Benjamin Netanyahu is really, really sorry about being racist against Arab Israelis

On the day of the Israeli election and trailing in the polls, prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu urged his supporters to cast their ballots as "Arab voters are coming out in droves to the polls".

The comments were widely viewed as racist and led to a rebuke from the White House, but they didn't prevent Netanyahu's party from staging a stunning turnaround and emerging as the largest party in the election.

Now, safe in the knowledge that he will be able to form a coalition government, Netanyahu has apologised:

I know that what I said a few days ago harmed some of the citizens of Israel, harmed the Arabs of Israel. I had no intention that this would be the case and I am sorry about that.

My actions as prime minister, including massive investment in minority sectors, prove the exact opposite.

I think, similarly, that no element outside the state of Israel should intervene in our democratic processes.

Somewhat unsurprisingly, the Joint Arab List, an alliance of Israeli Arab-led parties, rejected the apology.

Alliance leader Ayman Odeh said: "It was to a group of elders and not to the elected leadership of Israel's Arabs. I want to see actions, how is he going to manifest this apology? Will he advance equality?"

Keep reading...Show less
Please log in or register to upvote this article
The Conversation (0)