Yes, I know people have said things even more bigoted and stupid than dotty old Helen Thomas did the other day (not that she was any brighter before she got dotty), but I can’t help but thinking Ms. Helen felt freer to express her rancid anti-Semitism because of the times in which we live. I mean — to be blunt — the era of Barack Obama.
Consciously or not, our President — with his increased, and pompously self-righteous, pressure on Israel — has sent a message to the world. It’s time to blame the Jews. And the world, in economic extremis, is all too eager to find someone to blame.
For the ignorant Thomas – who appears not to realize Israeli Jews are not just from Western Europe, but from Egypt, Ethiopia, Syria, Yemen, Iraq and many other places — that means sending my co-religionists back to Germany and Poland. At least she didn’t go so far as to subscribe, openly anyway, to the football chant recently made popular in Europe: “Hamas, Hamas, Jews to the gas!”
You don’t need Yogi Berra to tell you that this is déjà vu all over again. And the déjà vu isn’t pretty and could get worse. The irony is that all this broke out — the merde hit the proverbial ventilateur, as they say, and the flotilla happened followed by Thomas making the coveted… or not so coveted… top spot on Drudge – right in the middle of the Obama Administration’s Schmooze-athon attempt to win back the Jewish vote that seems to be deserting it. Tough go, Rahm and company. Better luck next time.
But better luck to all of us — not just Jews. I am not the first to observe that Jews are the canaries in the coal mine when it comes to the preservation of Western civilization. And these are nervous times with those canaries getting quickly blackened.
Fortunately they have some staunch defenders — both intellectual and comic. On the other hand, there are those who pretend to defend while criticizing. These critics usually say they should be free to criticize, that it is the sign of democracy. And it is. But one wonders how they feel when hearing the vitriol spewed by Thomas.
As for myself, I wish I felt I had that luxury. Unfortunately, I don’t. The vitriol is too much, not just from one old lady, but from too many corners of the globe. This is not a time for intellectual parsing, but for action — action against anti-Semitism before we are returned to an era we thought we would never see again.
Toward that end, PJTV has put up a short survey. It asks the question “Should the White House revoke the press credentials of Helen Thomas?” I guess you already know how I voted. If you would like to vote, please go here.