Tue, 08 Jun 2010 02:06:39 GMT
former White House reporter Helen Thomas (Getty Images)
Helen Thomas, the White House reporter of the lengthiest employment has been forced to resign after advising the Israelis to leave the occupied Palestinian territories.
Helen Thomas quit the job on Monday, a week after saying during the Jewish Heritage Celebration, "Tell them (Israelis) to get the hell out of Palestine," AFP reported.
"Remember these people are occupied and it's their land, not German and not Poland," she said. "They can go home, Poland, Germany, and America and everywhere else."
However, the 89-year-old veteran reporter later posted an apology on her website.
White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said on Monday that the remarks were "offensive and reprehensible."
Darrell West, vice president and director of Governance Studies at Brookings Institution, said that Thomas made the mistake of saying something publicly against Israel in the US, where Israel carries favor.
"Washington is not a very forgiving town. Even if it is one short statement that people don't like. ... You can lose jobs over that. You can lose your social cache," he told Press TV.
She worked as a correspondent for United Press International (UPI) for 57 years from 1943 to 2000.
She then joined Hearst Newspapers as a columnist, covering national affairs and the White House.
Ms. Thomas was the first female officer of the National Press Club, the first female member and president of the White House Correspondents Association, and, in 1975, the first female member of the Gridiron Club.
Helen Thomas has been a fixture at White House press conferences for decades and was often allowed to ask the first question.