October 13, 2010
Former White House veteran reporter has criticized the United States for not allowing people to talk about Israeli policies against the Palestinian people.
“You cannot criticize Israel in this country and survive,” Helen Thomas said in an interview with Ohio station WMRN-AM that aired on Tuesday.
- A d v e r t i s e m e n t
In June, Thomas had been forced to resign after she told Israelis to leave the occupied Palestinian territories.
During the Jewish Heritage Celebration at the White House, Thomas said “Tell them (Israelis) to get the hell out of Palestine.”
In her new interview, she said the comments were “exactly what I thought,” even though she realized soon afterward that it was the end of her job.
“(It was) very hard for the first two weeks. After that, I came out of my coma,” Thomas said.
The 90-year-old correspondent gave up her front row seat in the White House press room, where she had often pointed questions at 10 presidents, going back to Dwight Eisenhower.
Thomas worked as a correspondent for United Press International (UPI) for 57 years from 1943 to 2000. She then joined Hearst Newspapers Corporation who owns 15 daily newspapers as a columnist.
She was the first female officer of the National Press Club, the first female member and president of the White House Correspondents Association.
Thomas has been a fixture at White House press conferences for decades and was often allowed to ask the first question.