Last week, in a very controversial conversation in which she challenged the treatment of Palestinians by Israelis, and said Israelis should leave Palestine and go home.
Over the weekend, although she apologized, the speakers agency that had represented Helen Thomas dropped her. Right wingers, like Ari Fleisher, former Bush press secretary, called for her to be fired, as huffingtonpost.com reported,
"She should lose her job over this," Fleischer said in an email. "As
someone who is Jewish, and as someone who worked with her and used to
like her, I find this appalling."
"She is advocating religious cleansing. How can Hearst stand by her?
If a journalist, or a columnist, said the same thing about blacks or
Hispanics, they would already have lost their jobs."
Today, Monday, Robert Gibbs stated, according to the Washington Post,
"Those remarks were offensive and reprehensible," Gibbs said, noting
that Thomas has apologized. Her sentiments "do not reflect certainly
most of the people here and certainly not those of the administration."
Thomas, of Lebanese descent, has a reputation of being critical of Israel and recently challenged the Obama administrations response to the Israeli killings on the Gaza headed flotilla.
Her employer, Hearst corporation, issued the following announcement:
Thomas announced Monday that she is retiring, effective immediately.
decision came after her controversial comments about Israel and the
Palestinians were captured on videotape and widely disseminated on the
later issued a statement: ''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.''
will mark her 90th birthday on Aug. 4.
UPDATE: One commenter suggests she start a blog-- a great idea. And hopefully organizations that valued and still value her long history as a fighter for the truth will invite her to speak for them.
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