Peoples Geography — Reclaiming space

Creating people's geographies

Longer Helen Thomas clip released

A longer video clip (below) has now been posted of the full exchange between Helen Thomas and passersby that included Jewish students and David Nesenoff. The brouhaha that ensued led to trailblazer Thomas announcing her retirement. This full clip gives a decidedly different tenor to the exchange than the truncated remark that was seized upon to vilify an American icon. I caught this at Balloon Juice, where John Cole entitles his post ‘You Got Played‘ and writes with fitting sarcasm:

Clearly, this woman is evil beyond words. The way she smiled at those Jewish kids while giving them friendly advice to enter careers in journalism so they can have fulfilling lives of learning and accomplishment … You guys got played. And by this jackass [Nesenoff], running around doing Mexican impressions in his spare time. Does anyone still want to try to pretend she was suggesting people be time-warped back to Auschwitz? Or that her pleasantly offering advice to Jewish students was horrifying anti-Semitism at work? Anyone? On the upside, no one is talking about the unpleasantness with the flotilla anymore.

The transcript is over the fold.

Transcript (thanks to John Cole)

Q: Any advice for these young people over here for starting out in the press corps?

Thomas: Go for it. You’ll never be unhappy. You’ll always keep people informed, you’ll always keep learning. The greatest thing of the profession is you’ll never stop learning.

Q: Today they are covering the Jewish Heritage Month.

Thomas: … and meet the President.

A: Any comments on Israel? We’re asking everyone today, any comments on..

Thomas: Tell them to get the hell out of Palestine.

Q: Oooh. Any better comments?

Thomas: Remember, these people are occupied, and it’s their land. It’s not Germany and it’s not Poland.

Q: So where should they go, what should they do?

Thomas: They can go home.

Q: Where is home?

Thomas: Poland. Germany.

Q: So you are saying Jews should go back to Poland?

Thomas: And America and everywhere else. Why push people out who have lived there for centuries? See?

Q: Now, are you familiar with the history of that region and what took place?

Thomas: Very much. I’m of Arab background.

{It goes on for a little while with friendly banter about languages they both speak with words I can not even begin to spell.}

Q: Thank you.

Thomas: All the best to you (directed at the Jewish students). Go for it- go for journalism, you’ll never regret it.

If only Nesenoff wished the best for you, Helen, and had not disingenuously held on to this full video til the 7th June.

It could be this type of actual hard questioning, directed at Press Secretary Gibbs at a press briefing on June 1, that got under the goat of the likes of Nesenoff:

“Our initial reaction to this flotilla massacre, deliberate massacre, an international crime, was pitiful. What do you mean you regret when something should be so strongly condemned? And if any other nation in the world had done it, we would have been up in arms. What is the sacrosanct, iron-clad relationship where a country that deliberately kills people and boycotts – and we aid and abet the boycott?”

Check out this piece by Sam Sedaei in the HuffPo: Is Helen Thomas an Anti-Semite, or Are Her Critics?.


5 comments on “Longer Helen Thomas clip released

  1. Dean
    9 June, 2010

    Here’s some real actual racism for you.

    Mathew Yglesias proposes that we complete the ethnic cleansing of Palestine and kick the Palestinians out of the West Bank and Gaza too.

    Sadly No via @Mondoweiss

  2. Dean
    9 June, 2010

    Drilling down into that post by HTML Mencken, Josh Marshal posts a semi-anonymous comment from V-Mask wearing “JW”.

    JW FTW

    The fact that Jews were relentlessly persecuted by European Christians for seventeen hundred years by no stretch of the imagination gave them the right to go and do exactly the same thing to another innocent people. If Americans are so passionate about such a relic of the nineteenth century as the ethno-religious state, then by all means let us give New York to the Jews; Palestine was never ours to give away.

    But what has been happening for the past seventy years is the Palestinians have been paying for the antisemitism of Americans and Europeans. Eight hundred thousand people were ethnically cleansed in 1948 in order to create the right population for a “Jewish liberal democracy” in the Middle East by quite your standard grade Ameropean imperialists. And the people of that colonialist state have been psychotically trying to get rid of the rest of the Palestinians ever since, in the name of their evil deities or whatever.

    The Jews getting kicked out of Iran, Iraq, etc. was all a response to that original horrific example of Ameropean hubris. So the solution is not “along the green line” as you suggest, especially since the Israelis themselves have proven over and over again that they will never settle for this. The solution needs to be paid for by us imperialists, not our victims. If you really want to do some good, let’s start talking about U.S. government programs to resettle Jews in America.

    emphasis mine.

  3. Michael Santomauro
    10 June, 2010

    Remember, Apartheid South Africa? Many of us in the left, including myself, would say:”Racist Whites should get out of South Africa, if they are afraid to give the Blacks equal rights.” If your ethnie is in power and cannot treat others with equal rights, then your ethnie should move somewhere else! Why should it not apply to the racist Zionist in Israel?–Michael Santomauro

  4. aletho
    10 June, 2010

    Birobidzan experiencing a small revival, thanks to Jews arriving from Israel

    Christian Science Monitor: Russians returning

    Jewish Autonomous Region

    36000 sq km


    Key Industries
    Construction materials, energy, machine engineering and metals, timber, pulp and paper, light, and food and beverages.

    Transport infrastructure

    The Jewish Autonomous Region has a well-developed transport infrastructure. The Amur River links the Region to the Pacific ocean. The Trans-Siberian railroad also crosses the Region.

    Roads. The Jewish Autonomous Region has 1,640 kilometers of public highway. The Region’s main artery is the Khabarovsk – Birobidjan – Obluchie – Amur Region highway, with a ferry over the Amur river. The Region has international road links over the Amur River to the Chinese towns of Tongjiang, Mingshang and Jiayin.

    Railroads. The Jewish Autonomous Region has 310 kilometers of railroad. The Trans-Siberian railroad links the Region to the rest of Russia.

    Airports. The Region’s airport at Zhiolty Yar links Birobidjan with Khabarovsk and remote urban centers. The Region also plans to start international flights between Birobidjan and Jiamusi (China).

    River transport. The total length of the Region’s waterways (Amur and Tunguska rivers) is 600 kilometers. Navigation is open on the Amur River for 180 days on average.

    Map and links at Direct URL:

  5. aletho
    10 June, 2010

    “It’s not like there’s not any room in the whole Arab world for all these Palestinian Arabs to go live in, it’s just that the other Arab leaders don’t want to cooperate.”

    posted by Matthew

    I guess this is the very same Matthew that felt the need to attack skepticism of the establishment 9/11 narrative, the same guy that is blind to the power of the Israel lobby. Wait that reminds me of some other guys, Noam Chomsky, Howard Zinn and Robert Fisk. I guess it’s no mystery how they got all those high profile positions.

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This entry was posted on 9 June, 2010 by in Media, Video and tagged , .

Timely Reminders

"Those who crusade, not for God in themselves, but against the devil in others, never succeed in making the world better, but leave it either as it was, or sometimes perceptibly worse than what it was, before the crusade began. By thinking primarily of evil we tend, however excellent our intentions, to create occasions for evil to manifest itself."
-- Aldous Huxley

"The only war that matters is the war against the imagination. All others are subsumed by it."
-- Diane DiPrima, "Rant", from Pieces of a Song.

"It is difficult
to get the news from poems
yet men die miserably every day
for lack
of what is found there"
-- William Carlos Williams, "Asphodel, That Greeny Flower"