Seven months ago, an interviewer’s softball question to Helen Thomas, the dean of the White House press corps, “Any comments on Israel?” led to the explosive answer that cost Thomas her job. Her proclamation for the Jews to “get the hell out of Palestine… and go home to Poland and Germany…” made news around the world. It also brought notoriety to her interlocutor, David Nesenoff, and launched him on an odyssey of speaking and writing about the incident and present day anti-Semitism. It is a mission Nesenoff expects to continue now that he has been appointed publisher and editor of The Jewish Star by the paper’s owners, Clifford and Stuart Richner.
“When it comes to Jewish news, local is global,” Nesenoff said. “And when it comes to Israel news, global affects us locally.”
Nesenoff’s famous interview was seen by millions of viewers within 24 hours of its posting on the Internet last June. Since then, he has written for The Washington Post and appeared on Fox News, CBS News and CNN. Additionally, he has produced a documentary film, lectured to numerous communities and lived in the Old City of Jerusalem for two months. Nesenoff has been embraced by the Orthodox community for exposing Thomas’ bias against the Jewish state. Unfortunately, Nesenoff has received thousands of anti-Semitic emails since the video was posted.
In August, Nesenoff was the Keynote Speaker at Yale University’s inaugural symposium on global anti-Semitism. The Simon Wiesenthal Center named Thomas’ comments as the number one anti-Semitic slur of 2010.
Helen Thomas, who at the time offered regrets for her words and quickly resigned from the Hearst Corporation, has since made further objectionable remarks. Thomas told a recent audience, “Those rich Zionists control Congress, the White House, Wall Street and Hollywood.”
The Jewish Star has maintained award-winning journalism standards including its coverage of sexual abuse inside the Jewish community and its consistent sharp commentary on local and national politics. The recent compelling and controversial Agunah story, first broken by The Jewish Star, was featured in The New York Times.
“I was attracted to the paper’s serious commitment,” Nesenoff said. “And I have great respect for its history in always capturing the relevant Jewish news. I would like to contribute to that journalistic dedication as well as highlight the strengths of our religious Torah communities.” He added, “We will also be steadfast in revealing the truth about those who seek to hurt our local neighborhoods, our people and our homeland.”
Nesenoff will discuss the Helen Thomas affair in an exclusive interview in next week’s Jewish Star, his first issue as publisher.