09 June 2010
President Barack Obama has welcomed the immediate retirement of journalist Helen Thomas, 89, following her call on Jews “to get the hell out of Palestine”. Thomas was the longest-serving reporter in the White House press corps. The end of her career was announced by Hearst Corp., where she worked as a newspaper columnist. "Helen Thomas announced Monday that she is retiring, effective immediately," Hearst News Service said in a short statement.
Thomas, who served for decades as White House correspondent for ‘United Press International’ (UPI), apologized last week for the remarks she made about Israel during a "Jewish Heritage Celebration" at the White House at the end of May. Asked at the event by the website ‘RabbiLive.com’ whether she had any comments on Israel, she replied: "Tell them to get the hell out of Palestine. Remember these people are occupied and it's their land, not Germany and not Poland. They can go home, Poland, Germany, and America, and everywhere else."
Obama said in a television interview that Helen Thomas’ remarks were “offensive”. He added: “I think those comments were out of line, and hopefully she recognizes that”. However, Obama praised Thomas' long career as a journalist.
Thomas issued an apology on her website. "I deeply regret my comments I made last week regarding the Israelis and the Palestinians," she said.
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