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Helen Thomas' mixed legacy

Helen Thomas may have been a pioneer for women attending press conferences at the White House, but she also had faults that should not be overlooked ("Pioneering journalist broke D.C. glass ceiling," July 21).

She was abrasive, arrogant, rude and repetitive in her questioning, leaving a number of presidents, press secretaries and foreign dignitaries, including Margaret Thatcher, disturbed by her tactics.

She never failed to show her anti-Israel bias at the White House news conferences, where she always launched into a tirade against Israel that bordered on anti-Semitism before her questioning began.

Most noteworthy was her statement in 2010 that Israelis should "get the hell out of Palestine" and "go home" to Poland and Germany. This was a direct insult not only to Holocaust survivors of the death camps in those nations but a misreading of the history of a region where Jews had lived for more than 3,000 years and were deeply rooted in its history and culture.

Ms. Thomas' legacy is mixed. Her achievements were marred by her combativeness and a dubious agenda both domestically and internationally.

Nelson Marans, Silver Spring

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