After a long silence following her infamous ‘Jews should go back to Poland or Germany…’ remarks, former White House Press Corps member, Helen Thomas, has received a medal from Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in Washington DC.
HAARETZ Nearly two years have passed since the long time journalist Helen Thomas was forced to resign after making anti-Semitic comments on camera. Since then, Thomas has been the subject of fierce criticism from both ends of the American political spectrum and from her fellow journalists. But on Sunday, she received an award – an honor from none other than Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.
In May 2010, Thomas, a senior White House writer, was asked for her opinion of Israel. “Tell them that they need to get out of Palestine, and return home to Germany, Poland, and America,” Thomas responded on camera.
As a result of her comment, an onslaught of public criticism forced Thomas to apologize and retire. Shortly after her retirement, however, Thomas claimed she said “exactly what she thought.” As a result of the comments, the Society of Professional Journalists decided to discontinue the yearly lifetime achievement award bearing Thomas’ name.
It seems, however, that there is in fact someone who sees Thomas and her comments in a more positive light. On Sunday, dozens of diplomats and journalists assembled in Washington for an event in her honor. The man responsible for organizing the event was none other than the head of the Palestine Liberation Organization General Mission to the U.S., Maen Areikat.
Representatives of the PLO in Washington released a statement claiming that the text of the prize was written to “recognize Thomas’ long career in the field of journalism, during which she defended the Palestinian position every step of the way.” (So much for unbiased reporting)
The event was also attended by PLO Executive Committee member Hanan Ashrawi, who presented the medal to Thomas, the appreciation and blessing of the president and the Palestinian people, for all of her actions supporting Palestine in the West.”