'Congress, White House, Hollywood, Wall Street ... owned by the Zionists'

The Detroit Free Press reports that Thomas made her controversial comments during a workshop by Arab Detroit in Dearborn, Mich., at which she delivered a short talk. Her speech drew a standing ovation. Asked what she thought was the reason for U.S. policy on Israel, Thomas told the Free Press: "Because they own the ink. They also own the airwaves," adding that she was referring to "Zionists."

“Thomas is not merely saying that ‘Jews own Hollywood’ (an assertion that is actually not even controversial) or ‘Jews own Wall Street,’ ” McCain writes on his website, The Other McCain. “What Thomas is saying is that America waged war in Afghanistan and Iraq entirely because of ‘Zionist’ influence.”

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“Leaving aside any debate about the overall wisdom of Bush-era foreign policy, is it really the case that the root of the world’s problems is the insidious (and allegedly insuperable) influence of a Jewish conspiracy? Or is it not rather the case, as I am inclined to believe, that the incitement of hatred against Israel by Arab demagogues — whose ranks Helen Thomas proudly joins — is the real root of this problem?”

In an age of déjà vu, most recently suggested by a new Jane Fonda workout video and the resemblance to the Pentagon Papers of Julian Assange’s WikiLeaks caper, it is worthwhile going back to Gen. Vo Nguyen Giap, the principal commander of the war in Vietnam from the north. He knew he would beat the Americans, he said later — not on the battlefield where he was vastly outgunned, but in the living rooms of Americans who watched the war on television. And by the “useful idiots” — Stalin’s phrase — fellow travelers, coat carriers, demagogues and supporters in the American press and mass culture, who surreptitiously supported his positions.

Surely Israel’s enemies today are likewise feeling fortified.