Politico – March 18, 2011
Helen Thomas is not sorry, nor were the comments that ended her career accidental.
“I knew exactly what I was doing – I was going for broke,” she told Playboy in the magazine’s April interview. “I had reached the point of no return. You finally get fed up … I finally wanted to speak the truth.”
Thomas, of course, left her perch as the dean of the White House press corps last year after telling a rabbi and blogger that Jews should “get the hell out of Palestine” and “go home” to “Poland, Germany and America and everywhere else.” Her family is Lebanese and she grew up in the Detroit area, home to one of the country’s densest populations of Arab Americans.
She spoke to Playboy at length about the situation in Palestine, her feelings on American support of Israel, and her take on Jews.
But her most controversial comments echoed ones she’s made before about the influence of Jews in American life, which have contributed to her name being stripped from journalism awards.
“[The Jews are] using their power, and they have power in every direction,” she told Playboy. “Power over the White House, power over Congress … Everybody is in the pocket of the Israeli lobbies, which are funded by wealthy supporters, including those from Hollywood. Same thing with the financial markets. There’s total control … It isn’t the 2 percent. It’s real power when you own the White House, when you own these other places in terms of your political persuasion. Of course they have power. [To the interviewer] You don’t deny that. You’re Jewish, aren’t you?”
She also had some controversial views about memorializing the Holocaust.
“There’s nothing wrong with remembering it, but why do we have to constantly remember?” she said. “We’re not at fault. I mean, if they’re going to put a Holocaust museum in every city in Germany, that’s fine with me. But we didn’t do this to the Jews. Why do we have to keep paying the price and why do they keep oppressing the Palestinians? Do the Jews ever look at themselves? Why are they always right? Because they have been oppressed throughout history, I know. And they have this persecution. That’s true, but they shouldn’t use that to dominate.”