Last Updated:December 1 @ 02:48 pm

Palestine honors columnist Helen Thomas

By Diaa Hadid

JERUSALEM (AP) - The top Palestinian envoy to the U.S. recently hosted longtime American journalist Helen Thomas at his Washington residence and honored her for taking a tough stand against Israeli occupation, a senior Palestinian official said Tuesday.

Thomas' observation that Israelis should get "out of Palestine" forced her into retirement in 2010 and was denounced by the White House and her press corps colleagues.

Palestinians "are occupied and it's their land," she said at the time. Asked where Jews should go, she replied, "Poland, Germany and America and everywhere else."

For many Palestinians, Thomas' May 2010 comments were seen as a call for Israel to end its decades-old military occupation of lands Palestinians seek for a state.

Others believed her words went far beyond that, taking offense at what they saw as a call for destruction of Israel.

Palestinians appreciated her position, and Maen Erekat, the Palestinian envoy to Washington, recently hosted Thomas at a dinner at his residence, the official said.

"She meant to stand against (Israel's) occupation and he wanted to honor her," said the Palestinian official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, citing the issue's sensitivity.

Israeli daily Haaretz said the dinner took place Sunday. The official said Palestinian legislator Hanan Ashrawi presented Thomas with an award, though he did not specify what kind of award it was.

Neither Erekat nor Ashrawi responded to requests for comment. Thomas also could not immediately be reached for comment

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  1. cxComment by genesal
    April 3, 2012 @ 12:59 pm

    I think she interviewed Julius Caesar.

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  2. ShoshannaComment by Shoshanna
    April 3, 2012 @ 3:26 pm

    The comments made by Ms. Thomas two years ago clearly revealed that she is no longer making any attempt to hide her lifelong anti-Semitism, and that the horrendously grotesque ugliness of her exterior is more than matched by that of her interior. If it’s true that by the age of forty we have the face we’ve earned, I truly shudder to think of what that woman must have done over the course of her lifetime!

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  3. jenerseaComment by jenersea
    April 3, 2012 @ 8:43 pm

    Just think if the Sons of Arafat hadn’t squandered all the millions that the world has sent over there for the people, they would all be living as millionaires and not in the refugee camps suffering in poverty. Thomas should move to the Land of Arafat and do a serious study on what happened to the money. She would help those people more than attacking the rightful owners of the land.

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