Helen Thomas, the long-time White House correspondent who was forced to apologize and retire last spring after making comments about Israel and Jews, stood by those remarks yesterday at an event in Dearborn, Michigan — and then made even more fiery statements.
“Congress, the White House and Hollywood, Wall Street are owned by the Zionists,” Thomas said during her remarks at an Arab-American workshop, according to The Detroit News. “No question.”
Before she spoke, Thomas told reporters that her comments in June, when she said Jews in Israel should “go home,” were “the truth.”
“I stand by it. I told the truth,” Thomas said. “I paid a price but it’s worth it to speak the truth.”
Asked by The Detroit Free Press how she’d respond to people who say she’s anti-Semitic, Thomas responded: “I’d say I’m a Semite. What are you talking about?”
Thomas was in Dearborn to give the keynote speech at a workshop titled “Images and Perceptions of Arab Americans: The New America: Mom, Apple Pie, and Arab Bashing.” The event’s program brochure called her retirement a “political execution.” The Detroit News reports she received a standing ovation.
The 90-year-old Thomas, whose parents emigrated from Tripoli in what is now Lebanon, grew up in Detroit.
Eric Lach is a reporter for TPM. From 2010 to 2011, he was a news writer in charge of the website’s front page. He has previously written for The Daily, NewYorker.com, GlobalPost and other publications. He can be reached at ericl(at)talkingpointsmemo.com