Ari Fleischer Says Hearst Should Fire Helen Thomas

Former Bush press secretary Ari Fleischer, who endured a lot of pointed Helen Thomas questions, told Sam Stein of The Huffington Post that Hearst Newspapers should dismiss Thomas for saying Jews need to "get the hell out of Palestine" and go back to Poland and Germany. 

"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."

Thomas knows that she could never say the blacks should go back to Africa or the Hispanics should go back to Mexico, she would ruin her over-celebrated reputation as the "dean" of the White House press corps. Stein offered more details and an update:

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 would apologize in a written statement, saying she deeply regretted the comments -- which were offered in response to the killing of pro-Palestinian activists by Israel forces and came, ironically, during the White House's Jewish Heritage Celebration.

Allahpundit at Hot Air recommends a 2008 report by CAMERA (the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America) that includes details like this: 

In a 2004 speech to the Al-Hewar Center near Washington, D.C., a few days before the third anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, Thomas, then 84, returned to her favorite obsessions: "Good evening, fellow terrorists .... or is it evil ones? I simply say so because I presume that most of you are against the invasion and the occupation of Iraq."

At the center, which reportedly has hosted speakers reflecting the intolerant Wahhabi school of Islam, she also declared that "... It turns out (can you imagine?) that even Middle Easterners — Arabs — will fight for their own land. They are what we call the insurgents, or terrorists, or even the enemy. They’re the enemy in their own country, trying to defend their own land .... During World War II, those who resisted the Nazi occupation were heralded for their resistance against tyranny. But when Arabs do that, do they get that kind of salute? The Palestinians who resist every day the tyrannical occupation are in the same boat ...."

Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis