I wonder what Helen Thomas finds admirable about the pro-Arab position that causes her to condemn Israel and suggest that America should overlook the fact that Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East that has contributed much to humanity.
Helen Thomas, who is of Lebanese Arab descent, might want to re-think her position regarding the Palestinian people who brought about the destruction of Lebanon.
“Before the Lebanese Civil War (1975–1990), the country experienced a period of relative calm and prosperity, driven by tourism, agriculture, and banking. Because of its financial power and diversity, Lebanon was known in its heyday as the ‘Switzerland of the East.’ It attracted large numbers of tourists, such that the capital Beirut was referred to as ‘Paris of the Middle East.’ At the end of the war, there were extensive efforts to revive the economy and rebuild national infrastructure. <Source>
“The Lebanese Civil War was a multifaceted civil war in Lebanon. The war lasted from 1975 to 1990 and resulted in an estimated 130,000 to 250,000 civilian fatalities. Another one million people (a quarter of the population) were wounded, and today approximately 350,000 people remain displaced. There was also a mass exodus of almost one million people from Lebanon. The Post-war occupation of the country by Syria was particularly politically disadvantageous to the Christian population as most of their leadership was driven into exile, or had been assassinated or jailed.”
“There is no consensus among scholars and researchers on what triggered the Lebanese Civil War. However the militarization of the Palestinian refugee population, with the arrival of the PLO guerrilla forces did spark an arms race amongst the different Lebanese political factions. In addition, the political ambitions of the Druze leader Kamal Jumblat, who used the Palestinian cause to disrupt consensus amongst different Lebanese factions also contributed to the general chaos. In his seminal work, Yezid Sayigh, the son of prominent PLO members, demonstrated that Arafat and his closest aides also sought to split the Lebanese army in order to mount a coup to change the political landscape of the country. The occupation of army barracks after the army split, by the PLO and allied Lebanese factions, trained and funded by Fatah also contributed to a further arms race by other Lebanese factions.” <Source>
Black September …
“September 1970 is known as the Black September in Arab history and sometimes is referred to as the ‘era of regrettable events.’ It was a month when Hashemite King Hussein of Jordan moved to quash the militancy of Palestinian organizations and restore his monarchy's rule over the country. The violence resulted in the deaths of thousands of people, the vast majority Palestinian. Armed conflict lasted until July 1971 with the expulsion of the PLO and thousands of Palestinian fighters to Lebanon.” <Source>
Nowhere do I see the heavy hand of Israel in this conflict. What I do see is Arab monarchies seeking to rid themselves of a troublesome Palestinian problem – a people hell bent on creating chaos, confusion and revolution in Arab lands.
To the best of my knowledge, Israel has always been the whipping boy for every real and imagined problem in the Middle East. Mostly to divert attention from the imperial monarchies of the region and the excesses of their ruling families. All while billions of dollars have been spent on everything but the indigenous people. Not to mention an autocratic religion, Islam, that brooks no disregard of the religion and those leaders who profess to be its arbiter. Draconian and repressive means of punishment – torture, mutilation and gruesome death awaits anyone who disagrees with the religion or its arbiters.
So why is Helen Thomas, ostensibly an American citizen, hell-bent on criticizing not only Israel, but the Jewish people who want nothing more than to exist in peace and enjoy the fruits of their labor? Even claiming she is against “Zionism” and not the Jewish people is not a defense against her ignorant remarks.
Why would she blindly support people who do not respect the freedom she enjoys, be it the freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of assembly – and at a professional level which the Journalist Helen Thomas must recognize – freedom of the press
In fact, the best observation of the region comes from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
“If Arabs lay down their arms, there will be peace. If Israel lays down her arms, there will be no more Israel.”
Eloquent and to the point. I cannot proclaim that certain individuals in the region may have been treated poorly by the Israeli defense forces. We see that in any situation, even in the United States’ conflicts in Afghanistan, where individuals are involved. We know that it is not “state policy” and we deal with the excesses as they occur.
Perhaps there is a solution to the Middle East situation. The modern reformation of Islam to a more tolerant perspective and for those repressive regimes to be overthrown by freedom-loving patriots who believe that God is the source of human rights and that despots – no matter their title – should not be allowed to determine the individual destinies of their people.
I have worked along side people from the region: hard-working, pious Muslims who like the United States and who want to return to their own land – as teachers, engineers, entrepreneurs – but are prohibited from doing so because they are not associated with the ruling families and the type of reform they inspire cannot be tolerated by those who suppress the freedom and rights of individuals.
As for Helen Thomas, I believe she is a bitter, aging ex-journalist who has allowed her personal feelings to cloud both her judgement and reporting. She apparently is struggling to maintain some degree of relevance and uses her apparent hatred of “the Zionists”to enhance her own standing among “her people.”
But truth be told, if she truly believes what she is saying, she is ugly clear to the bone.
As always, comments are welcome and I will consider offering my blog for guest editorials on the subject. BTW – you will notice I did not use the term anti-Semitism as Arabs are also Semitic people. However, “upon examination on finds that the Lebanese are ethnically a mixture of Phoenician, Greek, Arab, Persian and Armenian elements.” <Source>
“Nullius in verba.”-- take nobody's word for it!
“Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.”-- George Bernard Shaw
“Progressive, liberal, Socialist, Marxist, Democratic Socialist -- they are all COMMUNISTS.”
“The key to fighting the craziness of the progressives is to hold them responsible for their actions, not their intentions.” – OCS "The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius “A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves, and traitors are not victims... but accomplices” -- George Orwell “Fere libenter homines id quod volunt credunt." (The people gladly believe what they wish to.) ~Julius Caesar “Describing the problem is quite different from knowing the solution. Except in politics." ~ OCS
“The key to fighting the craziness of the progressives is to hold them responsible for their actions, not their intentions.” – OCS
"The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius
“A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves, and traitors are not victims... but accomplices” -- George Orwell
“Fere libenter homines id quod volunt credunt." (The people gladly believe what they wish to.) ~Julius Caesar
“Describing the problem is quite different from knowing the solution. Except in politics." ~ OCS