Monday, June 7, 2010

Veteran White House reporter resigns after saying Jews should 'get the hell out of Palestine'


White House: Helen Thomas remarks on Israel 'offensive and reprehensible'; Washington school cancels White House reporter's speech at graduation.

By Natasha Mozgovaya and The Associated Press

Veteran White House journalist Helen Thomas resigned on Monday from her position with Hearst Newspapers, following the wave of criticisim she has faced since her recent declaration that "Jews should get the hell out of Palestine."

The Obama administration on Monday called Thomas' remarks "offensive and reprehensible." The comments also drew sharp criticism from Jewish group and former friends, and let a Washington-area high school to cancel its invitation for her to speak at its high school graduation.

Thomas, who joined Hearst Newspapers as a columnist in 2000, has apologized for comments captured on video by an interviewer for the website On the May 27 video, Thomas says Israelis should "get the hell out of Palestine," suggesting they go to Germany, Poland or the U.S.

Gibbs said Thomas' remarks "do not reflect certainly the opinion of most of the people here and certainly not of the administration."

The principal of the Bethesda, Maryland high school where she was scheduled to give a graduation speech sent out on e-mail on Sunday announcing that Thomas was no longer invited to speak.

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