Helen Thomas Dropped by her Speakers' Agency

Published: June 7th 2010
in News » World

Helen Thomas

White House correspondent and columnist Helen Thomas was dropped by her speakers’ agency on Sunday after stating in a video clip that Israelis should “get the hell out of Palestine.”


The Obama administration on Monday called Thomas' remarks "offensive and reprehensible," and it was reported this morning that she has resigned from her position.


The Anti-Defamation League, as well as former White House officials, have condemned her statements, and according to White House reporters, the 89-year-old correspondent’s seat in the White House press briefing room was empty on Monday.


In the video clip in question, filmed on May 27th during a Jewish Heritage celebration at the White House, Thomas was asked about her thoughts on Israel (by a Rabbi, no less, from the website RabbiLive.com) and her response was “Tell them to get the hell out of Palestine.”


When pressed further and asked where exactly she thought they should go, Thomas replied that they should “go home” to Poland, Germany, the United Sates, and everywhere else.”


In a statement on her website that was posted on Friday, Thomas said: “I deeply regret my comments I made last week regarding the Israelis and the Palestinians. 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.”


It was about a decade ago that Thomas transitioned from correspondent to columnist, and has been rather outspoken regarding the Middle East since that time. Just last week, she described the Israeli attack on the flotilla as a “deliberate massacre, an international crime,” adding that U.S. response was “pitiful.”


On Sunday, Thomas’s public speaking agency said that they would no longer represent her.


“Ms. Thomas has had an esteemed career as a journalist, and she has been a trailblazer for women, helping others in her profession, and beyond. However, in light of recent events, Nine Speakers is no longer able to represent Ms. Thomas, nor can we condone her comments on the Middle East,” the agency, Nine Speakers, said in a published statement.


According to the New York Times, the White House Correspondents Association has not yet commented on Ms. Thomas. Edwin Chen, the president of the association, did not immediately respond to a request for comment Monday morning.


Thomas, 89, began her long career with the wire service United Press International in 1943, and started covering the White House in 1960, according to a biography posted on her website.

Related articles: (Helen Thomas, RabbiLive, White House, anti-Israel)
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