Monday, June 7, 2010

Sarah Palin and Helen Thomas - Two Sides of the Same Coin?

Sarah Palin said " I believe that the Jewish settlements should be allowed to be expanded upon, because that population of Israel is, is going to grow. More and more Jewish people will be flocking to Israel in the days and weeks and months ahead. And I don’t think that the Obama administration has any right to tell Israel that the Jewish settlements cannot expand."

Helen Thomas said, "Tell them to get the hell out of Palestine. Remember these people are occupied and it's their land, not German and not Poland. They can go home, Poland, Germany, and America and everywhere else."

Later, Palin did not apologize. She's still mucking things up.

Thomas, however, did apologize. She has now retired. As I wrote, at the time Thomas' comment was read to me, "Helen really fucked up, didn't she." So did Palin.

When it comes to militant Zionist expansionism, if you support the theft of Palestinian land, water, life, dignity or whatever, you are supported by the American political meat grinder. If you lash out at that meat grinder, you yourself often get ground up. That's the way the process works.

I'm not defending Thomas. In a way, she was wrong. So was Palin. Why was Palin wrong?

Simple. Jewish people are not "flocking to Israel." Since Palin made that statement, last November, a lot of Jews have left Israel. Many - and this might surprise both Palin and Thomas - are flocking to - hang on, Sarah - Germany!

[M]ore Jews immigrated to Germany in 2005 than to Israel. Four-fifths of them are Russian Jews who prefer Berlin to Beersheva. And, there are some Israelis among them who have similar preferences. In further evidence of how Israel can actually be bad for Jews, the Israeli government lobbied Germany in 2004 to restrict Jewish immigration. But there are now more Jews in Germany than there were in 1939 before the Holocaust. (True, there are not more than in the Weimar Republic, but that is where the trend line is going despite Israeli attempts to foment discriminatory immigration policies toward Jews.)

Germany, with many immigrants from non-Germanic nations, is changing rapidly, in terms of demography. So is Israel, with very ultra-orthodox families outstripping the often very small families of secular Jews there.

A number of great articles have been written lately about how the exodus of secular Jews from Israel, combined with the growth of the ultra Orthodox segment of the population there, is turning Israel into a nation that is nothing like what American Jews feel comfortable with or comfortable about. Thomas' discomfort, portrayed from the viewpoint of a non-Jew is less imprecatory than that of many liberal Jewish Israelis, quoted in the Israeli press on a day-to-day basis.

Although I've written what might be volumes about how Sarah Palin came to her views on chasing Palestinians out of Palestine (she wants Israel to fill up with Jews, who, when the machinery of the Apocalypse begins, will either convert to Palin's faith immediately, or roast, roast, roast - you betcha!), I've written little about Helen Thomas.

Thomas' Lebanese heritage has been noted by some who have come to her defense. Lebanese have wanted Israelis to leave, on and off, for years. Israelis have killed tens of thousands of Lebanese, devastated the Lebanese economy, fouled the beaches of the entire Lebanese coast with a gratuitous oil spill, and sowed millions of land mines and cluster bombs on Lebanese soil.

In an odd Palin-Thomas juxtaposition, the person who has been - at least in the past - reputed to having written most of Palin's facebook posts, Rebecca Mansour, posted this recently on her twitter page:

Helen Thomas is a total embarrassment to my fellow Lebanese-Americans and to the Maronites. Shame on you, Helen.

about 15 hours ago via web


Rebecca Mansour

That's considerably different from the views Mansour shared with me last summer, as I sought to get her to come to dinner with the progressive Alaska bloggers. She expressed anger very much along the same lines as that expressed this weekend by Thomas.

There are hundreds, if not thousands of articles that assert Palestinians should leave Palestine, or Israel, or Samaria, or Judea - whatever they want to call it, and just, well - just fucking go away. When's the last time you heard of somebody having to retire for saying that?

How about Mike Huckabee, for instance:

[T]he Palestinians can create their homeland in many other places in the Middle East, outside Israel."

Come on, Ari Fleisher, when are you going to demand Huckabee be fired?

Not holding my breath.


Anonymous said...

Thank you for putting this in perspective!

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

"Israelis have killed tens of thousands of Lebanese"

You really are a lying **** aren't you ?

Philip Munger said...

anon @ 7:14,

I certainly am not. They certainly have killed well over 10,000 Lebanese in the series of wars, beginning in 1982.

Makabit Bat Guriel said...

How many Muslims in Muslim countries have kiled their own people? Let's put those numbers up there Phil and see how they add up.

And I heard Helen Thomas is packing up and going back to Lebanon where she came from.

Curiouser said...

Thought-provoking post. I wonder if RAM is experiencing any inner turmoil or if she has completely sold out. Thanks, Phil!

Philip Munger said...


probably both...

Makabit Bat Guriel said...

Come on Phil, put your money where your big mouth is.
You keep yapping your supposed dislike for the Muslim terrorist groups but never post one item about it on your god damned blog.
You "demand" things from others like you did Ari Fleischer (notice the correct spelling of his last name Mr. blog-man?) but you refuse to condemn the Muslims for their terrorist acts.
Are you afraid Phil or do you lie about your hatred for Jews?
I'd say it would be the latter, although, I believe you are afraid of the Muslims and I highly doubt you have that much of a love for them.
They probably aren't all that fond of your infidel ass either but to them you are one fucking useful idiot!
You pathetic old fool!

Anonymous said...

Mike Huckabee's opinion as compared to Helen Thomas' statements:
Thomas is a White House Correspondent. As such, she's a respected journalist that represents the White House.
Huckabee doesn't. 'Nuff said.
I'm guessing she retired because she's almost 90 and her representation dropped her instantly. So she's not getting any more gigs anyway.

Anonymous said...

Activists: 500+ Islamic Turkish men including members and leaders of Hamas (documentable) and other associated organizations that clearly state in no uncertain terms that they refuse to acknowledge the legitimate State of Israeli, referring to it as "Occupied Palestinian Territory", with the mission to rid Palestine of Jews.

Who else was there? 24 Malays and Indonesians (all Islamic), 4 Americans, 2 Brits, 5 Swedes, 3 Germans, 2 Australians, 3 Irish, 2 Israelis and 1 each from Syria, Jordan, Kuwait, Pakistan, Qatar, Brazil and maybe a Cuban. 7 of these were journalists and news, 3 or 4 authors and historians; roughly 40% of the Westerner "activists" were documentarians of one form or another. They were there on a voyeuristic adventure; they KNEW there was gonna be action and they wanted to see it.

This is hardly some American grass-roots protest by Berkley grads and courageous college students. This is an extension of decades of Middle East conflict, highly strategic and well-financed by opposing factions and documented terrorist organizations. It is so many complicated layers of nationalistic passion and commitment to homeland (for every side), multinational politics, treaties and agreements (some quite Machiavellian), impact on the greater region, religious dogma; Westerners have a superficial understanding at best. Militant Islamic organizations are quite pleased with their recruitment efforts of "Internationals" to use as human shields. _Highly_ effective, as we all know. The blonder and younger, the better.
Funny thing though, if I hopped on a plane to Baghdad tomorrow to protest acts of violence against civilians and inhumane conditions, and took up position in front of a Cat to save a civilian's house from being razed, American forces wouldn't even hesitate. Or if I went up to a road check-point blockade and began to physically remove it while agitating a crowd. If I survived, I'd find myself in a Guantanamo Bay charged with treason.

Anonymous said...

You know, and I know, and we all know, and you know that we know, that the Islamic men welcomed the opportunity to be martyrs in the name of Allah. They WANTED the IDF to attack, which would be perhaps an even greater success for them than breeching the blockade and bringing an heroic end to the 'siege of Gaza'.

Can we think ahead and have a look at what happens next, when the blockade has been breached? What will be the Fatah response over in the West Bank, or the non-Hamas Arabs (are there any?), or Egypt? Wow, that's a tough one...I wonder how they feel about an Iranian port just to the north of their border? Will there be dancing in the streets? One would think so, considering all the rhetoric. But wait.
We're not supposed to consider Hamas in all this, or Fatah, Hizbullah, or Al-Qaeda, nor the fact that Gaza isn't controlled by Israel. The narrative for us to focus on disregards civil unrest and dissatisfaction internally within the Arab community and nothing whatsoever to do with Israel. We should blow past the fact that Egypt has never offered citizenship to Palestinians. I don't know, but I'm guessing the same is true for Jordan, Syria, Lebanon. But we should ignore Middle East border countries and other stakeholders, right?
Nobody wants to hold Palestinians accountable for their part in this - as a political entity, they have many demands and virtually no responsiblility. No concessions are required. What exactly is "Palestinian Territory"? Where is it? By what recognized right did they acquire it? While we all have an opinion, does anyone know this? I'm talking about just the neutral facts; not the righteousness of anything.

And we're certainly not supposed to mention the role of the British Empire and their meddling and horse-trading. We'll go along with it that the Balfour Declaration doesn't really exist. Or something. Great Britain had no right or authority to divy up the Middle East. Except that they did. We can't unring that bell, can we?
As a global community shouting our protests, let's just get real. This IS indeed, a religious war.
Israel=Jew=bloodthirsty=bad guys stealing someone else's country. Did I get that right?

Jews, and only Jews, have maintained an unbroken presence in the land of Israel for more than three millennia. Despite repeated conquests and expulsions, Jews also returned from foreign exile in small numbers beginning more than 500 years ago, then in larger groups starting around 1880.
Okay, but never mind that, because they're terrible mean people and they're Jewish.

The Arabs and Jews have been fighting for centuries - the British Empire has been meddling for centuries. Let's acknowledge that and move on. Let's all team up and hold Great Britain responsible collectively. They're the ones really at fault here.

So, let's get the European Union and NATO and G8 to unrecognize the State of Israel and create a country of Palestine with the existing borders: everything from Lebanon to Egypt, east of the Jordan River. Then we'll give 7 million Israelis 30 days to move to Poland, Germany, Canada, South America, Australia, and the U.S. Wherever. The 2 million Israeli Arabs can stay, but they'll have to become Palestine citizens.
Then the Middle East will all live happily ever after.
There. The Americans fixed it.

Anonymous said...

April 2, 2003 Special Dispatch No.490
Palestinian Authority TV broadcast of excerpts: 'Some of the Muslim Leaders Forgot Allah'

"Civil wars and calamities afflict the nation in order to distinguish the faithful, the steadfast and the truthful from the liars, and the hypocrites who sold themselves in slave markets, sold themselves to the devil and supported the aggression of Allah's enemies…"

"[Iraq] is an Arab Muslim country, the cradle of civilization since the dawn of history, the capital of the land of Muslim caliphates. The Iraqi people are crying for help… Where are you, Oh Arabs? Where are you, nation of Islam?... Be free, or die honorably. The sons of the Arab and Muslim nation are murdered, its sons are slaughtered, its homes demolished and the Arabs are standing and watching."

"One of the Arab leaders claims that he opposes the attack on Iraq while he finances the airplanes of the invading enemy. Another condemns the attack on Iraq while the attackers use bases on his own soil to attack Iraq. A third Arab sister [country] openly declares its enmity towards America, but behind closed doors holds meetings and strikes deals [with the Americans]. A fourth opens its ports and airports to enemy ships and airplanes. Is this Islam? Is this the religion?!"

"The aggression against Iraq is an assault on international laws and on religious edicts. The aggression against Iraq is an aggression against humanity, against values and principles. The aggression against Iraq is an assault on Islam, the Koran and the message of Muhammad…
Today...[he wants] to change verses and to mess with Allah's book, to Americanize the region, Americanize the religion, Americanize the Koran, Americanize Muhammad's message."

"What are you going to do, oh millions of Arabs, oh Arab leaders? What are you going to do in light of this tyranny and this aggression? These bullets that are being fired today on the Muslim people of Iraq will be fired tomorrow on your chests and the chests of your peoples."

"...we say: 'Strike, my brother; may your right arm, oh proud Iraq, be strong. If your arm gets weary, [lift it] and strike Allah's enemies with it. Strike with it the enemies of humanity, and let them realize that Iraq's soil is a fire land, and that they will drown in its waters. The Iraqi soil repels this aggressor, the Iraqi soil curses him when he steps on it, and the Iraqi people spit in his face…'"

"...any Muslim who does not stand by Iraq and support it against the American-British-Crusaders cruel attack is a traitor to his religion, traitor to his nation, traitor to his motherland, and traitor to his Arabism. Aren't you listening? Did you plug your ears and blinded your eyes? What happened to you? What is the meaning of this shame?!!"

'Allah, make [American and British] children orphans and their women widows'

"My brothers in Islam, my brothers in Arabism, the Prophet said: 'Behold the Arabs from an approaching evil.' This is the approaching evil. If the Arabs do not wake up and do not return to Allah – [and] those among our leaders who sold themselves, and I am not saying all of them – that what is happening in Iraq is not far from them. Jobs do not last forever, seats do not last forever, death will be their lot…"

"Allah, grant victory to the Iraqi army…"

"Allah, defeat America and its allies…"

"Allah, purify the Islamic soil from the American and British treason and defilement…"

"Allah, make their possessions a booty for the Muslims, Allah, annihilate them and their weapons, Allah, make their children orphans and their women widows…"

Anonymous said...

Taliban Praise Turkey, Call for Jihad, and Pray to Allah to Bestow Heaven on Those Who Died

In a statement criticizing last week's Israeli commando action on the Gaza flotilla, the Taliban in Afghanistan have urged Allah to bestow ferdous (Paradise) on those who died in the attack.

The communiqué, released in English and titled "Statement of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan Regarding the Brutal Zionist Attack on the Liberatio[n]," was issued June 5, 2010 by the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, the Taliban's shadow government in Afghanistan.

Unedited partial text of the Taliban statement:

"While taking pride in and appreciating the Islamic and moral step of the Muslim and sympatric people of Turkey with the Muslim and miserable residents of Gaza, The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan strongly condemns the Zionist attack on the flotilla of liberation and pray to Almighty Allah to bestow the Gardens of Ferdous [i.e. Heaven] on the martyrs and grant full recovery to all those who have been injured.

"The Islamic Emirate calls on Muslim rulers and people of the world to come forward in support and defense of the Muslim people of Palestine and follow the Turkey's footsteps and fulfill their moral and Islamic obligation in liberating the first Qibla, Aqsa Mosque, and put an end to the blockade now in effect against the oppressed Muslims of Gaza.

"All the Muslim rulers and people of the world should join hands to confront the contemporary arrogant colonialists and win liberations from their colonialism via jihad and sacrifices."

Jerusalem Post

Death for Zionist regime
Ahmadinejad to Turkish crowd: Flotilla raid sign Israel's end near.
"The Israeli attack on the Gaza-bound flotilla sounded "the death knell of the Zionist regime,” Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad told an enthusiastic crowd at Istanbul's Abou Ayyoub Ansari Mosque on Tuesday.
IRNA reported that the crowd responded with "Allahu akbar".

Anonymous said...

Al-Hiwar TV, June 4, 2010
Journalist Saleh Al-Azraq: "Religious fervor was very much present throughout the voyage. Maybe this is what led many to clash with the occupation soldiers later on. Some people ask how come not everybody was passive. They wanted to use everything they had to defend the ship, which they carried in their hearts to Gaza."
"The moment the ship set sail, the cries of 'Allah Akbar' began. It was half past midnight on Friday. There were cries of 'Allah Akbar' and people reciting the Koran. It made you feel as if you were going on an Islamic conquest or raid.
"I say this for the sake of history – that the Israeli soldiers are among the most cowardly soldiers I've ever met. They are armed to the teeth, wearing green fatigues, blue fatigues, and helmets in different colors, but they are cowards, cowards, cowards."

Lebanese Activist: "The Turkish Resistance Grabbed Four Israeli Soldiers"

Press TV, June 2, 2010:
Interviewer: "During the time you were in Israeli custody, were you subject to any kind of torture?"

Lebanese activist: "No, no. Unfortunately not..."

Interviewer: "How did they board the ship? What was the way in which they boarded the ship?"

Lebanese activist: "The main boarding of the ship was by the helicopters and by sea, but the first attempt of the helicopter attack, or descent – the Turkish resistance, I can say, grabbed four Israeli army [soldiers], and took them down."

IHH Official: "Our Goal Was to Reach Gaza or to Die Trying"

Al-Jazeera TV, June 5, 2010:
IHH Official Hussein Orush: "One of the martyrs was 19 years old. We've just found his last diary in his suitcase. The last lines he wrote before the attack were: 'Only a short time left before martyrdom. This is the most important stage of my life. Nothing is more beautiful than martyrdom, except for one's love for one's mother. But I don't know what is sweeter – my mother or martyrdom.' This was the last thing that the martyr Furkan wrote, and the last thing said by our brothers.

"They all died smiling. Their fingers were pointing to martyrdom. Their hands were pointing upward, and their faces were smiling. The smiles on some of their faces were very close to laughter. None of them died in a bad state.

"All the passengers on board the ship were ready for this outcome. Everybody wanted and was ready to become a martyr.

"Our goal was to reach Gaza or to die trying. All the ship's passengers were ready for this. IHH was ready for this too."

Anonymous said...

Uh oh! Here comes Iran!

Christian Science Monitor
June 8, 2010

Istanbul, Turkey — Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad today decried the “brutal and barbaric ... Zionist regime,” as if trying to catch up with Turkey's fierce criticism of Israel's raid on the "Freedom Flotilla" last week.
This weekend, the Iranian Red Crescent society announced that it would launch two ships of humanitarian aid to Gaza by the end of the week.
“This is the atmosphere right now: You’ve got all sorts of Turkish flags being raised in Gaza, people naming their children Erdogan [after the Turkish prime minister],” says Javedanfar, who says Iran sees Turkey as stealing the limelight. “There’s no Iranian flag in sight, and I haven’t heard of one Palestinian naming their child Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.”

“Under the circumstances, the Iranians will want to do something, otherwise they will lose the market – and the multibillion dollar investment – to the Turks,” he adds.

Supreme religious leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei's representative to the Revolutionary Guard Navy said Iran was duty-bound to provide military escort.
“The duty of the Islamic Republic of Iran in the face of such an unchivalrous act [the flotilla raid] is to defend the innocent and defenseless people of Gaza,” said cleric Ali Shirazi, according to Iranian media translated by IranTracker.Org.
In Istanbul, Ahmadinejad praised and thanked the “great nation of Turkey” for siding so vociferously with the Palestinians. But he cast the battle in the broadest terms, in which Israel, supported by a “corrupt” United States, ran roughshod “beyond all humanitarian boundaries.” He vowed that Israel's resistance would prove futile in the face of persistent international pressure.

But Ahmadinejad would not comment on whether an Iranian-escorted aid flotilla, which would require Egyptian approval to pass through the Suez Canal, was under way.

In response to a direct question from the Monitor about the willingness to provide military escort, the president said: “With regard to sending of aid to Gaza, we would certainly take into consideration all aspects of the questions, and then we will take the right decision.”

Any Iran aid delivery would be compared to Turkish effort
If Iran were to send such a flotilla, it would likely steal the limelight back from the Turks only in the event of a similar confrontation.

And if Iranian goods are only able to enter by the land border into Gaza, recently reopened by Egypt?

“That is going to make the Iranians look quite quaint, in fact shy and retiring,” compared to the Turks, says Javedanfar. “For some militants, it will look like Iran is losing its edge.”

Anonymous said...

I don't have a "side" here. I truly pray for slow small compromises that eventually lead to peace.

I view this flotilla the same way that I view international right wing Zionist Jews that come to settle in the West Bank to secure the land for Israel. Both are polarizing forces, drunk on their own ideologies, interfering in an already inflamed situation.
They should all mind their own business and let the people of Israel/Palestine work it out or not. But they are all projecting their own delusions on to this very complex situation.

By the way--(FYI Helen Thomas), there are plenty of Jews in Israel who are not from Poland and Germany. They were from the nations around Israel(Egypt, Iraq) and they were forced out when Israel became a nation. Ashkenazi Jews are not the majority there - it's the Sephardic and Mizrahi Jews that are an ever growing part of the population, as well as those from Ethiopia and N. Africa.

Anonymous said...

Hey Phil, the Palingates website alleges that the Alaska fund trust(AFT)legal defense fund was a fraud, did RAM talk about that with you, or did she just talk about her loathing of Rahm Emmanuel????