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June 7th, 2010
12:37 PM ET

Helen Thomas retires

Thomas was the longest-serving White House journalist.

Longtime White House reporter Helen Thomas has retired effective immediately, Hearst Corporation said Monday.

The media conglomerate had employed Thomas as a syndicated columnist for its newspaper chain. Her retirement comes amid a furor created last week by her controversial comments regarding Jewish people.

In a posting on her website on Friday, Thomas apologized for her remarks. "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," she wrote.

But the apology was not enough to silence critics, who began a rising chorus of calls for Thomas to be either terminated or suspended by Hearst.

Read the full story

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Israel • Judaism • Politics

soundoff (36 Responses)
  1. Prostak

    Jew population in USA is just 2,2% .

    June 8, 2010 at 7:57 pm |
  2. Prostak

    Hearst corporation assults Freedom of the Speech!
    Take them to the civil court, get money and give it to
    our elders who abandoned this year with COLA .

    June 8, 2010 at 7:51 pm |
  3. Jason

    I think her comments is offensive, she does have to apologize for that.

    but I do think some of the things Israelis is doing to Palentine in recent years is excessive like their incursion in the beginning of 2009 that killed more than 1000, more than 1/2 civilians, more than 1/4 children. I think Israel should defend itself in this case against rockets fired from Palestine which killed and injured about 50 people through out 2008. But a death toll of 50 in one year vs 1000+ in few weeks makes me think Palestinian lives are treated quite carelessly by Israeli Military.

    June 8, 2010 at 7:38 pm |
  4. Cecilia

    What happen to Freedom of speech? Daily we see & hear people insulting and saying falsehoods about the President, Government etc and nobody is asked to quit their jobs, but the question is : Only if is about the Jews, then is serious. How about those Palestinians being in such terrible conditions? They are human also but never you never hear uproar because of their situation. What a pity to loose an outspoken news lady.

    June 8, 2010 at 4:19 pm |
    • madam

      In Washington's white book get her address and sent a bunch of flowers.
      Boycott Hearst Publishing and TV ...

      June 10, 2010 at 1:09 am |
  5. Jim

    Does this mean the Indians can get New York back?

    June 8, 2010 at 3:19 pm |
    • Naana

      Jim you need to read my first post... no one ever got their land back after they have been driven out of it for 2000 years or less excep the Jew.........

      June 8, 2010 at 5:43 pm |
  6. jenny

    she expressed the views of a lot of people who are not anti semites but do feel that Israel is wrong, so wrong in their treatment of the Palestinian people. They were abused and oppressed they should know better thatn to treat others in such a way. Shame on Israel and shame on the Jews in the US who support Israel's discrimination of the entire Palestinian population. shame, shame. It is shameful that no one can express negative opinions of the country of Israel without being punished for it. What other country in the world can get away with what Israel gets away with because everyone is afraid of speaking out about their evil behavior.

    June 8, 2010 at 3:13 pm |
  7. Naana

    My first post was not added, so I will rewrite....

    There is not a single nation, people, or religious group in the history of man who has been returned to their homeland 2000 years after they were driven out by an Empire... it this case the Jewish people were driven out of Palastine (yes it was known as Palastine over 2000 years ago for those who don't know history) by the Romans.

    In past history the Greeks were driven out of what is part of modern day Turkey about 600 years ago and finally the Greek population was massacred in WWI and WWII and the last few were driven out in WWII to today's Greek borders. After WWII Cypress was taken away from the Greeks. Makedonia was taken by force in the 10th century from the Greeks. The Serbs were driven from their ancestral lands a mere 15 years ago – no one is even contemplating or returning their ancestral lands to them.

    I understand the Holocaust happened and millions of people perished, Jews, Russians, Greeks, Serbs, Poles, in the same concentration camps were the Jews perished. And yes they all had ancestral lands to go back to – those who were lucky to survive, however, the Palastinians did not commit genocide against the Jews... why did they pay the price? The English and the Western powers decided not to honour the treaty they signed with the Arab people in order to entice them to join the Allies during WWII, of a united Arab land and then formed the State of Israel and forced the Palastianians into exile.

    June 8, 2010 at 2:42 pm |
    • Kasey

      While I disagree with your underlying statement of that Israel should not be where it is, I have to say this is the first well-discussed point I've hard in a long time in favor of the Palestinians. Normally it's a bit more childish or openly anti-semetic.

      June 8, 2010 at 2:51 pm |
  8. Jeff

    Naana, did you actually read or listen to her comments? Surely you don't consider her comments, "constructive criticism." And Eric, yes we do have freedom of speech. What people like you seem to forget though is that employers and others have freedoms too. They are free to terminate or disassociate themselves from those who exercise their freedom of speech in an offensive manner. Have a wonderful day all of you who are so offended by the other side (regardless of which side that is). Those of you on both fringes might consider there is a large block of us in the middle who think you're both way out of line. Tolerance, respect, peace, acceptance, forgiveness: do any of these words mean anything to you?

    June 8, 2010 at 2:42 pm |
  9. eric

    who cares!!!!!! its freedom of speech, she can say whaever she wants in this country.!!!

    June 8, 2010 at 2:30 pm |
  10. Naana

    It is sad that the Jews have hijacked the North American continent and that no one allowed to offer even constructive criticism without being branded an anti Semite. All types of remarks, misinformation, hatemongering is dolled out by the press about many other nations, however, the Jews cannot be criticised in any way shape or form for fear or reprisals.

    June 8, 2010 at 2:24 pm |
  11. Jeff

    This is the state of civil discourse now? You should all try harder to express an opinion without the need/desire to be offensive. Have you ever heard/read the idea that you can disagree without being disagreeable? How will there ever be "Peace" there when there is such disrespect absence of civility. I'm not Jewish, Palestinian, or anything else. I'm simply an American who is tired of all the fighting there and is at a loss to understand how either side can believe that continued war can be considered a good thing or progress toward Peace.

    June 8, 2010 at 1:41 pm |
  12. cg

    Did this lady retire or quite, i believe most jobs you have to put notice of a retirement date.
    Horrahh for polictics, they can do what the hell they want and when thery want.
    SHOULD HAVE BEEN RETIRED YEARS AGO. Take your a$$ to sleep.

    June 8, 2010 at 1:31 pm |
  13. Keys

    "If you're going to criticize and entire race of people."

    I suppose the proper use of the word "and" or "an" is on the agenda for this evening?

    June 8, 2010 at 1:30 pm |
  14. Susan

    It's too bad after all these years. One slip of the tongue and she's out. People in elevated positions aren't supposed to have free speech though. I don't necessarily share her opinions, but it was refreshing to hear someone like her expressing her views so openly. I'd never seen it before and probably never will again.

    June 8, 2010 at 12:44 pm |
  15. Shay

    Amos Oz, in reference to the world's persecution of world Jewry:
    "Out there, in the world, all the walls were covered with graffiti: 'Yids, go back to Palestine,' so we came back to Palestine, and now the worldatlarge [sic] shouts at us: 'Yids, get out of Palestine.'"
    from A Tale of Love and Darkness (2003)

    June 8, 2010 at 12:33 pm |
    • lostinspace2

      For centuries jews have come to the middle east seeking refuge and lived in peace with the rest of the population....but if you come to Palestine, terrorize the residents and kick them out of their ancestors homeland...put the rest under occupation and harrass them..and if they tried to resist..put them under siege...starve them and bomb them....the whole world will want you to leave.....not just Helen Thomas....

      June 8, 2010 at 10:16 pm |
    • madam

      Just need be smart and moral.

      June 10, 2010 at 1:00 am |
  16. Dove

    What happened to free speech. The next question to Helen should have been "why do you feel that way?" would have been more interesting and gotten to the heart of the matter.

    June 8, 2010 at 11:42 am |
    • pennrandy

      Dove, you hit the nail on the head. It would be fascinating if someone asked Helen Thomas 'Why do you feel that way". I hope someone does and she responds to that in the near future. Now that she doesn't have to worry about losing her job, perhaps she can tell us what she really thinks instead of pulling her punches (!?!).

      June 8, 2010 at 1:56 pm |
  17. Captain Gort

    Well...this event should not bother anybody that is "OK" with the fact that the media, Banks, stock market and Military of the USA
    are now controlled by those who favor Israel. Read: "the Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy" avail on Amazon and decide for yourself. However, I do believe that this is an infringement on her right of free speech. I've always wondered how life would be, living in an occupied country...and I think I now know. Hey- its one hell of a lot better than the Taliban!

    June 8, 2010 at 9:01 am |
  18. jeff

    She right, Jews wouldn't even be their without they're fairy tale book of nonsense.

    June 7, 2010 at 3:42 pm |
    • Also Jeff

      So, just for the sake of discussion we'll ignore the historical facts that (1) the Jews were there thousands of years ago, and (2) there was no such thing as a "Palestinian" until the 1940's, I am fairly certain that in our "fairy tale book of nonsense" we at least know the difference between and proper uses of "their," "they're," and even "there." If you're going to criticize and entire race of people, at least get your spelling and grammar correct. Otherwise you just advertise your blatantly toxic ignorance, instead of making everyone figure it out for themselves.

      June 7, 2010 at 11:41 pm |
    • Also Also Jeff

      Resorting to childish grammar and spelling arguments is just another way of saying Jeff is completely correct.

      I'm pretty sure recess is over now, 'Also Jeff'. Head on back to class or you'll be late

      June 8, 2010 at 8:07 am |
    • Also NOT Jeff

      Also Also Jeff, there was no resorting to gramatical or spelling errors until after commenting on the true history of events that created the Israeli State. Additionally, your comment on the aforementioned spelling and gramatical mistakes was clearly motivated by a desire to somehow "put down" or belittle Also Jeff. At 8 in the morning do you have nothing better to do than comment on what someone else did and commit the same errors you accuse them of making? And yes I realize that you would probably say "Well Also NOT Jeff, you are doing the same thing right now." You would be right, however, it is 1:45 in the afternoon and your comment was so incredibly foolish that I could not resist but come down to your level. GREETINGS!

      June 8, 2010 at 12:44 pm |
  19. T.T. Clock

    Helen Thomas, you are a scary ol' wrinklebag.

    June 7, 2010 at 2:36 pm |
  20. John Stevens

    I'm very disappointed in how they BP & the Feds because there response has been slow coming. The should have got a handle on the oil like surrounding if from the well and having some type of pump to capture it to a large ship pumping water and oil in then letting the water out. It seems that we were not prepared for no kind of spill. Safety yes is very important yet the people loss of jobs and the gulf will take years to recover. TO MUCH RED TAPE ON BOTH PARTIES

    June 7, 2010 at 12:52 pm |
    • jeff

      What does any of that have to do with Helen Thomas?

      June 7, 2010 at 3:37 pm |
    • sri

      How does BP and Helen Thomas relate to each other? Perhaps she could fix the leak? Helen does have experience in leaking stuff.

      June 8, 2010 at 1:09 pm |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.