WASHINGTON (JTA) -- Helen Thomas quit her job with Hearst in the wake of mounting outrage over her assertion that Israeli Jews should "return" to Poland, Germany and the United States.
"Helen Thomas announced Monday that she is retiring, effective immediately," said a statement issued Monday by the Hearst Corp. "Her decision came after her controversial comments about Israel and the Palestinians were captured on videotape and widely disseminated on the Internet."
Update: JTA is reporting that Thomas has retired, effective immediately.
Walt Whitman High School in Bethesda, MD, a prosperous Washington suburb, had a graduation speaker all lined up for the June 14 event. But then the proposed speaker was caught on camera saying Israels should “get the hell out of Palestine” and maybe just go back where they came from – presumably places like Germany and Poland.
That was Helen Thomas, the Hearst Newspapers columnist and a member of the White House press corps for 60 years. Her comments produced the predictable reaction, with some Jewish groups calling for Hearst to give her the ax because of her blatant bias against the Jewish state and some Jewish Republicans trying to lay the controversy in the lap of the Obama administration.
CARACAS, Venezuela (JTA) -- Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez called Israel a "genocidal state" during nationally broadcast comments following violent clashes aboard a Gaza-bound flotilla.
Chavez called Israel a "cursed terrorist and murderous state" amid shouts of “Long Live Palestine” during a June 1 speech, the day after Israeli Navy commandos boarded a Gaza-bound ship and nine people were killed in the ensuing violence. He also accused Israel of supporting the local opposition against his government.
(JTA) -- Veteran White House correspondent Helen Thomas has issued an apology for saying that Jews should "get the hell out of Palestine."
Thomas said Jews living in Israel should "go back home to Poland, Germany, America and everywhere else," during videotaped remarks to Rabbi David Nesenoff of RabbiLive.com on the sidelines of the White House Jewish heritage event on May 27.
The videotape of Thomas's remarks had over 900,000 views as of Sunday morning.
WASHINGTON (JTA) -- Democrats pressed Republicans to distance themselves from a major donor involved in Richard Nixon's campaign against Jewish government employees.
Fred Malek's role in demoting Jews in the Bureau of Labor Statistics while working as personnel director in the Nixon administration was first revealed in 1988, when it led to his resignation as deputy chairman of the Republican National Committee. He subsequently reached out to Jewish groups to make amends.
Eager to win back control of Albany, New York’s Republicans engaged in a spirited battle over the top of their party’s ticket Wednesday at their convention in Manhattan, with supporters of Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy, a Democrat, struggling to get him on the ballot.
Although Levy, who had the backing of GOP state chairman Ed Cox, had enough support to get on the ballot had he been a Republican, 28 percent, he failed to muster enough support in a second roll call to allow him on the ballot before switched parties.
My recent visit to the White House was a moving experience, and not simply because it was the White House, though one has to be pretty cynical not to be moved by that alone. I was there with a group of about 150 others, including Hall-of-Famer, Sandy Koufax, who were invited by President and Mrs. Obama to join them in the first-ever White House celebration of Jewish American Heritage month.
Jewish news this week has been dominated by the flotilla crisis, but there's another Jewish problem still brewing: the fate of Jewish art museums. You'll remember that about a year and a half ago, Brandeis University announced that it was considering selling all the artwork in its small, but precious and impressive Rose Art Museum. Warhol's, de Kooning's and many other mid-century treasures were on display on museum's walls, and the university, facing its own dire fiscal problems, thought they could make money quick be selling it.
WASHINGTON (JTA) -- The Obama administration appears to be rebuffing calls from some Jewish groups for the United States to be more assertive and public in defending Israel regarding the flotilla incident.
The bluntest appeal for a more pronounced pro-Israel posture came from Abraham Foxman, the Anti-Defamation League's national director, who is in Israel meeting with the Israeli leadership.
Shaping public opinion on the Gaza blockade, 140 characters at a time.
Just moments after the Israeli navy boarded the Turkish Mavi Marmara ship in the Mediterranean en route to Gaza, an explosive battle of another kind was playing out on the Facebook and Twitter fronts.
The phrases “Gaza flotilla” and “#freedomflotilla” were among the three highest “trending topics” on Twitter on Monday morning, Eastern Standard Time. By Tuesday morning, “flotilla” still remained among the top 10.