Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, took to Twitter on Friday to apologise for a racially-tinged remark that upset some Jews who hail from the Middle East.
“I apologise for my remark yesterday; I had no intention to harm anyone,” Netanyahu said.
He declared that he was deeply connected with all segments of Israeli society and had always commended their contributions to the country.
Netanyahu’s initial remarks were made in heated session with a member of Knesset about the upcoming closure of the state broadcaster, the Israel Broadcasting Authority, which would be replaced by a trimmer version of itself.
He said his “Mizrahi gene had been activated,’’ using a Hebrew term referring to Jews from Arab and Islamic countries.
Middle Eastern Jews were key part of Netanyahu’s constituency, helping him to get elected in 2015.
There was existing tension in Israel between European Jews and Mizrahis, with the former often seen as an old elite, Netanyahu’s father was born in Poland.