Helen Thomas, in Memoriam


by Sami Jamil Jadallah

I wrote this essay back in 2011 immediately after Helen Thomas left the AP as senior White House correspondence and after the entire Washington jumped on the bandwagon to destroy an illustrious career of a very brave woman, who dared to ask difficult questions of presidents. Farewell Ms. Thomas, you are the bravest of them all… there are NO brave souls in corrupt, coward Washington. Rest in Peace, God Bless.
President Obama who participated in throwing Helen Thomas to AIPAC dogs and wolves has this to say:
“Michelle and I were saddened to learn of the passing of Helen Thomas. Helen was a true pioneer, opening doors and breaking down barriers for generations of women in journalism. She covered every White House since President Kennedy’s, and during that time she never failed to keep presidents – myself included – on their toes. What made Helen the “Dean of the White House Press Corps” was not just the length of her tenure, but her fierce belief that our democracy works best when we ask tough questions and hold our leaders to account. Our thoughts are with Helen’s family, her friends, and the colleagues who respected her so deeply.”
One has to compare the statements made by Helen Thomas and Henry Kissinger about Jews and Israel to see the hypocrisy and double standards that afflict official Washington, the media and public affairs in general in the US. Kissinger did not see any problem of Soviet Jews going to the gas chambers. Helen Thomas only asked why not the Jews of Israel go back to Poland and Germany where they came from. Kissinger was afforded the forum of the Washington Post to apologize for his statement while Helen Thomas was thrown to the wolves and under the train with every body from Obama on down doing their best to “delete” her outstanding contributions to professional journalism. Of course the answer to this hypocrisy is that one is an “Arab”, the other is a “Jew”, simple.
Shortly after meeting with Golda Meir at the White House in 73, Kissinger is quoted as saying to President Nixon “ The immigration of Jews from the Soviet Union is not an objective of American foreign policy, and if they put Jews into gas chambers in the Soviet Union, it is not an American concern, may be a humanitarian concern”. The statement of course came out to the public after Helen Thomas made her comments to a rabid Rabbi who was pestering her and asking her opinion of Israel. This is exactly the conversation that took place between the Rabbi and Helen Thomas on June 7, 2010, (Wikipedia).
“Nesenoff: Any comments on Israel? We’re asking everybody today, any comments on Israel?
Thomas: Tell them to get the hell out of Palestine.
Nesenoff: Oooh. Any better comments on Israel?
Thomas: Remember, these people are occupied and it’s their land. It’s not German, it’s not Poland …
Nesenoff: So where should they go, what should they do?
Thomas: They go home.
Nesenoff: Where’s the home?
Thomas: Poland, Germany and America and everywhere else[55]
Nesenoff: So you’re saying the Jews go back to Poland and Germany?
Thomas: And America and everywhere else. Why push people out of there who have lived there for centuries? See?
—May 27, 2010, RabbiLive.com [50]
Of course there was never a reference to the gas chamber, no indifference to sending the Soviet Jews the Gas Chambers, as suggested by Henry Kissinger, only calling for immigrating European Jews to go back to their countries of origin in Germany and Poland.
Kissinger offered his apologies in a Washington Post opinion page on December 26, 2010 widely republished around the world even in the Arab press and in the Israeli press. Kissinger argued his statement was taken out of context and offered this apology” Reference to gas chambers have no place in political discourse and I am sorry I made that remarks 37 years ago”. On the other hand Thomas made the following apology “ I deeply regret my comments I made last week regarding the Israelis and the Palestinians. They do not reflect my heart felt belief that peace will come to the Middle East only when all parties recognize the need for mutual respect and tolerance. May that day come soon.”
Of course in a bloodthirsty media and politics, no one wanted to hear the apologies from Helen. Every one was out for her blood from President Obama to his Press Secretary Robert Gibbs, to Arie Fleischer, to Lanny Davis, to Mike Huchabee, to Victor Davis Hanson to Kevin Smith of the Society of Professional Journalists. All of them found Helen Thomas comments to the pestering Rabbi as “ offensive” and “inexcusable”. No one dared to say the same thing to Henry Kissinger statements, which it seems that every one from President Obama on down found his words not worthy of comments or they all agree to his statement. Henry Kissinger did not mind if the Jews go the gas chamber and no one raised hell about it. Every one find Helen Thomas calls for the return of the Jews to Europe offensive and worthy of every drop of her blood.
It seems every one is jumping on Helen Thomas from Kevin Smith of the Society of Professional Journalist who is seeking and calling for “reconsider” the name of Helen Thomas for Life Time Achievement at their January 8, 2010 meeting. Even a group of Holocaust survivors who are by the way silent about Henry Kissinger statements about sending the Jews to the gas chambers were critical of the Arab American National Museum of Dearborn, Michigan for its plans to put out a “statue” of Helen Thomas. Even Wayne State, no doubt under pressure from American Jewish organizations and threats of cutting off private and public funding discontinued the Helen Thomas Spirit of Diversity in Media Award.
The ironic thing is that no one in Washington or any where in the country is calling for stripping Henry Kissinger of his Noble Peace Prize he received in 1973 for his part and contribution to the death and murder of over a million Vietnamese and Cambodians and no one is calling for striping him of the Presidential Medal of Freedom bestowed by the late Gerald Ford.
Henry Kissinger the “Jew” is offered every opportunity to explain his statement and offer an apology and that is the end of his indifference to sending the Soviet Jews to the gas chamber, while Helen Thomas the “Arab” is thrown to the wolfs with every one including President Obama is doing their best to “delete” her long contribution to professional journalism, her first as Dean of the White House Press Corps, the first woman officer the National Press Club, the first female member of the Gridiron Club.
With actions like these it makes one wonder if there is separate treatment of “Arabs” from that of “Jews”. Perhaps every one is telling us something we already know. When it comes to Israel, be careful, no one has the right to dare to speak. Welcome to America.


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Sami, a Palestinian-American and a US Army Veteran (66-68), recipient of the "soldier of the month award and leadership award from the 6th Army NCO Academy, is an international legal and business consultant with over 40 years of international experience, in construction, hospitality services, conservation, and defense, in the Middle East, Europe, and North Africa. Sami is a holder of BA, MPA in Public and Environmental Affairs, Jurist Doctor from Indiana University. While at IU he was elected class president, student government president and chairman of the Indiana Students Association, Active in peace movement as a co-author of the pre-amble for the One State for All of its people and voluntary service program SalamNation. A frequent contributor on national and international affairs. He resides in the United States.