Long-time White House correspondent Helen Thomas announced today she is retiring from her role as a Hearst Corporation columnist after telling a documentary filmmaker that “Jews should go back to Poland…back to Germany…and America, and everywhere else.”
While B’nai B’rith International feels she has made the right decision in stepping down from her journalism post, her retirement does not undo the damage caused by her outrageous remarks. B’nai B’rith still hopes that Thomas will make a full apology for her deeply offensive comments about Israel and the Jewish people.
In the days following the wide-spread viewing of her remarks, Thomas gave an inadequate apology. But we are deeply troubled that she does not seem to understand the significance nor the magnitude of her remarks. Thomas did not ask forgiveness for hurting Jews and Israelis, but instead issued a vague call for all people to work together for peace in the Middle East.. The issue has taken on national prominence as various newspapers, blogs, and TV and radio programs have discussed the Thomas remarks CNN’s Reliable Sources devoted a segment on June 6 to Thomas’ remarks and possible actions that should be taken against her. Click here to see the discussion: http://www.bnaibrith.org/press_releases/helenThomasVid.cfm
B’nai B’rith commends the quick action by Nine Speakers, the company that represents Thomas in her speaking engagements, for dropping her as a client and Walt Whitman High School in Bethesda, Md. for disinviting her as graduation speaker.
The original YouTube video, which can be viewed here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RQcQdWBqt14 demonstrates Thomas’ outrageous and complete lack of understanding of history. Thomas seems to have been schooled by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in a belief that Jews appeared in Israel after the Holocaust. Thomas ignores historical facts that Jews have called the Land of Israel home for more than 3,000 years, long before any other group made a home on the land.
“Thomas’ comments are contemptible,” B’nai B’rith International President Dennis W. Glick said. “Her distortion of historical reality is astonishing. Her call for Jews to return to Poland and Germany—site of the worst genocide in modern history—is beyond offensive.”
See where B'nai B'rith International stands on the issues.