Helen Thomas Quits in Wake of Israel Controversy
06/07/10
JTA
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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."

Thomas was asked by Rabbi David Nesenoff on May 27 if she had "any comments on Israel."

"Tell them to get the hell out of Palestine," she said.

Nesenoff, who was attending the first Jewish American Heritage Month event at the White House, asked where Jews should go.

"Go home," Thomas said. Asked to elaborate, she said, "Poland, Germany and America, and everywhere else."

Nesenoff did not post his video to his website, RabbiLIVE.com, until last week. Subsequent to its release a number of Jewish groups and figures asked for Thomas' removal, if not from Hearst as a columnist then from her front-row center perch in the White House press room.

Thomas has since apologized for the comment, but some critics said the apology was evasive.

"I deeply regret my comments I made last week regarding the Israelis and the Palestinians," said the apology posted on her website. "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."

 

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Last Update:

06/09/2010 - 07:09

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Helen Thomas crossed the line of professional journalism with her recent hateful comments on Israel and Israelis. Hearst Newspapers was correct in forcing her to resign her White House reporter job. I wrote an in-depth commentary on this situation on my Internet blog before her resignation titled "COMMENTARY: It's Time for Helen Thomas to Resign Her White House Job or Be Fired." It can be read by visiting http://theologyandsociety.blogspot.com.

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