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article imageOp-Ed: It's Time For Helen Thomas To Be Outed

By David Zublick     Jun 6, 2010 in Politics
Helen Thomas, the dean of the White House press correspondents, embarrassed herself, her employer, and the journalism profession itself with her repugnant remarks that Jews should "get the hell out of Palestine."
Thomas was present on the sidelines of the White House Jewish Heritage Day event on May 27, when she was asked her opinion of Israel by Rabbi David Nesenof. When pressed on the matter, she added that Palestine is a country of occupation, whose occupiers should leave the region, returning to "Poland, Germany and America and everywhere else".
Thomas issued an apology on her website, writing “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's too little too late.
These comments are morally reprehensible, and reflect the views of a woman who is obviously anti-Semitic. Even some of her closest colleagues have noticed this over the years. The day after the Israeli Defense Forces boarded the flotilla, Thomas questioned White House Spokesman Robert Gibbs as to how the administration could stand by the blockade of Gaza and the broader treatment of Palestinians by the Israeli government.
But this latest, blatant set of remarks were clearly over the top, and it is incumbent upon Hearst Corporation to fire her.
Ari Fleischer, who claimed to have a close relationship with Thomas during his tenure as Bush's Press Secretary, put it best.
"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."
Fleischer is correct. But if Hearst refuses to dismiss her, the following is a scenario that would be ideal.
At Barack Obama's next press conference, when tradition dictates that he call on Helen Thomas to ask the first question, Obama should take the question. Then, before answering it, he should say "Before I answer your question, Helen, let me just address some remarks you made on May 27th of this year, when you said that Jews should get the hell out of Palestine. I find those comments to be anti-Semitic, morally repugnant, and irresponsible. Further, let it be very clear that your remarks were an embarrassment to your employer and your profession."
It won't happen, but a dressing down like this in front of the entire White House Press Corps and the rest of the world is what Helen Thomas deserves.
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This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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