Reporter Helen Thomas, who as been a familiar face in the front row of the White House press corps for decades, is under fire for comments made in the wake of the Gaza flotilla raid. When asked where Jews should live, Thomas suggested they go back to Poland, Germany, and America. Thomas has already apologized, but has been dropped by her speaking agent and been uninvited from a planned speech to a high school graduation class.
Thomas, a columnist for Hearst Newspapers, issued an apology on her website on Friday for comments that were captured on video by an interviewer for the website RabbiLive.com. On the video dated May 27 (click on YouTube image), Thomas says Israelis should “get the hell out of Palestine,” suggesting they go to Germany, Poland or the U.S. “I deeply regret my comments I made last week regarding the Israelis and the Palestinians,” Thomas wrote on her site on Friday. “They do not reflect my heart-felt 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.” The national director of the Anti-Defamation League, Abraham H. Foxman, said Sunday that Thomas’ apology didn’t go far enough. “Her suggestion that Israelis should go back to Poland and Germany is bigoted and shows a profound ignorance of history,” Foxman said in a statement. “We believe Thomas needs to make a more forceful and sincere apology for the pain her remarks have caused.”
Right-wing and pro-Israel sites are calling for Thomas to lose her White House privileges. Here’s the video.