Playboy's 90-year old playmateI sure hope that anyone buying April's Playboy Magazine isn't buying it just for the articles. That's because the April interview is with none other than Helen Thomas.
"I knew exactly what I was doing – I was going for broke. I had reached the point of no return. You finally get fed up…I finally wanted to speak the truth," explains former dean of the White House Press Corps Helen Thomas when asked about her now infamous May 27, 2010 comments on Israel in Playboy's April Interview (issue on newsstands and online at www.playboydigital.com Friday, March 18). The outspoken journalist sparked controversy when a rabbi and blogger asked her for remarks on Israel and she responded "Tell them to get the hell out of Palestine," adding that the Jews "can go home" to "Poland, Germany and America and everywhere else." Shortly thereafter her comments went viral and Thomas abruptly resigned from her post at Hearst Newspapers on June 7, 2010.She goes on to sound like Stephen Walt.
The 90-year-old veteran reporter sat down with Playboy Contributing Editor David Hochman for her first in-depth interview following her contentious remarks. Not only did she share her thoughts on Israel and Palestine, she also discussed her sentiments towards Jews, her supposed retirement, President Obama, Congress's anti-Arab agenda and her obituary. Following are selected quotes from the interview:
On the aftermath of her May 27 remarks about Israel: "I went into self-imposed house arrest for two weeks…Every columnist and commentator jumped on me immediately as anti-Semitic. Nobody asked me to explain myself. Nobody said, 'What did you really mean?'"
On the situation in Palestine: "Everybody knows my feelings that the Palestinians have been shortchanged in every way. Sure, the Israelis have a right to exist – but where they were born, not to come and take someone else's home. I've had it up to here with the violations against the Palestinians…[The Palestinians] are incarcerated and living in an open prison. I say to the Israelis, 'Get out of people's homes!' It's unacceptable to have soldiers knocking on a door at three in the morning and saying, 'This is my home.' And forcing people out of homes they've lived in for centuries? What is this? How can anybody accept it? I mean, Jewish-only roads? [She later corrected herself to say Israeli-only roads.] Would anyone tolerate something like that in America? White-only roads?"
On Palestinian violence against the Israelis: "Of course I don't condone any violence against anyone. But who wouldn't fight for their country? What would any American do if their land was being taken? Remember Pearl Harbor. The Palestinian violence is to protect what little remains of Palestine. The suicide bombers act out of despair and desperation. Three generations of Palestinians have been forced out of their homes – by Israelis – and into refugee camps."
On American support of Israel: "We keep giving Israel everything. Our government bribes the Israelis by saying, 'Please come to the [negotiating] table and we'll give you this and we'll give you that'…Why do you have to bribe people to do the right thing? I don't want my government bribing anybody. I want them demanding. Stop all this aid to Israel when they're killing people!...Why do they send my American tax dollars to perpetuate it?"
Read the whole thing - then you can avoid reading the magazine.