Netanyahu Apologizes to Israeli Arabs for Election Eve Comments


Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has issued an apology to Arab Israelis following comments he made on the eve of last week’s election that were viewed by many as racist and divisive. “I know that the things I said a few days ago hurt some citizens in Israel, the Arab Israeli citizens,” Netanyahu told minority representatives during a meeting on Monday. “This was not my intention and I am sorry.”

Netanyahu posted video of the comments to his Facebook page:

For those who don’t speak Hebrew, Netanyahu added, “I see myself as a prime minister of each and every one of you, all citizens of Israel without any distinction of religion, race and gender.”

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On the day before the election, Netanyahu warned that “funding from foreign governments to get more Israeli Arabs to vote worked” and urged his right-wing supporters to get to the polls to prevent his defeat. Previously, in an interview with NBC News’ Andrea Mitchell, the prime minister insisted that he is not “racist,” saying, “I am very proud to be the prime minister of all Israeli citizens — Arab and Jews alike.”

Watch CNN’s report on the apology below:

[Photo via screengrab]

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