JERUSALEM (JTA) — A key aide to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu apologized for comments he made about the Druze following a flurry of condemnations.
Eyal Gabbay, the director of the Prime Minister’s Office, apologized Thursday for saying on a business forum in Tel Aviv that the Druze "have become a word that sows terror throughout all government ministries."
"They say, ‘They have a licensed weapon, and that they are not to be dealt with,’ " Gabbay said, citing examples of difficulties the government has experienced with the Druze community and their leaders.
Israeli-Arab lawmakers, along with some Israeli-Jewish lawmakers, condemned the statements as racist and called on Netanyahu to fire Gabbay.
"My words were badly chosen," Gabbay said on Israel Radio.
He said he was criticizing government offices and not the Druze.