Haters reveal more than they think
Sometimes you have to work very hard for luck. And sometimes it just happens. So what was the situation with Rabbi David F. Nesenoff and Helen Thomas, the man who exposed the revered White House reporter's hateful bigotry?
As Nesenoff explains in the Washington Post, he didn't set out to trap Ms. Thomas. He was invited to the White House for a Jewish heritage celebration, he interviewed everyone he could for his son's website, saw Thomas and told his son and his friend--the real techies behind that video--that she "was the most famous reporter in the world." And so they decided to interview her; she was very gracious even when he innocently asked his now famous question, a logical one, as it was a gathering to celebrate Jewish heritage.
"Any comments on Israel? We're asking everybody today." Like saying a password to enter a new, secret place. "Tell them to get the hell out of Palestine," she replied, and "go home" to Poland and Germany. We were in.
She didn't say that the blockade was unjust, or that aid was not getting to Gaza, or that there was a massacre on the high seas, or that East Jerusalem is occupied, or that the settlements are immoral . . . and get out and go back to West Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Haifa and Eilat. No. This was not the two-state solution. This was get the hell out and go back to the places of the final solution, Poland and Germany. The Jew has no connection with the land of Israel.
And why? Because, as Thomas went on to explain to me, "I'm from Arab descent." That's it? That's all you got? Do we all travel with only our parents' stereotypes to guide us, never going beyond them to get to a peaceful destination?
Her answer was revealing, Nesenoff asserts.
Where before I saw a foggy anti-Israel, anti-Jewish link, it's now clear. This feeling is not about statehood. It's about an ingrown, organic hate. It's a sentiment that bears no connection to history, dates, passages or verses. Erase the facts, the dates and the lore. Erase the Jew. Incredibly, even the Nazis said to the Jews, "Go home to Palestine." But Thomas and a babbling stream in our world and country dictate to Jewish people to "go home to Poland and Germany." Yeah, I said "oooh."
My "oooh" was the sound of the shofar ram's horn calling a loud primal tikeya, the extended ancient whole note from my very core. My existence was being erased. Every room in every Holiday Inn in America has, next to the bed, in the drawer, a Bible, beside the yellow pages and the breakfast menu. Christianity believes in the Jewish ancestry. Islam believes in the prophets Moses and Jesus. Can we just rip away the history of Jews in Israel like a Band-Aid, one quick motion across the centuries? Oooh.
The very few times I've been the unexpected recipient of such raw, naked hate I too was startled, managing a lame reply something also like "ooh!" And upon later reflection, I realized the hater accidentally revealed more than s/he knew. Just like Thomas.
Nesenoff alas, has many more ooohs! as Thomas' fans and those that agree with her have threatened him with death. Ooooh! Not a surprise.