Helen Thomas
Helen Thomas. Photo by Reuters
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Former White House correspondent Helen Thomas has withdrawn her participation from an upcoming anti-AIPAC event, which includes a series of protests against Israeli policy, due to the recent controversy surrounding the veteran journalist after she said Jews should leave Palestine and go back to Europe.

According to a statement by the "Move Over AIPAC" campaign, Thomas was invited to speak at the event, scheduled to take place in Washington D.C. during AIPAC's annual conference in May, but withdrew her participation fearing she will become the focus of the events.

“I am delighted that people are coming together for this gathering and I want to make sure that the focus stays on AIPAC and U.S. policy, not me,” Thomas was quoted as saying.

The "Move over AIPAC" protests will include demonstrations opposite the building where Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is scheduled to speak during the AIPAC conference and Congress, and a series of lectures and meetings with critics of Israel.

The campaign organizers say they are focused on AIPAC because they believe it serves as a barrier to "building a more just U.S. foreign policy in Israel and Palestine based on democracy and human rights."

Thomas, former dean of the White House Press Corps, left her post at the White House after she publicly made anti-Israel comments last May, telling the Jews they should "get the hell out of Palestine."

Last month, she reportedly told Playboy in an interview for their April issue that Jews have power over the White House and Congress, who are in the pockets of the Israeli lobbies.