It’s a dark day for journalism. Helen Thomas “retired” today amid the furor over her remarks on Israel. The 89 year old Thomas has been a White House reporter since the end of the Eisenhower administration.
I don’t know which part of it all saddens me most. She apologized for making a perfectly fair proposition, that those who are occupying Palestine should “get the hell out” and go back to where they came from (largely Germany, Poland and the US). While I don’t support the forceful removal of anyone, the best solution for “Israel” would be if everyone there collectively left of their own free will.
Suppose you support a two-state solution, however. Maybe Ms. Thomas’ remarks are a bit crass to one who believes Israel has a right to exist as a Jewish nation (for whatever reason… *cough* holocaust *cough*). Are her comments so harsh that they warrant this response?
Her comment was compared to shipping black people back to Africa. This is kind of ironic, because Israel was founded in this way. Europeans were sick of Jews, so they killed many of them. They couldn’t stand them even after the war, so they shipped them off to Israel. Sure, there were some pesky Muslims living there, but fighter plane squadrons, tank battalions, rockets, and more assault rifles than citizens can be a convincing bargaining chip in land disputes.
Israel is a nation founded thanks to anti-Semitism. Had Jews not faced so much persecution, and had European nations not desperately wanted to get rid of them, Israel wouldn’t exist today. If everyone could just get along and play nice, this would have never happened (which is not to say it was inevitable…).
No. Saying Israelis should leave Palestine is actually like… like telling Americans to go back to Europe. What Israel is doing to the Palestinians is really no different than what we did to the Native Americans.
Yet, by Israeli logic, it would be quite fair for the native tribes to come forward and demand the land and homes of all those living in… say… New York and Florida. Ancestral land is ancestral land, right? I wonder if the Jewish lawyers in those areas would handle their cases.
My question: how much suffering must the Palestinians endure before we can stop blindly siding with Israel? At what point have the Palestinians gone through their own holocaust?