National News

Helen Thomas retires after Israel remark flap

Posted June 7, 2010

— Longtime Washington journalist Helen Thomas abruptly retired Monday, according to her employer, Hearst News Service.

The 89-year-old Thomas, dean of the White House press corps, leaves amid a brewing controversy over remarks she made about Israel and Palestinians.

Thomas, known for her confrontational questioning, apologized for comments that were captured on video and have spread widely on the Internet. On the May 27 video, Thomas says Israelis should "get the hell out of Palestine," suggesting they go to Germany, Poland or the U.S.

The Hearst announcement came shortly after White House press secretary Robert Gibbs called her remarks "offensive and reprehensible."

Mel Bernay, director of the Jewish Community Relations Council in Raleigh, said Monday he was relieved that Thomas resigned.

"I was shocked and saddened that a reporter, who has been honored by the White House Press Corps for a long and distinguished career of service, would destroy her legacy with these vile and detestable remarks about Israel and Jews," Bernay said.

"At a time when the Middle East is beset by such protracted and deep-seated conflicts, at a time when peace between Israel and the Palestinian people seems more unattainable than ever, her outburst does nothing to heal but only to create enmity and hatred."


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  • Barely Jun 8, 2010

    @ MakoII
    I agree. Thomas has a point and she can have her opinions, but it's still moronic to say something like she did.

  • MakoII Jun 8, 2010

    This is all Britains fault.

    Thank you Churchill for creating the entanglements of Israel/Palestine, India/Pakistan, Iraq territory covering 3 ethic peoples, etc, etc, etc that we STILL live with today.

    Like expecting BP to clean up the spill and incur all the costs, why are WE paying for Britain's foul-ups!

    Let the former Empire pay for this.

    Helen's opinion is not unfounded. Israel is 100% gonna stay there, that's a modern fact, but they did it at the cost of internment camps for Palestinians, which was reprehensible and inexcusable. I don't agree with Hamas' way, but the chickens do come home to roost when you treat people the way Israel has.

    WHY didn't Germany pay reparations in land to the Jews? They're the ones who stole land in the first place from the dispossessed!

    It's an opinion, and Helen is entitled to it. At least Helen has some history behind it, even if it's outdated and unrealistic.

  • Hans Jun 8, 2010

    "I cannot figure out why either!! Isreal is the only Pro-American(all the time) Democracy in the Middle East. "

    I hardly see how a nation that bombs our naval vessels, kills our soldiers, kills our citizens, spies on us agressively, steals our state secrets and is suspected of having knowledge of 9/11 in advance of the attack which they failed to share can possibly be considered pro-American.

    Today is the anniversary of the US Liberty attack, by the way.

  • Barely Jun 8, 2010

    Clearly there are a bunch of people that should have paid better attention in history class. Israel was organized by the entire allied forces to send all displaced Jewish people after the Second World War. There were already Jews living there anyway. In the late sixties, the arab nations colluded to destroy Israel, and the Palestinians who lived there were encouraged to take up in a refugee camp. Some Palestinians decided to stay. After the Six-Day War, Israel invited back any Palestinians who wanted to return. Many refused and so their refugee camp became the West Bank. Today, Israel is about the only thing preventing total war in the Middle East. Befor the existance of Israel, there was nothing but petty battles between countries in that region. The smartest thing to have been done after WWII, would have been to parcel off part of Germany as a new Israel. People need to quit using todays reporters as their history books. This lady is a prime example why.

  • mep Jun 8, 2010

    Bye bye.... you will not be missed.

  • WHEEL Jun 8, 2010

    The Israeli take over of Palestine would be like the Cherokees taking back North Carolina with Russian or British help. How well would that go down. Oh yeah, they had it a long time ago!

  • pmck Jun 8, 2010

    Um...Israel is pro-Israel. They only tolerate the US because we sell them all the weapons they want and because their bankers own our country. The country Israel hasn't represented the Jewish nation spoken of in the Bible in decades. Open your eyes and read credible journalism. Turn off the television.

  • davidgnews Jun 8, 2010

    She didn't say anything that was racist. She didn't say anything about Nazis, either, nor did she imply any such thing.

  • Bellamia Jun 8, 2010

    Good bye to bad rubbish!

  • original intent Jun 8, 2010

    Who woulda thunk---a racist liberal?? ha...All people discriminate to one level or another in all facets of life..I prefer Dodge over Ford or Chevy...guess that makes me "discriminatory"...