web analytics
August 27, 2014 / 1 Elul, 5774
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat (L) visits the JewishPress.com booth at The Event. And the Winners of the JewishPress.com Raffle Are…

Congratulations to all the winners of the JewishPress.com raffle at The Event



Home » InDepth » Op-Eds »

‘Rabbi Live’ Turns Sights On Obama After Helen Thomas


Rabbi David Nesenoff has given Accuracy in Media the most detailed account yet of how his encounter with veteran White House correspondent Helen Thomas caused him to reevaluate not only his view of the media, but of the White House and President Obama.

Nesenoff is a self-described liberal Democrat who used to think Obama should be given a chance to change U.S. foreign policy for the better. Now he worries about the existence of the state of Israel.

He says he is increasingly troubled by the failure of Obama to speak forcefully about the right of Israel to exist, at a time when some of the country’s neighbors are more determined than ever to destroy it.

Thomas said the Jews ought to “get the hell out of Palestine” and presumably turn the land over to the Arabs and Muslims. She also said they should return to countries like Germany and Poland, where the Holocaust took place, which ultimately led to the creation of the Jewish homeland in Israel.

Nesenoff tells AIM that he has learned a lesson in a personal way – that anti-Semitism is alive and well. He says he has felt the brunt of it as a result of exposing Thomas.

He explained, “It kind of rocked my world a little, because I have to kind of reevaluate my life and my standing and the agendas, because I’m a New York Democrat, Jewish, liberal, supporter of Obama, [and] donated to his candidacy for a year.”

He said he came to believe in Obama because the media constantly said, “give him a chance.” But now he questions the media and Obama’s policy toward Israel, even though the Obama White House denounced Thomas’s comments.

Personally, the rabbi was surprised at the venomous e-mails he received and attacks in the media against him. After all, he didn’t take Helen Thomas’s words out of context and he didn’t suggest or urge that she be fired or resign.

Clearly angry, he said, “They want to make me out to be a racist – how dare they! How silly is that? How stupid of them, how buffoonish of them to call themselves journalists and not use the luxury of this beautiful media of [the] Internet in a responsible fashion.”

All of this stems from a chance encounter Thomas had with Nesenoff and his son on the grounds of the White House on May 27.

Nesenoff and his son and a friend were there for a White House ceremony honoring Jewish Heritage Week. Both the father and son have blogs, and they were asking people on camera for their views of Israel.

They openly had a camera as Thomas passed by. He simply asked the question, “Any comments on Israel?”

Expecting perhaps to hear something in support of Israel and the Jews, instead Thomas was venomous.

Nesenoff’s initial reaction was shock but he thought other people might not regard it that way. He called up a reporter at a Jewish newspaper about the comments and was told this was nothing new from Thomas.

Nevertheless, he still thought it was newsworthy and waited for his son to post the interview on YouTube and his website, RABBIlive.com. It was only then, more than a week later, that word about the video – and the video – got out, creating a storm of controversy.

Fox News reported it, followed by the rabbi being invited on “Fox & Friends” to personally discuss it. The rest of the media tried to catch up. By the time The New York Times reported on it, Thomas had resigned her special place in the White House press room. But the Times didn’t even then report the most egregious part of what she said.

The media consensus was that the comments reflected Thomas’s differences with Israel and U.S. policy in the Middle East, and that this was nothing new.

But Nesenoff argues that her comments are new – and that they are not just anti-Israel but anti-Semitic.

He explains, “There are issues [on which] Israelis disagree with their government. And, by the way, they’re allowed to without being beheaded. That’s one of the only countries in the region [where people] can disagree with their government, and vote against their government, and protest their government, without being beheaded and killed. There are American rabbis, there are Jews all over the world that might disagree with something Israel does, or doesn’t do . But – but – when you start talking about the very existence of the state, that’s not up for negotiation. That’s anti-Semitic. That’s out of the realm of some political, geographical, regional discussion. That’s not about fences, or Gaza, or Golan, or West Bank, East Bank, West Jerusalem, East Jerusalem .”

About the Author: Roger Aronoff is a media analyst with Accuracy in Media (www.aim.org) and is the writer/director of the award-winning documentary "Confronting Iraq: Conflict and Hope." He can be contacted at roger.aronoff@aim.org.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “‘Rabbi Live’ Turns Sights On Obama After Helen Thomas”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Strike on Golan Yekev
Israeli Wounded from Syrian Shelling on Golan
Latest Indepth Stories

Reportedly, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates have formed a bloc that seeks to counter Islamist influence in the Middle East.

One wonders how the IDF could be expected to so quickly determine the facts.

While there is no formula that will work for everyone, there are some strategies that if followed carefully and consistently can help our children – and us – gain the most from the upcoming school year.

We risk our lives to help those who do what they can to kill to our people .

Twain grasped amazingly well the pulse of the Jewish people.

The entertainment industry appears divided about the conflict between Israel and Hamas.

Israelis in Gaza border communities need to get out; who will help them?

The contrast between the mentality of Israel and the mentality of Hamas was never so loudly expressed as when the Arab killers became heroes and the Jewish killers became prisoners.

There is a threat today representing a new category of missionary:They call themselves “Hayovel.”

Just as we would never grant legitimacy to ISIS, we should not grant legitimacy to Hamas.

Is Woodstock still leading the world to destruction?

Wye would be seen to have set the groundwork for the creation of a Palestinian state

Blaming Israel for the violence in Gaza, he ends up justifying Hamas’s terrorism.

In the Thirties it was common for anti-Semites to call on Jews to “go to Palestine!”

More Articles from Roger Aronoff

Rabbi David Nesenoff has given Accuracy in Media the most detailed account yet of how his encounter with veteran White House correspondent Helen Thomas caused him to reevaluate not only his view of the media, but of the White House and President Obama.

    Latest Poll

    Do you think the FAA ban on US flights to Israel is political?






    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/rabbi-live-turns-sights-on-obama-after-helen-thomas/2010/07/07/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: