ADL Saddened To Learn That Palestinian Mission To U.S. Honored Disgraced Journalist Helen Thomas

New York, NY, April 3, 2012 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) was saddened to learn that the Palestinian mission to the United States in Washington, D.C. has honored disgraced former White House correspondent Helen Thomas, for her "long career in the field of journalism, during which she defended the Palestinian position every step of the way."

"How sad it is that the Palestinians would embrace a bigot and anti-Semite," said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director. "While it is understandable the Palestinians would want to honor someone who represents their cause, it should not have been Helen Thomas. After revealing herself as an anti-Semite and Holocaust denier, Thomas was ostracized by her peers and her profession. Her conduct was a terrible affront to the Jewish community and a low point for journalism. How can the Palestinians envision a peaceful future with the Israeli people while at the same time heaping praise on an anti-Jewish hatemonger?"

The ceremony for Thomas was reportedly hosted on Sunday by Maen Areikat, the head of the Palestinian Liberation Organization General Mission to the U.S. PLO Executive Committee Member Hanan Ashrawi was in attendance and reportedly presented the honor to Thomas on behalf of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

Although she at first apologized for her videotaped comment that Jews should "get the hell out of Palestine" -- a remark that led to her dismissal as a columnist for Hearst Corp. in 2010 -- Ms. Thomas later made clear in a speech in Dearborn, Michigan in December 2010 that she did not regret her words. She unleashed an anti-Semitic diatribe worthy of the 19th century anti-Semitic forgery, "The Protocols of the Elders of Zion," claiming that "Zionists" are the hidden hand behind U.S. government policy and opinion vis-à-vis Israel, and repeated the classic anti-Semitic canard that Jews "control" the White House and Hollywood.

"We are owned by the propagandists against the Arabs. There's no question about that," Ms. Thomas said then. "Congress, the White House and Hollywood, Wall Street, are owned by the Zionists. No question in my opinion. They put their money where their mouth is …. We're being pushed into a wrong direction in every way."

"To my mind there is no one less deserving of an honor than Ms. Thomas," said Mr. Foxman.

ADL is the world’s leading anti-hate organization. Founded in 1913 in response to an escalating climate of anti-Semitism and bigotry, its timeless mission is to protect the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment for all. Today, ADL continues to fight all forms of hate with the same vigor and passion. A global leader in exposing extremism, delivering anti-bias education, and fighting hate online, ADL is the first call when acts of anti-Semitism occur. ADL’s ultimate goal is a world in which no group or individual suffers from bias, discrimination or hate.