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7 Jun, 2010 22:09

Helen Thomas “hung by her own words”

American Reporter Helen Thomas has covered the White House since the Kennedy administration, but recent comments on Israel are forcing her to retire.

Thomas’s controversial statements about Israel are causing quite a stir in Washington and throughout the national media.

Thomas was recorded in an impromptu video interview saying, “Tell them [Jews] to get the hell out of Palestine. […] Remember these people [Palestinians] are occupied and it’s their land, not Germany, not Poland. They [Jews] can go home to Poland, Germany and America and everywhere else.

Thomas has been a long time critic of Israel and Israeli policy. She has been admired in the past and is known for raising sharp questions on international issues.

"This was right after the incident happened on the high seas outside of Gaza. She was obviously very emotional and very upset, not very elegant in the way she spoke and not making the distinctions she later made in her clarification,” said blogger Danny Schechter.

Clarifications made later by Thomas indicated she has continually supported the peace process and respect and tolerance among the parties involved.

She’s been hung by her own words,” said Schechter.

Many defending Thomas cite her right to free speech, however the issue came down to who Thomas represented when she made her comments, notable the White House press corp and Hearst Newspapers.

Schechter said that the White House correspondents have become increasingly soft in their coverage of the White House, in past and present administrations, referring to them as “hypocrites.”

I think Helen Thomas apologized. I think Helen Thomas explained her comments. I think Helen Thomas then became a convenient target for the people who want to just limit all debate and discussion about Israel. I don’t think Helen Thomas should be crucified here. I think she should be honored for her 50 years of service,” said Schechter.