The liberal Ms.Thomas remarked to Press Secretary Robert Gibbs that the White House's stated position of "regret" for a flotilla raid by Israeli commandos in recent weeks was less than appropriate. Her words: "Our initial reaction to this flotilla massacre — deliberate massacre, an international crime — was pitiful. What do you mean you 'regret', when something should be so strongly condemned? And if any other nation in the world had done it, we would have been up in arms. What is the sacrosanct, iron-clad relationship where a country [Israel] that deliberately kills people and boycotts -- and we aid and abet the boycott?"
Clearly Ms. Thomas' views are her own. Democratic President Barack Obama told The Today Show that "her comments were out of line; that it was a shame her long and much celebrated career should end in controversy."
Helen Thomas does indeed reflect extreme views, this at a time when many are avoiding extremism, embracing moderation. She later apologized for her remarks. She wrote: "I deeply regret comments I made last week regarding the Israelis and the Palestinians. They do not reflect my heartfelt belief that peace will come to the Middle East only when all parties recognize the need for mutual respect and tolerance. May that day come soon."
Helen Thomas will be well remembered. It may be said she spoke her mind, now at this time of great peril. Freedom of speech may be the issue, but we concede her remarks were not in keeping with the official American point of view.