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Liberal PEPs Trash Helen Thomas While Ignoring Flotilla Deaths

June 10, 2010

(note: I had put some notes together contrasting the way that the media in the USA has dealt with the Israeli commando raids and killing of 9 peace activists, a part of the Free Gaza Flotilla, with the manner in which they have covered Helen Thomas’ intemperate – but from my view point – not very serious remarks about Israel-Palestine which cost her, her job.  But as usual, Jim Wall has put it together better and more succinctly than I could – so I gladly enclose his most recent remarks below. I’ll write about how all this has played out concerning US-Israeli-Turkish-Iranian relations in the near future. Just three quick comments before turning to Jim’s column:

1. Helen Thomas’ remarks were made before the Free Gaza Flotilla attack by Israeli commandos. It is pretty obvious that these remarks were picked up, the significance of them grossly exaggerated, in order to take media attention in the USA away from Israel’s `Free Gaza Debacle’ . There was a special viciousness in the manner in which Thomas, an 89 year old who has consistently been one of the only members of the Washington Press Corps to challenge both Presidents Bush and Obama on the war on terrorism, Israel’s unjust policies towards the Palestinians, etc. I am reminded of a former journalist for the now (deservedly) defunct Rocky Mountain News, who was brought down by more or less the same people for the same reason a number of years back here in Denver.

2. The underlying cause of all this has been Israel’s ongoing blockade of Gaza – that has now gone on for three years and done untold human damage to the 1.5 million people living in Gaza – a punishment for the Gazan-Palestinians having voted for Hamas over Fateh in the 2006 elections. This blockade compares in cruelty to two others – the Nazi blockage of Leningrad during World War, and the US sanctions blockade against Iraq in the 12 year period leading up to the March 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq. In both cases, millions died of starvation, lack of medical treatment, etc. The callousness with which the Israelis continue to maintain this blockade with full support of the Obama Administration and the US Congress is, in a word, both predictable and unconscionable,  as is the notion that somehow Israel is the victim, rather than the perpetrator of aggression. `Free Gaza’ has become the cry of peace and human rights activists the world round. )

To Jim Wall’s column


by James M. Wall

A Lebanese-American journalist, a few months shy of her 90th birthday, nearing the end of a distinguished journalism career, makes a few irrational comments during a Jewish Heritage Week event at the White House.

She was responding to a question from  a young man who stuck a microphone in her face.

The short interview was posted on the website of a rabbi, whose son was the cameraman. Thomas failed to follow the Number One You Tube Rule: Never give a flippant response to any questions from a stranger.

Meanwhile, Israeli Naval commandos storm a Turkish relief boat traveling with supplies to Gaza. In the attack, the commandos kill a 19-year-old unarmed Turkish-American man, one of nine passengers who died in the attack.  To continue reading this column, click here.

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