recently the Dean of the White House Press Corps, does CC call it out?

Does he express any empathy for the notion that suggesting Jews return to the burial site of 6 million murdered Jews might be, hmm, a little off base?

No, he threatens violence.

CC, you're an ass.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Mon Jun 07, 05:51:00 PM:

Where Did the Bernard Madoff Money Go?

In a word: Israel. The money was funneled to the Israeli Nuclear Department and military forces to fend off radical factions in the region.

Israel is the smallest nuclear armed country in the world. It is roughly the size of New Jersey with an annual reported GDP of $129 billion. Even with international aid, Israel has no oil reserves like its Arab neighbors and could not afford nuclear weapons on its own. However, with the help of Bernie Madoff and others like him, Israel became a dominant power in the region. The nuclear materials were purchased in France where Madoff maintained many business contacts and a home on the French Riviera. While Madoff was sending reports of profitable trades to his French counterparts from his investment firm in New York, his well-connected French point men set up purchases of enriched uranium. The enriched uranium might then have been put on board Madoff’s boat, nicknamed Bull, and shipped 1600 nautical miles from Antibes, France to Haifa, Israel. Unfortunately for investigators, all records of these trips have been conveniently lost. Only a Geiger counter could reveal the cargo that boarded that yacht.

Other large quantities of Madoff money was found at the Banque Jacob Safra in Gibraltar. According to the IMF, Gibraltar is a well-known terrorist financier and money laundering center for Israel. Since Israel has had no laws against money laundering since its inception, any money that flows into the country is clean on arrival. This rule was enacted to aid Jews displaced by WWII who had hidden money from the German troops.

Many Palestinian charities were labeled “terrorist organizations” by the US government after they were found to be laundering money to fund terrorist operations. In these cases, money that was donated to the charities was then funneled to the terrorists. However, in the Madoff case, money that was donated to Jewish charities was “invested” with Madoff. It was through this seemingly legitimate intermediary that Jewish charities escaped the accusations of funding a war in the Middle East. Without this money and heavy political influence in the US, the country of Israel would have been invaded a long time ago. World governments have been slow to label any of the Jewish charities that have been funding this conflict in the region.

It should be noted that initially all of the Jewish charities were up in arms about the scandal as they were forced to shut down their operations. But after a closed meeting arranged by a known Israeli supporter, not another word was heard from this group. It is very possible that the group was told that their money has been defending the Jewish cause for at least four decades. At the time of this meeting in January 2009, Israel had just launched a major offensive in the Gaza Strip which crippled Hamas.

Two mysterious deaths occurred during the unwinding of the Madoff case. The first was a French aristocrat, Rene de la Villehuchet, who lost more than $1 billion in client’s money in the scam. The death was ruled a suicide. Maybe it was a suicide but it leaves a dead end in what could have been an important French connection. Another man, Jeffry Picower, was found dead on the bottom of his swimming pool. These two men may have had vital information that could have blown this money laundering nuclear scandal wide open. All there is to be said about these suspicious deaths is that “dead men tell no tales.”

Two other individuals have vital information that they are not sharing. The only problem in getting that information is that they both plead guilty to their crimes. When a defendant pleads guilty and receives a sentence longer than their expected life, they are not obligated to answer any additional questions. These men are of course, Bernie Madoff and his CFO Frank DiPiscali. It is remarkable how these two thieves were able to sell this fraud as a Ponzi Scheme and the media bought it like a fund of funds manager going after consistent high returns.

Yours truly,
D.B. Cooper  

By Blogger Escort81, at Mon Jun 07, 07:22:00 PM:

Well, D.B., Israel has been invaded repeatedly. In fact, the key issue facing Israel is how to proceed with the status of the land that it controlled after the last major Arab effort to wipe Israel off the map. What Bernie Madoff has to do with Helen Thomas is beyond me.

MTF - "This event most definitely shouldn't be seen as the isolated problem of an old crank, but instead the reflection of the sense she had that these sentiments are so commonly held that she believed she could safely say these things publicly and without criticism. She felt that her anti-semitism is OK, socially speaking." I think we can agree that it is a good thing that "the sense she had" was proven to be wrong. I do agree with you that her sentiment is out there an not uncommon among others on the right and left (but seeimingly, these days, mostly the left), and we should not sweep it under the rug.

My point is really that Thomas has been playing with well short of 52 cards for some time, and everyone in the press room knew that and kind of tolerated it, and now it's over.

I have direct experience (as my late father's caregiver) interacting extensively with people in their late 80s and 90s, and the mind simply does not function as well at that age as it might have decades earlier, and idiosyncratic behaviors have a tendency to become more pronounced. Those can still be rewarding years, but probably not in full view of White House cameras.  

By Blogger Escort81, at Mon Jun 07, 07:31:00 PM:

Anon 5:02 - the Magyars settled in the plains of Hungary about 1100 years ago, not the Huns. The language is not a Romance Language (like German or French), though it is somewhat related to Finnish. But I do understand your larger point.  

By Blogger Unknown, at Mon Jun 07, 07:59:00 PM:

As a Jew of Polish/Russian background here, let me give you some insight on what the phrase "Go back to Poland" means to my people.

It means: "I want you to die a horrible death".


CC, I think you are way, way, way out of line.  

By Blogger MTF, at Mon Jun 07, 09:11:00 PM:

E81 I'm typing this on a phone so I'm not going to bore you with lots o' links (if you'll forgive me) but a little tiny bit of research will tell you she has been spouting these views for decades, just not so abruptly. This isn't age, it's a set if beliefs, and she isn't alone; the WH itself said most members of the WH presscorps do not agree with her. Some, apparantly, do. Mearsheimer and Walt have made these views socially acceptable.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Mon Jun 07, 09:45:00 PM:

Here's the comment by Jimmy the Greek's that got him into hot water:

“Black athletes are bred to be better sportsmen and to prove this we have to go all the way back to the time of civil war when owners of slaves breed their big woman so that they could have a big black child.”

So, black slaves in America were not bred with the aim of increasing their ability to conduct physical labor?  

By Anonymous Mr. Ed, at Mon Jun 07, 10:13:00 PM:

I wonder if my children's generation will look back on my generation and think, as I have thought about my parent's generation, "it's so amazing how much change in the world they took in and how much it changed the way they looked at the world." My parents, who were born in 1910 and 1912, grew up in a segregated world where racial prejudice was commonplace. And yet by the time their lives had come to conclusion, they had grown to accept those they once looked down on as Americans with the same basic rights as themselves.

I remember once a friend of my mother's, who must have been mid-forties at the time, (Women at 40?) remark about how she just didn't think it was right for Negro supermarket employees to handle meat with their hands.

I'm having difficulty seeing much daylight between that bias then, and the popular bias against Jews today. In fact I think those that allege that Israelis are barbaric are as blind to reality as my mom's friend was.

Barbarians fire unguided rockets into civilian neighborhoods hoping for as much killing as possible. Israelis don't do that. Barbarians blow themselves up in markets to cause mayhem. Israelis don't do that. Barbarians prevent the education of women and blame them for the failings of their men. Israelis don't do that. Similar examples abound.

My mom's friend wasn't stupid. But she didn't have a front row seat in the White House Press Room either. What she had in common with Helen Thomas was a need to be in some way superior to someone else. I think it originates in a failure to find peace with the fact that one is in fact inferior to some by some measurements.

I am hoping that people will come to their senses. Too much of the world is becoming too much like the deep thoughts of Helen Thomas.


By Anonymous Anonymous, at Mon Jun 07, 11:29:00 PM:


I have listened, and re-listened, and listened again, to the comments.

Where was the slur?

One slur. Please.

Quote me the slur.

Without a 12 page explanation about how it is actually a slur.

You are high as a kite. Really.

Well, to prove you're not on drugs, you can quote me the slur.


It's anti-Zionist. But not anti-Jew.

Wow. American politics....political correctness comes from all racial and ethnic corners.

She didn't say Jews are stupid; Jews are cheap; Jews control America; Jews are bankers; blah blah blah.

She said Palestine should be occupied by Arabs - which I think is the position of every Arab country.

But quote away...... Cardinalpark, no one else.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Mon Jun 07, 11:32:00 PM:


I still don't see it.

Cardinalpark, I strongly suspect you are Jewish and aren't disclosing it, and she struck a nerve that has nothing at all to do with bigotry.

Equating anti-Zionism with anti-semitism is, well, it just shows how far gone you apparently are.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Mon Jun 07, 11:33:00 PM:

Cardinalpark is obviously Jewish.  

By Blogger Gary Rosen, at Mon Jun 07, 11:52:00 PM:

anonymous moron:

She said "go back to Germany and Poland", an unmistakable reference to the Holocaust particularly in view of the fact that 1) the majority of Israeli Jews were born in Israel, 2) the majority of Israeli Jews trace their ancestry back not to Europe but the Middle East having been kicked out of Arab countries where they had lived for many generations and 3) the most recent wave of European immigrants are from Russia, not Germany and Poland. All this enhanced by the fact that she is old enough to have been an adult when the Holocaust took place so she knows damned well what went on and the implications of what she said.

So either you are lying or stupid. Since you're blatantly antisemitic, my guess is both. As I always say, antisemitism isn't about Jews, it's about antisemites. They are nitwits, misfucks and born losers who can't own up to their own failures and shortcomings so they blame everything on da Jooooos.

"Cardinalpark is obviously Jewish". And obviously you are saying that like it's an accusation. That's what I love about antisemites. They are so damned stupid that that they think they are concealing their bigotry exactly when they are revealing it the most. Jews have survived for 4000 years not because we're so great, but because our enemies are such hopeless losers.  

By Blogger Gary Rosen, at Mon Jun 07, 11:56:00 PM:

"Do I have to smack you?"

Bring it ON, sissy Chrissy! I was going to say you deserve to be kicked in the nuts but then I realized you wouldn't feel a damn thing.

Chrissy, I've got two questions about your thesis:

1) What is your justification for barring Jews from an international waterway right next to Israel?

2) How much did it cost you to get it dictated and transcribed?  

By Blogger Progressively Defensive, at Tue Jun 08, 12:00:00 AM:

For now, tired tonight; first, thanks for responding to my post everyone. I did not yet read them all, but hope to do it.

I'm neutral on the State of Israel; Zionists and anti-Zionists can fight it out or make peace as it pleases them and we'll see. There is nothing anti-semetic about this paragraph or what Helen Thomas said.

I think in sum I would say that those of us who study warfare realize that it is fought by all means necessary: weapons, wealth, diplomacy, technology, law, institutions, rhetoric, etc.

This is a war between the Zionists (who want to establish the State of Israel - it would seem all the way to the West Bank) and the anti-Zionists (Arabs and Muslims who indeed want to erradicate Israel the political entity but would, I conjecture with confidence, be thrilled if it occurred by all, most, or some of the Jews leaving or submitting to international regulation of the region and a non-racial or religious immigration policy rather than hurting any Jews).

During the course of that war, the Jews arrived as a nation in the Near East in shall we say 1600 b.c.e. (let's say the Torah is accurate), displacing by genocide the Canaanites living there - genocide (Deu. 2:34, Deu. 3:6, Josh. 6:21, etc.). During the following 2000 years they substantively left for all the reasons people leave including fear, persecution, and the search for better living conditions, replaced by Arab Muslims from 800 c.e. until 1896 (when Herzl wrote his treatise advocating Zionism). In the subsequent 114 years, by all means necessary, 6 million Jews have invaded Arab Muslim territory and have established a racist democracy (permitting immigration based on race specifically engineered to maintain political dominance over a minority Arab Muslim population).

Those who view the State of Israel as an example of political hostility, includng terrorism on the part of the Zionists [Cf. Menachem Begin's biography], against an innocent people during those 114 years are intellectually correct. Indeed the Arab Muslims have been killed in vast numbers by the Zionist invasion. Other than the historical legacy which is as important as one would make it, and the recent Nazi Holocaust, which is also as important as one would make it, [both irrelevant when considering the 20th century Palestinian perspective] what is happening here is no different than the European conquest, domination, and eradication of the Amerind nations.

Put plainly, it's horrific what the Zionists have done to install 6 million Jews and creat the State of Israel and the Zionists think they can pretend otherwise; their frustration is that academia will not let them get away with it without a full record of events including their homocidal brutality and without a consideration for the resident people and the culture that were there for the last 1200-2000 years.

And yet, I would say to the Palestinians [anti-Zionists and their supporters] what I would say the the Amerinds ... that's war.

The bottom line is that there is absolutely nothing anti-semitic about what Helen Thomas said ... it condemns quite legitimately Zionism and the means by which the State of Israel came into being during the 20th century.

Fight your war of racial and religious conquest and/or re-conquest, Zionists; but I insist you fight it without the U.S. Armed Forces. We'll see if I get my way.

I think you should agree to a United Nations Religious Heritage Protectorate that consists of Greater Israel and whoever wants to buy a house there can buy one?

But if Zionists want to die over this, so be it. Or am I being anti-semitic for not volunteering to die for Israel? [Irony, of course.]  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Tue Jun 08, 12:03:00 AM:

Gary: how did the bet with Brian Schmidt turn out?(Who is more anti-Semitic, left or right- or was it Demo versus Republican?) Seems to me that Helen Thomas's most recent utterance is icing on the cake.  

By Blogger Progressively Defensive, at Tue Jun 08, 12:14:00 AM:

You know basing Zionist claims to the Near East on the Bible is ridiculous. Technically that means anyone with any heritage anywhere has a right to invade it and kill the people there in doing so. I guess that means the U.S. can invade and conquer Europe putting Europeans there to the sword if they resist.

The 21st century Jews in Israel are substantively recent invaders. Anyone who quibbles otherwise is substantively a liar.  

By Anonymous Mr. Ed, at Tue Jun 08, 12:30:00 AM:

CP you have really let the looney's get loose!


By Anonymous Anonymous, at Tue Jun 08, 01:22:00 AM:

I can't help but be struck by how much of a moron Cardinalpark is.

But first, let's send the Palestinians back to Palestine. Oh wait, the Jews won't let them back.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Tue Jun 08, 01:25:00 AM:

oh, and Mr. Rosen.

See, I pegged CP. He is Jewish.

I on the other hand am not anti-semitic. But your tactic is a standard one to quell debate. So I'm not surprised.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Tue Jun 08, 01:33:00 AM:

I don't think it's fair to call them "invaders." I agree the Biblical claim is, to put it mildly, not helpful. The stronger claim is the gross inhumanity that befell Jews at the hands, principally and most recently, of the Germans (though the Germans visited a great deal of inhumanity on others, including Slavs, etc.)

I think on the other hand to characterize her comments as "antisemitic" is equally absurd. She was obviously expressing frustration with an interminable war. I think many Americans are extremely sympathetic to Jews and Israel, but I also think many Americans are frustrated with the degree to which it appears to create a sense of never-ending problems... This ethnic strife (Jewish-Palestinian), like that in other places (Northern Ireland, e.g.), is wearing on everyone, including those who are completely sympathetic.

It's a shame that we can't deal with the issues in this real way.

/s/ Anti-semitic Moron (LOL).  

By Blogger Gary Rosen, at Tue Jun 08, 02:17:00 AM:

"Gary: how did the bet with Brian Schmidt turn out?"

The punk welshed on it, of course. You gotta be a different "anonymous", right?  

By Blogger Gary Rosen, at Tue Jun 08, 02:20:00 AM:

"I'm neutral on the State of Israel"

Do you think you're fooling anyone with this junior high school rhetorical trick, you moron? Your posts are filled with invective against Jews and Israel and I can link to paragraph upon paragraph of it.  

By Blogger Gary Rosen, at Tue Jun 08, 02:22:00 AM:

"She was obviously expressing frustration with an interminable war."

... so she told Jews to get back in the ovens. Yeah, every time I get frustrated with something I figure genocide is the solution.  

By Anonymous Goy Boy, at Tue Jun 08, 02:43:00 AM:

Anonymous, at Tue Jun 08, 01:33:00 AM:
I think on the other hand to characterize her comments as "antisemitic" is equally absurd.
“Go back to Germany:” going back to the country that may have killed one’s grandparents or great-grandparents for the crime of being Jewish. Yeah, right, no way that could be construed as being anti-Semitic.

“Go back to Poland.” Auschwitz. Yeah, right. Consider the anti-Semitic/anti-Zionist campaign that Gomulka started in Poland after the Six Day War, which ended in essentially booting out the remaining Jewish Poles to Israel. Yeah, go back to the country that booted out your parents or grandparents. Yeah, right, no way that could be construed as being anti-Semitic.

Also interesting that Helen Thomas, of Arab descent, ignores the fact that about half of Israeli Jews have roots in Arab countries. They left Arab countries with the shirts on their backs. In many instances, they were booted out in a manner similar to what occurred in Poland. Yeah, go back there. Yeah, right, no way that could be construed as being anti-Semitic.

Just wondering: do they get their confiscated property back if they go back to the Arab countries?

Yeah, go back to Arab countries where clerics say things like this: "The Jews that Allah Turned into Swine Were the Forefathers of Today's Pigs." Great place for Jews to live. :)  

By Blogger Dawnfire82, at Tue Jun 08, 06:48:00 AM:


I haven't seen so much historical ignorance wrapped up in so much smugness in a while.

For instance, why don't you go here and see if it adds up to "6 million."

"Other than the historical legacy which is as important as one would make it, and the recent Nazi Holocaust, which is also as important as one would make it, [both irrelevant when considering the 20th century Palestinian perspective]"

So to get to your conclusion, you analyze everything in a vacuum and draw a direct analogy between Zionism and conquistadors. And you actually expect people to take you seriously?!

Statements like this don't help you either: "terrorism on the part of the Zionists [Cf. Menachem Begin's biography], against an innocent people"

Here are some choice passages about the 1920 'Palestine riots.'

"By 10:30 a.m. on April 4, 1920, 60,000–70,000 Arabs had already congregated in the city square, and groups of them had already been attacking Jews in the Old City's alleys for over an hour; the Jews hid... The crowd shouted "Independence! Independence!" and "Palestine is our land, the Jews are our dogs!" Arab police joined in applause, and violence started. The Arab mob ransacked the Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem, attacked pedestrians and looted shops and homes. They ripped open their quilts and pillows, sending up clouds of feathers associated by Jews with the European pogroms. The Torath Chaim Yeshiva was raided, and Torah scrolls were torn and thrown on the floor, and the building then set alight."

"I saw one Hebronite approach a Jewish shoeshine boy, who hid behind a sack in one of the wall's comers next to Jaffa Gate, and take his box and beat him over the head. He screamed and began to run, his head bleeding..."

"The army imposed night curfew on Sunday night and arrested several dozen rioters, but on Monday morning they were allowed to attend morning prayers and were then released. Arabs continued to attack Jews and break into their homes, especially in Arab-majority mixed buildings."

"Martial law was declared, but looting, burglary, rape, and murder continued. Several homes were set on fire, and tombstones were shattered. British soldiers found that the majority of illicit weapons were concealed on the bodies of Arab women."

What innocent people!

The unwillingness of the British forces to defend Jews against attacks like this (and there were more; another choice passage: "Dozens of British, Arab, and Jewish witnesses all reported that Arab men bearing clubs, knives, swords, and some pistols broke into Jewish buildings and murdered their inhabitants, while women followed to loot. They attacked Jewish pedestrians and destroyed Jewish homes and stores. They beat and killed Jews in their homes, including children, and in some cases split open the victims' skulls.") was the impetus for the creation of the Haganah.

Begin was 7 years old and lived in Belarus at this time, by the way.

You could also look up the Hebron Massacre, the Safed Massacre, and the Jaffa Riots, all of which happened years prior to the formation of the Irgun.

But that's if you were, you know, interested in truth over propaganda. Which is unlikely.

I'd also like to note that all of the info here can be gleaned from a 10 minute visit to Wikipedia. More detailed information about these and smaller incidents not important enough to have Wiki articles can be found through regular scholarship, including the book I recommended to you a week or two ago that you're never going to read.

"Those of us who study warfare."

Oh that's adorable. You must be in college.  

By Blogger MTF, at Tue Jun 08, 07:00:00 AM:

Or in Stormfront.  

By Blogger Cardinalpark, at Tue Jun 08, 08:12:00 AM:

Let's see:

Yes, CP is Jewish. That puts me in an outstanding position to assess anti-Jewish bias.

Helen Thomas's comments were not about Israel. They were directed at Jews. She didn't say, I am anti Zionist. She said they (meaning Jews) should go back to Germany and Poland (where they were summarily rounded up and exterminated).

That's obvious anti Jewish bigotry with those of you defending her using Anti zionism as a mask for anti-Jewish bigotry.

PD, CC, various anon commenters - that's what you are - anti-Jewish bigots. And yes, I am a Jew calling you out on it, and callong Helen out on it.

Now I am going to call out the NYT on it in my next post.  

By Blogger Progressively Defensive, at Tue Jun 08, 11:11:00 AM:

Gary Rosen: "invective." Not at all.

Dawnfire82: Quibbling even if your facts prove apt. The essence is that Zionists created Israel in the 20th century at the expense of the Arab Muslims living there and now want the U.S.A. fight for it. Fight for it yourselves.

I have only provided facts that indicate clearly that both Jews and Arabs have a case to make regarding Israel. That is why I am neutral.

Mr. Rosen, you are partisan on this matter, of course. Merely because I point out facts counter to the Zionist case and you feel hysterically offended.

I am partisan, too, to this degree. I insist U.S. soldiers stay out of this fight for Israel. After that, I don't care particularly who wins, Zionists or anti-Zionists. Fight over it or not.

I think what is worrying Zionists of late is that the tide is turning and that soon Israelis will have a fight like they have not seen before - one they might lose.

Whoever accuses my like-minded posters and me of racial bigotry is absurd and further egomaniacal. Why would we hate Jews? It's that we regard you with equal scrutiny we view the Arabs and Muslims that offends you.  

By Anonymous Goy Boy, at Tue Jun 08, 11:45:00 AM:

Prpgressively DefensiveWhy would we hate Jews? It's that we regard you with equal scrutiny we view the Arabs and Muslims that offends you?

Please comment on Muslim clerics vis a vis Jews and pigs.

While there are copious criticisms of Israeli Jews in your postings, criticisms of Arabs are rather sparse, so your claims of neutrality are specious.  

By Blogger Progressively Defensive, at Tue Jun 08, 12:03:00 PM:

Goy Boy: I'm refuting Zionists claims to have the ethical highground because I don't want the USA dragged into this fight in ignorance. Be assured, I recognize that Arab-Muslims have been as ethically wretched.

Here it is ... proof of my genius.

Calling Helen Thomas and those of us who will not ignore the horror involved in creating the State of Israel anti-semitic is like calling welfare reform advocates racist, i.e., desperate and despicable. You are the racists in fact, ignoring facts and slandering right-minded opposition: it's pro-semitism. You should be ashamed.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Tue Jun 08, 12:41:00 PM:

The USA has spent MUCH more blood and treasure protecting and supporting Muslims than that spent on the Jews, especially blood.  

By Anonymous Goy Boy, at Tue Jun 08, 02:35:00 PM:

...the horror involved in creating the State of Israel...
Not exactly a neutral statement, in spite of your previous claim of neutrality.

I note you have still not answered the original issue : the horror of Helen Thomas telling Jews to go back where Jews were gassed. Why do you ignore this?

You are the racists in fact, ignoring facts and slandering right-minded opposition: it's pro-semitism. You should be ashamed.
It is interesting that we cite facts much more than you do, yet you claim we are “ignoring facts.” When you are informed about the 1920 Palestinian riots, you dismiss it as “quibbling.”

When I was a student, I lived in the same house with a Palestinian Christian. Years before, before the Six Day War,his father told his children to get out of the West Bank, because as Christians they would never be able to advance. Muslims would always be promoted over Christians, he informed his children. As the father worked in the Jordanian-administered civil service at the time, he knew what he was talking about.

I have had employers, teachers, and supervisors of Arab origin, none of whom accused me of being racist. Nor did the Palestinian Christian who lived in the same household as I. So, your accusing me of being racist is a joke.

Be assured, I recognize that Arab-Muslims have been as ethically wretched.
So the two sides are morally equivalent. Consider how they are governed. Israel is a democracy. There are Arabs in the Knesset. Government in the West Bank and Gaza parallels government in most of the Arab world: corrupt, autocratic, where the gun usurps rule of law, where rockets landing in Israel and suicide bombings targeting civilans are cheered but where any action by the IDF is called a war crime. It is very easy to find examples of Muslim clerics who call Jews descendants of pigs etc.: try to find rabbis doing something similar. Yeah, morally equivalent.

I do appreciate your honesty in recognizing that for the Arabs, the issue is NOT negotiating the two- state boundary, but the very existence of the state of Israel.  

By Blogger Gary Rosen, at Wed Jun 09, 02:07:00 AM:

" (Arabs and Muslims who indeed want to erradicate Israel the political entity but would, I conjecture with confidence, be thrilled if it occurred by all, most, or some of the Jews leaving or submitting to international regulation of the region and a non-racial or religious immigration policy rather than hurting any Jews)"

What is your evidence for this? The Hamas charter specifically calls for the killing of *Jews*. Not settlers, not Zionists, not Israelis, but Jews:

Hamas Charter

Scroll down to "Article Seven". Hezbollah, with the help of the IRI, bombed a Jewish community center in *Argentina* - a hemisphere away - killing nearly 100 people. What are the *facts* you have to support your statement above? The statement also contradicts this that you said: "Be assured, I recognize that Arab-Muslims have been as ethically wretched." in an attempt to appear "even-handed".  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Fri Jul 02, 09:27:00 PM:

There are many misstatements on this thread.

Israel is a democracy for its Jewish population. However, Israel is not a democracy for its non-Jewish (Arab) population.

Arab citizens of Israel are second class citizens who (1) cannot buy land freely on par with Israeli Jewish citizens, (2) have separate and unequal access to education, and (3) live in townships (e.g. in the Negev desert) often unrecognized by the Israeli state, meaning that they receive no basic government services.

Arab who are not citizens of Israel have essentially zero rights, not even nominal participation in the political system--they live under military occupation, curfews, and every known form of collective punishment since 1967--all while paying taxes to the Israeli state.

Incidentally, mass Jewish immigration to the Holy Land took place after 1910 (under British rule), at which point Jewish population levels were under 30% and land ownership under 10%.

Although it is true that the Levant has been conquered several times in the past couple thousand years, conquest has never before been used as a basis to resettle and ethnically cleanse the resident population prior to the 20th century.

What is needed in Palestine is a secular democracy in which Muslims, Christians, and Jews have equality under law.  

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