June 5th, 2010

Helen Thomas and the Polish homeland of the Jews

Perhaps you’ve already seen the video of Helen Thomas giving the Jews of Israel some decidedly unfriendly advice about just where they should go:

And you’ve probably seen the calls for Hearst to fire Helen Thomas and encourage her none-too-early retirement. You may even have seen Thomas’s expression of regret (not apology) about her remarks.

Many have written about the incident, focusing on Thomas’s anti-Semitism and bile. I note those phenomena, too. But I’m also interested in certain other things. The first is the fact that this woman has been shaping public opinion on politics for half a century. The second is her startling and abysmal ignorance (or deliberate twisting; we don’t know which) of history.

Born in 1920, Thomas is old enough to remember WWII and Israel’s subsequent founding back when they were current events rather than history. That ought to cause her to understand exactly why her comments are so absurdly, ironically venomous. Asking Jews to “get the hell out of Palestine” and go back “home” to Germany and Poland would be almost laughable (one could imagine the Onion writing it as a parody) if Thomas hadn’t meant the remarks so seriously, and if they didn’t invoke the memory of such deeply horrific, hateful, and barbaric historic events.

Thomas’s reference to Germany and Poland as the original “home” of the Jews of Israel also expresses, among other things, her adherence to the false and misleading anti-Israel party line that Israel is composed of European Jews, which ignores the vast numbers of Jews from Arab countries who have settled there since its founding. And her particular mention of Poland as the Jewish “home” made me think of the complex yet ultimately sorrowful history of the Jews in that country.

Take a look; though lengthy, it makes for fascinating as well as sobering reading. The Jewish presence in Poland lasted for about a thousand years—not as long as their presence in Israel, of course, but still quite a long time. Jews came to Poland because they lost their ancestral homeland in Israel and then were expelled from country after country in Europe. Poland was for a while a welcoming port in a storm, relatively tolerant and accepting, especially during what was known as the golden age of the sixteenth century.

In general, the Polish kings wanted the Jews around for their own purposes—mostly economic—and the clergy didn’t, and the two groups were at odds on the issue for quite some time. This caused wild oscillations in the Jews’ acceptance and treatment in Poland over the centuries. But compared to what was happening in other places—Russia, for example, or Spain, as well as many other countries—Poland was an intermittently safe spot.

This caused Jewish numbers to increase there on the whole, although they waxed and waned in response to disease and periodic massacres. Jews never were a huge segment of the population (the maximum appears to have been 9.5%, right before the Holocaust). But in the city of Warsaw—somewhat like the city of New York now, and resembling Baghdad during the early part of the 20th century—Jews comprised about thirty percent of the inhabitants in later, pre-Holocaust, years.

The Nazis’ war against the Jews was especially ferocious in that “homeland,” Poland. Ninety percent of Polish Jews were murdered after the Nazis invaded and occupied that country. It is a further irony that some of the few surviving Polish Jews who tried to return “home” postwar were murdered for their pains when they got there. Then, many of those who were left were persecuted and then forced out by the Soviets, belatedly finishing Hitler’s goal of making Poland virtually Judenrein.

Where did that small number of surviving Polish Jews go? The answer, for quite a few, was “Israel”—the only country on earth that was/is bound to take them. But for the Helen Thomases of the world, the Jews must leave there as well—that is, if they are allowed to live at all.

60 Responses to “Helen Thomas and the Polish homeland of the Jews”

  1. Promethea Says:

    Picking up on your thread from yesterday, there is really NO logical reason for the nutty antisemitism we see today. Maybe it’s just jealousy from non-Jews like Helen Thomas and self-hatred by Jews like David Axelrod and various rabbis who support the building of the giant mosque on the ruins of the World Trade Center.

    These people cannot be reasoned with. Believe me, I know. For example, I personally know an Episcopal priest who wants to help the Palestinians. Yet he refuses to learn anything about the Israel point of view. Israelis are the bad guys. End of story. I stopped worrying about this man–the husband of a friend. Maybe he’ll learn the hard way, maybe not. Anyway, he’s terminally stupid and will have to suffer the consequences, whatever they are.

  2. Perfected democrat Says:

    Eloquent…

  3. Tatyana Says:

    “forced out by the Soviets” – no. By native Poles.
    Type Gomulka into your browser, for fun reading.

    Like this, f.i.

    Jews always served as a scapegoats in Poland (where we were not?) – For Polish apparatchicks, mouthing after their Russian counterparts, they all of a sudden became “Zionists” and personas non grata in 1967. Now a lot of people in Poland try to blame “Soviets” for sending Polish Jews to exile; but this is not true. Polish communists (of Slavic, native origin) were perfectly voluntary actors, nobody there persecuted Jews because they were forced to. 2nd, the whole of Polish society supported their communist government in this activity very enthusiastically.
    I recently read an interview with a brilliant Polish writer, late Zbignew Nienacki, and he reflected bitterly of the time of “anti-Zionist purges”; he talked about very real, physical persecution, not just for Jews, but for members of their families. He, a prominent writer with connections, had been pressured to divorce his Jewish wife – but he chose to move to a rural village instead, far from Warsaw and literary circles and lucrative contracts.

    When I read comments by Poles, claiming that Jewish persecutions happened because Jews were socialists and communists (a very convenient and popular assertion for today nominally non-communist Poland), I always want to ask them – what, for 950 years before Poland became a socialist state you persecuted Jews for being communists, too? What an insight. And also – fine, your [communist!] government in 1967 decided to get rid of Jews because you say they were communists (fine logic, that) – so I guess when all 13000 Jews were expelled, Poland became squeaky-clean and cleansed of communism, right? I don’t even go into issue of how many of those 13,000 were really socialists or what their politics were: it’s irrelevant. It was just an excuse, then and now, for a blatant hatred smoldering for thousand years.
    There is no Jews in Poland now – but anti-Semitism is alive and well.

  4. T Says:

    I find it quite fascinating that so many coincidental events seem to be revealing the festering soul of the far left. Helen Thomas is only the most recent.

    I think the great silent majority is finally catching on to two facts:

    1) the far left’s claim to be humanitarian and concerned about the welfare of others is a sham and a facade;

    and 2) If you want simply to be left alone, you can’t simply leave others alone. If you do, the people who want to control you and others will end up in control

  5. Tatyana Says:

    Promethea: H. Tomas is a Lebanese.
    Funny thing: on her site, in a “Biography” tab, the first paragraph repeats almost word for word the relevant paragraph from Wiki article – but leaves that little nugget out.

  6. jms Says:

    Another factor is that Israel has absorbed Jewish refugees from all of the surrounding Arab countries.

    From 1950-1952 virtually the entire Jewish population of Iraq fled to Israel. There are believed to be only around 100 Jews left in Iraq. Thomas wants to send the descendants of the Iraqi Jewish population back to Iraq?

    From 1949-1950 virtually the entire Jewish population of Yemen, 49,000 people, were airlifted to Israel. Thomas would send their descendants back to Yemen?

    Since the founding of Israel, 85% of the Iranian Jewish population has fled to Israel or the United States. Thomas would send thousands of Israelis refugees to Iran? I’m sure they would be welcomed.

    Of course Thomas hasn’t considered any of this. She is just a simple idiot parroting an evil propaganda. Of course she will not be fired. She is the authentic voice of the left.

  7. Tatyana Says:

    jms: she is not “parroting” evil propaganda. For 50 years she created evil propaganda.

  8. Tom Says:

    I too just discovered HT is the child of Lebanese parents. So that’s where she got her proboscis! And other stuff too, it seems.
    If Hearst doesn’t fire her now, it is clearer than ever where the MSM stands.

  9. Perfected democrat Says:

    She would look a lot better in a burka…

  10. Thomas Says:

    This whole left wing bashing of Israel is a small opportunity to actually change some minds. Lefties who are also Jewish (and/or people who ‘get’ that Israel is not the aggressor in its conflicts) might have a small opening to the idea that their fellow leftists are full of it (ie, if they roll over in their mind that most of the things they ‘believe’ were worked out by this same group….).

  11. jhankey Says:

    I have stopped caring what motivates Thomas and others like her. When they utter such things I think of Henry V “it is like another fall of man”. Damn them.

  12. Judith Says:

    I think it was Instapundit yesterday who said – yes and African-Americans should go back to Africa. Can you imagine the (completely appropriate) outrage if someone said that? The fact that HT hasn’t been immediately fired and covered with opprobrium should signal Jewish people how expendable they’re considered to be.

    It was an ugly, ugly thought and it demonstrates the bad shape our society is in (and therefore the jeopardy of all of us) that someone routinely dealing with public matters thought to say that and that she wasn’t immediately escorted offstage.

  13. T Says:

    Judith,

    I don’t think it’s an example of the bad state our society is in, it’s an example of the bad state our media is in. That Helen Thomas remains employed is yet another nail in the MSM coffin.

    That it would be universally reviled if someone made the blacks-back-to-Africa coment, and it is relatively ignored by the MSM to say this about Jews is another example of the events I mentioned above *see 3:33 above)

  14. mizpants Says:

    I don’t think she IS employed. I think she’s retired, and her front and center position at White House briefings is purely honorary, if you can imagine.
    Am I right? Not sure.

  15. neo-neocon Says:

    mizpants: she is apparently employed by Hearst.

  16. T Says:

    Thomas’ statement also raises the problem that we see with many celebrities. On the one hand, to defend free speech, she should have the right to express her personal opinion however despicable it might be.

    On the other hand she has, by virtue of her position, an international megaphone to broadcast her personal opinion while most people do not. This is no different than an Alec Baldwin or a Danny Glover using their celebrity status to disseminate what they think.

    It is on this second point that things become uneven. I do not want to see fettered speech, but can one responsibly limit the “megaphone” which comes naturally to broadcasters, celebrities and politicians without recourse to the same kind of “political correctness” which most libertarians and consertives rightly despise?

  17. Stark Says:

    Helen Thomas has been unbearable for at least 50 years. She will always be remembered for her ignorant questions and anoying remarks. For decades she has been merely a kind of a lame joke at the presidential press conferences. Helen should have been sent packing during the Eisenhower Administration. She proves that wisdom does not always come with age. Old fools like her are seldom influential even in the kingdom of the blind.

  18. Kurt Says:

    The only thing I’d add is that she also neglects the fact that there have been Jews continuously in Israel for more than 3,000 years. Most went elsewhere, but some never left. The Romans were the ones who renamed Israel Palestine (from “Philistine”) out of spite for the Jews. And in those days, Islam didn’t yet exist. In those days and in the days of the Ottoman Empire and later the British Empire, what the Romans called Palestine was also much larger than present-day Israel. Eventually it was carved up to form Jordan and Israel. Furthermore, most of the non-Jews who lived in Israel first left in 1948 in advance of the multi-national Arab attack on Israel. The refugees were never absorbed by their host countries, though, because the other Arab states thought it would be more appropriate to use them as pawns against Israel. As we can see, the plan has worked very well.

  19. Trimegistus Says:

    American Leftists hate Israel, because Israel refuses to surrender. Israel has fought — and WON! — which makes it anathema to the Left. You’re not supposed to fight, and you’re certainly not supposed to win. If they were good losers the Left would love them as victims, but they hate any kind of success.

  20. csimon Says:

    So glad you wrote about this. I just saw the video w/ Helen Thomas 2 minutes ago, and my stomach lurched! I’m dumbfounded…

    It’s time — long past time — that this woman GO!!!!! Go anywhere; anywhere there is no mike, no camera, no nothing to air her blind racist bigotry.

    Ironically, it’s her idiocy that’s gotten her more coverage and exposure than she’s had in decades.

  21. ipw533 Says:

    Poland’s Jewish population was artificially inflated in the late 1930s and early 1940s when the Germans deported their Jews and those of conquered Western Europe there. Jews from the USSR weren’t sent there until the extermination camps were up and running, and then they came to Poland from all over; prior to that they were killed in place in Russia and the Ukraine by the Einsatzgruppen.

    The Nazis had a certain cunning logic in locating the extermination camps in Poland. The concentration camps, milder circles of Hell, that existed in Germany already drew unwanted if unexpressed local attention, and by 1942 the survival of the Red Army made such camps in Russia impractical. Poland was a place where at least cosmetically the Jews could be destroyed “out of sight”–the Poles living next to those camps could hardly avoid the smoke and ashes from the crematoria but were in no position to complain. Not that they didn’t have their own tradition of anti-semitism dating back to the days of the Russian Empire.

    Helen Thomas must, at her most charitable, think that life for Jews in Europe was something out of “Fiddler on the Roof”. That would make her an ignoramus. Since I don’t think she believes that she’s something far worse.

    The Jews have no safe haven in Europe these days, and Israel’s about to become a battlefield, thanks in no small part to this administration’s hostility. Should worst come to worst, I would not be surprised if Thomas and her ilk sent the St. Louis II back to Hamas/Hezbollah-controlled Haifa….

  22. Assistant Village Idiot Says:

    Tatyana, I met one of those antisemites in my small NH town decades ago. He had brochures – the usual Jewish octopus, blood-dripping knives, enormous nose – to convince us that “Jewish Communists” had destroyed his town in Poland. There was no talking to him.

    Did you know, when the former Yugoslavian states began to have elections and independence again, most had revivals of ancient antisemitic parties that had festered in secret all those Tito years. They actually ran on platforms of blaming their new nation’s problems on Jews, and advocating for their expulsion. Except there were no Jews. They were long gone. But blamed anyway.

    I wrote about gentile memories of the Holocaust in Hungary and Romania five years ago, the last time I was there. I would be honored if you would read it Tatyana. http://assistantvillageidiot.blogspot.com/2005/11/different-holocaust-up-close.html

  23. jay Says:

    She got caught on video this time. What has she been saying “off the record” before this? Who has she been speaking to “off the record” before this? How many reporters are willing to say they heard the same thing many times before?

  24. Tatyana Says:

    I read it, AVI.
    Thank you.

  25. Tatyana Says:

    *jay,

    you don’t have to go far: here’s an interesting list of mini-Helen Thomases, American journalists of Arab descent, who achieve notoriety and fame – just like her. Note the subjects they write about and their education and training.
    (Link h/t Miriam)

  26. Hong Says:

    Let Helen Thomas speak. Her ugly cowl is an embarrassment to the Left and will serve to continue draining their credibility on the Israeli flotilla controversy. You’ll be morally sickened by her thunderclap of bigotry and ignorance but then realize this: the Al Sharptons, Arafats, Gores, and Obamas through their words and deeds are the best advocates we have. Our best Allied general in WWII was Adolph Hitler.

  27. SteveH Says:

    “”I find it quite fascinating that so many coincidental events seem to be revealing the festering soul of the far left”"
    T

    Good way to put it. Almost like the power they’ve achieved came with a curse of having their true selves revealed. I suspect they already miss the days of being on the verge of sweeping victories.

  28. Curtis Says:

    On a related note, I’ve been trying to find the latest news on Joan Peter’s book, “From Time Immemorial.” Thinking about Helen Thomas led to that most famous of all anti-Israel idiots: Noam Chomsky. He had the lead role in promoting Norman Finkelstein’s “expose” of Peter’s book.

    Has there been a reputable defense of the book?

  29. Michael Says:

    Yeah, what Hong said!

    Nicely written post, Ms Neo, as usual, although on a more painful topic. Still. it’s part of the real world, which we ignore at our peril. (“our” referring to all of us, of whatever persuasion.)

  30. jay Says:

    No, I’m being quite literal here.

    She has exposed herself for all to see. Now let’s hear others tell what she’s said before.

    And I don’t want to see her fired. I want to see this creature right out there, disgracing every White House function she goes to.

    Juden, Raus! To Germany. I want to see that.

    Neo neo–

    An aside.

    I wasn’t sure whether I had remembered correctly the meaning of the words “Juden Raus,” so to be sure, I googled it.

    And guess what, I found this:

    http://www.boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/11102/juden-raus

    A board game, created in Germany in 1936.

    I’m not easily shocked, but this shocked me. The ghosts of the past are all around us.

  31. T Says:

    SteveH (9:54),

    But have they really achieved any true power? Much of what they’re doing stands to be undone in the near future. If so, then their power is quite fleeting, or it was a mirage in the first place.

    Certainly the entire concept of a socialist utopia is a mirage; power based upon flawed theory which can only be held together by outside force.

    It will be very interesting to see how all of this plays out in November, in 2011 with the next congress and again in 2012.

  32. Vieux Charles Says:

    Tatyana, thank you for your insight. As always, Neo thank you for yours.

    Any blowback that Ms. Thomas might face from the left won’t because she said something eggregiously insulting to holocaust survivors and the families of holocaust survivors and non-survivors,

    … rather because she let the cat out of the bag.

    Does it not seem that the left would like nothing more than to see every Jew in Israel pushed into the sea? Why don’t they just say it? Ms. Thomas did.

    Instead they disguise their disdain in rhetoric.

    In this case about how they loved the “old” Israel ala Andrew Sullivan. As if Israel were somehow nobler before.

  33. Promethea Says:

    Curtis . . .

    As far as I know, Joan Peters’s book has never been refuted, just attacked.

    If you want to see what Palestine looked like in the late 19th and early 20th century, check out old photographs of the region. It was a desolate land. The population of Jerusalem was mostly Jewish.

  34. Sergey Says:

    Tatyana is right. After 6 day war there was an organized government anti-semitic campaign in Soviet Union, too, and I remember it quite well, but it never achieved the level of viciosity which such campaign took in Poland. Nobody was expelled or “purged”. The compaign was restricted to instruction not to hire Jews at any positions associated with access to government secrets and not to promote further those who already had access. Soviet communists did not allow themselves openly anti-semitic propaganda, it was always put forvard as anti-Zionism. Even in this secret instruction the word “Jews” was not used: it formulated that it refers to people belonging to ethnicities that had their own capitalistic states. (That is why it targeted also ethnic Germans, 2 mln of them.)
    This ended my career as rocket scientist, for which I was prepared in university. My Jewish university friends, who were denied post-grad studies, had to emigrate or change careers. But research opportunities in non-classified fields still were open to them (and for me).
    Poles are always happy to accuse Russians in their own sins and atrocities.

  35. Gray Says:

    Vile. Utterly vile.

    War is coming.

  36. sweet[ea Says:

    Dear Neo,
    Is Helen Thomas any relationship to Lebanese American Danny Thomas and Marlo Thomas who is married to Phil Donahue ? Do you know why a lot of Lebanese came to USA in the early 1900′s ?

  37. expat Says:

    I can’t even begin to comment on this now. I am too angry at the ignorance and self-righteousness.

  38. waltj Says:

    Helen should have been sent packing during the Eisenhower Administration.

    I would have thought she might have worn out her welcome a bit earlier, like in the Van Buren Administration. No matter. She’s jumped the shark now. Or at least in any sane world, she should have been considered to have done so. These days, probably not.

    I know a bit about anti-Semitism in Poland from family lore. It seems my ancestors on my father’s side of the family, Gentiles all, were looked down on by their associates because they “did business with Jews”. Nobody on Dad’s side arrived in the U.S. before 1905, so anti-Semitism in Poland goes back well before WW1. And this was in the Austrian-ruled area of Poland around Krakow, where conditions were somewhat easier than in the Prussian/German or Russian-ruled areas. So if my good Catholic ancestors would catch flak for just trading with Jews, how much worse must it have been for the Jews themselves? And this is the world Helen Thomas wants to recreate. May she rot in Hell, and soon.

  39. Tatyana Says:

    *sweat[ea:

    “Thomas” was the name assumed by her father when emigrated from Tripoli. His given name is Antonius. See this.

  40. waltj Says:

    Do you know why a lot of Lebanese came to USA in the early 1900’s ?

    I’m obviously not Neo, but I can answer part of your question. The first wave of Lebanese immigrants, mostly Christians like Helen Thomas’ family, came to the U.S. for the same reason other immigrants did–opportunity and fair treatment under the law. They started arriving in the 1870s and continued until all immigration was heavily restricted after WW1. Most of the Muslims didn’t start arriving until the 1960s, when immigration restrictions were loosened.

  41. anna Says:

    ”I find it quite fascinating that so many coincidental events seem to be revealing the festering soul of the far left”

    very true, I only hope it will wake up a few more people. sadly, i am pessimistic enough that people will be like “oh well the left believes it and they are ‘good’ people so it must be ok to believe”.

    I have posted here before about my lebanese/armenian mother being anti-israel. well after this incident she was just gloating about how the rest of the world “hates israel” now. i wanted to vomit.

    I guess many more festering souls will be revealed before this is all over with.

  42. ziontruth Says:

    The denial of Jewish history exhibited by Helen Thomas (and the Left in general, for whom Thomas honestly spoke unintentionally) is the deepest possible. “Go home” to any part of the world outside the Land of Israel (“Palestine” so called) bespeaks gross ignorance, or worse, of Judaism and Jewishness.

    First, Jewish belief has always held that any land outside the Land of Israel could only be considered temporary for Jews, even if “temporary” means two millennia. It must be so, because many of G-d’s commands in the Torah can be performed only on the Land of Israel. The Torah says the commands are all eternal, so unless the exile ends (and, finally, the Temple rebuilt), that would make G-d a liar (perish the thought).

    (I realize the Jewish belief in the temporariness of the diaspora was and often still is the basis of accusations of dual loyalty. I must state, however, that Jew-haters have always found fault, because that is what they wanted to find. When looking at it not from a spirit of faultfinding, it is evident that this belief has meant believing Jews have never wanted to take over their host societies. Unlike the Muslim settler-colonists.)

    Secondly, Thomas’ blurting flows from and caters to the notion that Jews are not a nation in their own right. “Go back to Poland” is just a fancy way of saying Zionism is a European settler colonialism and not Jewish nationalism. The Leftists do not realize (or do not accept) that “Jew” is a nationality that has non-racial criteria. Who is a Jew? Either 1) born to a Jewish mother, or 2) having undergone halachic (Orthodox) conversion. “Race” simply doesn’t come into it. So, though to the Leftist hammer everything looks like a “White People Dispossessing The Indigenous Brown People” nail, the truth is that the skin, hair and eye color of a Jew is of no import. Therefore it is also of no consequence that some of the local Arabs (“Palestinians” falsely so called) might be descended from Jews of Roman times–they have long ceased to be Jewish as per the above criteria.

    For the Jews–of whatever skin, hair or eye color, since they are not defined by that–everywhere there is one single place they can really call “home,” and that is the Land of Israel. To tell a Jew to go home means to tell him or her to go to the Land of Israel. I know the Jew-haters of the 1930′s did tell Jews just that, but now that a lot of us have done it, it’s the height of chutzpah to call for the reverse.

  43. Lech Bajan Says:

    In exchange for helping to bring the United States into the First World War, the British proclaimed Palestine as a “Jewish Homeland.” This was done in a letter of November 2, 1917 written by the foreign secretary, Arthur Balfour, to the chief Zionist in Gr. Britain, Walter Rothschild (see John Cornelius: “The Hidden History of the Balfour Declaration.”)

    The new bitterness, which did not previously exist, developed between Jews and Arabs. British support for the Zionists and the British “tutelage” of Iraq was deeply resented by the Iraqi Arabs, among whom grew an anti-Zionist backlash. TheBritish occupied Basra in Iraq on April 12, 1941. They alleged that the local Jews pledged allegiance to them and provoked riots that served as a pretext for intervention and looting by the British army, which occupied Bagdad on May 30, 1941. False rumor was spread that Jews from Palestine were fighting alonside the British against the Iraqi’s near the town of Felujah. By June 2, looting spread to the Jewish quarter in Bagdad to 1300 stores and 1000 homes. The British Gurkha units killed some 500 Jews in the streets of Bagdad as a part of the British pacification and occupation of Iraq. The Zionists underground was set up in Iraq.

    The Zionist conquests in Palestine and massacres of Arabs, such as in the village of Deir Yassin, strengthened the anti-British movement in Iraq. In January 1948 riots broke out in Iraq against the British domination. When Isarel declared independence the Iraqis closed the oil pipeline connected to the refinery in Haifa. As a Zionist, Naeim Giladi was imprisoned in Abu-Gharib until his escape in September 1949.

    Six month later on March 19, 1950, a bomb exploded in the American Cultural Center and Library frequented by Jews in Bagdad. On April 8, 1950 a bomb was thrown at the Jews into El-Dar El-Bida Café, where Jews were celebrating the Passover and four of them were injured. Leaflets were distributed calling on Jews to leave Iraq immediately. Very many Jews who had no property jammed emigration offices to renounce their citizenship and to apply for permission to leave for Israel

  44. Bob From Virginia Says:

    Ref: Polish Antisemitism today, my daughter is just returning from Krakow. While there she came across dolls of hassidic Jews being sold as local souvenirs. What were the dolls carrying, why bags of money of course; those pathetic un-masculine contemptible money worshiping Jews.
    Actually it sort of fit in with the purpose of trip, she was over there touring the death camps.

  45. jon baker Says:

    En regards to leftists narrative about white Jews hurting brown people, One should point out how Israel took in many black Jews from Ethiopia some years back.

  46. Bob From Virginia Says:

    Ms. Thomas is probably unaware of genetic studies clearly placing the Jewish people in the Middle East. In fact our closest genetic cousins are the Kurds.

    In one sense I am happy she came out of the closet, good old fashioned antisemitism is somewhat refreshing after having to deal with its bogus twin, “Palestinian rights”.

    I seem to recall one of neo’s posts dealt with the need to hate. It really is a psychic cure all; bored, dissatisfied with your life, try hate. Now you are no longer a loser but a fighter for decency against those (fill in the blank). Self-help literature for haters includes the Goldstone Report, the Turner Diaries, the BBC, etc.

  47. Sergey Says:

    Can it be just a case of senile dementia? It is hard for me to believe that such ignorance and stupidity is possible for any person achieving her position.

  48. Lech Bajan Says:

    Just as there were some Jewish collaborators during World War II, small numbers of Polish gentiles also collaborated with the Germans. There is no justification or excuse for their actions, and neither was this conduct condoned or tolerated. With the active support of Polish public opinion, the Polish Underground passed and carried out many death sentences against anyone found collaborating with the Germans. It is regrettably true that collaborators, whether with the Nazis or the Soviets, whether Polish Jews or gentiles, were an effective force to contend with. But at the same time, they were tiny, marginal and unrepresentative groups in their respective communities.

    Simon Wiesenthal has advocated the following wise and balanced assessment of that tragic period which consumed millions of Jewish and Polish lives: “Then the war came. It is at times like these that the lower elements in society surface–the blackmailers who would betray Jews … On the other hand, the 30,000 or 40,000 Jews who survived, survived thanks to the help of the Poles. This I know.” During the five years of German occupation most of the efforts to shelter Jews ended tragically for the Jewish victims and their Christian friends.

    What do the leading Holocaust historians have to say about alleged Polish complicity in the Holocaust? Yisrael Gutman, director of research at the Yad Vashem Institute in Jerusalem and editor in chief of “The Encyclopedia of the Holocaust” (1990), has stated authoritatively: “All accusations against the Poles that they were responsible for the Final Solution are not even worth mentioning. Secondly, there is no validity at all in the contention that Polish attitudes were the reason for the siting [sic] of the death camps in Poland.” And again: “I want to be unequivocal about this. When it is said that Poles supposedly took part in the extermination of the Jews on the side of the Germans, that is not true. It has no foundation in fact. There was no such thing as Poles taking part in the extermination of the Jewish population.” Professor Gutman stated that the percentage of Poles who collaborated with the Germans was “infinitesimally small.” He said this in a conversation with Polish Ambassador Dowgiallo (Harvey Sarner, “From Science to Diplomacy: A Pole’s Experience in Israel,” Brunswick Press, 1995). Richard Pipes of Harvard University, wrote in the introduction to I.C. Pogonowski’s book, “Jews in Poland,” published on the fiftieth anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising: “It must never be mistakenly believed that the Holocaust was perpetrated by the Poles. Nor must it be ignored that three million Poles perished at German hands.” Szymon Datner, longtime director of Warsaw’s Jewish Historical Institute, has been equally blunt: “Poles are not responsible for the crimes of the Holocaust.”

  49. neo-neocon Says:

    Lech Bajan: In a previous post, I have written about the Poles during WWII:

    Anyone who knows Holocaust history knows that Poland was its center. The Polish people have often been condemned for their participation in the death of their Jews–but, although there was indeed a great deal of cooperation from the Poles, it turns out that the situation was far more complex than that. Not only were there also a great many rescuers in Poland (see this book for a thorough documentation of these stirring tales), but the Poles had a great deal more to lose than most from saving Jews. Not to minimize the accomplishments of the Danes or the Bulgarians, but to be a hero in Poland was a lot more meaningful than to be one in Denmark or Bulgaria–or even, as it turns out, in Germany.

    Why? Because Poland was the only Nazi-occupied country in which helping Jews would officially get you the death penalty. Here are the horrific facts (read them and ask yourself if you would have been as brave as the many Poles who did shelter and save Jews):

    “Poland was the only place where German law rendered any assistance to Jews punishable by death. That punishment was severe and collective: It was meted out not only to the rescuer but also to his entire family and to anyone else who knew about such activities and did not report them. Almost 1,000 Poles were killed this way, including entire families whose children were not spared.”

  50. Sergey Says:

    Recent events:
    http://www.haaretz.com/jewish-world/news/vandals-spray-hitler-good-on-polish-holocaust-monument-1.266478

  51. Sergey Says:

    The word “anti-semitism” has different meaning in Russia, on one hand, and in Poland and Ukraine, on the other hand. In the former it means contempt and discrimination. In the latter – hatred, persecution and, sometimes, murderous rage (especially in the Western Ukraine; in Eastern, more russified, situation is alike in Russia proper).

  52. Tatyana Says:

    Bob: re: hasidic dolls etc. I just returned from the meeting against building of a mosque at Ground Zero; among huge crowd of people there I noticed Arab youths, walking in the corridor held by police, and laughing in the faces of the protesters holding signs. Some were carrying some sort of small effigy/doll. I was too far away to see what it was. I wonder, now…

  53. waltj Says:

    The Poles–my ancestors–might not have assisted meaningfully in the Holocaust. I won’t argue with Simon Wiesenthal or Yisrael Gutman about that. And I don’t minimize the heroism of those Poles who did put their lives on the line to rescue Jews. But from attitudes prevalent in my family among my older relatives, all of whom were born in the “old country” before WW1, I am certain that many Poles would not have lifted a finger to help the Jews even if German law hadn’t mandated the death penalty for those who did. The Poles may have loathed their German (and Russian) oppressors, but the ones I knew growing up had no particular affection for Jews, either.

  54. Curtis Says:

    Just got back from the Support Israel rally in Los Angeles. Great rally. From 5,000 to 10,000 people per my guess. There was a constant stream coming and going. Lots and lots of young people. Saw a Helen Thomas photo. Chuck DeVore spoke. His military training came in handy as it has provided him a loud voice. Everybody upbeat and happy. Good duty if you’re a policeman. Wish that were true of all political assemblies. Hunh?

  55. “Back to Africa” | Little Miss Attila Says:

    [...] Helen Thomas’s bigotry, though, is much worse than that of the antiblack racists, because she is specifically telling Israel’s Jews that they should go “back” to places where Jews were murdered, as Neo-neo points out, in her own lifetime. [...]

  56. I.V. Holtzman Says:

    Thank you, Helen, for saying the truth even when no one wants to hear it. Israel is just the most recent Crusader colony of Europeans. How can so many of us fail to see the wrongness in the survivors of Hitler’s holocaust going on to commit lebensraum in someone else’s continent?

  57. Munich Machine Says:

    Well, Helen Thomas is 89 years of age. She’s not in the league of being a raw model any longer. She’s 89 and why should we take notice and destroy her forever because of one faulty step?

    I’m not perfect, I’ve said stuff in my life that I have bitterly regret. I’m not destroyed by that no more than the love I experienced for making amends.

    Hate comes in different shapes and forms, why should we use almost same techniques to shuffle out someone we tend to dislike.

    I can’t see this as other than a hasty thought based on an old concept, “If we can’t live together, I’ll move your or my ass away”. Nothing antisemitic in that one, if was from the other side of the table.

    Don’t go the same way as others in this.

  58. Poor Richard Says:

    I.V. Holtzman:

    “Someone else’s continent?” Did you just say, “Someone else’s continent?”

    You’re probably just a Jihadi spambot, but just in case you’re an actual person, where do you live? In the US, which we took from the British, French, Spanish, and Indians? In England, which the Normans took from the Saxons, who took it from the Britons, who took it from the Picts, et al? In Europe — well, I won’t even go there! So tell me this wondrous place you live, which no one ever conquered from anyone else!

    You’re so dedicated to sending “furriners” “home” that I’m sure you’ve been in the forefront of the Free Tibet movement. And for a Basque homeland. For an independent Kurdistan. Quebec Libre! To say nothing of South Sudan, South Tyrol, and South Molucca. Succession for Bougainville? You were there, no doubt. Free Aceh! And Tamil Eelam, too!

    Oh, yes, I almost forgot — when Egypt occupied Gaza and Jordan the “West Bank,” you were right up there at the front of the protest against the unlawful occupation of Palestine, weren’t you?

    What? What’s that you say? Oh, it’s only “someone else’s continent” if Jooos want their own country there! (Regardless of the fact that the entire world knows that Israel is the home of the Jews and has been since time immemorial.) Well, why didn’t you say so up front? Would’ve made things much more clear!

    P.S. “Lebensraum” is a noun meaning “living space.” One cannot “commit living space.” Try understanding what you’re saying BEFORE you say it, next time you post.

  59. I.V. Holtzman Says:

    Poor poor Richard, you are so busy defending your one cherished instance that you can’t see how it applies universally. Somewhere, somewhen, everyone is or has been or will be someone else’s second class citizen or slave or practice target. Ich verstehe was Lebensraum ist. In the U.S. we called it Manifest Destiny. It’s the notion that one chosen people have the right to shove other people out of their way.

    It is the ultimate fall from grace that the very people who were most injured seventy years ago have spent the decades since then causing injury themselves. A lot of the people who urge us never to forget have themselves conveniently forgotten how much their present acts resemble the acts which were done to their grandparents.

    The thing you’re not getting is that we Jews are just another tribe, just another clan. We’re not any more special, we’re not any more chosen, than any other tribe or clan. We have the right to survive and thrive, but not by stepping on the rights of other tribes to survive and thrive. When a few of us commit this sin, the repercussions are visited upon all of us simply because we are, as you put it, Jooos.

    All fervor, whether nationalist or religious, is a mental illness, and it’s highly contagious. The only way to defuse it is to diffuse it. Do what city dwellers finally had the sense to do during the Bubonic Plague: run away and don’t stop running until you find a village where no one has heard about the Plague. The alternative is to stay and suffer, waiting through the gathering gloom until the end comes. The Promised Land is not Israel. Rather, it’s any place where no one is currently improvising explosives.

  60. tools in UA Says:

    tools in UA…

    [...]neo-neocon » Blog Archive » Helen Thomas and the Polish homeland of the Jews[...]…

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Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.
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