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Thursday, July 29, 2010

Arab American museum raising funds for Helen Thomas sculpture

From the Detroit Free Press:

The Arab American National Museum in Dearborn has launched a fund-raising drive to pay for a statue of legendary journalist Helen Thomas that concerns some in the Jewish community.

Thomas, a former White House correspondent and native Detroiter born to Lebanese immigrants, was forced to quit her job at Hearst Newspapers last month after saying Israelis should "get the hell out of Palestine." She apologized.

On Tuesday, the museum started a 45-day campaign to raise the remaining $10,000 for the roughly $30,000 statue. Some in the Jewish community are wary of honoring Thomas.

"I just hope that the support for this memorial is there despite her anti-Israel and anti-Semitic views and not because of them," said Richard Nodel, president of the Jewish Community Relations Council.

Anan Ameri, director of the museum, said she disagrees with her comments, but Thomas "spent her life ... doing a lot of good things."

The campaign, which has a web site, has managed to raise $680 so far.

The museum has sought the sculpture for nearly a year.

If you are not eating, here's a picture. The statue is the one on the right.