When Helen Thomas melted in front of the Washington political classes, there was much talk of how she was simply an old, confused lady, past her prime, but widely admired for her plucky spirit in asking every President since Kennedy "tough questions."
Her proposal that all Israelis—especially "Jews"—leave the Holy Land and repatriate themselves to Poland, Germany and the United States, to make way for a "liberated Palestine" received much attention, but the predominant reaction was that no one really agreed with her sentiments. Is this true?
Buried in the clips dug up about her previous remarks about Israel was a common theme: Israel was an occupier. Its land was not its own but that of the impoverished and downtrodden Palestinians. Israel was an illegitimate landlord, at best; a cruel ruler at worst. "The Jews," said Thomas, were "responsible for the whole mess in the Middle East." Even Thomas's apology did not really address what has angered many: her statement that the Jews now living in Israel have no right to live there at all. And having described Israel in this way, it was but a short intellectual trip to the position that "resistance" to Israel was not only legitimate but heroic.
We also have former President Carter, with an office in the Gaza strip. According to CNS News on June 22, he is now worried he will not be able to work with Hamas because the US Supreme Court ruled 6-3 that providing "material assistance" to terrorist groups is criminal. So bad has been the work of the Carter Center that, according to a Fox News story on April 16, 2008, a number of members of Congress were seeking to end its tax-payer support, said to amount to $19 million since 2001.
Billionaire George Soros, according to FrontPage Magazine, funds organizations such as Moveon.org, where our support for Israel routinely comes under fire. According to Bloomberg news on August 15, 2009, Soros has invested over $800 million in Brazil's oil firm Petrobas. Gal Luft, writing in Foreign Policy of June 3, 2010 says the company, in cooperation with the government of Brazil, is helping Iran with fuel imports to deflect the pressures of a refined-oil-products boycott being proposed by sanctions-legislation just passed by the US Congress. Brazilian President Lula recently offered Iran millions of gallons of refined petroleum mixed with ethanol to make up for any reductions in refined oil products cut off due to future sanctions.
And that is not all. Former terrorists Bill Ayers and his wife Bernadine Dorhn, according to BigGovernment.com, are working with the Free Gaza Committee, whose major source of funds, the Turkish based IHH, has been described by US authorities as a terrorist front. In a letter last week to the administration, 87 Senators asked for a full investigation of this group's reported terrorist ties with both Hamas and Iran. Eliminating the blockade of Gaza is not needed for any humanitarian purposes: according to Israeli sources with whom I spoke, eliminating the blockade would simply provide the Hamas leadership with walking-around money for its terrorist buddies, as well as further enable Hamas to secure military weaponry, including rockets, with which to attack Israel.
This is not a trivial matter. The Hamas regime that runs Gaza has launched thousands of rockets down on nearby Israeli towns. In the Israeli town of Sederot, sheds next to the police station are filled to the ceiling with rockets of varying sophistication that were launched from Gaza. According to the local police chief with whom I spoke when visiting the town in 2009, they were often aimed at a local school play ground, which since has been closed, and the children and school moved elsewhere.
When we sought to protect the children of Sederot by bringing attention to the rocket attacks from Hamas, the "Free Gaza Committee," according to Aron Klein of WorldNetDaily, sought to help the rocket makers in Gaza with "humanitarian aid" from a flotilla designed to break a legitimate and necessary blockade.
Reverend Wright and Minister Farrakhan are also part of what I term the "let's destroy Israel" cabal. So proud of their work were they, that they placed on the Reverend's website pictures of their 2006 trip to Libya. According to National Review of March 31, 2008, their meeting with Khadaffi has gone largely unreported, but the connections are there: We now know Libya was responsible for the bombs that destroyed both the Pan Am flight over Lockerbie and the disco frequented by Americans in Berlin – as well as that Libya was a primary source of weapons for the Irish Republican Army, including terrorist training camps that it operated for the IRA.
No doubt these folks will all claim to be simply helping "the Palestinians" secure their rightful homeland, and that any terrorism undertaken by Hamas or Iran is simply unrelated to what is a "humanitarian" effort. Soros himself, for example, acknowledges that Hamas does not recognize the right of Israel to exist, but says that all that can be changed after a peace agreement is reached and a Palestinian homeland created. Others, including many critics of Israel, have claimed that Hamas can only resist with rockets and other unconventional weapons because they cannot match the army of the Israelis which includes tanks and airplanes. (See for example the American Thinker review by Ed Lasky of January 16, 2008).
Such excuses ring hollow. Hamas and Hezbollah and their state patrons, Syria and Iran, are not seeking a "two state" solution envisioned by Oslo. No, they envision the very destruction of Israel -- as in the charters of Hamas and the Palestinian Authority – probably as well as whatever harm they can visit on the U.S. in the process. Remember it was Iran -- working with what eventually came to be known as Hezbollah -- which bombed our U.S. Marine barracks and Embassy in Beirut, Lebanon in 1983.
As Richard Haas wrote recently, Oslo and its descendant, "the peace process," have tragically become a excuses behind which terrorism can continue. After Oslo and the "peace agreement," during the latter part of the Clinton administration, violence against Israel from the PLO Israel dramatically escalated.
Further, for over 30 years, many in the US have sought to end the Iranian sponsorship of much of this terror. The most recent efforts have sought to end Iran's pursuit of nuclear weapons. But notice the work of the pundit Ms. Thomas, the professor Ayers, the philanthropist Soros, the priest Wright and the former President Carter:their efforts are almost universally aimed at criticizing Israel. But what are they doing to stop the murderous regime in Iran? Can "peace" in the Middle East be achieved with so little attention to the latter and yet major criticism only of the former?
When the Missile Defense Agency and Bush administration asked for help building missile defenses against what I have called "the arrows of Allah," where was their help? Soros, for example, funded the Center for American Progress, which proposed cutting missile defense spending from $9 billion to $2 billion. Moveon.org ridiculed missile defense as both unnecessary and unworkable. When sanctions were sought -- and a cutoff of the banking, shipping and energy sectors of Iran -- those efforts were opposed, even ridiculed. The Committee on the Present Danger, AIPAC, and the Foundation for Defense of Democracies worked both to pass serious sanctions against Iran, and divest public pension funds from securities based in part on Iranian investments. Did the Carter Center, the Center for American Progress or Moveon.org help? No, they did not. When I testified before many state legislators and worked with Congress on these efforts, nowhere were these organizations to be found.
When the US toppled the Taliban and eliminated a key state sponsor of terrorism in Saddam Hussein, Move-on.org and the Carter Center worked to undermine these efforts by repeatedly calling for the rapid withdrawal of American forces. Moveon.org funded a major New York Times advertisement that called our hero military commander General David Petraeus a traitor. Senator Joe Lieberman, according to WorldNetDaily, worried that the "places he (Soros) places his money are so destructive that it unsettles me."
The right of people to speak freely and criticize Israel and the United States, as Carter, Soros, Wright and others do, is not at issue here. But a line has been crossed when the "resistance" of Hamas and Hezbollah is equated with that of the German resistance to Hitler, as Helen Thomas asserted. From resistance it is but a short walk to an activism that morphs into active cooperation with the terrorist groups or sponsors themselves.
For fifty years, the widow of one of the key leaders of the German resistance, Helmut von Moltke, against Hitler lived in Norwich, Vermont in the home of my grandfather, himself of Jewish heritage, who fled Nazi Germany in 1933. Von Moltke was executed by the Nazis in 1944, following the failure of the July plot to kill the Furher.
As a child and a young man, I listened to the living testimony of many of the surviving families of the German resistance on lengthy visits to my grandfather and von Moltke's widow, Freya, of how von Moltke paid with his life after being tortured by the Gestapo; and how his vision—revealed in hundreds of letters from prison published as "Letters to Freya"-- was to establish the principals of America's founders in a new Germany. Some of this was also revealed by an early interview he did with George Kennan when he spoke about a book he was then reading: the Federalist Papers.
The resistance to National Socialism did not blow up buses filled with school children. It did not force young girls back into burning buildings because their faces were not sufficiently veiled. Its members were not tenured professors or billionaire currency-speculators beloved by a dazzled media. They did not justify the murder of thousands of Americans on 9/11 as simply a matter of "chickens coming home to roost." They did not stomp on the American flag or wish that more bombs were exploded against their own country.
We today face a similar murderous totalitarian vision from parts of the Islamic world, from the terror groups and their terror masters. Hamas, Hezbollah and Iran are at the center of this terrorism, along with the Taliban in Afghanistan and the remnants of Saddam's regime in Iraq and their al Qaeda allies. To associate with such elements, whether deliberately or not, is to dance with the very terrorists who have a long record of murder -- whether on 9/11 in New York and Washington; in Berlin; over Scotland; in Beirut or Argentina; in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Helen Thomas for a moment revealed the face behind the mask of this so-called, but horribly misnamed, "resistance". No amount of double-talk or artful phraseology will change the facts of which these terrorists are the intellectual descendants: the totalitarian regimes centered more than a half century ago in Berlin and Moscow.
However you want to dress them up, when you associate with them, you are still dancing with the guards of the gulag and the jailers of Auschwitz.