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White House reporter Helen Thomas resigns after anti-Israel comments

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Chris McGreal
London Guardian
June 8, 2010

Helen Thomas, the White House reporter who has covered every president since Dwight Eisenhower, resigned today after she was criticised for telling a rabbi that Jews should “get the hell out of Palestine” and “go home” to Poland and Germany.

Thomas, 89, apologised for the comments, which were made at a celebration for Jewish heritage month at the White House last week. But the ambivalent wording of the apology only fuelled demands for her to be sacked as a columnist by Hearst newspapers.

Thomas did not attend today’s White House briefing where the president’s press secretary, Robert Gibbs, described her comments as “offensive and reprehensible”. Shortly afterwards, Hearst said she had resigned.

Thomas, who has served 57 years as a White House correspondent, was filmed by Rabbi David Nessenoff, who posted the video on his website, rabbilive.com.

In the recording, Thomas says of Jewish Israelis: “Tell them to get the hell out of Palestine. Remember, these people are occupied and it’s their land, not Germany and not Poland.” She is asked where they should then go. “Go home. Poland, Germany,” Thomas replies. “And America and everywhere else.”

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This article was posted: Tuesday, June 8, 2010 at 4:22 am

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