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Pro-Israel Pundit Under Fire


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Syndicated columnist Cal Thomas, whose work has previously been praised by the Monitor, has run afoul of an American-Muslim organization that is demanding his column be dropped for what the group calls his “racist and quasi-genocidal” views.This is not the first time Thomas has faced intense criticism from Arab organizations outraged by his unflinchingly pro-Israel positions, but his column of June 6, in which he advocated a large-scale removal of Palestinians from Israel, threatened to ignite a firestorm.

“It should now be clear,” Thomas wrote, “that Israel cannot tolerate a huge Arab population within its borders, so a political decision must be made. Most Arabs and Palestinians appear to be nonviolent but it can be difficult to tell the difference….Israel should declare its intention to transfer large numbers of its Palestinian residents to Arab nations.”

For those whose delicate sensibilities recoil at the notion of transfer, Thomas explained that “it sounds radical until one considers that is precisely what Kuwait and Saudi Arabia have done.

“After the Palestinians assisted Saddam Hussein in Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait during the Gulf War (which Arafat cheered while calling on Hussein to shell Israel), Kuwait forcibly evicted and transferred to Jordan about 300,000 Palestinians, labeling them as traitors and a fifth column.

“Saudi Arabia also recognized Arafat’s betrayal of their Kuwaiti hosts by transferring about 350,000 Palestinians to Jordan.”

And Thomas reminded readers of what happened in 1970, when the PLO “tried to overthrow King Hussein of Jordan. Hussein killed thousands and drove Arafat and his Palestinians into Lebanon. Arafat, who had broken numerous agreements by then, began a 12-year reign of terror against Christian and Muslim Lebanese. More than 100,000 Lebanese were murdered, raped and tortured by Arafat’s Palestinians.”In a letter to Thomas’s syndicator, Tribune Media Services (TMS), Ibrahim Hooper of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) charged that Thomas’s views “would be more at home in the Nazi-era publication Der Sturmer than in newspapers subscribing to Tribune Media Services.”

Hooper wondered whether “Mr. Thomas will next recommend avoiding the costs and drain on resources associated with the elimination of a racial minority by instead setting up cheap and efficient extermination centers. After all, it seems Thomas believes Palestinians are a genetically inferior stock that must be prevented from polluting Israel’s racial and religious purity.”

Hooper called on TMS to immediately drop Thomas’s column and apologize for its distribution of what Hooper characterized as Thomas’s “fascistic” views.

Cal Thomas, ironically, happens to be exactly the kind of person the Anti-Defamation League and other secular Jewish organizations are always warning us against: a politically conservative white evangelical Christian. (Thomas at one time even served as vice president of – cover the children’s eyes – Jerry Falwell’s Moral Majority, an organization that came under relentless demonization by Jewish liberals throughout the 1980′s.)

But Thomas has repeatedly demonstrated the very fearlessness in defending Israel and attacking its adversaries that American Jewish leaders so desperately lack.

In a televised discussion a few years back on whether Arafat should be invited to visit the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, Thomas minced no words. Arafat, he said, “doesn’t need to go to the Holocaust Museum to find out what it’s all about. He knows what it’s all about, and this is part of the difficulty….Yasir Arafat is one of the most evil men on the world’s stage today.”

Still need insight into what makes Thomas tick? Asked once on C-Span’s “Booknotes” to describe what makes him happiest, Thomas listed just a few things – among them hearing from people “who thank me for standing for Israel and the Jewish people and against anti-Semitism.”

Jason Maoz can be reached at jmaoz@jewishpress.com

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About the Author: Jason Maoz is the Senior Editor of The Jewish Press.


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