Photo Credit: DFM Tzipi Hotovely / Facebook
Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister Tzipi Hotovely

Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister Tzipi Hotovely has apologized for remarks she made Wednesday about American Jews that were deemed offensive and inappropriate.

The move came after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu condemned Hotovely’s “offensive” remarks regarding the American Jewish community.

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“The Jews of the Diaspora are dear to us and are an inseparable part of our people,” Netanyahu said in a statement swiftly released by his office Thursday. “There is no place for such attacks, and her remarks do not reflect the position of the State of Israel.”

In a Hebrew-language video statement posted on Facebook later in the day, Hotovely said, “If any of the lone soldiers in Israel were hurt because they thought I directed my comments at them, I certainly did not direct my comments at any such soldier who serves in the Israel Defense Forces.

“Among the American Jews are people who send their sons to fight in the Israeli army, and there are [also] of course people in America history who fought in the American military,” Hotovely continued. To all Americans who had relatives who fought in the Second World War, I salute you all.”

Hotovely added that “what happened over the past 24 hours does not reflect the spirit of my comments. I embrace American Jewry,” she said in the Hebrew-language remarks.

In a subsequent English-language statement she said, “American Jewry is important to us; we are siblings, and siblings are allowed to have an argument within the family. Israel is home to all Jews from all denominations. I view the link between us and the American Jewry as essential. Let me make it clear: There is no argument about the loyalty of American Jews to their country. The use of partial quotes from a full interview only undermines the central message.”

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.
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