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What was Helen thinking?

President Barack Obama presents cupcakes with ...

President Obama with Helen Thomas

I’ve just heard reports about Helen Thomas‘ saying the Jews should leave Israel and go back to where they came from.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/08/business/media/08thomas.html

An unfortunate public statement given that anyone bold enough to speak up for Palestine is instantly condemned in the media and Western opinion polls as being anti-Jewish or anti-semitic. It is unfortunate that this situation has become so polarized, and enemies are assumed as soon as words are expressed. There is no freedom of speech that is not deemed “hate” speech, unless it is aimed at Palestinians and grouping them together with terrorist acts.

But given the current climate, her words seem anti-semitic don’t they? I don’t know anything about her, perhaps she is. What i do know about HT is that she has always spoken her mind, and I find it ironic that the press is surprised at any of her statements. But, yet again, she is nothing if not controversial.

But, having had a bit of experience in Palestine and knowing what I know about the people who have moved into Israel, here are some facts which might have influenced her .

1. Many of the people living in the recent”Settlements” of Israel now, have moved there from relatively wealthy countries either the USA or Europe. There is one segregated “settlement” which is special for Ethiopians from Africa, I don’t know their financial status.

2. The foreigners living in Israel are Jews who had successful careers in their countries and chose to live in Israel, some of them were paid to move into the settlements, some (not sure if all) live tax free. The purpose of the settlements is to CLAIM BACK THE LAND FOR ISRAEL.

3. The claiming of the land for Israel is nominally religious and factually political. Zionism is the name of the movement, and it is not a religious movement. It is in fact objected to by many religious leaders in Judaism.

4. The fact that a great majority of the “settlements” in which the foreigners live are in the West Bank and/or on land taken forcibly from Palestinian Christians and Muslims is the point over which all who disagree with the Politics of Israel are taking their stand.

5. I understand that Muslims have their own battle with the Jews. But Israel plays into their hand by the tactics with which they have unlawfully taken Palestinian property since 1947.

6. None of the Palestinian Christians I know want “death to the Jews”. I know that the Jews say they want the Palestinians to disappear from their lands just as Hamas says they want the Jews to be driven into the sea. Both use terror. It is just not reported in the Western Media.

7. Israeli Bulldozers are instruments of terror when they bulldoze Palestinian homes and Yes, entire villages. They have been used to kill, perhaps inadvertently, but kill they have.

8. All this to say, if Helen Thomas is judged to be anti-semitic in her bold statement, I question the quick rush to judgement. She’s probably better informed than many people who are calling for her “head”.

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