Hey, remember when Helen Thomas said the Jews should be driven out of Israel, and then apologized. Well, she is back at it again:
“I can call a president of the United States anything in the book but I can’t touch Israel, which has Jewish-only roads in the West Bank,” Thomas said. “No American would tolerate that — white-only roads.”
By the way, that is a complete canard. Even the Washington Post has been taken in by it (and corrected themselves when the truth was exposed), but it is. But the hypocrisy on display is stunning. There isn’t a word denouncing Saudi Arabia for its discrimination against non-Muslims—including having areas of the country forbidden to Christians. And for that matter she was fired for declaring that she wanted all of Israel to be a Jew-free zone. She isn’t really opposed to segregation, she just doesn’t like it when it favors Jews (and such segregation didn’t exist, contrary to her lies).
Thomas claimed that “You can not say anything (critical) about Israel in this country.”
Of course she was speaking from prison where she had been locked up for the crime of saying something anti-Semitic, right? No, of course not. So, so much for the claim she can’t say it. These kinds of statements always smack of fascism, since what they are really complaining about is that you are exercising your free speech to shun such speech.
She goes on:
“We are owned by propagandists against the Arabs. There’s no question about that. Congress, the White House, and Hollywood, Wall Street, are owned by the Zionists. No question in my opinion. They put their money where there mouth is…We’re being pushed into a wrong direction in every way.”
But the real problem, according to her, is bias against Muslims and/or Arabs. Indeed, this speech was made at “an Arab Detroit workshop on anti-Arab bias[,]” and she made herself known on that subject:
“We all know the Arabs are much maligned. They are automatically terrorists. I was called the Hizballah at the White House, Hamas, and everything else. But I never bowed to those kinds of slurs because I know who I am. I’m an American.”
At the end of her speech, Thomas spoke about bias against Arabs and then recalled the words of a rabbi at Martin Luther King’s 1963 civil rights march on Washington D.C., when he made his, I have a dream speech. Thomas said that the rabbi, who survived Nazi concentration camps, told the crowd “the greatest sin of all in the Nazi era was silence.”
“And so we have to speak up for our rights, even at price, even at a cost.”
Of course this Arabic audience was appalled by her anti-Semitism and hypocrisy, and responded appropriately, right?
Yes, that is a rhetorical question. The Detroit Free press tells us that the “speech… drew a standing ovation.” Indeed despite her previous eliminationist rhetoric that
[t]onight, Thomas attended the Arab American National Museum in Dearborn, where a bust of her was unveiled. And she is to speak at a high school in Dearborn on Friday.
But to its credit Wayne State University has finally corrected a bit of bad irony:
Wayne State University is yanking an award named for journalist Helen Thomas, citing remarks she made criticizing Israel during a conference in Dearborn.
In a brief statement e-mailed to reporters Friday, the university said it “strongly condemns the anti-Semitic remarks made by Helen Thomas.”
Better late than never, I suppose.
Which of course brought condemnation from National Arab American Journalists Association (NAAJA) coordinator Ray Hanania has denounced this as a blow to free speech and diversity. At his twitter account he wrote that “Wayne State University casts doubt on its diversity and commitment to professionalism after vicious attack against Helen Thomas.” Meanwhile, on behalf of NAAJA they released a statement asserting that somehow taking this award away from was a violation of free speech, in that same fascistic way that somehow free speech requires me to shut up about your bad speech. He has a history of pretending that all of this is lies and slander.
Of course irrational anti-Muslim bias is real. But I couldn’t think of a better illustration of how we have overblown that concern, while downplaying the very serious concern about the rising anti-Semitism in our society, particularly coming from the Muslim-American community, a fact that is borne out by statistics.
[Posted and authored by Aaron Worthing.]