The Society of Professional Journalists is retiring a lifetime achievement award named for former White House correspondent Helen Thomas.

Thomas stepped down from Hearst Newspapers last year after saying outside White House Jewish heritage celebrations in May that Jews in Israel should "get the hell out of Palestine" and "go back home to Poland, Germany, America and everywhere else."

"Her comments were offensive," President Obama said after the resignation. "It is a shame, because Helen's someone who has been a correspondent through I don't know how many presidents — was a real institution in Washington. But I think she made the right decision."

The Detroit News reported Friday evening that Thomas, who grew up in the area, caused further controversy by telling a crowd in Dearborn in December that "Zionists" control Congress, Wall Street and Hollywood.

Thomas was the first recipient of the SPJ award in 2000, and other winners included Tom Brokaw.

"SPJ will simply not give a lifetime achievement award (anymore,)" said Scott Leadingham, spokesman for the group.