Watch: Reaction To Bibi’s Apology To Arab Citizens For Election-Day Remarks

As you know, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu got heavily criticized for these comments during the recent elections:

To his credit, he has apologized to the Arab citizens of Israel, saying he did not mean to offend them.

The following video shows the apology (make sure captions are enabled for English subtitles).

We haven’t seen a standing ovation like that for Netanyahu since his Congress speech.

10 thoughts on “Watch: Reaction To Bibi’s Apology To Arab Citizens For Election-Day Remarks”

  1. Wow, if that had been Obama, the Secret Service would have been all over that guy who gave Bibi a big smooch on both cheeks. Unless the agents were too hungover from all of the partying the night before.

    1. Perhaps the Secret Service guys would have been acting out of jealousy. Jim did you know that there is growing chatter of Obama being a homosexual? Could this be true?

  2. I cannot get this to work above, so my response to Jeff Abel is here, and I hope he’ll see it:

    At the time, Mr. Netanyahu’s words sure didn’t sound right to my ears either. And I have no doubt he hand-picked the Arab attendees for his apology.
    But, even if he chose his words in an attempt to play upon primal fears, I don’t think he really meant it. I think he really meant anti-Israel Arabs. And, I think the voting results show that is what he meant, in so far as we saw the anti-Israel Arab “Joint List” jump by two seats compared to the last election, while the left and right blocs largely stayed the same (albeit trading a couple of seats this way and that within the blocs). The foreign-funds-paid-for buses were bringing in the anti-Israel Arab citizens who otherwise wouldn’t have bothered voting. Mr. Netanyahu saw that this was the case, and was making a last-minute appeal to counter that influence.
    In the interests of crafting an effective soundbite, Mr. Netanyahu chose his words badly. I think an apology for his choice of words was definitely warranted, and he’s given one. I’ll even admit I am less than 100% happy with how he expressed his apology, for what that’s worth. Whether or not he pulls such a stunt again will better inform us of his true intentions in the future.
    But, the fact is, the very existence of pro-Likud Arabs proves the crux of the issue isn’t race, it’s ideology. Mr. Netanyahu expressed his support for all Israeli citizens regardless of race or religion, and I think he means it. His problem is with Arabs (or non-Arabs) who choose to align themselves with the enemies of the Jewish State.
    Meanwhile, the fact that the only high-profile group of Arab representatives which the Arab community has produced is so loudly anti-Israel is a big part of the equation here. The Joint List gets a minority of the Arab vote (compared to the overall Arab population proportion, at least) but they’re the only “Arab party” on the stage. This paints the Arab community in a really bad light, and only the Arab community can fix this. It seems likely to me Mr. Netanyahu was playing on this broad-brush image that the Arab community has made for itself. The ethics on making such a play, even if he himself doesn’t actually believe in it, is a whole other discussion.

    1. As shorthand for anti-Israel forces, “Arabs” may be a crass generalisation but then it is based on bitter experience and as you say the Arabs are best placed to change that experience.

    2. It’s not just that parts of those Arab community are anti-Israeli (not just anti-Likud, anti-Israeli), it’s the combination with the fact that many of them traditionally don’t vote – sometimes because of apathy and sometimes to boycott the voting process. The anti-Israeli activists (Arab and non Arab) campaign to them not to vote as Israel doesn’t represent them. This time overseas funded NGOs (like V15) campaigned heavily for them to turn out and vote – for NOT Likud, even organising to bus them there. It was not random. They were appealing to Arab communities, who previously didn’t vote. And they were not appealing for them to vote to have a say in their future, they were agitating to skew the vote against Netanyahu. If anyone is racist, it’s these groups, cynically using Arab voters.

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