Veteran reporter blasts US over Israel

Veteran reporter blasts US over Israel



Helen Thomas tells radio station: ‘You cannot criticize Israel in this country and survive’
Tue, 12 Oct 2010 10:24 CDT

Marion, Ohio (AP) – In a radio interview, former White House correspondent Helen Thomas acknowledges she touched a nerve with remarks about Israel that led to her retirement. But she says the comments were “exactly what I thought,” even though she realized soon afterward that it was the end of her job.

“I hit the third rail. You cannot criticize Israel in this country and survive,” Thomas told Ohio station WMRN-AM in a sometimes emotional 35-minute interview that aired Tuesday. It was recorded a week earlier by WMRN reporter Scott Spears at Thomas’ Washington, D.C., condominium.

Thomas, 90, stepped down from her job as a columnist for Hearst News Service in June after a rabbi and independent filmmaker videotaped her outside the White House calling on Israelis to get “out of Palestine.” She gave up her front row seat in the White House press room, where she had aimed often pointed questions at 10 presidents, going back to Eisenhower.

She has kept a low profile since then.

“(It was) very hard for the first two weeks. After that, I came out of my coma,” Thomas said.

Rabbi David Nesenoff, who runs the website, said he approached Thomas after he’d been at the White House for Jewish Heritage Day on May 27. He asked whether she had any comments on Israel.

“Tell them to get the hell out of Palestine,” she replied.

“I told him exactly what I thought,” Thomas said in the radio interview. But when she soon began getting calls about her remark, “I said this is the end of my job.”

She issued an apology, she told the radio interviewer, because people were upset and she thought she had hurt people. “At the same time, I had the same feelings about Israel’s aggression and brutality,” Thomas said.

Asked whether she’s anti-Semitic, she responded “Baloney!” She said she wants to be remembered for “integrity and my honesty and my belief in good journalism” and would like to work again.

Spears said Thomas granted him the interview because the two had developed a friendship during previous interviews she had done with the station in Marion, 42 miles north of Columbus in central Ohio.

Their discussion also touched on current politics, particularly on women.

Thomas described Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton as “a hawk.” ”I thought women in politics would have more compassion, be more liberal,” Thomas said.

As for Sarah Palin, Thomas said she believed the former Alaska governor and Republican vice presidential candidate was ambitious enough to run for president.

“That would be a tragedy, a national tragedy,” she said, describing Palin as “very conservative, reactionary, unbelievable.”

Asked about tea party-backed Republican Delaware Senate candidate Christine O’Donnell, Thomas responded with one word: “Frightening.”

2 Responses to “Veteran reporter blasts US over Israel”

  • Von Arrow says:

    re: Israel

    I support cutting all U.S. funding to Israel until Israel fully and completely complies with U.N. Resolution 242.

    Our American Congress gives Israel a big, fat check each and every year for over four billion dollars!!!!

    That’s over $4,000,000,000.00 annually! Like a big Christmas present from you to Israel – year after year.

    Tax-free, courtesy of the American taxpayer (you & I) with absolutely no strings attached. These U.S. Congressmen and women who continue to just say YES on the annual vote/Congressional giveaway to Israel apply no restrictions whatsoever on that multi-billion dollar giveaway, period.
    If our U.S. government was sincere about bringing peace to the Middle East, wouldn’t such a sincere desire include conditionalizing the four billion American dollars we give to the Israeli government each and every year?

    Don’t you think it’s about time our Congress stop funding Israel until they comply with international law, namely, U.N. Resolution 242?

    No respect – no money.

    Listen up Israel: You gotta:

    1. withdraw to the 1967 borders;

    2. Recognize Palestinians’ Right-of-Return to their homeland, upon which Israel rests.

    What part of that doesn’t one understand?

    Clearly, it is unacceptable and downright dirty for our own U.S. government to fund, arm, cater and support a state which engages in apartheid-like activities for over four decades, including the systematic destruction of the Palestinian people and infrastructure DESPITE international law, signed agreements, human decency and U.N. Resolution 242.

    Not only is it immoral for our U.S. government to fund Israel, it is ILLEGAL for our government to fund any nation in violation of our U.S. Arms Export Control Act. This Act prohibits our government from providing U.S. weapons to any nation who uses them in an offensive manner. It is a fact our own State Dept. has already sanctioned Israel for utilizing our American-made and provided weapons in an offensive manner.

    The Israeli argument is they aren’t using our American weapons in an offensive manner, but a “defensive manner” instead. Are you kidding me? Defensive? When an Israeli soldier stands on Palestinian soil in the Palestinian territories and blows the brains out of a Palestinian man, woman, teenager or child, is that an example of using our American-made and provided weapons in a “defensive manner?” I think not. Not by international law, not by any means, not by any standard of human decency.

    Here in America, I don’t support the Israeli race war against the Palestinian people. Do you? It is official Israeli government policy to ethnically-cleanse Palestinians of the Israeli state. Is that what you support? No decent American should support such a state-sponsored racist abomination. Do you want $4 billion of your tax dollars funding and supporting this Israeli apartheid-like regime?

    The problem is the Israeli government does NOT want to recognize Palestinians’ Right-of-Return, despite U.N. Resolution 242; despite int’l law and signed agreements; and, the Israeli government seeks a racially-pure all-Jewish state. Who in the hell here in America supports that crap? The Hollywood crowd? Right-wing neocons and left-wing liberals? I know I don’t support it. Do Jews control the American media? You tell me: do you ever hear this kind of discussion in the U.S. media? (dead, blank silence)

    Further, each time an Israeli soldier kills a Palestinian on Palestinian soil with an American-made and provided weapon, the entire Islamic world blames the USA for those deaths. Israel has been illegally occupying the Palestinian territories since 1967, and Israel continues to not only ignore U.N. resolution 242 ordering Israel OUT of the Palestinian territories, but in recent years, continue to build illegal settlements. The right wing of the Israeli politburo INSIST UPON continuing to expand and build illegal settlements in the West Bank and Gaza, yet Western media pundits are incapable of fathoming a common peace plan for the Middle East: How about beginning with Israel? starting with Israel complying with U.S. Resolution 242, withdrawing to the 1967 borders and fully recognizing Palestinians’ Right-of-Return?

    How about telling your Congressional representative to just say NO to the annual Congressional multi-billion dollar giveaway to Israel until they comply with U.N. resolution 242?

    How ’bout it?

    There’s your “Peace Plan.”

    by Von Arrow

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  • Ron says:

    Helen Thomas if you can read this you have company. As a matter of fact more company every day.

    USS Liberty Survivor

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