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Friday, October 1, 2010

Note to David A. Graham: You Just Joined Rick Sanchez

In your reporting on Sanchez's on-air rants about how Jews like Jon Stewart control the media, you did the same thing, though admittedly more subtly.

News personalities who make anti-semitic comments tend to fare poorly; just ask Helen Thomas, the Hearst columnist who was forced to retire days after saying that Israelis should "get the hell out of Palestine."

Nice. You make it seem like Helen Thomas got pushed out by the powerful Jews for daring to say Israel should leave the West Bank.

Now, Democracy Now, while unbiased, is hardly going to be accused of trying to make Helen Thomas look more anti-Semitic than she was, so I'll take the transcript of her remarks from there:

RABBI DAVID NESENOFF: Yeah, and any comments on Israel? We’re asking everybody today. Any comments on Israel?

HELEN THOMAS: Tell them to get the hell out of Palestine.

Now, far from a gotcha at this point, Rabbi Nesenoff gave her a chance to clarify (i.e. if she had in fact meant that Israel should leave the West Bank)

RABBI DAVID NESENOFF: Ooh, any better comments than that?

UNIDENTIFIED: Helen is blunt.

Instead, she makes it clear that she was not merely using intemperate language to push an immediate end to Israel's occupation of the West Bank.

Instead, she makes it clear that she favors some sort of ethnic cleansing of Jews from Israel to countries that were (Germany) responsible for the Holocaust and (Poland) the residence of 3,000,000 Holocaust victims, but are not "home" in any meaningful sense of the word to more than a tiny fraction of Israelis.

HELEN THOMAS: Remember, these people are occupied, and it’s their land. It’s not Germany, and it’s not Poland.

RABBI DAVID NESENOFF: So where should they go? What should they do?

HELEN THOMAS: They could go home.

RABBI DAVID NESENOFF: Where is their home?

HELEN THOMAS: Poland, Germany—

RABBI DAVID NESENOFF: So the Jews—you’re saying Jews should go back to Poland and Germany?

HELEN THOMAS: —and America and everywhere else. Why push people out of there who have lived there for centuries? See?

RABBI DAVID NESENOFF: Now, are you familiar with the history of that region and what took place?

HELEN THOMAS: Very much. I’m of Arab background.

RABBI DAVID NESENOFF: I see.

Now, of course, Israel's Central Bureau of Statistics shows that only 79,600 (1.4%) of Israeli Jews have Poland or Germany (or Austria, included together with Germany) as home in the sense that they were born there. 2/3 of them are over 65 and are probably Holocaust survivors.

Even stretching to include as having a "home" there either being born there or having a father born there, 361,700 (6.4%) of Israelis are included.

On the other hand, there is the fact that 20.7% by this inflated standard had their home in the Arab world, but had to leave because they weren't wanted there either.


All that being said, 71.2% of Israelis have, as their home in the most direct sense, Israel, as this is where they were born.

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