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RightNation.US: Was Apology For “Get Out Of Palestine” Genuine? - RightNation.US

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As the eldest child, and the only boy, I was often called upon to apologize to my sisters. Whether I was pulling their hair, breaking their toys, or insulting their character, our mother would often demand a punitive apology. The regret I expressed at such moments was not for any harm I caused, but for having been caught.

Once, when I was in the sixth grade, I was horsing around with my youngest sister near several sheets of propped up drywall. I carelessly knocked over the stack, causing an avalanche which my sister barely escaped. My mother came unhinged, insisting my actions could have killed my sister.

I replayed the moment in my head, imagining heavy sheets of drywall piling atop my sister’s body, shattering bones, crushing the life from her. The thought was terrifying, and I realized it would have been my fault. Imagining such a scene caused me to not only regret my reckless behavior, but choose to be less reckless in the future. When I apologized, it was from the heart.

When one is truly sorry for something, it is evident in both the content and delivery of their apology. The truly repentant recognize what they did wrong and pledge restraint in the future. Conversely, lame and insincere apologies are made reluctantly, under coercion, and often deflect blame.

Journalist Helen Thomas, long regarded as the “dean” of the White House press corp, resigned in disgrace Monday amid controversy surrounding remarks made at the White House’s official celebration of Jewish American Heritage Month. A reporter from a Jewish online news service asked Thomas for a comment on Israel.


Tell them to get the hell out of Palestine… Remember, [the Palestinians] are occupied and it’s their land. It’s not Germany’s, it’s not Poland’s.

Asked where Jews should go, Thomas answered, “They should go home, to Poland, Germany…”

Watch the video.

In the midst of overwhelming backlash, Thomas issued a statement on Friday:


I deeply regret my comments I made last week regarding the Israelis and the Palestinians. They do not reflect my heart-felt belief that peace will come to the Middle East only when all parties recognize the need for mutual respect and tolerance. May that day come soon.

It is difficult to accept this apology as genuine. Thomas’s former off-the-cuff comment was clearly indicative of her true “heart-felt belief.” When offered the opportunity to qualify the remark, Thomas only specified her call for Israel’s dissolution. The content of her apology cannot be reconciled with the record. For the apology to have merit, Thomas must refute the comment which necessitated it, not merely express regret.

As things stand, Thomas cannot rightly claim to value “mutual respect and tolerance” while calling for Jews to return to lands where they were horrifically persecuted. Strictly speaking, tolerance involves coexistence, not exile. Thomas’s view of tolerance is apparently deference to the demands of Palestinian Arabs over the sovereignty of Israel.

A genuine apology would have been significantly different, detailing how her comment was wrong. It is not enough to regret an incident. Surely, any criminal caught red-handed regrets their action. A true apology involves repentance, recognition of an action as wrong, and commitment to improved behavior.

From Thomas, we get a statement of regret and a resignation under tremendous pressure. It seems more likely she feels wronged than in the wrong.

6 Comments On This Entry

Walter, you are much more generous to Thomas than I. I take her remark to mean those Jew should go back to Poland...back to Auschwitz and back into the ovens. I think she was more sorry she got caught that that she made the remark.
I don't even credit her for being sorry she got 'caught'.
And with the plethora of apologies for every 'sin' from an off color "joke" to lying about your military service, apologies have lost nearly all value.
I remember then Representative Cynthia McKinney when she was caught assaulting a Capitol Hill Police Officer. Her complete lack of even phony sincerity, all but blaming the Police for the "escalation" of the event, was so carefully crafted and filled with weasel words that she might as well have said "Talk to the hand".
Thomas' 'apology' was as insincere and phony as possible.
Like most others, I believe that her off the cuff, unscripted and crude comment was precisely a reflection of her "heart felt" beliefs about the Jewish people in general and Israel in particular.
As many people have noted, replace ANY other ethnic group or religion (except Christian) in her comments and no apology would have been demanded. Her "Free speech" rights, and standing as a journalist, would have provided all the cover she needed. Certainly the left would have circled the wagons to protect and defend her.
I'm thrilled that finally, long past when it should have happened, the old woman has 'retired' from employment with any kind of "News" organization.
But I am certain that, baring some physical calamity, her departure from the public eye will be short lived.
Heck, even Dan Blather, caught red handed trying to single handily influence a Presidential Election with patent falsehoods, has gigs with several 'new' media outlets.
Still, excellent blog Mr Hudson, as always. The part about the drywall, perfect example of how sometimes the apology of sibling to almost harmed sibling can actually be a sincere and life changing event.
Nah, I'd be hard pressed to believe anything from Helen Thomas is genuine. With her ilk, it's ALL about posturing and appearances - so much so that I wonder if she even knows the difference between genuine and fake anymore - and if I saw her crying at a funeral I'd be wondering what she has to gain from the appearance.
I think you hit it on the head. She's sorry she got caught. No, she's sorry that people are finally fed up with her. She's sorry that the new media is kicking her ass and holding her responsible. She's not sorry for her hatred of everything Jewish- she revels in that.
No, it wasn't.
No, I don't think an apology made in an attempt to keep a job (what exactly has she done to earn a paycheck for the last 15 yrs?) has any sincerity to it; I think her original comments about "Get out of Palestine" were the sincere ones since she made them thinking that she was safe in doing so.

I have to admit I'm really surprised there were repercussions. This tells me that either her employer is desperate to keep what readers they may stall have, or they were just looking for an excuse to dump her, and this gives them some cover of 'feigned outrage'.
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