Ms Thomas acknowledged at the time that her comments touched a raw nerve, but she recently insisted during an interview on an Ohio radio station, that "she said exactly what she thought". She went even further by bitterly complaining that nobody in this country can criticize Israel and survive and that her mistake was doing so publicly.
So Ms Thomas, what's next, asking for equal stand for Holocaust Revisionism? Maybe making the Protocols of the Elders of Zion mandatory reading in High Schools?
As I expressed it many times in this blog, I personally believe that legitimate criticism of Israeli policies is an essential part of the Democratic Discourse; disqualification of Israel as a legitimate state and denial of the right of the Jewish people to self determination is nothing but old-fashioned Anti Semitism dressed in new clothes.
The insidious delegitimization campaign against Israel waged by the anti-Israel crowd does not serve the purpose of peace or even the Palestinian cause, but it perpetuates a state of hostility intended, in their minds, to create the conditions to wipe out Israel of the map and replace it with an Arab State from the Jordan to the Sea.
In the last few weeks, several figures in the Arab and Muslim world made it very clear what their intentions are. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad clearly stated that "there is no place for Israel in the future of the region", and most recently Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekart clearly stated that "There will be no recognition of Israel as a Jewish State", and later Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas stated that "We will not recognize Israel as a Jewish State, and we believe that this requirement is sidetracking the process by making demands on secondary points"
The problem today is very different from what it was in the 70s or 80s. Today what is questioned is not what are legitimate borders between Israel and the Palestinian Arab State but whether Israel should be there at all...
In 1897 Herzl forecasted that a Jewish State would be in place in 50 years, and his generation pulled it off and in 1948 Israel declared Independence. For the first time in almost 2000 years the world accepted the right of the Jewish people for self-determination and Jews recovered a sovereign place among the nations.
Today, 60 years later, our generation is presented with a new problem: the world wants to say "sorry, but we made a mistake - go back to Europe or New York or wherever". And it is not just Helen Thomas. Not once since the signing of the 1993 Oslo agreements had a Palestinian leader stated recognition of Israel as a Jewish State, or even the possibility of that recognition under certain condtions...
The problem between Israel and its neighbors is not one of borders, but one of worldviews. I recommend you read the editorial by Zuhdi Jasser, an American Muslim Doctor, published on the Des Moines Register on October 6 2010.
In every generation, as Jews, we must take responsibility anew for our history, our tradition, our communities, and our future as Jews. I personally believe that a large part of that responsibility in our generation is to defend Israel's right to exist as a Jewish State and reaffirm the right of our people to be "a free people in our land, the land of Zion and Jerusalem". Borders? we can talk about that...
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