The shameful dismissal of journalist Helen Thomas for supposedly “antisemitic” remarks has passed more or less unnoticed or buried on the back pages. It is useful therefore that Counterpunch has just published an article by Diane Shammas on these matters. Here are the opening paragraphs. You can read the full article in Counterpunch:
Helen Thomas: Freedom of Speech and the Zionist Albatross
By DIANE SHAMMAS
On January 8 the Society of Professional Journalists’ Executive Committee voted to retire the Helen Thomas Lifetime Achievement Award. The SPJ’s full board is expected to give their final approval within 10 days. In the meantime, amidst the unrelenting backlash, Helen Thomas has rebounded as a columnist for a North Virginian community paper, Falls Church News Press.
The core criticism against Helen Thomas is not so much her one comment captured on video May 27, 2010, or the subsequent round of comments shared at a diversity workshop in Dearborn on December 2 that both Wayne University and the Society for Professional Journalists assert is their reason for pulling her awards. Rather, it is what all of the comments symbolize –an opposition to Zionism. Please how long do many of us who fight against social injustice, including a growing number of anti-Zionist American and Israeli Jews, have to engage in this tireless defense that we are not against Jews or Israelis, but a racist ideology? A racist ideology that was responsible for the ethnic cleansing of three quarters of the indigenous population of Palestine in 1948 similar in impact to the catastrophe of the dispossession of American Indians and the redistribution of the tribal lands of the Five Civilized Tribes [1887 Dawes Allotment Act].
You can read the full article on Counterpunch.