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June 8th, 2010
03:18 AM ET

The rabbi whose question ended Helen Thomas' career

From CNN Senior National Editor Dave Schechter:

Most Americans have never heard of Rabbi David Nesenoff, but they now know his work behind the camera. Nesenoff is an independent filmmaker who asked columnist Helen Thomas the question that brought an end to her decades-long career.

Nesenoff was at the White House on May 27 with a media credential, representing his website www.rabbilive.com, to cover an event marking Jewish Heritage Month. He was accompanied by his 17-year-old son Adam, who also was credentialed – representing his website www.shmoozepoint.com – and a friend of his son.

They had attended a White House news conference at which Thomas, known as the dean of the White House press corps, was one of the reporters to question President Obama. Afterwards, Nesenoff and his son asked various people at the White House – from a TV reporter to a Jewish boxer to visiting rabbis – to offer thoughts on Israel.

It was in the driveway outside the north entrance to the White House where Nesenoff saw Thomas. “Let’s meet her, let’s learn something” Nesenoff recalled telling the boys. “I didn’t remember that she had pro-Palestinian thoughts, anti-Semitic feelings,” he said.

What followed has been viewed online more than one million times on various sites, Nesenoff says.

“Tell them to get the hell out of Palestine,” Thomas told them. “Remember, these people are occupied. And it’s their land. It’s not German, it’s not Poland’s.”

That answer in and of itself might have caused a minor stir. Regular viewers of White House news conferences over the years have heard her ask questions that betrayed sympathy for the Palestinians, perhaps not surprising for a U.S.-born daughter of Christian immigrants from Lebanon. But Nesenoff followed up by asking where the Jews living in Israel should go.

“They could go home. Poland, Germany,” Thomas replied, “ . . . and America, and everywhere else.”

“I was hurt, I was shocked,” Nesenoff told me. He was less concerned about Thomas’ retirement. “There are bigger issues here,” he said, “of anti-Semitism tied into anti-Israel (sentiment).”

After Nesenoff posted the video online, Thomas apologized in a statement. “I deeply regret my comments I made last week regarding the Israelis and the Palestinians,” she said “They do not reflect my heart-felt belief that peace will come to the Middle East only when all parties recognize the need for mutual respect and tolerance. May that day come soon."

It was not enough to quiet the uproar. Nesenoff is looking for something more personal. “She owes me an apology,” he says. “She owes my son an apology.”

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Israel • Judaism • Middle East • Politics

« Previous entry
soundoff (1,598 Responses)
  1. Sheila

    Although Helen Thomas is a journalistic icon, one of the tenets of journalism is NEVER VOICE YOUR OPINION. Reporters are supposed to remain objective, no matter what the situation or your personal beliefs. Even though she is of Lebanese descent, it doesn't give her the right to make such a blatant anti-semetic statement as that. Afterall, Lebanon was occupied by Syria for many years, why haven't we heard the same about her homeland. Age doesn't give her a free pass. The consequences justify the crime.

    June 8, 2010 at 11:18 am |
  2. Gil T

    Ms Thomas' ethnic bias aside her high profile remark highlights the widespread depth of ignorance. I refer specifically to a matter of history. People who talk about Jewish occupation of Palestine since the 40s are blissfully ignorant or oblivious to the long, long history of Israel in Palestine prior to the 1940s. Futile attempts have been made to identify the Palestines as the Philistines of the Old Testament to no avail.

    June 8, 2010 at 11:07 am |
  3. James White

    Incredible that this woman got away with her true beliefs for so long. Now she can spend the little time she has left on this earth pondering her words and how she ended her career. Guess the White House told her where to go!

    June 8, 2010 at 11:06 am |
    • Navybat

      To James White: Other people feel that way too, you moron. Why should we have to "get away" with it? It's our right to THINK. If I'm on YOUR side of the discussion it's ok, but if I'm on the other side I'm "getting away" with it? You're an idiot.

      June 10, 2010 at 12:18 pm |
  4. Tina

    And to be fair, it's also just as inappropriate and stereotypical to equate a pro-Palestinian stance with anti-Semitism. BOTH of their opinions taken together provide a great illustration of where the problem lies for both sides in this whole debate.

    It's idiotic...people either refuse to recognize Israel's right to exist (grow up–it exists, and you have to deal with it) or claim that any opposition to Israel is immoral (aarrggh–welcome to the real world, where you have to compromise and negotiate with others).

    June 8, 2010 at 11:02 am |
    • Gil T

      Good points, Ms T

      June 8, 2010 at 11:16 am |
  5. SRS

    You are all missing the point of why what she said was so offensive. It doesn't matter what her feelings about Israel are, it does matter that she is anti-semitic. Jews could not go "home" after the holocaust, even after the war the Poles and others were killing the Jews that did try to go back. And in case you don't remember, Jews actually came from the same place that the Palestinians come from, they were dispersed a 1000 years ago throughout Europe and other places because of persecution. People, get your history right!

    June 8, 2010 at 10:56 am |
    • J SHO

      Native Americans were forced from their land via Persecution, as well, but I don't see anyone offering to reestablish their tribes in their homelands, and that was only 100+ years ago. After 1000 years, um, there are probably other people living there, and you don't have the RIGHT to return, and you certainly don't have the RIGHT to occupy/oppress said people.......and no, I am not anti-semitic.

      June 8, 2010 at 11:55 am |
    • D in VT

      How far back do we need to go? Is 1000 years enough? The land was not only inhabited by the Isrealites. I believe that if we want to go back to historical habitation of lands, then there are a lot of people in the US that need to go and give the land back to the Native Americans and a lot of light colored people in Africa that have to go too. Either that or populations with different ethnic/religious backgrounds need to learn how to live together with mutual respect.

      June 8, 2010 at 12:00 pm |
    • D in VT

      J SHO- I think you said it better!

      June 8, 2010 at 12:01 pm |
    • tnt

      A thousand years ago!!!!!! That like me telling someone that the land they own today is not theirs because my 15 greats grandfather owned the land 1000 years.

      June 8, 2010 at 2:32 pm |
  6. suzanne

    correction to my previous post.....(a word was left out of sentence) it should have read "she simply thinks they should NOT be occupying the land now called Israel."

    June 8, 2010 at 10:49 am |
  7. suzanne

    whether you agree with what Ms. Thomas said or not, she should have the right to say it without this figurative lynching that she has endured. She did not say anything against the Jews. She simply thinks they should be occupying the land now called Israel. She expressed no hate. She expressed no wish to do them harm. She merely has an opinion on whether they should be where they are & she wants peace in the Middle East. So much for free speech in this country. Free speech only seems to be allowed if you agree with the majority.

    June 8, 2010 at 10:47 am |
    • cbc

      Free speech means you can say what you want. It doesn't mean there will be no consequences.

      June 8, 2010 at 10:59 am |
    • Dean

      Well said Suzanne. But as we all know, she works for the media and the media is controlled by Jews. As soon she opened her mouth I knew that she will be done. I agree with one 100% she has the right to say what she needs when she needs. and if this Rabbi does not like it, then maybe he can move back to what so called Israel and he can show me then how he can practice free speach there. I guarantee you he will cry back to the US so fast.

      June 8, 2010 at 11:49 am |
    • linda wright

      bravo

      June 8, 2010 at 11:58 am |
    • LindaW

      Helen did tell the truth!! Shame on these bullies for beating up on an old lady and feeling Proud about it! 'Democracy Now' is the only program showing her complete statement!
      Shame on the Obama team for jumping in rather than taking a stand against those who killed at least 10 on the boat carrying humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip against an Israeli blockade.

      June 9, 2010 at 7:33 am |
  8. JS

    What a deceptive headline. The only person who was responsible for ending Helen Thomas' career was Helen Thomas.

    June 8, 2010 at 10:44 am |
  9. Michael

    This is so pathetic.... hope the Jews are proud of themelves..'outing' a 90 yr old woman... Helen Thomas ant -semetic....wow...

    June 8, 2010 at 10:42 am |
    • Rich

      Absolutely. This sort of behavior makes me question my support for Israel.

      June 8, 2010 at 11:46 am |
    • Jeff

      "the Jews" I think you just outed yourself.

      June 8, 2010 at 11:48 am |
    • P.R

      Ii I would say that blacks should go back where they came from wouldn t I be labeled racist?

      June 8, 2010 at 12:28 pm |
    • ML

      P.R. – You certainly would be considered a racist and would probably have to resign from your job. Exactly what Thomas did. Michael – you sound uneducated.

      June 8, 2010 at 1:00 pm |
    • Dan

      As if "the jews" had every intention of getting her fired. Give me a break, they asked her a simple question, just as they had done with many other people they met at the white house. "The Jews" had nothing to do with getting her fired, her employer made that decision after seeing her remarks.

      June 8, 2010 at 1:13 pm |
    • Windowsyl39

      Now it's the fault of the Jews that Thomas lost her job. Listen folks, she told the Jews to go to where 6 million of them were put to death, the concentration camps, or are you the people that say it never happened. As for Isreal, that land was baren before the Jewish people came and cleaned it up and planted things. Are you all the same people that agreed with Don Imus when he said a very horrible thing about the black woman basket ball players. Is there anyone out there that can be truthful and tell me 'Why you people hate the Jews so much.' I would be very interested to see some of your answers, and I'll just bet it will be the same stupid thing that is always said,so before you say it's because all of the Jews have so much money, Im a 71 year old Jewish Woman who through no fault of my own is on Medicade & Food Stamps, and My name Is Not Rockafeller, Kennedy, Bush, Clinton, Cheny etc. All Good Christians, not one Jew in the bunch. Now you're going to say it's because we killed Christ, well my answer to that is "Were you there? and if you are a smart a– and tell me yes, then I say to you well if you loved him so much why the hell didn't you help him down? As you can tell, I have heard it all, and truthfully it's really stale already. Have A Nice Day:>(

      June 8, 2010 at 2:20 pm |
  10. Debbie

    She apologized. That should be enough. The national director of the Anti-Defamation League says her apology ISN'T enough. "We believe Thomas needs to make a more forceful and sincere apology for the pain her remarks have caused."

    Perhaps she should reissue her apology: "I DEEPLY REGRET MY COMMENTS ... "

    June 8, 2010 at 10:29 am |
    • Tina

      Ha. That was awesome. I agree. She should definitely have apologized (voicing her opinion was inappropriate when speaking in her official capacity), but unless there's a chunk of her quote left out, I can't see how what she said was so scandalously horrifying. It was an opinion on one side of an ongoing debate. Done.

      June 8, 2010 at 10:43 am |
  11. S. Diamond

    Who among us in our beloved USA isn't living on land once taken, either by outright force or by numerous broken agreements, from those who were here before us? I might agree that Jewish immigrants to Israel, at least from the 1930s on, should return where they came from – but only when we in the USA give the land back to Native Americans who we or our ancestors forced out.
    Actually, as a matter of history, this principle could also apply to just about everyone else in the entire world.

    June 8, 2010 at 10:26 am |
    • Martin

      You're missing a huge point. No other country ever aided us in taking or holding on to our territory. Consider how much aid is given to Israel and how much political clout and capital are expended by the the major democracies to prop up Israel. It's not a question what's right or who belongs where. It's a simple matter of what is practical and reasonable. The effort and costs of propping up Israel are neither!

      June 8, 2010 at 10:44 am |
    • cbc

      Reply to Martin:

      History 101 – you fail. Ever heard of Lafayette? the French fleet at Yorktown? Without the help of the French, we would still be part of the British Empire.

      June 8, 2010 at 10:56 am |
    • Rob H.

      Reply to Martin and cbc. The French were paid by George Washington with gold, jewls and money donated by cubans, yes specially cuban women that gave all their jewls to support the american revolution. George Washignton had no money and his soldiers had gone without pay for months. Now that is complete history. (By a proud cuban who loves the USA)

      June 8, 2010 at 11:46 am |
    • P.R

      So you can take over a country if its not aided by other country, what a stupid argument martin. Yes we took over this land (America) and all of us should go back where we came from. Unless if there is a rule that you can take over a country on your own without help (martin, are you retarded?), make some argument that makes sense.

      June 8, 2010 at 12:26 pm |
    • Martin

      The folks who replied to my comments here have it wrong. In the American Revolution the European colonials TOOK control of what is now our country from the British. They were not aided by any other country in HOLDING ON to it, they were aided in TAKING it. It was a transfer of control from one European group (Britain) to another European group (Colonials–Europeans living in America). The U.S. never required the assistance of any foreign power to hold on to territory it took (settled, stole, conned, bilked, whatever) from the indigenous peoples who were already here before the Europeans came. Whether that was right or wrong it a pointless argument because we're never going to give it back. Likewise it is pointless to argue that the Jewish settlers of Palestine should give it back for moral or ethical reasons. But it is completely valid to argue whether it is in the best interests of the U.S. and several other countries to work so hard and pay such a high price (to try) to make the world safe for Israel. Criticize my reasoning all you want, but please understand it first!

      June 8, 2010 at 2:01 pm |
  12. Martin

    So a distinguished career that goes back farther than most of us have been alive gets ended because of one unpopular remark? Maybe people got so upset because there was a lot of truth in what she said, only people don't want to even consider that possibility. So it is easier just to snuff her out. You don't have to hate Israel, Zionists, or Jews to recognize that Israel is a tiny country surrounded by hundreds of millions of people who are against its very existence, a tiny country is a huge nexus of tension and a huge drag on our foreign policy. What benefits does the U.S. derive from its support of Israel? And don't tell me it's in our "interest" to support a flourishing democracy. That's an agenda,not a benefit. If it weren't for the support of American Jews and certain Christian denominations in the U.S. (who believe that Christ will only return if the Holy Land is occupied by the Jews) Israel would barely be on our radar. It was a reasonable assumption 60+ years ago that with time Israel would find a way to live peaceably with its neighbors, that as the world became more secular the tensions would ease. Events proved that assumption erroneous, and by continuing to refuse to face reality we live in an ever more insecure and unsafe world. It's not a question of who's right, it's simply a matter of facing facts. I wouldn't dream of telling people in Israel what to do. They have their own agenda. But I am fundamentally opposed to our current foreign (and by extension military) policy, and our policy on Israel is the most blatant example of how we have got it all wrong.

    June 8, 2010 at 10:25 am |
    • cbc

      "It was a reasonable assumption 60+ years ago that with time Israel would find a way to live peaceably with its neighbors" – reasonable only IF those neighbors want to live in peace withIsrael, which they don't.

      "I wouldn't dream of telling people in Israel what to do." Helen did, and obviously regrets the consequences (but not the comments).

      June 8, 2010 at 10:52 am |
    • bob

      >>What benefits does the U.S. derive from its support of Israel?

      It gives the US a piece of friendly territory to use as a military staging point to protect interests in the Middle East.

      June 8, 2010 at 11:53 am |
    • ah0794

      bob, by "interests" are you referring to america's unquenchable thirst for mid-east oil? if so, this "benefit" afforded to us by israel is only hurting us when we should be concentrating on the development of clean energy

      June 8, 2010 at 1:28 pm |
    • Susan

      Well said truth Martin. Thanks

      June 8, 2010 at 2:09 pm |
  13. lorne

    you can criticize anybody you want. you just did.

    how were you censored by CNN? you just LIED about that. How are jews too powerful.

    you said what you wanted too say without interference from either CNN or jews.

    your bigotry was allowed to shine through your own lies.

    June 8, 2010 at 10:19 am |
  14. kareno

    I do not agree with Helen Thomas nor do I think she has a right to say whatever comes to her mind, unfiltered. I do however think that her age got her. In the many years I have been reading and watching the news and newsmakers I am always saddened when an elder statesperson in any field lets loose with her "true beliefs". Her body of work will now be forgotten and when her name comes up we will all say "Remember what she said to the Rabbi and his son?"

    June 8, 2010 at 10:09 am |
  15. Reg McGratten

    As a senior Canadian observer of world affairs I can't agree more with Helen. We who agree that Israel shouldn't be occupying Palestinian territory and building homes there deserve to be heard. It just isn't right what they are doing and it needs to stop. American needs to do more to convince Israel to back off...without American backing it wouldn't be happening.

    June 8, 2010 at 10:08 am |
    • lorne

      those who want to criticize israel are constantly heard,
      I'd sure like you to criticize, with equal vehemence, say iran. it hangs gay people in public (although ahmadinejad denied there were even any gays in iran in his speech at columbia university).
      forces the govt. views on religion on the people, runs totally corrupt elections etc.
      as a "senior" canadian observer did you go to CNN to complain about the murder of the Iranian/Canadian female reporter when she was a guest in iranian jail. Oh I forgot, the iranians said that she had a heart attack.

      June 8, 2010 at 10:29 am |
    • cbc

      "Israel shouldn't be occupying Palestinian territory" – I can agree that the occupation of the West Bank needs to end. However, her comments were not about the West Bank but about Israel itself. She sounds a lot like Ahminidejad.

      June 8, 2010 at 10:48 am |
    • Mary

      This is actually a reply to lorne:

      I agree with Reg. And since when is the US sending aid and support to Iran?? Big difference there.

      June 8, 2010 at 11:28 am |
    • Wardancersgirl

      i'm confused here...how was this EVER Palestinian land? Last I checked the land belonged to the British who GAVE it to the Jews to create Israel.
      Seems someone needs to check their history books and get their facts straight.
      Now, as for Helen...she has a right to think whatever she chooses. I think it's not WHAT she said as much as HOW she said it that caused the problem.
      I don't agree with her, don't get me wrong, but anything can be said if it's said in the right way.

      June 8, 2010 at 11:49 am |
    • Everyface

      As an American that is not antisemitic, and from an historical perspective, I agree with Helen too. The location of Israel was a bad idea, and was asking for trouble. I'd love to see Israel move to America. They can have Arizona.

      June 8, 2010 at 1:10 pm |
    • GCitizen

      To Wardancersgirl,
      Nonsense. Palestine belonged to the British and they gave it as a gift to the Israelis. Your comment only validates the claims of the Palestinians that Israel was illegal created. Palestine was occupied by the British and they have no right to give it to people coming from Europe and elsewhere and driving the Palestinians out from their homes and land. Millions of Palestinians have been expelled from what is called now 'Israel' and are still waiting in refugees in Gaza, Lebanon, Jordan, and elsewhere in the world to return to their homeland.

      I understand that the Jews who were born in Israel cannot be held responsible for the crimes of their ancestors who massacred the Palestinians and occupied Palestine. These Jews should have the right to stay in their homes if they wish so. However, the Palestinians who were expelled from their homes should be allowed to return or be compensated for the injustices committed against them.

      The only viable and just solution for the ME conflict is a single multi-ethnic country where Jews, Palestinians, both Muslims and Christians have equal rights, not a Jewish apartheid state, and not open prisons for the Palestinians as is the case right now in Gaza.

      June 8, 2010 at 1:16 pm |
    • mkf

      This is a reply to Wardancersgirl: I think you need to reread history because back in 1918 the British fought with the Ottomons and captured Jerusalem and later gave it to the Jews. When the Jews were persecuted in Europe they sought refuge in Muslim lands, but when the British gave them Jerusalem, they started throwing the Palestinians out of their land! Big Difference!

      June 8, 2010 at 1:21 pm |
    • Howard Markowitz

      @GCitizen
      With all due respect, you and others of like mind do not know what you are talking about when you speak of the land of Israel. There was never a country called Palestine. Never a nation. The native people were nomads who traveled widely on trading routes. During the Roman empire, it was a province of the Empire which they called Palestine. A Palestinian is a relatively modern term. After the 6 day war in 1967, many arabs were left homeless and none of the Arab nations would take them in. They also kicked out people at the lower end of their society. These are the people that call themselves 'Palestinians'.

      After the 6 day war, Israel is probably the first nation in history to give back land that was taken by a victor of war. Since that time, Israel has bent over backwards to try to live in peace and be left alone. The arab agenda has mostly been the anniliation of Jews and the destruction of Israel. Any agreements made were not made in good faith by the arabs and only done to exploit some perceived advantage. For how long do Israeli's have to live their daily lives with threats of suicide bombers and neighbors who outwardly (Iran) and inwardly desire the destruction of Israel.

      As far as your apartheid comment, there are over a million of Arabs that live as free citizens in Israel and have representatives in the Parliament. So what are you talking about?

      June 8, 2010 at 2:52 pm |
    • Kasey

      This is a reply to mkf.

      Actually, history shows that Israel gave the option to the arabs living in Israel that they could stay and be citizens, or leave and never come back. Most of them left figuring Egypt and the other countries would "drive the jews into the sea" and they'd get even more land. That obviously didn't happen and Israel defeated their attackers, and grabbed some more land. The arabs who stayed? They're full citizens, and living alot better than their neighbors. Not just their neighbors in the Gaza strip, but also their neighbors in Jordan, Syria, Egypt, etc.

      June 8, 2010 at 3:07 pm |
    • SCOTT

      Israel was ruled by the British Govern, they established with the UN a homeland for the Jews of the world as they had been orginally expelled from Israel by the Phylistines (sound kind of like – Palestinians) SO, orginally Israel was the land of the Jewish people. Now, regarding the ignorant statements that Israel is a country of Jews, that is nothing farther from the truth! How many of you have been to Israel to see for yourself? Quick question – what sits at the top of the Western Wall????? the dome of the rock! A muslim religious site, that is readily used by Muslims, What about the churchs in the old city of Jeruseleum? Anyone seen those??? I have! Jsut about every organized religion freely practices in Israel and is represented in the Israeli kenesset (Parliment). go to places like Iran and see how freely any religions beyond islam is practiced. Try that in Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon (by the way – Helen Thomas' parents are from Lebanon) or Syria. But each of these countries freely allow involvement in one or multiple of the following terrorist groups – Al Quieda, Hamas, Al-Asqar Brigade, Hezbollah (oh, yeah they hold parliment seats in the Lebonese Government). Israel is not the only one that categorizes these groups as terrorists, so does the USA, EU and UN. last time i checked every one of those groups cheered when the terrorists flew a couple of airplanes in a couple of building here in teh USA. Really, going to condemn Israel????? they were the first ones ready to go to WAR WITH US to avenge the deaths of Americans!!!!!!!!!! Before you condemn understand why our Government stands by Israel so staunchly, it is because they stand by US so staunchly!!!!!!!!!! find another group in the middle east that woudl do the same for US!

      June 8, 2010 at 3:17 pm |
    • GCitizen

      Howard Markowitz,

      You are good at twisting history to validate your points of view.

      The land of Palestine was occupied from the British after the destruction of the Otoman Empire. For about ten centuries and until the creation of Israel, that land was populated by a vast majority of Muslims and a minority of Christians and Jews. For example, in 1785, about 85% of the population was Palestinians, 10% Christian, and about 4% Jews. Note that during the Islamic rule of Palestine, the number of Jews increased to about 15% by the beginning of the 19 century.

      The reward that the Muslim and Christian Palestinians got from the Jews who were empowered by the British colonialism is stealing their land by all means possible, murdering them, and expelling them from it. While the number of Jews multiplied many folds during Otoman rule of Palestine, the number of Muslims largely decreased after the creation of Israel due the Israeli official policy of murder, land confiscation, an terror that now resulted in millions of Palestinians living in refugee camps in Lebanon, Syria, ad elsewhere.

      The minimum standard of justice should allow these Palestinian refugees to return to their land in Israel/Palestine and give them equal rights to the Jews and allow for free and just elections where everyone should be able to cast his/her vote, regardless of ethnicity, race, or religion.

      June 8, 2010 at 6:05 pm |
    • mkf

      This is in reply to Kasey's comment: I dare you to go and speak to any Arab Jew IN ISRAEL, any Arab Jew will tell you what kind of prejudice they face in the parliament or anywhere else in Israel. Arabs are disliked in Israel even if you are a Jew! If you have the ways and means to meet an Arab Jew you can find this out yourself, you do not have to believe in what I say. The Muslims and Christians have always lived in harmony in Jerusalem praying at their respective places of worship. Ask a Priest from any Church in Jerusalem how they are treated by the Israelis. I do not know where you read about Israel giving option to the Arabs to become citizens! "We see things as we are, we do not see things as they are" Thanks to the biased media! I am not an Arab, but I know this for a fact, what the Israelis are doing to the Palestinians is what the Nazis did to them! Shooting a child at point blank range who is throwing stones because his house is being bulldozed, IS NOT BRAVERY OR SELF DEFENSE!

      June 8, 2010 at 10:33 pm |
  16. Rabbi Joel

    Whatever, who cares about her or what she says. Rabbi you are not owed an apology. The point is Radicals on both sides are preventing peace...The moderates on both sides need to make their presence felt.

    June 8, 2010 at 9:40 am |
    • Mark from Middle River

      I do not think he is owed a apology either. This is because he exposed a elderly person's thoughts in the twilight of waning mental abilities. Its good because its pushed her thoughts to the surface and will allow her to do something else with the remaining and precious time of her life. At 89, maybe she should thank him, jump on the nearest cruise ship and see the world.

      June 8, 2010 at 10:03 am |
    • SLA

      I'm actually replying to Mark from Middle River rather than "Rabbi" Joel ... I think that your ageist remarks are as bad as Ms. Thomas' racist remarks. Maybe you meant them with good intentions (give the lady a happy retirement sort of thing), but just because she is elderly does NOT mean she has waning mental capabilities. Elderly people can, and do, still contribute to the world they live in long after whatever arbitrary age young people decide should equal retirement and/or the onset of dementia. There are people in their 90s and 100s who are still sharp as a tack and able to contribute to this world. So get over yourself, Mark. If you meant to criticize Ms. Thomas for her racist remarks (and I do believe she deserves criticism), then leave her age out of it. (BTW, I'm middle-aged, but plan on being old one day, and sure hope I get the respect I deserve if God grants me that blessing!)

      June 8, 2010 at 11:47 am |
    • linda wright

      thank you Rabbi. VERY WELL SAID.

      June 8, 2010 at 11:56 am |
    • eric

      Ask a stupid question; get a stupid answer... don't cry if you don't get the answer you wanted... if you don't want your kids to hear things that might cause them to ask questions then keep them inside and away from all media.

      June 8, 2010 at 12:04 pm |
    • unreal

      Basicaly you are not able to express your opinion anymore. True Isreal was in ancient times the Jewish Kingdom but Palestine has been there for a long time also. Who is right will never be resolve in my time. The only thing that I can point out is that Isreal is too agressive and seems to have forgoten what mistreating human beings is like. Isreal needs to remember that WWII criminal acts should not be repeated again torwards Palestine. Find peace and accept each other instead of trying to starve the Palestinians to death.

      June 8, 2010 at 12:38 pm |
    • Chris

      Rabbi Joel's comment is the best on the issue!

      June 8, 2010 at 1:07 pm |
    • CPD

      Rabbi Joel, the moderates on the Israeli side DID make their presence felt. Barak and Olmert both offered 97% of the disputed land with an additional 3% land exchange. Barak offered it to Arafat. He turned it down. Olmert offered it to Abbas ... he didn't even respond. Where are the Palestinian moderates?

      June 8, 2010 at 1:08 pm |
    • Mona Borden

      First off, Rabbi, my I preface my compliment to you with a few others? Helen Thomas always gave me joy! Thank-you Ms. Thomas. She radiates warmth and has balls.
      Though I am not particularly religious, I am happy for her ‘blessing in disguise’; She has busted off some shackles and opened up a good forum for people who feel oppressed by any religious group that allows no dissent.
      I have no doubt Israel has suffered. I cried so hard through Schlindler’s list, I am incensed by certain leaders who say the Holocaust never happened & scared for Israel when they discuss their desire to point their missiles there and do away with her..perhaps there is a jealousy..at the little train that could, etc. She deserves to be a proud country!
      But nobody deserves to be called a crank – like poor Helen, who has such a long success record – how quick the wisecracks come in on the ‘online party’. I have had to pull back and look at myself here, too.
      The rabbi who interviewed her should know that YOU DON’T ALWAYS GET THE ANSWER YOU WANT WHEN YOU ASK A QUESTION AND TEACH THIS TO HIS SON: TO TRY HARDER TO RESPECT THE DIFFERENCES .
      Some of us know we do not own the Earth, and I love many Jews and you Rabbi for your kind, wise example.

      June 8, 2010 at 2:17 pm |
    • KMA

      Wake up Rabbi Joel. There are no moderates on the Palestinian side of the argument.

      June 9, 2010 at 8:33 am |
    • Andi

      Rabbi David Nesenoff is acting the same way Sherlock acted in Merchant of Venice. There is no need for an appology.
      Waht she said was the truth.

      June 10, 2010 at 12:13 pm |
  17. Terrance G. Shults

    In the usual scrum, some agree with Helen Thomas, some denounce her views, a handful sneer at her as being senile. Is it just possible that she is suffering from a real mental deterioration that caused her to say something that whether a deeply held belief or not, she clearly had known better than to say aloud and in public earlier in her career? I can recall a famous football coach whose career ended when he tried to choke an opposing player. He got a little more sympathy.

    June 8, 2010 at 9:32 am |
  18. Jeff B.

    Captain Gort: Have you ever asked yourself WHY Jews are so influential ? Do you think it might have something to do with their accent on education ? Or, because they work, succeed and contribute to society ?
    As for "free speech" – She IS allowed to seek her mind, AND, the people around her have the right to respond TO that speech.
    and/OR – in her position, she speaks for the government, and must tow the government line. Do you REALLY think that this is the first time a governmental employee (or, like this case, its equivalent ) got fired for speaking outside the administration's line ? Do you think it would be any different if she'd said "All Latinos should go back to Mexico OR South America ?
    If you worked for Arco, and went on camera telling people to buy Texaco, wouldnt YOU get fired ? and is THAT an infringement on free speech ?

    June 8, 2010 at 9:27 am |
    • BaltoPaul

      Thankfully, we have two freedoms in this country:

      The freedom to speak your mind, and the freedom to face the consequences of what you say.

      June 8, 2010 at 9:43 am |
    • Gil T

      Well said, JB

      June 8, 2010 at 11:29 am |
    • D in VT

      She is a columnist, she does not work for the government, nor does she speak for the government.

      June 8, 2010 at 11:42 am |
    • Jared

      She doesn't speak for the government. She's a reporter.

      June 8, 2010 at 11:44 am |
    • Smitty

      Get your facts straight Jeff. She doesn't work for the government. She's a White House correspondent. She words for a news outlet as a journalist. Duh.

      June 8, 2010 at 11:55 am |
    • bootius maximus

      "Only the illegal latinos need to return to where they, or their parents came from. Let them apply and receive a visa and they they will be more than welcome."
      umm.... all or parts of California, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona belonged to Mexico just a little over 100 years ago. the latinos are just coming home. if jews have a right to return to a home they hadn't lived in for 200 years, surely the latinos have the right to return to thiers. if you want the latinos out of america, by the same reasoning, you must want the jews out of palestine.

      June 8, 2010 at 12:05 pm |
      • J Harris

        One big difference is that the Latinos are not taking land with out paying for it, although some are breaking US laws crossing the border without the proper legal procedure.

        June 8, 2010 at 8:54 pm |
        • Arden

          But Israel did not take land without paying for it either. The Jewish National Fund BOUGHT the land that the UN recognized as Israel. The rest was taken in wars in which the ARABS attacked Israel. Even the West Bank was taken when Egypt and Syria were about to invade Israel (Syrian planes had actually crossed the border). Israel Told Jordan that they would not attack the West bank if Jordan did not become involved. What did King Hussein do? He turned his army over to the Egyptians. What did he expect??

          Americans, on the other DO live on land they did not pay for for the most part. I'm referring to all the Native American land as well as the whole Southwestern United States which we simply took from Mexico in a war of expansion in 1845.

          June 8, 2010 at 9:04 pm |
      • J Harris

        Well one big difference is that the Latinos are not taking land with out paying for it, although some are breaking US laws crossing the border without the proper legal procedure.

        June 8, 2010 at 8:55 pm |
    • freeman

      unfortunatly , yes it is ....and a big one . make a big difference between the Administration and the governement ...she works for the governement not this administration

      June 8, 2010 at 12:06 pm |
    • bootius maximus

      meant 2000 years...

      June 8, 2010 at 12:06 pm |
    • P.R

      Great!!!!!

      June 8, 2010 at 12:15 pm |
    • Mark in Baltimore

      I agree. If a bunch of co-workers at the office go to a bar and make comments like those made by Helen Thomas, it is a free country. But if you happen to be employed as an iconic member of the white house press core, you should know better than to make anti semitic personal opinions. Helen thomas either thought she has been around so long that she has cart blanche to say whatever and whenever to whoever she wants and get away with it, or she has open mouth, insert foot disease. Either way, she got what she deserved, a retirement that should have come 10 years ago.

      June 8, 2010 at 12:53 pm |
    • D in VT

      One last time, for those of you who can't read or don't understand the difference – SHE DOES NOT WORK FOR THE GOVERNMENT, THE WHITE HOUSE OR THE CURRENT ADMINISTRATION – SHE IS A REPORTER!!

      June 8, 2010 at 1:17 pm |
  19. rob grayson

    It wasn't his questions that ended her career, and it wasn't even really her answer. It was her racist, uneducated, and hateful attitude coming to light and the undeniable effect it has had on her journalistic "objectivity." Good riddance!

    June 8, 2010 at 9:06 am |
    • Oscar

      Can you imagine of a WHITE man said the same comments about another race???? He would be hung!

      June 8, 2010 at 11:44 am |
    • CaptnJo

      Why does every critisism on Israel's politics end in a witch-hunt? That is fundamentalism.

      June 8, 2010 at 12:55 pm |
    • LAURA J

      Where do you get Racist from that clip? I just watched the entire thing, and I dont hear any racism; anger, displeasure, OK. I also dont hear anti-semitism. One doesnt have to agree with her opinion, but calling her racist is a but much. I DID hear the Rabbi enjoying the answers he was getting and leading her into further trouble. Still shame on both.

      June 8, 2010 at 1:00 pm |
    • Stuart in Raleigh

      Smitty,
      See many Israeli women and children walking into public spaces and blowing themselves up? See them walking onto buses and blowing themselves up? See Israeli's constantly firing mortar rounds against their enemies? I don't see any of it, so therefore I am not really sure how you can say that they are committing the same atrocities. Do Israeli's kill innocent people in their attacks, yes. Are they targeting innocents? NO! Unfortunately that is called collateral damage. The difference is that the Palestinians are targeting innocents. Very different! Stop the blanket condemnation and look into the facts!

      June 8, 2010 at 1:05 pm |
    • Betsy

      You resonse is a tad bit intense. This is such a divisive issue but I am sympathetic to anyone being invaded int heir home. Please try to refrain from name calling and personal attacks..

      June 8, 2010 at 1:08 pm |
    • evensteven

      Can you imagine if an Israeli had said the same about the Palestinians? Yawn . . . no one would give it the time of day.

      June 8, 2010 at 1:11 pm |
    • Mike in NJ

      LOL Oscar – funny (not) thing is, this (referring to your statement) has been REPEATEDLY said by "WHITE" men, – famous preachers, politicians, businessmen, personalities, etc – people like Rush, Imus, various FOX news persons... funny (again, not) thing is, it's always disgised/obfuscated somehow. Repeating the falsehood that "Obama wasn't born in the US" for months and months after the facts were verified and the election was over, is really, really close to saying, "You weren't born here, go home!"

      June 8, 2010 at 1:21 pm |
    • GodIsForImbeciles

      Very well said! Helen Thomas was a one-woman bigot festival. Good riddance to her!

      June 8, 2010 at 1:23 pm |
    • Don F.

      The issue is not a discussion of western policy toward Jewish settlement of Palestine. Such a discussion or reexamination could have been debated without causing a professional issue.

      The issue is the language and tone with which the response was framed. Regardless of ones view of the question it is inflamitory. "Tell them to get the hell out of Palistine" is inflamitory - period, not the language of a professional journalist. Had she said, "I think the policy of jewish immigtation to Palistine was a serious mistake." she sould still have a job. News reports suggest that Helen was increasingly promoting an agenda instead of reporting the facts. This is a very real problem when one is the "dean" of the White House Press Corps and occupies a premier seat.

      June 8, 2010 at 1:23 pm |
    • Hawk

      @Smitty: Her free speech was not stopped. Just because you have freedom of speech does not exclude you from the repercussions of what you say where society is concerned. In the U.S. this means that the GOVERNMENT *should not* retaliate towards you.

      Has any government retaliated toward Helen Thomas? NO.
      The Dixie Chicks suffered when they spoke out abroad. Again, the government did nothing. Fans quit going to concerts for a while and some were canceled due to lack of sales, etc.

      You have freedom of expression confused with freedom of repercussions.

      As has been stated – what do you think would happen if a white man walked through Harlem screaming the N-word?

      Now, imagine if I said "Every ILLEGAL ALIEN in the U.S needs to go back home NOW!" I bet YOU would label me a racist.
      Yet I have not specified a race! Its just that MOST illegals are Hispanic just as Israel is mostly Jewish.

      Funny how that works isn't it.

      June 8, 2010 at 1:36 pm |
    • Hawk

      Go read up on the events leading to the 6 day war and you'll see a theme. The go watch Pallywood on youtube.

      Both sides do wrong but if you don't want a sleeping bear to chase you – QUIT POKING IT!

      June 8, 2010 at 1:55 pm |
    • John

      Smitty. She said the Jews should go back to Germany – where they were persecuted, and to Poland where they were cooked in ovens. If you were a Jew you would not have a problem with her comments? Put yourself in another persons shoes for one second.

      June 8, 2010 at 1:55 pm |
    • Hawk

      Take 2 – not sure why it only took part of my posting:

      @LAURA J: Go back and read what happened to Jewsih people in Germany and Poland. Why should they be going ANYWHERE but to the lands that the United Nations establish as "home"?
      And why would they go to Poland/German where they were gassed to death??

      Would YOU complain if I said "ALL ILLEGAL ALIENS GO HOME!"?
      What would be racist?

      Go read up on the events leading to the 6 day war and you'll see a theme. The go watch Pallywood on youtube.

      Both sides do wrong but if you don't want a sleeping bear to chase you – QUIT POKING IT!

      Mike in NJ: Thats a stretch – Its more like "You weren't BORN HERE, you aren't LEGALLY the president!" That is their point – not "GO HOME!"

      June 8, 2010 at 1:57 pm |
    • SCOTT

      It amazes me the statements people are making. The rabbi had nothign to do with her firing. like so many other new outlets, blogs, etc. he posted teh video to her response. HER employer fired her! The JEW didn't. This conversation gets twisted about how the JEWS and ISRAEL are the devil reincarnated. How ignorant! The blockade is by EGYPT (a muslim state) and Israel. Both are workign to keep the ruling terrorist party suppressed (you know the one the palestinians voted into office and they forcefully killed their own brothers and sisters (Fatah movement party) to take control of Gaza. You know Hamas (on the US, EU and UN list as a terrorist organization – not just Israel's). The procedure known to all on the ships that were boarded is to dock in Irael have the supplies inspected (for weapons and such) then the activists are allowed to accompany the supplies into the Gaza area to assure that their supplies get to the appropriate parties. Like the red Cross! The Israeli's are not occupiers they originate in the middle east along with the palestinians (know your history) – Muslim faith is based from one of Abraham's sons and judaism is based from the beliefs of Abraham's other son. The reason the muslim hardliners hate the Jews is because Abraham cast out Sarah's handmaiden (who was a concubine of Abraham's). Christianity which follows Jewish belief that Isaac is the son of Sarah and Abraham. Abraham is the father of the 12 jewish tribes. Ismael the son of Hagar (the handmaiden) vowed revenge and destruction for his mother being cast out by Abraham at the behest of Sarah. So, if you want to talk abotu the basis of hate and destruction it is actually based on a sibling argument from over 5000 years ago. It amazes me that with Iran seeking nuclear weapons, russia starting to cozy up to them and the clear definace Iran, Syria, Saudi Arabia have been showing the UN and towards the US (you know most of the 9/11 terrorists came from SA that everyoen has hate for ISrael and the Jews. Christians base their religeon on a JEW. Jesus was never Chrsitian, until the day he died he was a practicing JEW! know your history before you spew your hate!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Know that Irael supplies a large majority of the technology that WE the USA uses in our military and that the Israeli's have been a staunch ally of the US, remember the little wars we have been having since 1991. the only one in the region that hasn't worked against US is the Israeli's!

      June 8, 2010 at 2:21 pm |
    • mkeey

      If you are not racist and if you are objective why support policies that put innocent children into starvation. The world had once seen Hamas as a terrorist organisation. The world has started seeing the same quality in Israel now. It was not acceptatble that NAZI germany killed innocent Jews now we are saying it is not acceptable that Israel instrumentalizes Hamas to put innocent Children into starvation.It is wrong it is unfair underminding the fact that this land has been the land of these people for many centuries.

      June 8, 2010 at 2:36 pm |
    • Elizabeth

      You are racist yourself if you tink that only Jews should have rights in Israel. The Christians who live there have been there over 2000 years. Over? Yes, these were the converts from Samaritans, Jews, and others who did not "occupy," but abode in that land for many years before that. I guess you are anti-Semitic.

      June 8, 2010 at 3:04 pm |
    • JS

      Please, anyone here who calls her anti-semite, racist ect, you need a dictionary. Badly. She said nothing anti-jewish, nothing racist, what she stated is actually quite factual. How was Israel created, or right, the land was annexed to them and they forced the inhabitants out. (again, pick up a book) Many people who now live in Israel are German, Polish, or American. Even the ambassador to the US is American, what business do they have taking land from the people of Palestine ? None. Open your freaking eyes America.

      June 8, 2010 at 3:08 pm |
    • mkeey

      I don't admire the way you assimilate. Your unsubstantial long comments is in no way contrary to what you yourself called ignorant. How could you be so naive to believe that the sea blockade, established in 2007 was there to save every one. If that is the case why is the whole wide world condemning Israel's action and demonstrating for a free GAZA. Though there have been almost no rockets flying into Israel in the last few months but still children are starving in GAZA, still the settlements building has not stopped! What most of us don't get is that most of these rockets are dropped in areas where illegal settlements are built. But what we see and read is that rockets were dropped and Israelis are been killed. But we never read that radical Jews were provocating Palestinians by building settlements in Palestinians area. Your comment was a trash and as you have said just for ignorant and morons!!

      June 8, 2010 at 3:18 pm |
    • questions

      I'm curious why no one ever wonders why the starving Gazans don't receive aid via the Gaza/Egypt border. Gaza borders Egypt for some 10-15 kilometers. In fact, they do receive aid via the Egyptian border. How is it all Israel's fault if Gazans don't receive food/medical aid? Egypt won't allow free access to Gaza either most of the time. Why is that? The new media mentions the Gaza border with Egypt rarely, if ever, and then only obliquely. Why is that?

      June 8, 2010 at 3:43 pm |
    • RobertD

      @Laura, you didn't pick up on the anti-semitism? When you are in Iraq, and someone protests the U.S. occupation of that country, they tell the americans to go back to America.

      Helen is against the occupation of Palestine and wants the Israeli's to go back to – Israel? Oh no, "they" need to go back to Germany, Poland, America.

      "they" means Jews....she isn't talking about Israeli's leaving Palestine and withdrawing into Israel...its undeniably clear she meant religious Jews need to leave Israel, and turn over their country to Muslims.

      You don't hear it? Well....explain why she wanted Israeli citizens to be dispursed to the four corners of the world – to countries where they don't even have citizenship, and its not where they were born – they were born in Israel, many, some in the old Soviet Union, some escaped the Nazi's in Germany...

      This isn't a stretch, it may take some education, but its not a stretch.

      Her comments simply don't make sense, and it she, herself who, while never apologizing, withdrew them the next day.

      Now, instead of dispersing the jews around the world, I guess Helen might be willing to let them live in their country of citizenship. Thanks Helen.

      June 8, 2010 at 3:48 pm |
    • Mike in NJ

      Hawk – I disagree – I think the veiled bigotry was there, disguised as 'righteous indignation' over whether he was born here – a fact repeatedly confirmed, yet ignored by the likes of Rush and his ilk.

      So the people who don't feel they can say "I don't trust him because he's black" because they want to avoid repercussions (which ties back to this), instead make up false claims to distract the candidate from being able to claim his legitimate place.

      Sorry to digress, but I believe Ms. Thomas will have another chance to apologize – I'll be surprised if we don't se her on Oprah/Larry King/Leno/etc. soon. Let's all remember, One act does not define a person, it is the Sum Total of their life. As bad as what she did was, she has also done good work. Let's remember that as well.

      June 8, 2010 at 4:18 pm |
    • Laura J

      @HAWK – I suspect it didnt take your post in full because you were ranting. Your comment to me makes little to no sense and its not germain at all to the comment I made. You must have had quite the one sided conversation within your own head there. I am well aware of the devestating history of the Jews in the Holocaust – which has no bearing on my comment that the behavior on both sides was poor in this situation.

      In reply to what I suspect you were thinking about; I would point out that it is a reality that the people who were liviing in present day Israel were displaced to accomodate the new Israel, as it is a reality that what has been done by the UN should not be undone. Neither of these is an exclusive view. Pretending the plight of the Palestinians has no basis in reality is unfair and unwise, similarly as it is to pretend that Israel must go away or that they are always correct. I DO think that that the offending countries got off easy and that Palestinians have carried thier water on the issue. And I DO think that the behavior of the Rabbi here was over the top and not helpful to Israel at all. Come to think of it, neither is yours.

      June 8, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
    • Doug

      She spoke the truth.. What is being done to the Palestinians is a disgrace, is that racist ?

      June 8, 2010 at 6:06 pm |
    • Mike

      yea, if anyone from the republican party said "All Blacks should move back to Africa", or "All Arabs need to move back to the middle east", or better yet, "All Illegal Mexicans should move back to Mexico" (god forbid following the law), all you left wingers and all the liberal biased media would be having a FIELD DAY. If you don't see the racism in her comments you are truly blind to the the truth.

      June 8, 2010 at 6:51 pm |
    • Andi

      If Israel accepts the palastinians as fellow humans and refrain from treating them like animals there will not be a problem. Before 1000 years Jews were deported and living in some other places. Actually they not only got Isreal back but the world power behind them because of Hitler. They have to thank Hitler.

      June 10, 2010 at 12:08 pm |
  20. Captain Gort

    Well...this event should not bother anybody that is "OK" with the fact that the media, Banks, stock market and Military of the USA
    are now controlled by those who favor Israel. Read: "the Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy" avail on Amazon and decide for yourself. However, I do believe that this is an infringement on her right of free speech. I've always wondered how life would be, living in an occupied country...and I think I now know. Hey- its one hell of a lot better than the Taliban!

    June 8, 2010 at 9:03 am |
    • ngmcs8203

      S. Studenberg – I'm invoking Godwin's Law. End of thread.

      June 8, 2010 at 11:45 am |
    • Mister 2 U

      I don't read comic books.

      June 8, 2010 at 1:06 pm |
    • Mike in NJ

      As much as I hate that Ms. Thomas said what she said, because her career, with this very notable exception, is practically a case study in a woman of great integrity who repeatedly broke the glass ceiling and made it bettter for women of this country in the professional arena,

      I have to agree with Kat. Words have the power to heal, and to hurt. Ms. Thomas, of all people, should know this. She displayed terrible judgement with her hurtful words. It pains me, that a woman with a career that should be a shining example of what real women can accomplish in any arena of any profession, should come to such an ignoble end.

      June 8, 2010 at 1:26 pm |
    • alice mcadams

      Helen Thomas should not resign. She is being persecuted for her use of freedom of speech.
      It is an outrage that we can condone people like Al Sharpton and the like and make an icon of Journalistic History resign over a slight of statements. I am embarassed for our country.

      June 8, 2010 at 1:48 pm |
    • John

      Only a liberal could defend this woman.

      June 8, 2010 at 1:52 pm |
    • Infringement on Free Speach?

      Capt Gort, how was this an "infringment on her free speach?" She spoke freely. It seems you're misunderstanding what it means to speak freely and the ramifications of said free speach.

      June 8, 2010 at 1:56 pm |
    • Tim

      Who really cares what she said? Does it really matter? If that’s the way she feels then so be it. Does it really change anything here or over there with the words that she spoke? It’s not really news at all it. To the rabbi and to his son, she doesn't owe you an apology or anything else for that matter. This is America and she has the right to say what she wishes when she wishes regardless of how it makes you feel. It’s called free speech and in one of the reason America is such a great country because you have the right to express yourself and the way you think. It’s not like you or anyone else complaining on this blog is doing anything to stop the violence over there. You just cost a person their job because they have a different opinion then your own. If you are so concerned about all that is happing of there Mr. Nesenoff, why don’t you pack up your stuff, grab a plane ticket and head on over there and doing something, instead of simply complaining about it over here where it is safe to do so. Hope you enjoyed your 15 mins. of fame

      June 8, 2010 at 1:58 pm |
    • cocopuff

      Perhaps you should consider retiring too.

      June 8, 2010 at 2:06 pm |
    • fishmox

      yeah, the old "right to freedom of speech" thing. how about if I sit beside somebody who has an extreme underarm odor and I tell him he smells so foul he shouldn't even get out of his house, in exercise of my freedom of speech.
      how about if I see some turbaned guy in a public bus with some package under his arm and tell him I think he should ride a taxi because he's making me nervous, in exercise of my freedom of speech ?
      how about if I get a call at my job from somebody who doesn't know his elbow from his butt when it comes to computers and, in exercise of my freedom of speech, I tell him he has no right to even own a computer much more try and set up an online account ?

      I'm all for freedom of speech, but my freedom ends where the sensibilities of others begin, and for somebody who is supposed to be educated like Ms. whatzhername it should be good manners 101.

      June 8, 2010 at 2:23 pm |
    • Robin

      All I'm saying is she's 89 years old. I remember a time when we let the elderly say what they thought and then took the time to try to figure out where they were coming from, and maybe even ask some more questions. I think we've gone way past the point of having any compassion or common sense when we can't make any allowances for Elderly People to be themselves and still also be visible.

      June 8, 2010 at 2:31 pm |
    • Robert

      I have served in the military for 30 years.( Army Ranger) I have always considered my self as a citizen of the Usa. My parents came here from Russia. My religion was always private.(Jewish) I never thought I had to defend who I was. In this decade I now have to take sides. I did not wish to do so. We have polorized ourselves again. A lot of brave young people have sacrificed their selves in regard to freedom. "What was on her lips was in her mind" I defend her right to say what she said. However, I think we should all go back to where we came from. I believe that Moses settled the question more than 50 years ago. I am now liberated. Thank you Helen Thomas. Shalom

      June 8, 2010 at 2:36 pm |
    • RobertD

      Obviously "free speech" is not at issue. First of all she didn't get fired from her job, she quit. There is a huge difference. It's really hard to say someone got you fired, when that didn't even happen. Secondly, free speech is primarily about keeping the government out of the speech regulation business, and in just some cases, encouraging speech via various methods... I won't go into it, it's not about preventing the jewish person from speaking so the old woman doesn't feel ashamed about her anti-semetic remarks....nowhere can that be construed as a free speech issue.

      All the guy did was make his own comments. Unlike her remarks, his were rather ordinary, I'd like an apology type of thing.

      She certainly has not apologized yet, and she probably never will.

      June 8, 2010 at 3:11 pm |
    • john mcpherson

      she needed to retire her days are numbered by her age. she has had her life spent in hateful retriet all her life. she will be remebered as a hatefull old lady for the rest of her life.
      i truly feel sorry for her.

      June 8, 2010 at 3:13 pm |
    • NotSureAboutThis

      Was she at work or had she left work? Was the camera hidden or exposed?

      June 8, 2010 at 3:24 pm |
    • RobertD

      @DJ It's hard to imagine that a reporter with 50 years experience thought her interview was off the record. S

      June 8, 2010 at 3:33 pm |
    • RobertD

      She made pro-palestinian statements for decades and it was well known she is against the occupation of Palestine.
      By the way, I'm against the occupation of Palestine. Nobody is going to fire me for it, and that is not the implication.

      Where she stepped over the line was telling Jewish people they needed to go to varying countries: Poland, Germany, America – uhm you did pick up on the fact, she didn't ask them to go to Israel right?

      This wasn't end the occupation of Gaza and move back into Israel...this was go to the four corners of the world – type of remark. It's fundamentally different.

      June 8, 2010 at 3:41 pm |
    • Stan Verscay, Peterborough, Ontario

      Ms. Thomas gave a terrible answer, it should've been "Where should the Palestinians go?".

      June 8, 2010 at 3:42 pm |
    • francis isselhardt

      whatever is expressed in a negative fashion toward Israel, will be perceived by the Zionists as anti-semitic... but the fact is they (Israel) not the Jewish citizen treat the Palestinians like the Nazi's treated them in Europe. There is no attempt by the Israel government to improve the life in the ghetto's that they've created for the Palestinians. Good luck with finding peace in the middle east..

      June 8, 2010 at 3:57 pm |
    • dorothymagdalen

      If you don't want to hear the answer, don't ask the question. I don't agree with her answer, but I also don't think she needs to apologize for answering a question. And I think she is old...as may be her beliefs.

      June 8, 2010 at 3:59 pm |
    • Stuart

      Her right of free speech was not violated. She broke no law nor was she accused of breaking any law. Her comments were hurtful and offensive: Telling Jews to go back to Poland and Germany where 6 million of them were murdered. Imagine if someone said all African Americans should go back to Africa where they came from. Imagine the outcry. Anybody's job would be in jeopardy if that person said something offensive. Good riddance.

      June 8, 2010 at 3:59 pm |
    • Bailey

      FISHMOX: people who wear turbans are most likely (99.999999%) to be Sikhs, not Muslim, as implied by your comments.

      June 8, 2010 at 4:22 pm |
    • Kimberly Beverly

      THE US SHOULD STOP SPENDING OUR HARD EARNED TAX DOLLARS IN AIR FOR ISRAELI MILITARY. EACH PERSON PAYS $500 FOR THIS EVERY YEAR! “Since the October War in 1973,
      Washington has provided Israel with a level of support dwarfing the
      amounts provided to any other state. It has been the largest annual
      recipient of direct U.S. economic and military assistance since 1976
      ... and t...he largest total recipient since World War
      ll. Total direct U.S. aid to Israel amounts to well over $140
      billion in 2003 dollars. Israel receives about $3 billion in direct foreign
      assistance each year, which is roughly one-fifth of America's entire
      foreign aid budget. In per capita terms, the United States gives each
      Israeli a direct subsidy worth about $500 per year. This largesse is
      especially striking when one realizes that Israel is now a wealthy industrial
      state with a per capita income roughly equal to South Korea or
      Spain.”

      June 8, 2010 at 4:28 pm |
    • Norma M

      I agree completely – we are completely intolerant of anyone who dares to be critical or is fed up with Israel. If the Palestinians were doing to Israel what Israel is doing to them we'd be over there in a second putting a stop to it.

      June 8, 2010 at 4:34 pm |
    • Steve

      It is a shame that you can't state your personal opinion without placing your career at risk. After all Helen stated a personal opinion, not the opinion of her employer.

      As far as being anti semetic, I guess I really didn't hear it that way. She didn't state that she hated Jews.

      I took it that she was referring to the fact that the British give land captured from the Palestenians to Jewish refrugees that were driven out of mostly eastern europe due to persecution. From a historical prespective these are eastern europeans that are occupying what used to be Arab land.

      Of course since the 1940's people have established homes, families, and livelyhoods, in Isreeal and don't wish to leave but I don't thank that makes Helen Thomas incorrect in what she said. There is no longer a threat of death or imprisonment if those individuals of european decent would return to their land of origin; but it's not that easy.

      The Native Americans could make the same argument as the Palistinians. When you get right down to it, most of us Americans are Europeans living in land we have occupied by force. Unfortunately in this world might makes right.

      I don't think Helen Thomas should loose her job, but then as a political reporter, she should have been aware of how PC the US has become.

      June 8, 2010 at 4:34 pm |
    • Sa olson

      Someone asked her a question, she gave her opinion and now everyone is in a uproar. Don't ask the questions if your not prepared for the answer, I do not think she should aplogize to the rabbi and his son. Just shows watch what you say in public.....Free Speech

      June 8, 2010 at 4:35 pm |
    • Nonzionist Jew

      I am a first generation Jewish American (my mother was born in Germany and fled after Kristallnacht). I love the religion of Judaism. I am constantly dismayed by the way that Jews and Judaism are confused with Israelis and Israeli policy. They are not one in the same. Many Jews stand against Israeli treatment of peaceful Palestinians. Many Jews support a Palestinian State. Jews need to realize that modern Jewish thought and culture are not land based – they are not inextricably tied to Israel. Jews can and need to speak out more against policies that violate Jewish law and custom.

      June 8, 2010 at 4:41 pm |
    • zk

      The media is quick to attack anyone who makes any sort of remark against Israel...I am not pro Palestinian but I am against racism such as the racism and occupation that does exist in Israel against the Palestinian people...please people enough is enough...When is this going to stop ...how is it always turned around by the media just to be on the side of Israel...Listen to the news and watch them exercise their racism every single minute of every single day....I wonder if you'll publish my comment...

      June 8, 2010 at 4:54 pm |
    • Joseph

      I always loved and respected Helen Thomas. She is one of the best White House correspondents ever. If you have any doubts, ask President Bush or any of her colleagues.. A White house correspondent is supposed to be unbiased and suppress personal feelings. I think Ms Thomas wanted to make this statement for the longest time but she couldn't and being the Lady she is, she kept it inside. This was Ms Helen Thomas last hurrah and she let it go, and she knew it. She is a smart woman and I wish her all the best on her ritirement, she can always sit down and write a book, everybody else does.

      June 8, 2010 at 4:55 pm |
    • Fred

      Ms Thomas was asked her opinion and she expressed it. We should not ask the question if we can't accept an honest answer even if we are not in agreement. Ms Thomas deserves more. Shame on those who are not ready for a true answer.

      June 8, 2010 at 5:00 pm |
    • Juana Maria Garcia-Domenech

      She was aproached and asked a question. Now the Rabbi did not like the answer and all of a sudden she has to apologize? I think the Rabbi gave us the clue himself. He stated he did not remember Helen had pro-Palestinian and anti-Semitic feelings. That is interesting. He kept asking, and asking, and asking some more after Helen's first answer. I really think he enjoys all this. My vote is for Helen. And no, I am not anti-Semitic.

      June 8, 2010 at 5:13 pm |
    • Mavis

      Captain Gort.....Helen Thomas like anyone else has a right to say what she wants. She also pays the consequences of her remark. I think she said exactly what she thought and believes.

      June 8, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
    • jfusa

      If you can't read the book capt. Gort recommended, you can watch the video by Harvard professor Stephen Walt and John Mearsheimer at MIT on the Israel lobby.
      mitworld.mit.edu/video/488
      The current Zionist Israeli government is creating a bad name for the Jews, dragging Americans and Muslins with them.
      Helen comments are the end result.
      It is sad that the Israel lobby has a grip on the American government, because if the US was neutral it would be able to intervene and help both Palestinian and Israelis.

      June 8, 2010 at 5:41 pm |
    • Rat tat that

      I don't agree with what Helen Thomas said as it's not realistic and is of no use – but I don't find her statements to be antisemitic in their own right. Anti Israel, yes. Anti zionist, certainly. But one could be both of these without being antisemitic. In fact, one could even be a devout Jew. We've heard worse against the Palestinians from the "Fox Crew and Talk Without Thought Radio" – so does the good rabbi feel they are owed an apology as well? If he does then it's people like him who should be doing the negotiating for a just and lasting solution.

      June 8, 2010 at 5:50 pm |
    • Thomas

      Helen Thomas stated facts and should be applauded for her thoughts. Anti-semitism is being applied way too broadly. Enough with all the coddling to the Jews.

      June 8, 2010 at 5:58 pm |
    • Johnny

      Has anybody thought that maybe she was just cranky as hell that day. She is as old as the hills we might as well give her a break, your brain and better judgment does not last forever.

      June 8, 2010 at 6:12 pm |
    • Pants

      there was nothing anti-semitic about thomas's comments. suggesting that palestinians are an occupied people and that israelis should leave the territory is not anti-jewish. it's not anti-american to suggest that american forces should leave iraq, for example.

      June 8, 2010 at 6:22 pm |
    • dcdcd

      people get kooky when they get old>>>!!

      June 8, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
    • ThomasP

      I hope there is a greater reason for Ms Thomas's loss of White House Press Credentials than her unrealistic answer to a question that can never have a simple answer. Since when does a reporter have to speak the current White House agenda to be allowed to do thier job? Why do we even read or watch news from the White House if it is a requirement that reporters only adhere to the current status quo? Her answer seems to be a concidered absurdity, to a question that currently has no hope for an equitable solution.

      June 8, 2010 at 6:44 pm |
    • Mike

      If you know anything about the constiution and case law, you'd know hate speech is NOT protected by the first amendment. Nice try, but you should be ashamed of yourself for even defending this woman. She's expressed her anti-semitic views plenty of times over the years, but this just took the cake. She got EXACTLY what she deserved.

      June 8, 2010 at 6:46 pm |
    • frank abrams

      I don't know why she resigned – I don;t agree with her opinion at all but why should she resign? She can say whatever she wants – it may hurt her credibility but why should she leave her job for it? I think this whole thing makes us look bad and by us I mean Pro-Israel people

      June 8, 2010 at 7:09 pm |
    • Rena Kopy

      As a woman who is in her 60's, I recall admiring Reporter Thomas for making her way in a time when women were just starting to be taken seriously and taking their rightful place in a male dominated world. How sad is it now that she has emulated one of the worst male business traits of staying at the dance too long or trying to die with her boots on! Those of us who remember when stupidity and prejudice were taught to the children at dinnertime, can easily see that whether it is either Alzheimer's, senior dementia or just a sick need by a foul mouthed ugly anti-semite to finally let her hate destroy all of her life's work and reputation.
      she was not practicing her First Amendment rights, she was yelling "FIRE" IN A CROWDED THEATER , AND, MOREOVER, IN THESE DAYS OF RACISTS, BIRTHERS AND OTHER FRINGE GROUP NAZIS, she knew damned well that she was throwing gasoline on that fire.
      YES, I AM A PROUD JEWISH WOMAN WHOSE GRANDPARENTS WERE BORN IN ROCHESTER AND NEW YORK CITY, so, old lady, where should I go?

      June 8, 2010 at 7:20 pm |
    • moshe

      She spoke her mind about occupation and she spent her entire life defending free speech she has the right to say what she wants to say the hell with everyone.

      June 8, 2010 at 7:27 pm |
    • Rena Kopy

      BaltoPaul: Send me a list of everyone you can't stand and I'll hate them too. Great point!! Also, for those of you World History class cutters, in order for the Jews to get out of Palestine (AGAIN), we would have to go back to the Pharoahs and we know what fun guys they were. There is no Palestine.

      June 8, 2010 at 7:43 pm |
    • Tom smith

      Poor Helen. She probably was forced to resign for speaking the truth. I wish the Jews would get the hell out of Palestine too. They have ruined that country all for a stupid piece of land. The zionist movement was offered land in Uganda back in the 1920's but they rejected it. Just think how many of their own people could have been saved if they had made the right move then. There will never be any peace in the middle east as long as the jews are there. Sad to say but true. From a group that lived thru the Holocaut they have created another by what they have done to the Palestinians. Its disgraceful and the USA government has just as much blame to take with it. Supporting Israel and allowing them to take occupied territories is outrageous.

      June 8, 2010 at 7:46 pm |
    • miguel

      how is a fact considers racisim?
      Palestine is occupied this is not an opinion , this is a fact.
      what she said is the truth the only bad part was that she apologized.

      June 8, 2010 at 7:53 pm |
    • Bob

      What she said was true and I believe it with all my heart...
      I salute her!

      June 8, 2010 at 8:39 pm |
    • Ian

      Elle wrote: Helen is just a senile and crepuscular fraud

      Get a dictionary. A senile fraud won't do you much harm, methinks, and she's probably abed by the time 'crepuscular' comes around.

      A railroading plain and simple, by a determined ass – "let's get her on tape, that'll really **** her up". Not to mention, of course, SELLING IT!!! Par for the course, of course. Tell me, are you even remotely surprised?

      June 8, 2010 at 8:45 pm |
    • Bob

      I have always wondered... Why people in Germany went to take a bath and never returned...
      Others followed.... How in the world we all have to apologize? and why? we didn't have anything to do with it..
      But If whole Israel goes up the Smoke... I will be saying "Fore"...LOL
      Never feel Guilty Expressing your Opinions, Only thing you get is rejection!

      June 8, 2010 at 8:48 pm |
    • CaptnJo

      Nonzeonistic Jew and GJ – great comments, many thanks. Let the common sense rule over this heated debate on racism, anti-semitism and Jews fundamentalism.

      June 8, 2010 at 9:27 pm |
    • Something Wilder

      Right on Cpt Gort! When is this OCCUPIED world of ours goiing to wake up and see what is happening right before our very eyes. Last time I checked, this is the country of free speech AND than should include any thoughts or beliefs one might have about Israel and the Jews. That is all Helen was doing...but God forbid! Oy vey! Amazing why an entire world basically wishes Israel would just not exist. Now why is that one must ask?? The answers are out there. We simply have to look. The Middle East turmoil, its vast oil reserves and the occupation of surrounding and "threatening" countries near Israel is what it is ALL about. Doesn't take a retard to know any difference. Israel has always and continues to be the thorn in our side.. Until I see something else that convinces me ottherwise I, too, will agree with Helen Thomas. She is an old timer and speaks the truth...or at least tries to convey the truth. So often the President of Press Secretary tries in earnest to shut her up whenever she treads on "delicate" water. She is only merely trying to get to the truth and find a politician who has to BALLS to speak out and condemn them about the daily abuse they inflict on the Palestinians – not to mention its demand on the rest of the world. There would be no reason for Henlen to lie – whether it is about the occupation or her comment that the Jews have WAY TOO MUCH power in this country. Doesn't take a rocket scientist to know that...but we only have ourselve sto blame for allowing it to be that way.

      To you good American citizens...always remember there is power in numbers and we should never "bend over" for ANY of Israel's demands. By all means, let them fight it out amongst themselves with alll of their enemies – especially with those countries that surround it. Hmmmmmmmm....wonder why they don't consider that an option without our involvememt? Because they know damn well there are just too many folks out there that would gather and kick their ass. Cowards expecting our help. Shame on Israel and America for letting their "causes" basiclaly destroy our nation. Why are we so stupid? Any all you religious fanactics, get over the whole "bring Jesus back once the Jews have all returned to Israel". You people obviously have nothing more to do than to hasten WW3. I call that IGNORANCE and BUTT WIPE!
      Again, power in numbers! I would NEVER agree to another Holocaust, but I would agree to letting them fight their own battles. Otherwise, there is certainly a lesson to be learned here.

      June 8, 2010 at 9:59 pm |
    • Frank

      Does anybody else wonder if this was a set-up? Several other news channels want that coveted seat in the press room. Convenient way to get rid of her – huh?

      June 8, 2010 at 10:12 pm |
    • No Sympathy 2

      I agree, I use to feel sympatic to the jews knowing what they endured over the past centry but I can not believe what they are doing to the Paliestines. I think becuase the US has allowed them to get away with it for so long, they listen to no one – including that so call instutution they call the United Nations (what a joke)

      June 8, 2010 at 10:51 pm |
    • DrBen

      I am ware nobody likely wants to hear this, least of all the Rabbi, but it is just very telling and predictable that this Rabbi Guy is shocked. Would Osama Bin Laden be shocked if you drew him a sketch of Mohammed?
      I would like to let him know that I personally am totally bored with this anti-semitsim stuff. What the Rabbi means: if you disagree with Israeli Policies then you must be an aniti-semite. And with that he means: a pre-judgemental biased racist.
      The boring part is that the Rabbi clearly does not want to get into the reasons for this kind of sentiment. He also does not want to examine how maybe Zionism was more a mythical political view akin to the German Ahnen-Erbe,
      and that the State of Israel has a lot of practical problems with need be engaged with a whole new schema of thought.

      So be it, I don't live there?

      June 9, 2010 at 12:35 am |
    • seve garcia

      Why is that anytime some says something about against Isreal's foriegn policy treatment of the Palestinians, they are consider anti-semitic? It's a stinking cop-out. If we follow that logic to it's natural conclusion, that would be America MUST be anti-Catholic because we have differences with Mexico; and Anti-Protestant if we have issue with Germany, etc. etc. etc. Grow up people

      June 9, 2010 at 2:40 am |
    • Rafael Rubio

      If memory serves me right, the United States of America is the land of the free, which includes freedom of speech and expression, but now it appears that this is the land of free expression as long as what is being said meets the approval of those who support the Israeli’s. Mrs. Thomas is being penalized for expressing what most refuse to see as the truth, and that is exactly what Mrs. Thomas did, told the truth, the land which is now called Israel once was called Palestine, and it is also true that the Palestinian people have been occupied since the mid to late 40’s another fact, and the last is the Israelis are doing exactly what was done to them by the Nazis during world war II and that is the oppression of the Palestinian people. This is not right, and Mrs. Thomas is being penalized for telling the truth. It seems that this is the land of the free as long as what is being said meets the approval of those in government. We should be ashamed of ourselves for supporting a government that oppresses and bullies at the point of a gun, and who feel that are above all laws, which apparently includes gods law.

      June 9, 2010 at 4:39 am |
    • Zak

      Dear Helen, Thank you for all the hard work and the endless efforts you have put in in all these years. You have stood in what you believe in and i salute you for your honesty, courage and professionalism. YOU DON'T HAVE TO APOLOGIZE to anyone; you were merely exercising your freedom of speech. Please don't lose sleep over it. God bless you.

      June 9, 2010 at 5:18 am |
    • uft

      Captain Gort – this isn't a reply to your comment (I am a newbi at leaving comments). My general comment is:
      First of all everyone, Arabs cannot be anit-semites, unless they are self-haters. Arabs are semites. Second of all, why would the author of the article say her questions "betrayed" her support for the Palestinians. Such support is not such a horrible thing and does equal, as the Rabbi who interviewed her said, anti-semitism. It drives me crazy when people (a) mis-use the word "anti-semite" and when people automatically assume that if you support the Palestinian cause, you must be anti-semitic. I am a Canadian Arab who happens to support the Palestinian cause, and who happens to have many people in my life who I love and who are, gasp, Jewish. And finally, are the Jews who disagree with Israeli pollitics and actions also anti-semites?

      June 9, 2010 at 7:25 am |
    • Rick

      Isn't this country a country based on freedom of thought? So now we can't air our opinions without someone getting "hurt"? A rabbi, of all people, should be able to handle having someone express their opinion. If not, maybe they shouldn't stand up in front of others giving out their thoughts on all kinds of subjects. Everyone in this fine country is free to choose what they believe and stand for.

      June 9, 2010 at 8:02 am |
    • ma

      I applaud Mrs. Thomas for her courage in making such a statement. The pro-Israel lobby in this country is just too powerful. I do not think anti-Israel sentiments equate to anti-semitism. The second part of her statement could have been phrased better, however. I thought it implied that there is no need to steal Palestinian lands to accomodate Eastern Europeans and Americans who decide to move to Palestine. They, like all europeans, are welcome to the USA. This country is big enough to accomodate all the victims of the holocaust.

      June 9, 2010 at 8:11 am |
    • John K

      I really don't understand this 'freedom of speech' argument. Helen had freedom of speech, she used freedom of speech, and her boss canned her because they disagreed with her free speech. What's the problem? Freedom of speech is not freedom from being fired.

      June 9, 2010 at 8:28 am |
    • ieatrocks

      It seems pretty clear she meant those in the occupied lands, doesn't it? And wasn't it implied by both her and the reporter that if Jewish settlers have to leave the occupied lands and they cannot find a place in the non-disputed land of Israel then they should go elsewhere than simply continuing to occupy the disputed lands of Palestine and continuing the fight forever.

      The israelis have a right to live and own land and the Palestinians must have that right too else this conflict will continue forever.

      Isn't it clear that was her underlying point? Does anyone disagree with that?

      June 9, 2010 at 8:36 am |
    • jerryguy

      Though I believe her comments to be inappropriate it makes me wonder if she was set up; interesting that it occured a week after
      Israel murdered nine humanitarians on an altruistic mission. I believe that his meeting with Ms. thomas was planned.
      Peace to all.

      June 9, 2010 at 12:21 pm |
    • LeShon

      My parents are South African, and I lived there until I was 8. I'm sure I will be called all kinds of names for saying this, but I think many Israelis could learn much from the South African people. I'm not comparing Apartheid to the Holocaust, per se, but the impact on future generations of their respective peoples is similar. Both events defined generations of Israelis and South Africans, but at some point as a people you must choose to re-define yourself. Punishing and hating those who did the same to you will only bring more punishment and hatred back your way. Again, I will no doubt be called many derogatory names for saying so, but the Israelis cannot punish the Palestinians for the actions of those who fought and oppressed them in Europe and the middle east during the last century. There can be no peace in Israel until there is peace in the hearts of the people who live there. Oh but that a President Mandela were born in Palestine.

      June 9, 2010 at 2:33 pm |
    • catt

      I note with dismay many of the tired, cliched anti-semitic responses including the suggestions of "Jewish conspiracies", control of the media (and corporations), repression of Palestinians, "occupiers", etc. I have lived in Israel, and unless you have, you cannot speak of the terror of mere existence in that country. The Palestinians are not repressed because it is fun; they are sequestered and isolated, particularly in Gaza, because of the stated aim of their government to destroy Israel, and bring terror and death to its citizens. Israel simply wants to live in peace. Their enemies, of which they are surrounded, and who are sponsored and financed by terrorist states and entities, do not. It is easy to criticize Israel, validly accorded land pursuant to U.N. charter and victory in war, for perceived aggression towards its enemies. But, those who criticize live within the sanctity of safe homelands, under the protection of International law. Israel has no such safety. They live amidst the constant threat of destruction, terror attacks, bombings on buses, and rockets and grenades from across their border. If you want a true picture, go visit and then speak or write. Helen Thomas simply spouted the "party line" of worlwide anti-Israel, antisemitic blather, devoid of the facts, and blithely unaware of the populace's daily prayers, desire and hopes for a peaceful existence.

      June 9, 2010 at 7:28 pm |
    • mp

      Freedom to speak means being able to speak without retaliation from anybody. In the United States the Judaic-WASP Civilty Club will always retaliate for speech that they do not like while proclaiming everone has the right to speak. This is the American propaganda.

      June 9, 2010 at 10:10 pm |
    • Bob

      It wasn't the Rabbi's question that ended Helen's career. It was her biggotry.

      You can see by CNN's phrasings in this article and in others that they too are biased, if not worse.

      June 10, 2010 at 8:54 am |
    • aj

      Is Helen Thomas going to send herself back to her country since she is occupying one that is not her own?

      June 10, 2010 at 10:52 am |
    • Beachy Me

      It wasn't the rabbi's query that got her fired, it was her answer.

      June 10, 2010 at 11:45 am |
    • Andi

      But that is the truth. Untill Isarel stop occupation and killing innocent civilians there will not be a peace.Although she was unfortunate to snap at the Rabbai, She may have learned that world is ruled by Jews.

      June 10, 2010 at 12:01 pm |
    • Lou

      @ fishmox
      "I'm all for freedom of speech, but my freedom ends where the sensibilities of others begin"

      You've effectively missed the entire point of free speech then.

      June 10, 2010 at 2:37 pm |
    • sjj668

      Why do ppl keep equating freedom of speech from freedom from responsibility for what that speech contains. Ms. Thomas was free to speak her mind and accept the consequences of that speech.

      June 10, 2010 at 4:03 pm |
    • EJKorvette

      The Rabbi didn't end Helen Thomas' career. Helen Thomas' insensitive reply to his question ended Helen Thomas' career.

      June 10, 2010 at 6:51 pm |
    • flash gordon

      well said in the name of Taliban and name of jihad Israel is boiling water to cook something in middle east.well said that American media and economy is under control of this monkeys so now you can put obama or mc cain in power nothing is going to work.people need their world back. not one country the whole world. you need Zionist free media you need Zionist free economy. so much for better world then Taliban. lol i bet afghan living under Taliban would feel safer at night that their country wont sold them out in the name of Israel lol.

      June 11, 2010 at 11:26 am |
    • halley

      Why was it okay to fire Don Imus a few years ago when he made a comment about blacks? why should this be any different? As far as the comments about her age, most of the supreme court works until their 90's so age doesn't really excuse anyone.

      June 11, 2010 at 3:13 pm |
    • phil

      Freedom of speech and the other freedoms garunteed by the bill of rights only protect you from government action. Whether she resigns or is fired is between her and her employer. The right to free speech does not protect you from employment action for what you say.

      October 3, 2010 at 1:03 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.