Halevy: Sorry – but I Still Think I’m Right
Former Mossad chief Ephraim Halevy has apologized for the hurt caused by his comments suggesting that hareidi-religious Jews are a bigger threat than Ahmadinejad – but has not rescinded the remarks.
“The hareidization in Israel is widening rifts in the Jewish people. I’m sorry if people were hurt, but I’m also angry… that the rift is getting bigger,” he told Radio Kol Chai on Sunday.
“I’m sorry if people were hurt, the last thing I want to do is to hurt anyone, but I also don’t want anyone to hurt me,” he declared, adding that he would apologize if religious communities in Israel stop seeking to create change in the public sphere.
“Only national unity, not division, will help us in our war against various threats, including the Iranian threat,” he continued. There are no external threats that pose a real danger to Israel at the present time, he argued.
Halevy declared that his earlier remarks did not constitute incitement. “I didn’t say anything against hareidim as a group or individuals,” he said. What he criticized was “hareidi extremism,” he clarified.
His earlier remarks were met with upset and charges of incitement. MK Moshe Gafni called to investigate his remarks, while deputy Health Minister Yaakov Litzman called on the Prime Minister and the cabinet to openly condemn what Halevy had said.