Helen Thomas, ninety and nutty, just can’t stop. But now she’s taking the anti-Semitic bigotry to a new level.
For readers who have erased Helen Thomas from their memories in the interest of minimizing their brains’ devotion to neural disgust, Helen is the former White House correspondent who said Israelis should “get the hell out of Palestine” and “go home” to Germany and Poland.
It is remarkable that such a statement could come from a person who received a gift of cupcakes on her 89th birthday from the President of the United States. Even Lanny Davis, loathe to condemn any Washington player, called Helen Thomas an anti-Semitic bigot. We think of such statements as the meanest workings of the benighted and bigoted human mind, the adolescent acting out of vulgar hate. We do not anticipate them coming from people with high profiles and illustrious careers.
Except, of course, given the tenacity of virulent anti-Semitism in America, where hate crimes target Jews over eight times more often than Muslims, they routinely do.
At least Mel Gibson and Oliver Stone apologized.
Helen Thomas not only declined to apologize. She said that she meant it. And then she elaborated.
“Congress, the White House and Hollywood, Wall Street are owned by the Zionists. No question, in my opinion,” she said. “They put their money where their mouth is. We’re being pushed into a wrong direction in every way.”
It’s as if Helen Thomas seeks some kind of anti-Israel gold medal in her dotage. Let’s see. How about combining every stupid notion ever peddled by an angry anti-Semite into one spectacularly vile declaration? Perhaps the Protocols of the Elders of Zion were edited out.
When confronted with how she would respond to those who say she’s anti-Semitic, Helen got cute. “I’d say I’m a Semite. What are you talking about?” How profoundly true, as an ethnic proposition. Helen’s Lebanese origins make her Semitic, and underscore the vileness of her ethnic hatred. But Helen knows what we mean by “anti-Semitic.” It’s certainly not anti-Lebanese, as her own tremendously successful career in America illustrates.
This is an opportunity, again, for the vast majority of patriotic Muslim-Americans to condemn hate. Simply say, Helen Thomas does not speak for us. Simply say, she promotes a notion that is alien to both our Muslim and American heritage.
Kendrick Macdowell is an attorney and writer living in Washington, D.C.