In a video produced in English and Hebrew, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu apologized for his pre-election remark that Arabs were going to the voting booths ‘in droves,’ saying he was misunderstood, and now asked Arabs to integrate into Israeli society ‘in droves.’
Prime Minister Benjamin has called on Israel’s Arabs to become more role active in Israeli society, in what appears to be an apology for comments he made about Arab voters during Israel’s elections in March 2015.
In a video released Monday on YouTube and Facebook in both English and Hebrew, Netanyahu began by referencing to his perceived anti-Arab statements on Election Day, when he warned that Arab citizens were voting in droves.
“I said Arabs voters were going to the polls in droves. I was referring to a specific political party, but many people were understandably offended,” Netanyahu explained.
“I apologize for how my comment was misunderstood,” said Netanyahu.
“Today, I want to go further,” he said. “Today I am asking Arab citizens in Israel to take part in our society — in droves. Work in droves, study in droves, thrive in droves.”
“Israel is strong because of our diversity and pluralism—not in spite of it,” he stressed, noting that some 20 percent of Israel’s population is Arab.
Netanyahu said he was “proud of the role Arabs play in Israel’s success,” and said he wants them “to play an even greater role in it.”
Netanyahu’s government recently passed a resolution to invest massive resources in Arab communities, boosting public infrastructure, transportation, employment, welfare and other aspects in their towns.
On Sunday, the government approved legislation that would significantly strengthen public safety for Arab towns and villages and crime and violence which has plagued the sector.
“Let us work together, Arabs and Jews alike, to reach ever higher in the noble pursuit of equality and dignity for all. This is my vision and I’m sure it’s yours too,” Netanyahu concluded.
It is unclear what prompted Netanyahu to issue this plea at this time.
By: Aryeh Savir, World Israel News