07 June 2010
Helen Thomas (picture right with President Obama on her birthday last year), at 89 the oldest active member of the White House Press Corps, has been forced to apologize for saying that the Jews should "get the hell out of Palestine" and go “back home to Poland, Germany, America and everywhere else." The Hearst Newspapers columnist posted an apology on her website, stating: "I deeply regret my comments I made last week regarding the Israelis and the Palestinians. 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," she wrote.
The daughter of Lebanese immigrants has covered the administrations of ten US presidents in a career spanning nearly 60 years. She made her controversial comments at a White House Jewish Heritage Celebration at the end of May. Questioned about the Palestinians for ‘RabbiLIVE.com’, Thomas said, "Remember, these people are occupied and it's their land. It's not Germany, not Poland."
Thomas's agency Nine Speakers announced that it had dropped her as a client due to her remarks, and Thomas was disinvited as a speaker for the graduation ceremony at a high school later this month.
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