Deputy Education Minister Avi Wortzman
Deputy Education Minister Avi WortzmanFlash 90

On Monday, two days before the Jewish Home primaries, Deputy Minister of Education Avi Wortzman abruptly fired his media advisor Udi Tenne, for offensive comments made against MK Shuli Muallem (Jewish Home). 

Tenne, whose dismissal is "effective immediately," wrote on social media that "it is unpleasant, but Shuli's political campaign was based on the fact that she is the widow of a soldier [killed in combat]."  

Wortzman promptly took Tenne to task, removing him from his staff and criticizing him publicly. 

"The horrible and offensive things that he wrote are his personal opinion, and are in complete opposition to my stance and my appreciation of Shuli and her work," Wortzman said. 

Explaining why he fired Tenne, Wortzman continued: "I will not accept a public servant expressing himself in such a disgusting fashion to an MK who has gone through so much and has also had to deal with losing her husband - who fell in the line of duty as an officer in the Israeli Defense Forces."

Muallem is the widow of the late Lieutenant General Moshe Muallem, the most senior officer killed in the Israeli helicopter disaster of February 1997. 73 people were killed in total. 

After her first husband's death, Muallem served as the Deputy and Acting Chairman of the IDF Widows and Orphans organization. She also worked to allow soldiers' wives who have remarried to continue receiving their late husbands' pensions. 

"Shuli is an exceptional MK with a proven track record, as well as a close, personal friend, and she deserves recognition, appreciation and support regardless of the personal price she has paid in protecting all of us," Wortzman noted. 

"I ask every member of Jewish Home to support her this coming Wednesday," he added.

Tenne later apologized to Muallem in another social media post. 

On his Facebook page, he wrote, "In a moment of craziness, I found myself writing a personal Facebook post. A moment after I published it I realized how horrible it was. Since the moment I pressed the button, I have been filled with regret for what I wrote. I am so sorry, Shuli. I am filled with pain for the pain I caused you.''