Thursday, June 10, 2010

Washington Post letter: Helen Thomas's controversial voice

In today's (Thursday's) Washington Post: (second letter)

Helen Thomas's controversial voice

As a long-ago graduate of another Bethesda high school who now lives in Israel, I'm glad to hear that Helen Thomas won't speak at Walt Whitman's graduation.

Ms. Thomas's comments that Jews should leave Israel and "go home" to Poland or Germany were no different from hateful comments from others about African Americans "going home" to Africa or Hispanic Americans "going home" to other countries.

Israel was created legally by League of Nations mandate and United Nations vote. Israel has also been willing to live in peace alongside a Palestinian state as early as the 1948 partition plan and as recently as the Gaza withdrawal in 2005. If the Palestinians would accept that Jews are "home" in Israel and stop being fueled to hatred by comments such as those of Ms. Thomas, we could hope to reach peaceful coexistence.

Graduates entering the adult world need to know that freedom of speech comes with responsibility. There is too much hateful speech in our world, and such speech is not an expression of freedom but an impediment to freedom.

Dov Bruce Krulwich, Beit Shemesh, Israel

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