Campus Discontinues Helen Thomas Award; Thomas 'Anti-Semitic'

Candace de Russy

Wayne State University recently junked its Helen Thomas Spirit of Diversity in Media award after the former White House correspondent, in a workshop on anti-Arab bias, said that the U.S. Congress, the White House, Hollywood and Wall Street are owned by the Zionists. She also claimed that Jewish influence made it impossible to criticize Israel in the U.S. More of the same from Thomas. Last summer, she publicly ranted that Jews should "get the hell out of Palestine" and go home to "Poland, Germany and America and everywhere else." Robert Cohen, executive director of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Metropolitan Detroit, commented that it was "very ironic that she made these comments at an event, the purpose of which was to address stereotyping." Ironic, yes, but hardly surprising in today's academy which, as David Solway writes, is busily and "invidiously programming its students with ... a misplaced tolerance for radical Islamic thought and practice." Neither does it astonish, for the same reason, that Thomas received a standing ovation from workshop attendees. Nor that she has been honored by the Society of Professional Journalists and awarded more than 30 honorary degrees. But we should commend Wayne State for seeing the error of its ways.

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