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Sunday, June 6, 2010

Helen Thomas and "Everybody Hates the Jews"

There has been a stir of late over a satirical music video, “We Con the World” (, which suggests that among the "peace activists" aboard the Gaza flotilla there were persons linked to Hamas and al-Qaeda, as was indeed the case as we are slowly learning from the Israel Defense Forces (

But rather than focus attention on this new satirical musical video, I would like to take you back some 40 years to a musical ditty, "National Brotherhood Week", written by Tom Lehrer, which even today maintains its relevance. Have a listen (, and pay close attention to one stanza in particular:

Oh, the Protestants hate the Catholics,
And the Catholics hate the Protestants,
And the Hindus hate the Muslims,
And everybody hates the Jews.

Indeed, nothing has changed since 1967, when Lehrer recorded this tune.

I wish I could say that I am shocked by the repugnant anti-Semitic utterances of Helen Thomas, who stated that Israelis should leave Israel and return to Poland and Germany (, but Thomas is not the only highly visible journalist harboring these views.

I wish I could say that I am shocked by the failure of Obama to repudiate this horrific utterance by a member of the White House Press Corps, but then Obama remained silent for 20 years while Reverend Wright let loose similar obscenities.

I wish I could say that I am shocked by the ongoing failure of The New York Times to to take Thomas to task on its editorial page, but then why should we expect anything different from the Times, which posts "moderated" anti-Semitic comments in response to its editorial content (see: and more recently

Is there a glimmer of hope or sanity? Yes, and surprisingly it comes from an op-ed entitled "Why is Palestine ‘a second Cyprus’ for Turks?", written by Burak Bekdil for the Turkish newspaper Hürriyet ( The op-ed states in relevant part:

"Istanbul’s new governor, Hüseyin Avni Mutlu, has said, “He is perfectly confident every Turkish Jew was as safe as Muslims” and that “we are certain no Turkish Jew feels threatened.”

I have an idea! Should the esteemed governor agree, we can put his “confidence” to a little test.

I suggest having the governor disguise himself perfectly as an Orthodox Jew and let him have a solo stroll on İstiklal Avenue. If he can manage to safely reach halfway on İstiklal, I’ll confess I know nothing “about my own people.”

If I am right, the government will have to find a new governor for Istanbul. If that’ too cruel, I could suggest the governor tour around Taksim in a civilian car bearing the Star of David, like millions around Turkey do with the Palestinian flag. If we go for the car experiment rather than the stroll at least the governor can have enough time to speed away.

But why do the Turks have the “Palestine fetish” even though most of them can’t point the Palestinian territories out on a map? Why did they not raise a finger when, for instance, the mullahs killed dissident Iranian Muslims? Why did the Turks not raise a finger when non-Muslim occupying forces killed a million Iraqi Muslims? Why did we not hear one single Turkish voice protesting the deaths of 300,000 Muslims in Darfur? Where were all these Turkish protestors when Israel was bombing Lebanon or when the Chinese police were using disproportionate force against their ethnic kin, the Uighurs?

How many Turks protested when there was civil war in Algeria? How many volunteered for humanitarian aid missions for Sudan? Why were the protests too thin during the Serbian atrocities against Muslim Bosnians? What makes nine Gaza martyrs more sacred than all the other martyrs?

* * * *

Subconsciously (and sadly) the Muslim-Turkish thinking tolerates it if Muslims kill Muslims; does not tolerate it but does not turn the world upside down when Christians kill Muslims; pragmatically ignores it when too-powerful Christians kill Muslims; but is programmed to turn the world upside down when Jews kill Muslims."

According to some reports, Turkey's extremely narcissistic prime minister Erdogan is now considering the possibility of accompanying a new Gaza flotilla, and not to be outdone, Iran's supreme leader Khamenei is offering to send the naval wing of the Revolutionary Guard to safeguard the next shipment of aid to Gaza.

We must wait and see if either Turkey or Iran, unhindered by Obama, succeeds in igniting the next Middle East war.

[Note the seeming inconsistency in the Hürriyet op-ed, which says that Turks only care if Jews kills Muslims, but observes Turkish apathy "when Israel was bombing Lebanon". I understand this to mean that Turks, who are Sunnis, are indifferent to the death of "heretic" Shiite Muslims.]


  1. The article about Helen Thomas on the front page of the WaPo takes an "objective" position: it does not clearly take the side of Thomas, or the people who "persecute" her for "speaking her mind".

    This is a quote form the article:
    "The outcry against her remarks prompted the speaking bureau that had represented Thomas to drop her as a client."

    They believe, the problem is "outcry against her remarks", not the remarks themselves. Like this poor bureau buckled under pressure (from Jews, obviously.)

    They have comment section after the article. The readers, of course, take the side of Thomas, as hero of the free speech in USA. You can imagine, what they say about Jews!

  2. One can hope that Ahmadinijad and Erdogan will be so busy outdoing each other that, like the "narcissists" (indeed!) that they are, their vain ambitions will distract them from killing Jews.

    May be worth to some to read, Dennis Prager's "Why the Jews?" that posits that we're not hated because of global economic strife, or because ruthless politicians need a scapegoat. We are hated because of our Jewishness; then he goes on to describe the criteria by which despicable Jewishness is assessed and found to be repugnant, criteria usually based upon traits so admirable, they provoke envy.

  3. By now, you know Helen Thomas retired today at age 90. No word if she will retire to her homeland of Lebanon. That she made that statement to a rabbi attending the official WH Jewish-American Heritage Month reception (yes, attended by Roger Cohen) did not get much attention.

    The Wall Street Journal's interview last week of Fethullah Gülen really helped Hurriyet and Zaman delve into the politics behind Erdogan's embrace of IHH, although I wonder if they write the same in the Turkish language editions. Gülen's movement owns the Zaman.

    from Zaman opinion columnist ÖMER TAŞPINAR "The anatomy of Turkey’s frustration with Washington" "...There are three main problems in Turkey’s perception of Washington. All three of these issues constantly fuel Turkish anti-Americanism and characterize the way Turks think and speak of the United States. First, there is America the promoter of “moderate Islam” in Turkey. This is a favorite topic of conversation for Turkey’s Kemalist establishment, a declining yet still important segment of the power elite. Second, there is America, the power behind “Kurdish separatism.” This is a favorite topic of almost all Turks, from university academics to cab drivers. And finally, there is America, the land where the “Jewish lobby” controls everything. This too is a national pastime in Turkey and involves the whole political spectrum from the anti-Semitic Islamists to the ultranationalist secular left and extreme right. What is the common point of all three? A huge national appetite for conspiracy theories. ..."

    Also, Turkey's FM Davotoglu said Erdogan would NOT be on any flotilla, although the FM lied so much during that interview on CNN's GPS, who knows? (hope you saw Elliott Abrams take on both Peter Beinart, and the host Fareed Zakaria after the FM)

    Iran is apparently sending two Red Crescent aid ships to Gaza.

    As to the NYT? As a follow-up to his op-ed, Ross Douthat blogged today, "Wanted: An Israeli Strategy", influenced by Walter Russell Mead's blogpost "Israel's Strategic Failure". Both thoughtful centrists.
    I tend to take exception to their premise that Israel needs to find a solution before any Israeli government knows WHO they are negotiating with. Turkey just volunteered to reconcile Hamas and Fatah. No doubt building on Turkey's success with Syria :)

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