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Journalist Helen Thomas still making waves

August 6, 2010 | 10:31 am


Helen Thomas may have retired from her role as journalist, but the former queen of the White House press corps is still managing to cause trouble.

In recent weeks, a planned sculpture of Thomas -- to be created by artist Susan Tinsley McElhinney --  has provoked grumblings from various political groups around the country. The debate centers on whether Thomas, 90, deserves to be honored after she made inflammatory comments concerning Jews and Israel that precipitated her hasty resignation in June.

Among her comments -- which were captured on video and widely disseminated online -- are that Jews should "get the hell out of Palestine" and ought to go home to Poland, Germany and other countries.

The sculpture is set to go on display at the Arab American National Museum in Dearborn, Mich. (Thomas is of Lebanese descent, and hails from Michigan.)

On Thursday, the Detroit Free Press reported that a Holocaust survivors group is opposing the museum's decision to include the statue among its displays. The group, called the American Gathering of Jewish Holocaust Survivors and Their Descendants, stated that the "campaign to honor Helen Thomas with a statue is a moral taint on the Arab American National Museum."

The museum is working to raise money to finance the creation of the statue. Organizers are looking to raise pledges of $10,000 by Sept. 10. As of Friday morning, the campaign has received $2,805 in online pledges.

Thomas resigned from her job as a columnist at Hearst Corp. soon after her comments hit the Internet. The company issued a statement from Thomas stating, "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."

-- David Ng

Photo: Helen Thomas, with a preliminary design for a statue of her that is planned for the Arab American National Museum. Credit: Arab American National Museum

Comments () | Archives (58)

Give me a break. What is Israel? It isn't sacred to me. Its a country that has done everything to suppress the Palestinians. All of this is like crying racism. Let's get real. I'm tired, as a taxpayer, because of the Jewish lobby supporting Israel. As a Western European, I'd rather give my money to Germany or France than Israel.

Helen Thomas did nothing but give her honest opinion. The Jews will lobby and get their way because that's how it works in the US. Britain, on the otherhand, is now listening to the "other side" and Israel is not the unquestionable darling it once was. Tell us, please, where are the Palestinians suppose to go?

That is your personal opinion, pj, and you are entitled to it. We know that you are not alone. We disagree strongly and fortunately we are not alone either.

I think she went out on a good note, frankly. Israel is a constant human rights violator and has become a lead weight around the neck of the US.

A lifetime of honest hard-hitting journalism deserves to be recognized. Funny how a politician can spew all types of intensely bigoted sentiment and be revered. Yet when an old woman who's seen and reported on not only the recent conflicts in the Middle East, but the establishment of Israel as a country, voices a personal opinion, she is reviled.

It always amazes me when I see people who have forgotten not only history, but the crimes committed against the JEWS by so many people. Helen Thomas does not deserve to be honored. Is she an American or a Lebanese. I think she is a Arab who hid her true colors until she was mentally incompetent to hold back her true feelings as a racist, as people tend to do late in life.

As an American, people like Helen Thomas should either support our government's long history of supporting the Jewish State, or she needs to shut up, or leave the USA.
Michigan is becoming a hotbed of "Islamic" extremist, I guess we should now add Helen Thomas to that list.

Bravo to Helen Thomas! She is a media hero of the greatest generation who finally stood up and said, I am mad as hell and not going to take this anymore! I have so much respect for her and she deserves that statue now more than ever.

That one falls into the category of "So what?"

Wow, is here new statue next to David Duke?

The American Gathering of Jewish Holocaust Survivors have got to realize there's other people living on this Earth. Or do the AGJHS deign to set themselves up as new fuhrers?

Her blunt honesty in the face of political correctness deserves an honor just in and of itself. She did not imply that anyone should do anything TO the Jews, but said what she felt they, themselves, should be doing. Her lifetime of going where no woman has gone before should not be brushed aside for the sake of one group who may have been offended along the way.

"As an American, people like Helen Thomas should either support our government's long history of supporting the Jewish State, or she needs to shut up, or leave the USA."

Whoa. As an American you can't criticize the policies of another country? Where did you get your civics lessons?

Which country has the most spies in the U.S.? What country uses cluster bombs on civilians? What country controls the U.S. media? What country sends death squads to other countries to kill political opponents? One answer... Israel. Si Se Puede!!!

Helen Thomas' long career shows commitment and courage. She deserves to be honored.
Ann Van Sant
Irvine, CA

I've got nothing against Jewish people but screw the Zionists and the Jewish gulag prisons they run called the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. The Jewish State (not people, so STFU those of you who will call me anti-Semitic) is perpetrating the same injustices its people always use to shield themselves with, mainly genocide and oppression. And the US is beholden to Israeli will because it needs an ally in the Middle East to use a spring board to have access to the oil reserves of that area.

All this old lady did was voice an opinion, and last time I checked this is still the USA and not some theistic fanatical regime that stifles different points of view.

Just because the Jews were victims in the past does not mean that the get a free pass for their human rights violations. Helen was just saying what is on most people's minds. There was nothing racist about it.

Helen Thomas is not causing trouble. The right wing pro-Israel religious fanatics are causing the trouble. God help any American who dares criticize Israel.


So she critized Israel? So what?

THIS IS A FREE AMERICA, NOT ISREAL Bravo Helen, I salute you for your noteworthy life of journalistic endeavors. And by the way, nice likeness in the statue.

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