Obama's role model to journalists — Dorothy Thompson — turned against Zionism and was silenced

Maguire, Gil
Date Written:  2015-04-28
Publisher:  Mondoweiss
Year Published:  2015
Resource Type:  Article
Cx Number:  CX22464

Dorothy Thompson, whose truly stellar career ended in false charges of antisemitism made by Zionists.



In the summer of 1941, she went to London to report on the Blitz and met with the Queen and with Prime Minister Winston Churchill. She fought against isolationism and urged the president to declare war on Germany. In 1942, at a Zionist convention at the Biltmore hotel, she was the keynote speaker and gave a rousing pro-Zionist speech advocating unrestricted Jewish immigration to Palestine. By the end of the war, she was considered one of Zionism’s most effective spokesmen.

All that changed early in 1945 after a fact-finding trip to Palestine. Up until 1945, her anti-Nazi and pro-Zionist credentials were impeccable. What she saw in Palestine totally changed her outlook. She began to write that the proposed establishment of the State of Israel was a formula for disaster, "a recipe for perpetual war" in the Middle East. During her 1945 trip, she discovered that Zionism was not "the liberal crusade that the Zionist leaders envisaged", and that Israel was to be "not a small state of Jews who chose to live in Israel, but a Zionist state destined to become the leading power in the Middle East."

Her anti-Zionist statements and reporting began losing her the support of American Zionists. Her boss at the New York Post dropped her "On the Record" column at the beginning of 1947. He was a strong supporter of Zionism and very close to the Irgunists and Menachem Begin, the leader of this Jewish terrorist group. Thompson had told him, after her trip to Palestine, that "…the situation there is not the way it has been presented by many of the Zionists. It is one of the most complicated and difficult problems on the earth today."

Despite the loss of this important column, she continued her criticism of Zionist actions in Palestine. She concluded, after the 1948 war, that Zionism was "an aggressive, chauvinist movement" and that the new State of Israel was "an expansionist power." She was angered by Jewish terrorism in Israel and appalled by Menachem Begin and the Irgun being treated as heroes in New York City. She was the first and only American journalist to speak out in defense of the Palestinian Arabs and the Arab nations, and was also the first and most prominent American journalist to be smeared with the label of "anti-Semite".

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