Netanyahu apologizes after mocking Gantz as a stutterer at campaign event
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Netanyahu apologizes after mocking Gantz as a stutterer at campaign event

PM says he’s sorry if anyone was offended by jab, insists he only intended to demonstrate that Blue and White is offering no alternative to his continued rule

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks at a Likud party campaign event at the International Convention Center in Jerusalem on January 21, 2020. (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks at a Likud party campaign event at the International Convention Center in Jerusalem on January 21, 2020. (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu apologized on Wednesday after mocking Blue and White chairman Benny Gantz for once stammering during a televised interview.

The premier came under fire by lawmakers and disabilities advocates for his jab at Gantz at a Likud campaign event in Jerusalem on Tuesday. At the event, he joked that while his party’s slogan in previous elections had been “It’s either us or them,” in light of his rival’s interview struggles, a more appropriate slogan would be “It’s either us or th-th-th-em.”

“Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s mocking imitation of a person who stutters is a new low from the highest of elected officials,” said Israel Stuttering Association chairman Hanan Horowitz in a statement.

Likud has repeatedly mocked Gantz in the past year’s election campaigns over an interview with Channel 12 in which he stuttered.

Netanyahu responded to the criticism, tweeting: “In my speech last night, I was referring to the fact that Benny Gantz has no achievements, he has nothing to offer and nothing to say to the citizens of Israel.

“Contrary to the way things were presented in the media, my words certainly were not addressing any people with disabilities, and if there is anyone who was hurt by my words, I am very sorry.”

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