White House Protest Corps


German Activists File War Crimes Complaints Against Israel

http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/0,1518,700127,00.html

By John Goetz

Left Party parliamentarians Annette Groth (l.) and Inge Höger (r.)  together with human rights activist Norman Paech (c.).

Left Party parliamentarians Annette Groth (l.) and Inge Höger (r.) together with human rights activist Norman Paech (c.).

Public prosecutors in Germany are looking into a war crimes complaint filed against Israel by two members of parliament with the far-left Left Party and a human rights activist who were on board the Mavi Marmara when Israeli troops stormed it 11 days ago.

Eleven days ago, the Israeli military stormed the Turkish ship Mavi Marmara, part of a flotilla carrying pro-Palestinian activists toward the Gaza Strip in an attempt to break the Israeli blockade. Now, it has become a case for German prosecutors.

Human rights activist Norman Paech and two German parliamentarians from the far-left Left Party, Annette Groth and Inge Höger, have filed criminal complaints for “numerous potential offences, including war crimes against individuals and command responsibility … as well as false imprisonment.”

At 5:10 a.m. on May 31, the complaint reads, Höger, Groth and Paech heard from the captain of the Mavi Marmara via the ship’s loudspeaker that the Israeli soldiers who had boarded the ship as part of the commando operation were taking over control of the ship. An hour later, Israeli soldiers ordered the Germans on deck, where their backpacks and other belongings were searched. Their hands were temporarily bound.

German Jurisdiction?

It wasn’t until 9:10 p.m. that parliamentarian Annette Groth was given the possibility of contacting the German Embassy. At 2 a.m. on June 1, the Germans were brought to the airport in a prisoner transport vehicle for their flight back home.

According to international criminal law expert Florian Jessberger of Berlin’s Humboldt University, “there is cause to believe that false imprisonment was perpetrated as understood by German law.” He says that German criminal law would have jurisdiction “irrespective of the fact that the act was perpetrated on the high seas.”

German public prosecutors told SPIEGEL ONLINE that they were currently investigating whether there was enough evidence to warrant pursuing the case further.

‘Barbaric’

The Israeli raid of the Mavi Marmara, which resulted in the deaths of nine activists onboard the ship, unleashed a storm of criticism against Israel and its ongoing blockade of the Gaza Strip. It has also severely damaged Israel’s relations with Turkey.

The blockade began in 2007 after the Islamist militants from Hamas took over power in Gaza. Israel claims that many of those traveling with the flotilla had ties to Hamas or other terrorist groups, but the activists deny the charge.

Upon returning home to Germany, Höger told reporters that “we felt like we were in a war, like we had been kidnapped.” Her colleague Groth spoke of a “barbaric act.”

Advertisements


Gaza Flotilla: If Chavez had been the killer instead of Netanyahu

http://alainet.org/active/38803 by Roberto Montoya

translated by arrest-bush@usa.net

If Chavez had been the killer instead of Netanyahu

What you’ d expect to see from the mainstream media

The USA Fourth Fleet, with its aircraft carrier and three nuclear submarines, its two dozen cruisers and fourteen patrol torpedo boats, its 120 F22 and F117 fighters, six Apache AH-64 helicopters, sixty tanks and 20,000 marines, backed by B2 bombers and AWACS planes, is being deployed toward the Venezuelan coast to enforce a total blockade of Venezuelan ports.

“The Pentagon has established a ‘no-fly zone’ over Venezuela and installed Patriot anti-ballistic missiles in Columbia and Honduras. The goal is to prevent the dictator Chavez from using his nuclear arsenal against the USA or its neighbors. The Pentagon has mobilized reinforcements for its seven permanent bases in Columbia on the Venezuelan border”, The American secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, and the secretary of Defense, Robert Gates, at a press conference pointed out. “We have no intention to comply with the tepid response from the UN Security Council against the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.”

“The elite forces of the National Bolivarian Armada from the Agustín Armario Naval Base, made up of several GC-21 coastal patrol boats, a few PC-33 corvettes, and some PC-24 patrol craft ATTACKED IN INTERNATIONL WATERS of the Caribbean Sea a FREEDOM FLOTILLA of six boats carrying 750 peaceful anti-Chavez activists and NGO members from several countries. The comandos boarded the ship and opened fire on the passengers, leaving between nine and nineteen dead and dozens injured” reported Gates.

“The Venezuelan dictator”, added Hillary Clinton, “in his usual acts of distraction and propaganda, has accused the murdered civilians of carrying arms on board the ship and of being connected to the CIA, Mossad, and Columbian Intelligence Services.”

President Obama, flanked by his Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair, said that American intelligence has long known that Chávez wanted to provoke an international diplomatic crisis disguised as legitimate self-defense. “The dictator was planning to invade Columbia with the help of the FARC. He would then proceed to overthrow one by one the governments of Latin America that did not bend to the will of ALBA and the Latin American Axis of Evil. Chávez’s twisted dream is to build a Great Bolivarian Nation, which in reality would be nothing but a huge regional dictatorship.” Blair remarked.

After a moment of silence, Obama’s face grew very serious. He then made a revelation that astonished all present. “We have decided to invade Venezuela and extradite Chávez to Guantánamo where he will be judged by a military tribunal. We have conclusive evidence that the dictator has been sheltering Osama bin Laden in the jungle south of the Orinoco River. Furthermore, we have intelligence that Chávez has smuggled enriched uranium from Ahmedinijad and installed missiles targeting America.”

“And if this were not enough to justify our Crusade, it is my responsibility to inform the world of a vital discovery, a discovery which dispels one of the great mysteries of our time. Our intelligence services have located the weapons of mass destruction for which my indefatigable predecessor scoured Iraqi territory in vain. Now we have absolute proof that the weapons of mass destruction were smuggled into Venezuela by Saddam Hussein himself before he was apprehended. They now under the direct command of the Chávez family.”

No sooner had the press conference wrapped up when the White House telephones started ringing off the hook. The leaders of the European Union, of the United Nations, of Israel, and of many other nations were climbing all over one another to assure the president of their support and to jump aboard his worthy Crusade.

At the insistence of European leaders and prestigious ‘think tanks’, President Obama called for an international summit to study the inclusion of Cuba in The Great Crusade, dubbed Latin American Free Operation. The Castro brothers would be captured and detained at Guantánamo. Business leaders, led by Gerardo Díaz Ferrán of Spain, suggested the time was ripe to complete the democratic makeover of Latin American by the overthrow of totalitarian regimes. The continent would be freed of coke fiends Evo Morales and Rafael Correa, of guerrilla leaders Daniel Ortega and Pepe Múgica, of the pinko priest Fernando Lugo, of the rabble-rowser Cristina Kirchner. The continent would be freed of everyone and anyone who dares challenge the interests of the multinationals, the multinationals that have only the best interests of The People in mind.

Thus did Díaz Ferrán retrace the steps of German president Horst Köhler, who in May was forced to resign. Köhler had declared that the valiant mission of Germany in Afghanistan was the following: “We know that for a country of our size, its economy dependent on international commerce, military intervention is necessary to defend our interests. Trade routes must be kept open and regions must be kept stable and safe, because otherwise our commercial interests would be negatively impacted.”

Obama, his European Allies, the UN, the IMF, the International Development Bank, the World Bank, the most important multinationals and lobbies, have reached a consensus. It can be assumed that resources freed by Latin American Free Operation will solve the the global financial crisis in the short or medium term.

http://alainet.org/active/38803 by Roberto Montoya



From Medea Benjamin: Two Excellent Events in DC Fri and Sat

From Medea Benjamin:

It would be great if you could help us get out the word for these events–and join us! Please note the two different Busboy locations. Thanks so much, Medea

Friday, 8:30pm BP Oil Spill – Report Back and Discussion with Diane Wilson and Medea Benjamin

8:30 pm  Busboys and Poets, 14th and V St, NW (Langston Room) – Join Diane Wilson and Medea Benjamin (Global Exchange/CodePink) as the! y bring a first hand account of the damage that the BP Oil Spill is causing in the Gulf. Diane Wilson is a fourth generation shrimper from the Texas Gulf and a founder of CODEPINK. Medea Benjamin recently returned from a visit to the Gulf. Both have been involved in actions to protest BP. FREE AND OPEN TO ALL!


Saturday: 5PM , Report back from Free Gaza Flotilla
Busboys and Poets, 5th and K NW (Cullen Room) – R: Hear eyewitness reports from activists who accompanied the Free Gaza Flotilla, which was boarded by Israeli troops, in the early hours of May 31. Speakers include: Col. Ann Wright, former Ambassador  Ed Peck, Ramzi Kysia, and others associated with the Free Gaza movement. Background of the Free Gaza movement, efforts to provide needed humanitarian aid to the people of Gaza, and next steps. Please join us and support these human rights activists! FREE AND OPEN TO ALL!

Gael Murphy
CODEPINK
www.gazafreedommarch.org

__._,_.___


NOW AVAILABLE: Full 60-minute footage smuggled from Mavi Marmara

NOW AVAILABLE: Full 60-minute footage smuggled from Mavi Marmara

June 11, 2010

MEDIA ALERT:

JUST RELEASED: ONE HOUR OF FOOTAGE FROM MAVI MARMARA
Footage taken aboard largest ship in Gaza Freedom Flotilla in hour before and during raid by Israeli military

New York, NY—

A full hour of raw footage taken aboard the Mavi Marmara in the hour leading up to and during the Israeli attack on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla has just been made available to view at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vwsMJmvS0AY

The footage is also available for download at: http://tinyurl.com/flotilla-footage/

Despite the Israeli government’s efforts to confiscate all of the footage taken during the attack, CULTURES OF RESISTANCE filmmaker Iara Lee was able to smuggle one hour of footage back to the United States and is releasing it raw to the public today.

Yesterday at the United Nations, Ms. Lee presented the footage for the first time to the international press corps after the following statement:

“I want first to thank the United Nations Correspondents Association for organizing this event on such short notice.

“My name is Iara Lee. I am a dual U.S.-Brazilian citizen of Korean descent. I am a filmmaker and a human rights activist.

“I decided to join the Freedom Flotilla after going to Gaza a few months ago and seeing first hand the devastation there. After hearing the pleas of the people living in Gaza to have the blockade lifted, I felt I must do something.

“The Gaza Freedom Flotilla was on a humanitarian mission.  We expected to be deterred from delivering our aid to Gazans, but we did not expect to be attacked.

“We started filming from the moment we boarded the Mavi Marmara right through the Israeli assault on the ship. Although all of our equipment was confiscated, we managed to smuggle this footage out.

“Mine is high-definition footage of the Flotilla attack and also the only sustained footage of the ship and its passengers preceding the deadly Israeli commando raid. Watching this raw, unedited footage, you will get a sense of the mood on the ship and of the passengers on it.

“Undoubtedly, many of you will be scrutinizing it for clues to resolve the mysteries that still surround what happened that fateful night.

“During this past week the Israeli government has repeatedly alleged that these passengers — or some of them — laid a trap for Israel, duped the Israeli military, and plotted a lynching. Israel has repeatedly alleged that we were anti-Semitic Muslim fanatics connected to terrorist organizations.

“In fact, the passengers on our mission came from many countries and religious and ethnic backgrounds.  Our one common denominator was that we wanted to end the humanitarian crisis in Gaza by highlighting the injustice of Israel’s blockade.

“Prime Minister Netanyahu said, “This wasn’t the ‘love boat,’ this was a flotilla of terror supporters.” Our footage will help you decide whether we were a love boat or a hate boat. You will see secular and devout passengers. You will see people at prayer and people working at their laptops.

“Was this a lynch-mob moved by hatred of Israelis or was it a cross-section of humanity moved by the plight of Gaza? Did we lay a trap for the Israeli commandos or did they unnecessarily attack us? Did we take them by surprise or did they take us by surprise?

“Do you see a premeditated ambush, or do you see some passengers using items at hand to protect themselves from an unprovoked assault by heavily armed commandos?

“You decide.”

CONTACT:

Iara Lee: iaralee@culturesofresistance.org

please cc: assistant@gg3.com for prompt reply

www.culturesofresistance.org

http://www.facebook.com/ profile.php?id=100000928581236

Posted at http://gazaflotilla.delegitimize.com/statements/activist-statements/full-60-minute-footage-smuggled-from-mavi-marmara/

To unsubscribe or update your records, Click here.


Israel’s Lifting of Gaza Blockade Means Junk Food, But No Cement to Rebuild Damaged Buildings

Salem-News.com http://salem-news.com/articles/june092010/blockade-reality.php

The marginal easement is a step in the right direction, but a very small one.

Raffah Crossing at Gaza
File image of Raffah Crossing at Gaza during a previous effort, Viva Palestina. Courtesy: Wikipedia

(JERUSALEM) – Some food items that had been banned under Israel’s and Egypt’s blockade of the Gaza Strip, are now finding their way into this battered, walled and tortured land.

The Gaza Freedom Flotilla set out with a goal of breaking the several years old siege that has brought this population to piteous depths of poverty, the likes of which even this place had been able to avoid.

Reporters with the Times of India spoke to officials Wednesday, who agree that it is a small step toward easing its three-year-old blockade of the territory, after worldwide criticism of last week’s deadly raid on a Gaza-bound international flotilla.

The decision only narrowly expands the list of goods that can enter Gaza — and most of the newly permitted items are already being smuggled into the area from neighboring Egypt.

The move also does not include the most-sought items in Gaza, such as cement, steel and other materials needed to rebuild the war-devastated strip. But it is the first tangible step by Israel to temper the uproar caused by the raid, which left nine pro-Palestinian activists dead after a clash with Israeli naval commandos on one of the flotilla’s ships.

Palestinian liaison official Raed Fattouh, who coordinates the flow of goods into Gaza with Israel, said that soda, juice, jam, spices, shaving cream, potato chips, cookies and candy were now permitted. He said some products have already entered Gaza, and others would cross in the coming days.

The naval raid drew attention to the blockade, imposed by Israel and Egypt after Hamas militants seized power in Gaza in 2007.

The closure has devastated Gaza’s already battered economy, erased tens of thousands of jobs and prevented the area from repairing damage after a fierce Israeli military offensive in Gaza early last year.

Wednesday’s gesture was unlikely to blunt the global criticism, since it doesn’t lift the ban on materials needed to rebuild Gaza.

=======================================================

Special thanks to the Times of India



Erdoğan warns turning blind eye to raid will legalize future brutality
http://www.todayszaman.com/tz-web/detaylar.do?load=detay&link=212643

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has warned the international community about the potential harm of turning a blind eye to the illegality of the May 31 Israeli raid on an aid flotilla in the eastern Mediterranean that led to the deaths of nine peace activists, saying such an approach would inevitably lead to repetition of similar violent acts.

//

<!–

“Look, I want to say it because it is important to our agenda. On May 31, there was a very grave violation of international law,” Erdoğan said on Wednesday at a UN meeting held in İstanbul.

Nine Turkish nationals were killed last Monday during an Israeli commando raid of the Mavi Marmara, part of a six-vessel convoy that set out to challenge the blockade of the Gaza Strip. Israel said its troops used lethal force in self-defense after they were attacked by pro-Palestinian activists wielding clubs and knives. Both Turkish leaders and the global public were infuriated by the killings.

“Israeli commandos attacked passengers of ship, which included civilian aid volunteers from 32 countries carrying humanitarian assistance to Gaza and slew exactly nine innocent people.

Twenty-four people were wounded. Remaining silent, again, about this attack, which took place in international waters and which is completely unlawful, and turning a blind eye [to this attack] like [has been done in] the earlier [examples] will open a new wound in the conscience of humanity,” Erdoğan went on to say.

The two-day regional conference on progress towards the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals will close today. The conference, which draws on the full strength of the UN system, is hosted by the Turkish government and co-organized by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE). In line with the theme of the conference, Erdoğan reiterated Turkey’s call to international bodies, which it says should be more representative and should be proactive in dealing with regional and international disputes that erode mutual confidence among nations of the world.

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan warned the international community that the May 31 Israeli raid may be repeated if the world turns a blind eye to it, while speaking at a UN meeting in İstanbul, on Wednesday.

“Violations of law committed by a state — in an irresponsible manner, thoughtlessly, fearlessly and without any hesitation — will harm humanity’s sensitivity to justice and will further diminish the trust among international organizations,” Erdoğan said.

“If we are talking about global peace and if we are sincerely aware that we have to find solutions to global problems together, then we have to display a humanitarian stance against these kinds of unlawful [incidents], — a just, determined and courageous stance. Those who remain silent, who remain indifferent, and who turn a blind eye will not only be partner to these massacres, but will also legitimize new attacks in the future and will be lending support to such attacks,” he said. Erdoğan’s speech in İstanbul came on the same day when certain powers notified the UN nuclear watchdog of their concerns regarding the proposal for Iran to send 1.2 tons of its low-enriched uranium to Turkey in return for reactor fuel.

Russia, France and the United States handed a response to International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) chief Yukiya Amano, said the IAEA and diplomats on Wednesday. It was then sent to Iran’s IAEA envoy before a pending UN Security Council vote on new sanctions against Tehran.

The United States has said Tehran’s decision to back the nuclear fuel swap deal, brokered by Turkey and Brazil, is a ploy to avoid new sanctions against Iran, the world’s fifth-largest crude exporter. Diplomats said Iran’s proposal lacked practical details needed to carry it out. In İstanbul, Erdoğan called the deal “a diplomatic victory.” He said, “A victory of diplomacy has been gained in the name of regional and global peace.”



As Israel kills and Maims, Outrage is Directed at Helen Thomas

Alison Weir for Salem-News.com

http://salem-news.com/articles/june092010/helen-thomas-aw.php

In Thomas’s lifetime Israel has ethnically cleansed over a million people, replaced them with colonists from around the world, committed dozens of massacres, tortured thousands, killed and maimed untold numbers of children…

Salem-News.com
The one and on Helen Thomas, has been covering White House Affairs for half a century; like Dan Rather’s report about George W Bush’s shoddy and shameful military past,

(PORTLAND, Ore.) – Whenever Israel commits yet another atrocity, its defenders are quick to redirect public attention away from the grisly crime scene.

Currently, there are headlines about allegedly anti-Semitic comments made by senior White House correspondent Helen Thomas. Pundits across the land evince outrage at her off-the-cuff 25-second statement made to a man who appears to be holding a camera right in her face.

Thomas issued a public apology for her words, but this was insufficient to assuage the wounded feelings of powerful antagonists, and she has now retired from a long and distinguished career.

Before we examine her comments and evaluate their possible validity, let’s look at other recent events having to do with Israel.

On May 31st Israeli commandos killed at least nine unarmed volunteers attempting to take humanitarian supplies to Gaza.

According to eyewitness reports and forensic evidence, many of these aid volunteers were shot at close range, including a 19-year-old American citizen killed by four bullets to the head and one to the chest fired from 18 inches away.

Israel immediately imprisoned eyewitnesses and hundreds of other aid participants, confiscated their cameras, laptops, and other possessions, and prevented them from speaking to the press for days. Among the incarcerated were decorated U.S. veterans and an 80-year-old former ambassador who had been deputy director of Reagan’s Cabinet Task Force on Terrorism.

When they finally emerged and were able to tell their stories, many described horrific scenes of Israeli commandos shooting people in the head, of those tending the injured being shot in the stomach, of people bleeding to death while flotilla participants waved white flags and pled for help.

They also described being beaten brutally by Israeli forces, again and again – including those on ships that, in the U.S. media’s judgment, experienced “no violence.” A 64-year-old piano tuner from California, Paul Larudee, described hundreds of Israeli commandos boarding his ship. When he refused to cooperate with them, soldiers then beat him numerous times both on board the ship and after he was imprisoned on land.

Eventually he was taken by ambulance to an Israeli hospital. He wasn’t treated, however, and Larudee believes he was taken there because Israel didn’t want media to see his black eye, pronated joints, bruised jaw and body contusions.

Marine veteran Ken O’Keefe described similar beatings while in Israeli custody. In his case, the public was able to see his bloodied, battered face in video clips and still images – but only on the Internet, since American mainstream media failed to report on his press conference or to publish the many still photos of his injuries.

Other gruesome photos available to the American public only on the Internet are of Emily Henochowicz, a 21-year-old American student whose eye and eye socket were recently shattered by Israeli forces. She has since had her eyeball removed, three metal plates inserted in her face, and her jaw wired shut.

Henochowicz was not on the flotilla; she was taking part in a nonviolent demonstration against the Israeli assault when an Israeli soldier shot a high-velocity teargas canister into her face.

A Swedish citizen standing with Henochowicz said, “They clearly saw us. They clearly saw that we were internationals and it really looked as though they were trying to hit us. They fired many canisters at us in rapid succession. One landed on either side of Emily, then the third one hit her in the face.”

Henochowicz is not the first to have been shot by such a canister.

Thirty-year-old Basem Ibrahim Abu Rahmeh died when an Israeli soldier shot one at him at close range while Abu Rahmeh participated in a demonstration against Israeli confiscation of Palestinian farmland. A video of this is also available on You Tube; U.S. networks have also chosen not to broadcast this.

Californian Tristan Anderson was shot in the head by a similar canister while he was taking photographs following another demonstration. Part of Anderson’s brain was removed and he was in a “minimally responsive state” for 6-7 months.

He is now in a wheelchair, has almost no movement in his left arm and leg, is blind in one eye, and his mental functioning is significantly reduced. Photos of the shooting are also available on the Internet.

Since at least 2006 Israeli forces have closed off Gaza to the outside world, essentially imprisoning 1.5 million men, women, and children, and denying them foodstuffs, medicines, and building materials, as documented by such agencies as Amnesty International, Oxfam, and Christian Aid, which said that Israel was using food and medicine as weapons.

One of the multitudinous victims of this illegal siege is five-year-old Taysir Al Burai, who suffers from an acute neurological disorder and requires round-the-clock care. According to the UK Guardian, he could be cured if Israel would allow him to leave Gaza, but to date his parents’ repeated requests have been denied.

Another victim is 7-month-old Mohammad Khader, whose swelling in the brain required specialized treatment unavailable in Gazan hospitals depleted by the Israeli siege. His distraught parents’ applications asking Israel to allow them to travel abroad were similarly denied. Their tiny son died a few days ago.

Such stories go on and on.

Thomas’s “outrageous” statement

Yet, the rage we see in the U.S. media is directed against none of this. People shot in the head, eyes and brain parts destroyed, the elderly beaten, small children and infants caused to suffer and die, parents to grieve – none of this has caused a hint of anger. In fact, most of it has been considered of too little importance even to report.

Instead, media reports are filled with outrage at “anti-Israel” words spoken by 89-year-old Helen Thomas.

In Thomas’s lifetime Israel has ethnically cleansed over a million people, replaced them with colonists from around the world, committed dozens of massacres, tortured thousands of people, killed and maimed untold numbers of children, mangled limbs, and committed outrages on women, old people, the weak and the infirm.

It has assassinated people throughout the world, invaded numerous countries, spied on the U.S., killed and injured 200 American servicemen (the anniversary is this week), and tortured and imprisoned Americans. All while receiving more American money than any other country on earth.

For years, long before her recent words, Thomas has been the target of Israel’s vicious American volunteers, the Zionist blogosphere abounding with nasty slurs on her looks and her Lebanese ancestry, this latter also consistently emphasized by the media, despite her Kentucky birth and upbringing.

One of the reasons for the ferocious animosity toward her is the fact that Thomas is one of the very few mainstream reporters to challenge the neocon engendered lies that led the U.S. into wars that have caused massive death, destruction and tragedy and to continue to expose ongoing policies of violence and cruelty.

As the same groups and individuals who pushed the US into attacking Iraq have in recent years been escalating their efforts to push the U.S. to now similarly decimate Iranians under the pretext that Iran might be developing nuclear weapons, Thomas’s questioning attempted to elicit from Obama the fact that Israel already posses nuclear weapons. While the rest of the press corps has conspired in the cover-up of this fact and others, Thomas worked to expose them.

Not surprisingly, the many people complicit in these manipulations, such as former Bush spokesperson Ari Fleischer, have led the charge against her.

It is useful to examine the video and context of Thomas’s allegedly “anti-Semitic” comment.

A man, apparently holding a camera right in her face, asks for her comments about Israel. She says, “Tell them to get the hell out of Palestine. Remember, these people are occupied. And it’s their land…” He interrupts her and asks where they should go. She responds, “They should go home. To Germany, Poland, America, and everywhere else.”

While Thomas has since apologized for her hasty words and many Israelis have the right to continue living where they are, the reality is that Israeli settlers did, indeed, come from elsewhere; they are, in fact, illegally occupying Palestinian land (a fact acknowledged even by the U.S. State Department); and international law does require that they leave.

Many commentators evince particular anger at Thomas’s inclusion of Germany and Poland as places to which Israeli colonists should return, suggesting that Hitler is still in control and waiting to pounce.

The happy fact is, however, that World War II and the Nazi holocaust ended well over half a century ago. In Poland today there is a vibrant Jewish revival with a 10-foot tall Menorah being lit in the center of Warsaw during Hanukah, and Germany has become, according to the New York Times, “a country where Jews want to live.” In fact, in recent years more Jews have chosen to immigrate to Germany than to Israel.

Thomas’s call for colonists to return to America (this destination was left out of many articles) is far from outrageous given that a great many West Bank settlers are from the U.S.

Overall, reporting on the incident has largely departed from the standard journalistic practice of quoting people from both sides of an issue. Quotes from Thomas supporters are missing, even though the You Tube page featuring the infamous video contains a large number of comments supporting her. In contrast, quotes from Thomas’s detractors, almost all of them Zionists, are ubiquitous, but generally fail to divulge the speakers’ frequent conflicts of interest.

For example, the Washington Post’s Howard Kurtz quotes Jeffrey Goldberg without mentioning that Goldberg is an Israeli citizen who served as a prison guard at an Israeli prison that held hundreds of Palestinians without charge, some killed in cold blood by the prison commander.

Mainstream media organizations do not seem to have investigated reports that the man who videotaped Thomas, Rabbi David Nesenoff, also made an offensive video featuring himself and another man impersonating a buffoonish Catholic priest and Mexican immigrant.

Similarly, news reports that a high school had disinvited Thomas as a graduation speaker almost never inform readers that many of the school’s parents and students wished Thomas to remain, even though this unreferenced group may represent a majority of the school. Members of this group have created a Facebook page, “Helen Thomas should have been our graduation speaker,” that states:

“The purpose of this group is to quietly but firmly protest the ability of a small minority to impose its will on the larger group through engaging or threatening to engage in disruptive discourse. This group affirms a belief in reasonable discussion and feel that in this scenario, a clear minority was able to override a larger majority by distorting the issues and discussion.”

Replacing Thomas at the upcoming graduation ceremony will be CBS’s Bob Schiefer, who has close family ties to George W. Bush and has rarely, if ever, challenged administration falsehoods that sent the nation to war and that keep it there still.

Regarding his reporting on Israel-Palestine, media watchdog Fairness and Accurate In Reporting (FAIR) issued an alert in 2006 objecting to Schiefer’s “shallow, dismissive coverage of complicated and tragic events.”

It is not known who will take over Thomas’s front-row seat at White House briefings. Given the record of the current press corps, it is likely that Israel partisans are breathing a sign of relief.

One more obstacle to the Zionist juggernaut has just been removed.