The Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) has ended a lifetime achievement award named after Helen Thomas, following "offensive and inappropriate" remarks she made in December about Zionist control over American policy.
Thomas resigned from her longtime position as a White House correspondent in June after being recorded telling Jews to "get the hell out of Palestine" and "go home" to Germany or other countries. After initially apologizing, she since has taken a more defiant tone. "Congress, the White House and Hollywood, Wall Street are owned by the Zionists. No question, in my opinion," she told 300 people gathered at a Michigan community center last month."
She recently told CNN's Soledad O'Brien that she was fired because "you can never mention Israel without being immediately called anti-Semitic, lose your job, or anything else."
The SPJ's board of directors decided to drop her name from the lifetime achievement award last Friday, following a recommendation from the group's executive committee. "While we support Helen Thomas' right to speak her opinion, we condemn her statements in December as offensive and inappropriate," the executive committee said at its January 8th meeting.
Wayne State University previously dropped her name from an award honoring diversity in journalism.
"A lot of the pro-Israeli people thought I was anti-Semitic, which is very wrong," Thomas recently told O'Brien. "I could call President Obama anything in the book, and no one would say anything. You touch one thing about Israel and you're finished."