PM apologizes to Arab Israelis for droves remark

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu apologized to Arab Israelis for his election day remark about them voting “in droves.”

“I know the things I said several days ago offended some of Israel’s citizens, hurt the Arab citizens,” Netanyahu told representatives of the Arab community during a meeting at his Jerusalem home on March 23, according to the Times of Israel. “This was never my intent. I apologize for this.”

In a video posted on his Facebook page on election day, Netanyahu urged his right-wing supporters to vote to counteract the Arab Israelis, who he claimed were voting “in droves” with assistance from foreign groups. The statement was widely criticized.

While the Arab-Israeli leaders at the March 23 meeting applauded the apology, Israel’s Arab Joint List, which won the third-most Knesset seats in last week’s election, rejected it, according to Israel’s Channel 2.

“The racism of Netanyahu and his government will not end with the inciting statement that he distributed during the elections,” the Joint Arab List said in a statement. “We can only reject his apology and continue our struggle for equality for the Arab population.” — jta