Ari Fleischer: Fire Helen Thomas

posted at 11:10 am on June 5, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

Sam Stein at the Huffington Post reports on an e-mailed statement from former White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer, who apparently had the same reaction to Helen Thomas as just about everyone else in the US.  After telling a reporter on camera that the Jews should “get the hell out of Palestine,” and then apologizing, Fleischer says that any kind of endorsement of ethnic cleansing would have resulted in an immediate firing for anyone else in the White House Press Corps.  So why should Helen get a pass? (via Newsbusters)

But even as she was trying to walk back the remarks, calls for her firing mounted. Among the more vocal was former Bush Press Secretary Ari Fleischer, who claimed to have a close relationship with Thomas when he was manning the daily briefings.

“She should lose her job over this,” Fleischer said in an email. “As someone who is Jewish, and as someone who worked with her and used to like her, I find this appalling.”

“She is advocating religious cleansing. How can Hearst stand by her? If a journalist, or a columnist, said the same thing about blacks or Hispanics, they would already have lost their jobs.”

Helen Thomas has been a national joke for years, at least since Tony Snow thanked her once for providing the “Hezbollah view” in the daily briefings, but people rolled their eyes at her cranky, off-topic commentary for years before that.  Stein says that her more “filtered” questions — really just rants about Israel dressed up as Jeopardy-style answers in question form — were popular with some of the “political and foreign policy observers” (presumably, Stein means in the press corps).  Yeah, I’ll bet.

Now that Thomas has expressed her true feelings on ethnic cleansing — and remember, Jews have lived in “Palestine” for millenia and got kicked out of other old Ottoman cities well before Israel came into existence — will those observers stand up to defend Thomas and those views?  Will they just keep silent?  Or will they call for an action that is probably at least 20 years overdue in asking for Thomas’ expulsion from the WHPC and asking for someone to replace her and her exhausted anti-Israel hobby horse?  For that matter, will the Hearst chain endorse Thomas’ views on Israel by keeping her employed, or will they cut her loose?

I’d bet that we’re in for a big round of silence.  Hearst will bury its head in the sand, and Thomas’ friends in the press will desperately look away as one does with a mildly demented old relative who shouts embarrassing insults in crowded public places and hope that bystanders believe that they’re too embarrassed to correct the old lady.


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Ed, dangling participle alert in sentence 2. Your structure implies that Fleischer made the offensive statement.

james23 on June 6, 2010 at 1:09 PM

–Illegal, I would think.
Jimbo3 on June 6, 2010 at 1:01 PM

So do he consequences for breaking international law apply to the Arab attackers and Gaza bombers, or only to Israel?

Akzed on June 6, 2010 at 1:13 PM


Illegal, I would think.
Jimbo3 on June 6, 2010 at 1:01 PM
So do he consequences for breaking international law apply to the Arab attackers and Gaza bombers, or only to Israel?

Akzed on June 6, 2010 at 1:13 PM

–I’d think both.

Jimbo3 on June 6, 2010 at 1:18 PM

Helen Thomas has such a gallant knight in Jimbo, the attorney. Chivalry lives!

Disturb the Universe on June 6, 2010 at 1:26 PM

Oops. Wrong thread. But I mean it anyway.

Disturb the Universe on June 6, 2010 at 1:27 PM

Nevermind, right one afterall.

Disturb the Universe on June 6, 2010 at 1:28 PM

So Jimbo is still pushing the nonsense that Thomas was talking abot Jews (or Isrealis, if you prefer) should leave Gaza, etc. And go to Europe, rather than “next door” to Isreal.

She clearly wasn’t talking about clearing out the nation of Isreal…

Right.

Wasn’t a convincing argument on previous pages, and repeating the same canard has not enhanced it’s credibility.

cs89 on June 6, 2010 at 1:30 PM

So Jimbo is still pushing the nonsense that Thomas was talking abot Jews (or Isrealis, if you prefer) should leave Gaza, etc. And go to Europe, rather than “next door” to Isreal.

She clearly wasn’t talking about clearing out the nation of Isreal…

Right.

Wasn’t a convincing argument on previous pages, and repeating the same canard has not enhanced it’s credibility.

cs89 on June 6, 2010 at 1:30 PM

Doesn’t matter. I do think that’s what she meant. Here’s a transcript of the conversation. It’s hard to believe that she didn’t mean the Occupied Territories:

Q: Any comments on Israel?

HT: Tell them to get the hell out of Palestine. Remember, these people are occupied and it’s their land. It’s not German, it’s not Polish.

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

HT: Go home.

Q: Where is the home?

HT: Poland. Germany.

Q: So you’re saying Jews go back to Poland, Germany?

HT: And America and everywhere else.

Jimbo3 on June 6, 2010 at 2:07 PM

Hey, ya can’t fault her for taking the white house position can you?

TheSitRep on June 6, 2010 at 2:15 PM

Hey, ya can’t fault her for taking the white house position can you?

TheSitRep on June 6, 2010 at 2:15 PM

–It’s (that Gaza and the other Occupied Territories are not a part of Israel) apparently been the White House position for over 30 years.

Jimbo3 on June 6, 2010 at 2:24 PM

Jimbo,

Since you like wiki, here’s it’s “Palestine” entry.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palestine

It includes Isreal in this usage, btw.

She clearly wants Isreal gone- kind of like A-jad, etc. does.

How about you? Do you think Isreal should stay where it is, with defensible borders, or not?

cs89 on June 6, 2010 at 2:26 PM

Jimbo3 on June 6, 2010 at 2:07 PM

utter bs, jimbo3. Helen couldn’t have been clearer that she was referring to all of Palestine–which includes Israel–and felt that the Israelis were really Europeans who had “stolen” Arab land.

Your spin is pathetic and unsupportable. Very similar to Helen’s “apology”.

iconoclast on June 6, 2010 at 2:44 PM

Jimbo,

Since you like wiki, here’s it’s “Palestine” entry.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palestine

It includes Isreal in this usage, btw.

She clearly wants Isreal gone- kind of like A-jad, etc. does.

How about you? Do you think Isreal should stay where it is, with defensible borders, or not?

cs89 on June 6, 2010 at 2:26 PM

–There is no “Palestine” now, as others have pointed out, and, as the Wikipedia entry shows, Palestine can be some combination of Israel, Jordan and Syria, along with Gaza, and the other Occupied Territories. Yes, Israel, like all other countries, is a country with a right to exist. I don’t know enough to know at this point to know whether Israel is entitled to retain control over the Occupied Territories or not, or for what period of time.

Jimbo3 on June 6, 2010 at 2:50 PM

Jimbo3 on June 6, 2010 at 2:07 PM

utter bs, jimbo3. Helen couldn’t have been clearer that she was referring to all of Palestine–which includes Israel–and felt that the Israelis were really Europeans who had “stolen” Arab land.

Your spin is pathetic and unsupportable. Very similar to Helen’s “apology”.

iconoclast on June 6, 2010 at 2:44 PM

–So how does Israel get out of Israel make sense in the context of Israel being an occupied terrority? I’d like to see the whole video to see what things she and the rabbi were talking about before this exchange. It would make the context clearer.

Jimbo3 on June 6, 2010 at 2:53 PM

Of course they won’t.

They don’t think she did anything wrong.

(I know: I’ve got one of “them” in the family.)

lsheldon on June 6, 2010 at 3:16 PM

Well, as Tony Snow might have said, Thank You Jimbo for the Hezbollah viewpoint.

Aviator on June 6, 2010 at 4:57 PM

I don’t know enough
to know at this point to know whether Israel is entitled to retain control over the Occupied Territories or not, or for what period of time.

Jimbo3 on June 6, 2010 at 2:50 PM

At long last, after multiple posts, the Helen Thomas shill admits that he doesn’t know what he’s talking about!
Israel has had the right to control over the “occupied territories” since at least 1967 and for forever before that.
Consult the Lord for further details.

Jenfidel on June 6, 2010 at 5:01 PM

I don’t know enough to know at this point to know whether Israel is entitled to retain control over the Occupied Territories or not, or for what period of time.

Jimbo3 on June 6, 2010 at 2:50 PM

Gaza doesn’t signal to you what happens after Israelis leave their own property?

Geography is always a good teacher. In as much it doesn’t lie. Since the border redefinings after ’67 (and subsequent) would you say Israel has expanded or contracted? And the ask yourself have those concessions improved their relationships with her neighbors?

What logical conclusion is to be drawn of this trend?

anuts on June 6, 2010 at 5:35 PM

–So how does Israel get out of Israel make sense in the context of Israel being an occupied terrority?

Except for the following query, your comment might make a little sense:

RL:”so the Jews should go back to Poland and Germany”
HT: (nodding) and America and everywhere else

Israel out of Palestine is simply the Hamas and Fatah charters-eliminate Israel and the Jews and replace all of it with Palestine. That old nazi bitch was clearly just using Israel as a synonym for Jew and repeating the Hamas platform.

Of course, another explanation is that Helen Thomas is a senile old nazi who cannot keep her thoughts or history straight and babbles out whatever bigoted thoughts that occur to her.

iconoclast on June 6, 2010 at 7:01 PM

I fully agree with former White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer, that Helen Thomas must be FIRED.

Why? Because Helen Thomas’s comment goes much farther, and deeper into a soul searching wound of genocide committed against Jews in Europe, in Helen’s evidently tiny and bigoted mind, as being OK. SPIT…

byteshredder on June 6, 2010 at 7:19 PM

I

don’t know enough to know at this point to know whether Israel is entitled to retain control over the Occupied Territories or not, or for what period of time.

Jimbo3 on June 6, 2010 at 2:50 PM
Gaza doesn’t signal to you what happens after Israelis leave their own property?

Geography is always a good teacher. In as much it doesn’t lie. Since the border redefinings after ‘67 (and subsequent) would you say Israel has expanded or contracted? And the ask yourself have those concessions improved their relationships with her neighbors?

What logical conclusion is to be drawn of this trend?

anuts on June 6, 2010 at 5:35 PM

–Ok. I think Israel needs to get out of the Occupied Territories at some point. I think it is probably there illegitimately and possibly illegally. Since there are no Jews in the Occupied Territories, after Israel is reasonably convinced there are no further significant attacks from the Occupied Territories, then Israel should withdraw. It has as much right to the Occupied Territories–after it is relatively assured of its security–as old Russia had to control the Czech Republic, Poland, East Germany or the Ukraine, because the people who are there don’t want them there.

Jimbo3 on June 6, 2010 at 8:53 PM

don’t know enough
to know at this point to know whether Israel is entitled to retain control over the Occupied Territories or not, or for what period of time.

Jimbo3 on June 6, 2010 at 2:50 PM
At long last, after multiple posts, the Helen Thomas shill admits that he doesn’t know what he’s talking about!
Israel has had the right to control over the “occupied territories” since at least 1967 and for forever before that.
Consult the Lord for further details.

Jenfidel on June 6, 2010 at 5:01 PM

–I don’t think Israel has the right to control the Occupied Territories forever. Neither does the US or most countries. Israel didn’t exist before the late 1940s. How can Israel have the right to lands before it existed? And if you’re saying that this is prophecy, some people read the Bible to say that the Jews also have the right to Jordan and Syria? Do you advocate Israel’s attack on Jordan and Syria?

Jimbo3 on June 6, 2010 at 8:59 PM

How can Israel have the right to lands before it existed?

The Lord gave it to them to enjoy forever.
They renewed that promised, after having been disinherited from their land by the Romans, when they founded the state of Israel in ’48.
Concurrently with the Lord giving them the land, he also declared that the Jews existed as a nation.

And if you’re saying that this is prophecy, some people read the Bible to say that the Jews also have the right to Jordan and Syria?

I’ve never heard this about Jordan and Syria from anyone who believes Biblical prophecy or the Bible.

Do you advocate Israel’s attack on Jordan and Syria?

Jimbo3 on June 6, 2010 at 8:59 PM

I’m not aware that Israel has attacked either Jordan or Syria.
Quit making things up!
Are you just a out-and-out hater of Jews or just all people who believe in God?

None of your silly arguments excuse either your prejudice against Jews or the nation of Israel and they certainly don’t mitigate against the awfulness of Helen Thomas’s statement.

Jenfidel on June 6, 2010 at 9:18 PM

–Ok. I think Israel needs to get out of the Occupied Territories at some point.

You and wikipedia think, huh?
There are no “occupied territories,” unless you mean occupied by Paleostinians.

I think it is probably there illegitimately and possibly illegally.Since there are no Jews in the Occupied Territories, after Israel is reasonably convinced there are no further significant attacks from the Occupied Territories, then Israel should withdraw.

They pulled out all the Jewish settlements in 2005.
There are no more “occupied territories.”
And there is no such thing as “international law!”So much for your claims of “illegitimate and illegal.”
Not only are you talking about land that God gave the Jews forever, but what you call the “occupied territories,” have been won over in 3 wars: 1948, 1967 and 1973.

It has as much right to the Occupied Territories–after it is relatively assured of its security–as old Russia had to control the Czech Republic, Poland, East Germany or the Ukraine, because the people who are there don’t want them there.

Jimbo3 on June 6, 2010 at 8:53 PM

Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.
The Paleos don’t have a right to that territory at all–it’s a pure Islamist claim!
They have been offered their own nation state since 1948 and have refused to accept it because they refuse to live side-by-side with the Jews in peace.
Word.

And please stop trying to argue with your lies and the very same lies that the jihadi Arab world uses to make continual war on Israeli Jews!

Jenfidel on June 6, 2010 at 9:27 PM

Jen, please see below:

http://www.therefinersfire.org/ibp.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Land_of_Israel

Parts of Jordan and Syria are apparently believed to be part of Biblical Israel.

Jimbo3 on June 6, 2010 at 9:32 PM

I’m going over to the other thread. Feel free to insult me there.

Jimbo3 on June 6, 2010 at 9:33 PM

Jen, please see below:

http://www.therefinersfire.org/ibp.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Land_of_Israel

Parts of Jordan and Syria are apparently believed to be part of Biblical Israel.

Jimbo3 on June 6, 2010 at 9:32 PM

Well, you’re not going to blame Israeli Jews for what some strange people think!
I’ve never heard any Israeli to make a claim on Jordan or Syria!
Jordan and Israel are both signees of the Camp David Peace Accords.
No one wants Syria (including the Syrians!) LOL

Jenfidel on June 6, 2010 at 9:42 PM

I’m going over to the other thread. Feel free to insult me there.

Jimbo3 on June 6, 2010 at 9:33 PM

You deserve to be insulted for spreading these Leftist lies!
What’s next?
The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, Helen?

Jenfidel on June 6, 2010 at 9:43 PM

Jen, please see below:

http://www.therefinersfire.org/ibp.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Land_of_Israel

Parts of Jordan and Syria are apparently believed to be part of Biblical Israel.

Jimbo3 on June 6, 2010 at 9:32 PM
Well, you’re not going to blame Israeli Jews for what some strange people think!
I’ve never heard any Israeli to make a claim on Jordan or Syria!
Jordan and Israel are both signees of the Camp David Peace Accords.
No one wants Syria (including the Syrians!) LOL

Jenfidel on June 6, 2010 at 9:42 PM

–You were making a claim that Israel is entitled to “its” land according to the Bible and that it’s receipt of that land was pre-destined (at least that’s what I understood you to say). My point was that what is encompassed in “its’ land according to some enterpretations of the Bible is not clear.

Jimbo3 on June 6, 2010 at 10:03 PM

Jimbo3 on June 6, 2010 at 10:03 PM

And…?
So?

Anti-Semitic, jihadi, Leftist shills like you and Helen Thomas think the Israelis are entitled to NO land except the land their ashes chance to “occupy” in Auschwitz.

Jenfidel on June 6, 2010 at 10:21 PM

She fills a void. Keep her there.

johnnyU on June 7, 2010 at 9:15 AM

One thing is clear about Ms. Thomas…

The donepezil (aricept) is no longer effective.

Danny on June 7, 2010 at 10:41 AM

Fire Helen Thomas?

She is the conscience of the WH press corpse corps

entagor on June 7, 2010 at 12:39 PM

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