Detroit Free Press – December 2, 2010
Helen Thomas said Thursday that she stands by her comments about Israel she made earlier this year that led to her resignation as a national columnist.
And she went further, saying that Zionists control U.S. foreign policy and other institutions. The local Jewish community condemned her remarks.
In an interview, Thomas, 90, said that criticizing Israel led to her resignation and ostracism in Washington.
“I can call a president of the United States anything in the book, but I can’t touch Israel, which has Jewish-only roads in the West Bank,” Thomas said. “No American would tolerate that — white-only roads.”
Thomas, a longtime White House correspondent who grew up in Detroit as the daughter of Lebanese immigrants, was in Dearborn for a workshop on anti-Arab bias.
In a speech inside a center in Dearborn, she talked about “the whole question of money involved in politics.”
“Congress, the White House and Hollywood, Wall Street are owned by the Zionists. No question, in my opinion,” she said. “They put their money where their mouth is. We’re being pushed into a wrong direction in every way.”
Jewish groups have called Thomas’ earlier remarks unfair and bigoted. They slammed Thursday’s remarks as well.
“Ms. Thomas repeated the anti-Semitic stereotypes that have been used for more than a century to incite hatred of Jews. Her comments should be condemned by all people who oppose bigotry,” said Robert Cohen, executive director of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Metropolitan Detroit.
Asked by the Free Press how she would respond to those who say she’s anti-Semitic, Thomas said: “I’d say I’m a Semite. What are you talking about?”
In the interview, she said the Iraq war was “built on lies. No weapons of mass destruction. No ties to al-Qaida. What is this? Why are we killing those people? And why are we there?”
Thomas resigned from Hearst Newspapers in June after telling a rabbi on camera that Israelis should “get the hell out of Palestine“ and “go home” to “Poland, Germany and America and everywhere else.”
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