Sunday, June 20, 2010

Tell it like it is, Helen

The late sportscaster Howard Cosell was famous for his no-holds-barred, "telling it like it is" style, which often cost him.

I thought of Cosell when I watched Helen Thomas' nasty antisemitic outburst and read her phony apology a few days later. (She did not apologize for her deep-seated antisemitic rant; she actually apologized for being so honest.) I laud Thomas for her honesty and integrity. She did not hide behind a genteel mask of objectivity. As a long-standing member of Washington's elite, it's quite possible that Thomas could truthfully claim, "Some of my best friends are Jews." But she didn't. Instead, she implied the anti-Israel canard that Israel's Jewish citizens are invaders, colonists and illegal squatters. They should "go back" to Germany and Poland, those lands where six million Jews were murdered barely 65 years ago. Thomas is making a huge assumption that Germany and Poland would welcome Israel's five million Jews.

Lost in the brouhaha is that Thomas' sentiments are echoed by millions of anti-Israel partisans worldwide: that the Jews should "get the hell out." No one screaming in front of the Israeli embassies and consulates last week held signs demanding a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The protesters' message was best expressed by what anti-Israel speaker Abdel Malik Ali told a UCI student who had just invited the imam to shabbos dinner with his family in Israel: "There will be peace when you are gone."

Good for you, Helen. And good riddance, too.

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