Monday, June 07, 2010

Helen Thomas Forced To Retire After Israel Remarks

Helen Thomas, the veteran Hearst newspapers reporter was forced into an immediate retirement amid the uproar over her comments about Israel. Thomas has covered 10 presidents in her lifetime as a reporter that started out in 1943 as a correspondent. However, her comments this week that Jews should leave Palestine and go home to Germany, The U.S. and Poland created an outrage.

Thomas' view of history wasn't exactly that well informed. As early as 1100 BCE the same region used to be part of the ancient Kingdom of Israel and was known as Judea. However, in later centuries conquering armies from Babylon, Persia & Rome occupied the region, sometimes dispersing the population of Jews into slavery. Occupying armies and rulers helped to move different people into the region as the ancient Jewish kingdom lost it's identity as a Jewish state and was renamed by successive occupiers. From the second century AD to 1948, the region was renamed as Palestine. However, in 1947 as British rule over Palestine was ending, the United Nations set up a new divide between a state called Israel and the Palestinian West Bank. However, a civil war resulted and created the modern state of Israel in 1948. The current state of Israel is more than 75% Jewish and only 20% Arab. And even the Palestinian leadership is split between the more moderate Palestinian Authority and the radical Hamas elements, complicating peace efforts and a peaceful resolution to the ongoing conflict. Since 1948 this has become one of the most politically complicated world situations to resolve.

The dispute over the West Bank only continues to be a thorny issue among the Palestinians and the Arab neighboring states as well. Israel would be a landlocked state without these ports which are in this disputed region. However, arms to support radicals often flow into this area under the control of Hamas authorities who do nothing to stop this and even encourage the freelance violence of individual terrorists. Thomas did nothing positive towards the attempts by Israel to seek a peace with the more moderate Palestinian Authority elements by injecting her own unhelpful personal views on the issue.

Helen Thomas seemed to forget the most rule of journalism; You report the news, and not create it yourself. In this case, it ended her long journalism career.

What Thomas does now is a major question. But, likely doing PLAYBOY is out of the question.


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