Unlimited Access. Try it Today! Your First 10 Days Always $0.99

Readers Respond

News Opinion Readers Respond

Helen Thomas' Arab ancestry was no excuse for her anti-Semitic views

Susan Reimer's column about pioneering female journalist Helen Thomas makes light of Ms. Thomas' vicious comments about Jews that ended her career ("Helen Thomas opened journalism for women," July 25).

Ms. Thomas' views were not simply "intemperate" and "abrasive" — they were hateful and uninformed.

For example, her May 2010 remark that Jews should "get the hell out of Palestine" and "go home" to Poland and Germany not only rejected Israel's right to exist but also showed contempt for the traumatic legacy of the Holocaust.

Furthermore, the remark exposed her ignorance of the fact that a majority of Israel's Jews arrived as refugees not from Europe but from Arab countries like Morocco, Egypt, Yemen and Iraq, from which hundreds of thousands of Jews were forced to flee beginning in the early 1940s.

As for Ms. Thomas' December 2010 speech in which she asserted that "Congress, the White House, and Hollywood, Wall Street, are owned by the Zionists," one should recall the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s admonishment that: "When people criticize Zionists, they mean Jews, you are talking anti-Semitism."

Moreover, Ms. Reimer's suggestion that Ms. Thomas' Lebanese ancestry somehow explained or excused her hatred for Jews is itself offensive.

To be sure, it would be rejected by Danny Thomas (no relation to Helen Thomas), the late Lebanese-American actor who founded St. Jude Children's Research Hospital with a mission to treat children of all religions, and by his daughter, Marlo Thomas, an actress and social activist who starred in "That Girl" and later created the album and children's television special "Free to Be ... You and Me," with its themes of diversity, tolerance and inclusiveness.

Ancestry does not explain or excuse hate.

Stephen A. Silver, San Francisco, Calif.

Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun
Related Content
  • Helen Thomas was a pathbreaker — but also a bigot
    Helen Thomas was a pathbreaker — but also a bigot

    Regarding Susan Reimer's column ("Helen Thomas opened journalism for women," July 25), Helen Thomas' comments on Israel and Zionism were more than "unacceptable" and "intemperate," they were insulting. Rather than question their own far-fetched notions, people like Ms. Thomas chalk up their unpopularity...

  • Get rid of bad cops
    Get rid of bad cops

    It's a sickening, recurring pattern in Baltimore: A citizen is arrested and while transporting the so-called suspect to the police precinct for booking, he gets the stuffing beat out of him. To further rub salt in the wound, the cops are ultimately exonerated from any wrongdoing ("Investigation...

  • Ignorance on immigration
    Ignorance on immigration

    Republicans have written to your newspaper claiming that President Barack Obama, former Gov. Martin O'Malley and other Democratic elected officials are trying to "give voting rights to millions of undocumented immigrants who came here illegally and don't belong in this country in the first place"...

  • Aid agencies sow seeds of hope
    Aid agencies sow seeds of hope

    I read the your report "Fierce clashes in Iraq as Islamic State seizes villages near Ramadi" (April 15) with a mixture of sadness, fear and exasperation.

  • MRIs for pets aren't so novel
    MRIs for pets aren't so novel

    I read your recent article about magnetic resonance imaging of pets at Johns Hopkins with great interest ("Johns Hopkins begins using high-tech equipment on pets," April 7).

  • How can Hillary Clinton be a champion of the middle class when she's part of the 1 percent?
    How can Hillary Clinton be a champion of the middle class when she's part of the 1 percent?

    Presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton says there is something wrong when CEOs make 300 times more than the typical worker. I can't help but wonder why she doesn't feel there isn't something wrong with making $300,000 for one speech.

Comments
Loading

64°