Hearst Corporation today announced the retirement of White House columnist Helen Thomas.
Prior to the announcement, at least two Jewish organizations said that Hearst Newspapers should suspend Thomas for saying Jews in Israel should “get the hell out of Palestine” and go back to Germany and Poland.
The famous political journalist who has covered every president since Dwight Eisenhower, later issued a public apology, but it appears to be falling on some deaf ears.
“Helen Thomas has showed herself to be a bigot and her ‘apology’ fails to address the anti-Semitism of her comments. She has no place in the White House briefing room and should at the very least be suspended,” said Jerry Silverman, president and CEO of the Jewish Federations of North America, and Rabbi Steve Gutow, president of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs, in a joint statement.
Thomas said Jews living in Israel should “go back home to Poland, Germany, America and everywhere else.” Her remarks were during videotaped remarks to Rabbi David Nesenoff of RabbiLive.com on the sidelines of the White House Jewish Heritage Day event on May 27.
According to JTA, The videotape of Thomas’ remarks had more than 900,000 views as of Sunday morning.
Thomas, who works for Hearst Newspapers, issued an apology last Friday.
“I deeply regret my comments I made last week regarding the Israelis and the Palestinians,” she said in a written statement. “They do not reflect my heartfelt belief that peace will come to the Middle East only when all parties recognize the need for mutual respect and tolerance. May that day come soon.”
Thomas, 89, is the daughter of Lebanese immigrants to the United States.