Helen Thomas, Israel, and Studied Ignorance
Paul E. Rondeau
Recently, the matriarch of the White House press corps Helen Thomas said Israeli Jews are "occupiers" and should go home to "Germany and Poland." These ill-conceived remarks sparked a firestorm finally forcing the veteran journalist into 'immediate retirement' at age 89.
But her remarks are far beyond just politically insensitive, they are conveniently and grossly ignorant. It is too bad that the current administration and liberal media seem intent to keep the rest of us no better informed.
First, there is scientific consensus that Hebrews are a West Semitic people indigenous to Palestine. Their roots in the The Levant (lands at the eastern end of the Mediterranean) date back to the Bronze Age, circa 3,000-4,000 BC.
Second, Palestine was never a nation. It was little more than a loosely defined geographic area with no central government reaching from Egypt to Turkey comprised of various people, city states and nomadic tribes.
After the breakup of the Egyptian Empire, the Hebrews consolidated western Palestine around 1,000 BC into the nation of Israel, i.e. the Kingdoms of David and Salomon. (There is academic argument whether Israelites actually conquered Canaan (Palestine) as described in the Book of Joshua or simply expanded via migration.)
But from about 1,000 to 500 BC, Jewish dominion stretched from the Euphrates in northern Syria to the Gulf of Aqaba on the Red Sea, over 1,600 years before Islam was even founded. (A religion itself birthed in multiple political-religious assassinations and civil wars after the death of Mohammad.)
Neither Arabs nor Persians/Iranians have any claim to the land known as Israel. Persians, Arabs, Greeks, Romans, and later the Turks (Ottomans), British and French are all Johnny-come-lately interlopers, invaders or traders in comparison to the Hebrews.
If anti-Semite Thomas had only said "go home to Africa" from which humanity's first migrations flowed, at least her remarks could have been more intelligent although still insulting. Instead, she told Jews to go home to "Poland and Germany," epicenters of the holocaust. A ridiculously dishonest statement both politically and historically.
It's (not) the land...stupid!
Mideast strife is about religion, not geography. When the United Nations mandated a homeland for Jews a fraction the size of the original nation of Israel that existed for 500 years, the U.N. simultaneously divided Jerusalem and created a new nation named (Trans-) Jordan for Arab Palestinians.
Nevertheless, the Palestine Post reported in 1948 that within 24 hours of the formal reconstitution of Israel it was invaded by every Arab nation on its borders, "Moslem armies from the south, east, and north." That violence has continued unabated for seven decades.
Today, the Hamas government of Gaza stated mission is to replace the Jewish state with an Islamic state. Iran simply wants to wipe Israel off the map. That would tend to make one a bit testy one would think.
Such hate is aided and abetted by intellectual posers like Ms. Thomas and even our own President who falsely espouse that Jews are "occupying" Arab peoples and places holy to Islam while, in reality, Hebrews in Palestine are the equivalent of our Native Americans.
Jerusalem was the center of Jewish culture for centuries before it was taken by the sword and Israel became a military district of the Arab Caliphate circa 630 AD. Muslims built the Dome of the Rock, the third holiest site of Islam, over Judaism's most holy place, the Temple Mount.
Jews believe God gathered dust at the Temple Mount to create mankind. Jews built the first temple to God in this place. Today, Muslim countries would consider Israel rebuilding their Holy Temple in their own capital on Temple Mount as desecration of the Dome of the Rock, as an act of war.
No one dares mention that the Dome of the Rock itself is an artifact of a millennia old act of war against Jews that included total desecration of Judaism's most holy sight and religious cleansing of all Jews from the Jewish capitol of Jerusalem.
None are So Blind...
Activists and media blinded by ideology condemn Israel for the deaths resulting from Israel intercepting an uninspected 'freedom' flotilla' carrying humanitarian aid to Gaza. Yet video shows IDF forces being attacked with steel bars, knives, and stun grenades.
Reuters News doctors pictures to crop out the the knife in the hands of "peace activist" attackers and pools of blood from wounded Israeli soldiers prior to any shots being fired. (Only discovered because a blogger noticed the difference in photos published in Turkey versus those released by Reuters for U.S. consumption.)
They choose to be blind to Gaza electing a government dedicated to purging Judaism from Israel. They are blind to Islamic terrorists acting with impunity from within Gaza's borders to strike against Israel. They are blind to Hamas as a vassal of Iran, an Islamic nation seeking seeking nuclear weapons that is publicly committed to Israel's annihilation.
It has been said that a blind man will still not see a light even when shined directly into his eyes. Perhaps this explains why both Thomas and President Obama lack the intellectual honesty to even see the simple critical issue:
If Islamic terrorists lay down their weapons, Mideast violence could cease to exist. If Israel lays down its weapons before that time, Israel would cease to exist.