|Ding-Dong! The (anti-Semitic) Witch Is Dead|
by Gerald A. Honigman
Back in 2003, the Greek Orthodox Metropolitan, Irineos, sought to become the Patriarch of Jerusalem.
Letters with his signature to the late Egyptian ghoul–the West’s current darling and Israel’s alleged “peace (of the grave) partner,” Mahmoud Abbas’s, good buddy, and fellow Fatah terrorist colleague Yasir Arafat–contained, among other things, the following…
“You are aware of the…disgust…all the Holy Sepulchre fathers feel for the descendants of the crucifiers of our Lord Jesus…crucifiers of your people…Jewish conquerors of the Holy Land of Palestine.”
Irineos’ attitude is not rare among Christians–in the Middle East and elsewhere.
Indeed, the quote above is very similar to words spoken by the Greek Catholic Archbishop of Jerusalem, Hilarion Capucci, decades earlier; like those coming out of the mouths of Egyptian Coptic popes; and so forth. So, it’s safe to assume that many people share these beliefs. Helen Thomas, the famous American news reporter, whose family came from Lebanon, most probably did. She died in late July at the age of ninety-two.
In the Middle East, some folks simply inherited and modified such ideas from traditional Christian teaching. Others, feeling exposed and vulnerable themselves living among subjugating, dominant Muslim populations, sought (seek) common ground with their own off again/on again persecutors by turning the focus on everyone’s favorite common demon–their kilab yahud (Jew dogs).
Recall that Christians played an important role in the nascent Arab nationalist movement in the late 19th and 20th centuries, and the above explanation was certainly one of the main motivating factors. This was not unlike some Jews seeking to be absorbed under the potentially protective, inclusive umbrella of various socialist movements in Christian Europe around the same time.
Forgive me, but I simply cannot be a hypocrite about what comes next. I cannot make good out of evil just because evil is now buried underground.
Soon after Helen Thomas died, Owen Ullmann wrote a piece for USA Today about her “enduring legacy.” He mentioned her “pro-Palestinian” bent, but then went on to state that she would have felt likewise if it were Israelis whose land had been occupied.
I have a question for that journalistic genius…
Is a victim any less a victim because his victimization has been the longest enduring?
Millennia before an Arab ever conquered, settled, and occupied the land of Israel in the 7th century C.E., Jews fought off one earlier occupier after another.
Rome knew the land as Iudaea/Judaea and only renamed it Syria Palaestina to pour salt onto the wound after the Jews’ second major revolt for freedom and independence (the Bar Kochba revolt) from the conqueror of much of the known world in 133-135 C.E.
The emperor, Hadrian, deliberately renamed the land after the Jews’ historic enemies, the non-Semitic (let alone non-Arab) Philistines–the “Sea People” of Egyptian records and David and Goliath fame, from the islands around Crete.
The contemporary Roman and Roman-sponsored historians–Tacitus, Josephus, Dio Casius, Pliny, and so forth–had much to say about the Jewish identity of the land themselves. Follow closely excerpts from just this one telling, favorite quote from Vol. II, Book V, The Works of Tacitus:
“Vespasian succeeded to the command…It inflamed his resentment that the Jews were the only nation that had not yet submitted…Titus was appointed by his father to complete the subjugation of Judaea…he commanded three legions in Judaea itself… To these he added the twelfth from Syria and the third and twenty-second from Alexandria… amongst his allies were a band of Arabs, formidable in themselves and harboring towards the Jews the bitter animosity usually subsisting between neighboring nations.”
So, Helen’s ghost, Owen Ullmann, and like-minded folks…are you listening?
Your allegedly poor, abused, occupied native Arabs were actually invading vultures joining imperial Rome to get a piece of their Judaean kill.
Hundreds of years later, on the very eve of the Arabs’ own imperial Caliphal conquest of Israel/Judaea/Palestine, non-Jewish sources recorded an army of tens of thousands of Jews aiding the Persian army against the hated Byzantines. Before Islam, Jews and Persians had centuries of good relations. Among other things, Cyrus the Great freed them from Babylonian captivity and had it recorded himself in the famed Kurash Prism http://www.geraldahonigman.com.....r-could-be .
Yes, it’s true that Arabs later also came to inhabit the land. That’s why partition of it was the only just solution–like what occurred on the Indian subcontinent creating Pakistan and India, and so forth. In Arab eyes, however, only they have rights in the region–and not only in the land of Israel.
Ullmann claims that Helen Thomas always spoke up for the underdog. Perhaps I’m mistaken, but I don’t ever recall her championing the scores of millions of non-Arab folks in the region–black African Sudanese, Imazighen/”Berbers,” Kurds, and so forth–whose own lands were conquered, occupied, settled, and forcibly Arabized to the point where their own native languages and cultures were outlawed by Helen’s Arab buddies.
Where was Thomas when some 200,000 Kurds were slaughtered during the Arabs’ Anfal Campaign in Iraq? Or when millions of black Africans were slaughtered, enslaved, expelled, and so forth in the Sudan and elsewhere on the African continent? Israel is not perfect–but compared to anything around it, it’s still a nation of relative saints. One would never know this by anything Thomas had ever said or wrote.
Now, if I am wrong, and Helen did raise hell for the above causes, please correct me. But, I looked and could not find…
My instincts and ample evidence suggest that, like too many others, she simply and selectively chose to take aim at the resurrected nation of the Jews in a post-Auschwitz age where anti-Zionism has become more acceptable and respectable than good, old fashioned anti-Semitism focusing on the “deicide people.” But it’s still a bone in such folks’ throats that the allegedly perpetual “Wandering Jews” ain’t wandering anymore.
Despite the attempts at whitewashing, there is no doubt that Helen Thomas was a hateful anti-Semite–and I use that word very carefully. Her Arab nationalist hatred of the Jewish nation was definitely rooted in her religious hatred of Jews.
Many people have short memories, especially of events which don’t directly impact themselves. So, let’s take some steps back on Memory Lane. I first wrote about this a few years back, but it’s worth a review.
On May 27, 2010, at a Jewish heritage event near the White House, Thomas opined that Jews “should get the hell out of Palestine” and that Palestine is a country of occupation, whose occupiers should leave the region, returning to “Poland, Germany and America…”
Notice that she conveniently didn’t mention the half of Israel’s Jews who fled with little but the shirts on their backs as refugees from the so-called “Arab“/Muslim world.
So, who really was Ms. Thomas? Here are some facts relevant to this discussion…
Born to a Lebanese family with origins from Tripoli, her father’s original surname was Antonius, later changed to Thomas. So, what’s in a name?
Sometimes, not much.
But sometimes there is a lot that can be explained knowing both first and surnames.
Another famous Antonius was also from a Lebanese family who moved to Egypt and later claimed fame as a “Palestinian” leader. I don’t know if Helen was related to him or not.
George Antonius, author of one of the most important books about Arabs ever written (The Arab Awakening, 1938) would later become an informal advisor to Hajj Amin al-Husseini, mufti of Jerusalem and the Palestinian Arabs’ main political leader. Among the Mufti’s other accomplishments, he became a close ally of Hitler to help solve both of their Jew problems. He thus helped to organize Bosnian Muslims into several divisions of the Waffen SS and other units. The largest was the 13th Handschar Division, which committed atrocities against Jews, Gypsies, Communists, and their traditional Christian Serb rivals.
Now, the Mufti’s good buddy, George Antonius, was a Greek Orthodox Christian…like the dude we read about in the very first paragraph of this essay. It is my educated guess that Helen Antonius/Thomas was also Greek Orthodox. As with all other religions and peoples, there’s both good and bad to be found among these folks as well.
Having said that, there is also an unfortunate fact of life which comes into play here.
For a number of reasons, with a few exceptions, Christianity’s mix with Arab nationalism has stooped to the worst depths of a long-legacy of Church-inspired Jew hatred. I have already covered some of this above.
Yet, to understand this animus further, it is important to note the important influence that the 4th century Archbishop of Constantinople, Church Father Saint John Chrysostom, has had on the teachings of the eastern churches–to which many of the Middle East’s Christians belong (not that the western were any better).
While in Antioch, John denounced Jews and Judaizing Christians in a series of eight sermons (homilies) delivered to Christians taking part in Jewish festivals and other Jewish observances. Ironically, scores of millions of Evangelicals would likely have also been his targets today.
Among other things, it has been suggested that Chrysostom wanted Jewish Christians, who for centuries had kept connections to their Jewish roots, to choose between Judaism and Christianity. His sermons later played a considerable part in the further development of Christian anti-Semitism. Later, those homilies were extensively used by the Nazis in their war of extermination against the Jews.
Here’s a taste of Chrysostom’s teaching in Homily 1, some sixteen centuries ago…
“The Jewish people were driven by their drunkenness and plumpness to the ultimate evil; they kicked about, they failed to accept the yoke of Christ, nor did they pull the plow of his teaching. Another prophet hinted at this when he said: “Israel is as obstinate as a stubborn heifer” … Although such beasts are unfit for work, they are fit for killing. And this is what happened to the Jews: while they were making themselves unfit for work, they grew fit for slaughter. This is why Christ said: “But as for these my enemies, who did not want me to be king over them, bring them here and slay them.”What a saint! Read those last few lines above again very carefully.
“You (Jews) did slay Christ, you did lift violent hands against the Master, you did spill his precious blood. This is why you have no chance for atonement, excuse, or defense.”
Sound familiar? Check out Irineos’s above opening quote again.
Helen Thomas was undoubtedly no stranger to such powerful and penetrating teaching. While others may have been able to resist acting on the age-old, deep-seated prejudice such religious “truths” promote, her constant singling out Israel and its Jews for alleged “crimes” which, in reality, are far less than those happening elsewhere (especially in the “Arab” world) strongly suggests that she could simply not make an objective assessment of anything having to do with either Jews or the Jew of the Nations.
Owen Ullmann’s article spoke of Thomas’s legacy.
Whatever else she allegedly was, her legacy was also that of a nasty, one-sided, bigot. Unfortunately, she has plenty of company these days.