Thomas apologizes for saying Jews don't belong in Israel
White House correspondent, 89, issues statement apologizing for anti-Jewish statements that provoked storm in US, saying her comments that Jews should 'get the hell out' of Israel 'do not reflect belief in need for mutual respect and tolerance'
White House correspondent Helen Thomas issued an apology for saying in an interview
that Jews do not belong in Israel
and should "return to Germany or Poland."
After making a vitriolic statement against the presence of Jews in the State of Israel, Thomas issued an official statement of apology, saying, “I deeply regret my comments I made last week regarding the Israelis and the Palestinians.”
She said the comments “do not reflect” her “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,” she added.
Thomas, who will be celebrating her 90th birthday soon, made the remarks in a talk with Rabbi David Nesenoff on the margins of an event held by President Obama last week to mark Jewish heritage month.
After being asked for her opinion of Israel, Thomas responded by saying: "Tell them to get the hell out of Palestine."
Turning her attention to the Palestinians, she said, "Remember, these people are occupied. And it's their land," adding the Jews should "go home" to Poland and Germany.
Thomas' remarks have prompted numerous calls for her resignation.
As a daughter of Lebanese immigrants, Thomas has not been hiding her sympathy for the Arabs and Palestinians in questions she asked at White House press briefings. She has referred to the lethal raid
on the Gaza-bound Marmara ship Monday as a "massacre."