Smotrich ‘not angry’ that US ambassador called for him to be ‘thrown off a plane’

‘People sometimes use harsh terms which they don’t mean literally to give a strong message,’ says Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich.

By World Israel News Staff

Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich responded to harsh remarks from U.S. Ambassador to Israel Tom Nides on his Twitter account, late Saturday evening, saying he was “not angry” about the diplomat’s statements.

Hebrew-language media reported that Nides was livid about comments made by Smotrich shortly after the brutal murders of two Israeli brothers in the Palestinian Authority-controlled town of Huwara last week.

In the hours following the terror attack, Smotrich liked a tweet from a local council member which called for Huwara – where Palestinians had celebrated the murders by distributing sweets in the streets – to be “wiped out.”

When journalists asked him why he liked the tweet, Smotrich replied that it was “because I think the town of Huwara needs to be wiped out,” adding that he believed the “State of Israel should do it.”

Nides was incensed by Smotrich’s comments.

“I am really angry with him. He is a fool,” the ambassador reportedly said. “He has a flight to Washington, and if I could, I would throw him off the plane.”

The U.S. Embassy in Israel denied that Nides had made the remarks.

Read  Israeli soldier wounded in terrorist attack in Huwara

“I’m not angry at U.S. Ambassador to Israel Tom Nides, and I’m convinced that he did not intend to incite my killing when he said that they need to throw me off the plane,” Smotrich wrote in a Twitter statement, tagging Nides.

“Just like I didn’t mean to harm innocent civilians when I said that we need to erase Huwara. People sometimes use harsh terms which they don’t mean literally to give a strong message. It happens to everyone.”

Smotrich said he made the statement during the “heat of emotions.”

He added that he was “discomfited by the need to clarify and that there are those who think that I support harming innocent civilians.”