Most by now have seen the outrageous clips of senior White House correspondent Helen Thomas telling Israeli Jews to “get the hell out of Palestine” and go back where they came from. If you’ve missed it, you can watch it here.
We’ve heard a lot of condemnation of Thomas’ comments. Former White House press secretary Ari Fleischer told the Huffington Post that Thomas should be fired. And Anti-Defamation League director Abe Foxman issued a statement that Thomas’ apology does not go far enough.
The Jewish Council for Public Affairs and The Jewish Federations of North America today called on Hearst Newspapers to “discipline” Thomas.
“Helen Thomas has showed herself to be a bigot and her ‘apology’ fails to address the anti-Semitism of her comments. She has no place in the White House briefing room and should at the very least be suspended,” said Jerry Silverman president and CEO of The Jewish Federations of North America and Rabbi Steve Gutow president of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs.
A Bethesda, Md., high school canceled an invitation to Thomas to speak at its graduation. This is far more encouraging than the slew of condemnations from Jewish organizations. We know that organizations like ADL and JCPA will condemn Thomas’ remarks, we want to see it from the non-Jewish community. Otherwise, Fleischer and all the others who say that there is a double standard for Jews will be proven right.
Public outraged caused Don Imus to lose his job after he called a group of black female basketball players “nappy-headed hoes.” If Thomas’ call for ethnic cleansing in the Middle East cannot illicit condemnation beyond the Jewish community, then we have a much bigger problem than one crabby old lady.