MK Dudi Amsalem (Likud) came under fire from the media over Shabbat, and was accused of threatening to “lock up” the left during an audio conversation with Twitter users on the site’s Spaces feature.
In the remarks, originally published by TheMarker business newspaper, Amsalem reportedly said, "A crazy, Bolshevik, anti-Zionist gang has taken over the country. Prime Minister Netanyahu is the messenger of God. Any official who is appointed immediately turns on the Likud, this will not happen again. Only we will appoint, we will cut the salary of any clerk who doesn’t help us."
"If I am the Speaker of the Knesset, I will not allow them (‘leftists’) to enter the Knesset. Let them go to their Supreme Court. We will also replace the judges there immediately - on the day we win. We will run over them," said Amsalem.
He also said, according to the report, "We will bring them laws that they will not recover from in 20 years. We will delete the word 'justice'. It no longer exists. We have to lock them up, otherwise they will kill us. The leftists are the richest and wealthiest in the country."
The comments resulted in a wave of media attacks on Amsalem, with claims that he called for all the leftists to be locked up.
Responding to the uproar on Saturday night, Amsalem tweeted, "I understand that the propaganda channels and the manipulators of public opinion worked overtime over Shabbat. After all, if you clearly hear in the recording from Space that the words ‘lock them up (the leftists)’ were not said, we will simply not report that, and we will base the reports on the lies from TheMarker, how simple..."
"I said and I will not apologize for it - just as the left is running us over today in the committees and in the Knesset, so will we run over them when we return to power. Everyone is allowed to talk with their hands and be blunt, only Dudi Amsalem is not allowed? So no more. I will consider filing a lawsuit against Channel 12 News for all the lies and distortions. I will not bow my head to anyone and I will continue to speak honestly and to the point, without fear or apprehension, and I will represent the truth and justice of the national camp."
Later on Saturday night, TheMarker reporter Rotem Shtarkman who wrote the original report on Amsalem’s remarks, apologized and said he had erred when he asserted that Amsalem called for all the leftists to be locked up.
"Apologies. After my attention was drawn to the matter, I listened again to the words of MK Dudi Amsalem. Contrary to what I wrote a few days ago, Amsalem did not seek to imprison all the leftists. It looks like Amsalem was speaking in the context of legal advisers and police chiefs and said: 'We need to be alert and understand that these are wolves that prey on anything that moves and if we do not know how to restrain them and lock them up, in the end they will eat us again, then this country will go into the abyss. There will be no Jewish state, that’s what I believe,'" wrote Shtarkman.
"I will also correct the item on the TheMarker website. I wrote this on Wednesday, and since that time I did not receive a comment or request for a correction from anyone (not even from Amsalem and his people). As a journalist, accuracy and truth are important to me and I am sorry for the mistake. I apologize to MK Amsalem and to anyone who was misled."