It may not have been a pretty exit, as President Obama himself called it “offensive”. But the fact remains that by saying Israelis should “get the hell out of Palestine” Helen Thomas amplified the stifled voices of native peoples all over the world.
Much of Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and yes, America, was occupied through violence, oppression, and murder. Israel’s bloody chapter of history has been no different.
The fact that Jews left Europe to occupy Palestine because of their own plight does not make it right. If anything it reflects the cycle of abuse we see on an individual basis. The abused child grows up to become the abuser. Being the victims of a Holocaust does not give Israelis the right to inflict one on the Palestinians, one that has lasted 60 years.
Helen Thomas was right. They should leave, but they probably will not. Their children have grown up in Israel, unaware of the crimes of their fathers. Those children are innocent, just as the children of American slave owners are, but they still reap the benefits of the suffering inflicted on others. For that, there must be some resolution.
When Mandela opposed Apartheid and spent the better part of his life in jail, much of the western world turned a blind eye. Voices like Helen Thomas were ignored or even shunned. Today, they will ignore her, shun her, and maybe even hate her, but she is right. History will record just how right she was.