Longtime White House scribe Helen Thomas caused more than a few eyebrows to perk up when video surfaced on Friday of her declaring that Jews should "get the hell out of Palestine" and go back to Germany and Poland.
Captured by Rabbi David Nesenoff of RabbiLive.com, the footage made the rounds on mostly conservative and neoconservative sites, with some private complaints that her comments weren't getting wider play.
Thomas on Friday apologized in a written statement, saying she deeply regretted the comments -- which were offered, ironically, during the White House's Jewish Heritage Celebration.
Helen Thomas should be fired, but she won't. That White House press position is literally her life and Barry doesn't have the guts to let her go.But even as she was trying to walk back the remarks, calls for her firing mounted. Among the more vocal was former Bush Press Secretary Ari Fleischer, who claimed to have a close relationship with Thomas when he was manning the daily briefings.
"She should lose her job over this," Fleischer said in an email. "As someone who is Jewish, and as someone who worked with her and used to like her, I find this appalling."
"She is advocating religious cleansing. How can Hearst stand by her? If a journalist, or a columnist, said the same thing about blacks or Hispanics, they would already have lost their jobs."