Helen Thomas, who was booted from the White House press corps last year after making controversial statements about Israel, took up the topic again in April’s issue of Playboy. The interview was conducted by local journalist David Hochman, who flew to Washington to sit down with Thomas. Hochman, a Jew, didn’t shy away from addressing the controversy that lost Thomas her job — and Thomas, as ever, shied away from nothing. When asked if she had any personal antipathy toward Jews, Thomas replied:
No. I think they’re wonderful people. They had to have the most depth. They were leaders in civil rights. They’ve always had the heart for others but not for Arabs, for some reason. I’m not anti-Jewish; I’m anti-Zionist. I am anti Israel taking what doesn’t belong to it. If you have a home and you’re kicked out of that home, you don’t come and kick someone else out.
Thomas and Hochman continued to discuss the issue in some depth, with Thomas becoming emotional and eventually breaking into tears. We may not have loved everything she said, but we are impressed that Playboy gave Thomas the opportunity to explain her views on Israel, instead of dismissing her as an anti-Semite.
As a side note to Playboy: Include strong, trailblazing women like Helen Thomas in the mag with some regularity, and we’ll renew our lapsed subscription.