Yair Golan
Yair GolanNoam Moskowitz/Knesset spokesperson

Deputy Economy Minister Yair Golan responded Thursday night to the furor that erupted over his designation of certain settlers as "sub-human" in an interview with Channel 12 News.

"This is a mistaken statement made in a storm of emotions and out of anger," Golan said. "I am sorry for the remarks of the Prime Minister and Shaked and I have an excellent working relationship with everyone."

"A mistaken statement made in a storm of emotions and immense grief," Golan said at the beginning of the interview. "The problem is not my statements, but that there is a group that systematically and consistently harms innocent people and IDF soldiers. I regret the statement and maybe the phrasing was problematic. This can happen in an interview. There is a doubling of settler violence in Judea and Samaria."

"All my adult life I have fought against Palestinian terrorism and I do not need to be taught what it is like to fight terrorism," Golan attacked. "Internal dangers are more important than external ones. It needs to be uprooted. Whoever desecrates graves, harms property and acts violently - and I am very sorry that the media ignores this. I regret that my friends on the right and left do not strongly condemn events we have seen in the past year. Bennett as prime minister is much more than one statement or another."

In an interview with the Knesset Channel earlier Thursday, Golan claimed, "People who come and settle a place which was evacuated under the law, and where no one should be, and when I was commander of the Judea and Samaria Brigade I did not allow anyone to settle there. Now they cry their cries, 'Oy vey, how can this be conceivable? This is shameful and an embarrassment.' Those same people who come to settle there riot in Kafr Burqa, smash headstones, and make pogroms."

"These are not people - they are subhuman. These are despicable people and the most rotten part of the Jewish nation. We must not provide them with any backing, and we must forcefully remove them from this place and bring back law and order to the area. This nationalist insanity will bring disaster upon us."

Transportation Minister and Labor Party chairwoman Merav Michaeli responded that “words have power. We are the first and first to know this and therefore the use of words and therefore the use of the words ‘subhuman’ is irresponsible and requires an apology. Even when serious acts are condemned, it should be done with a respectful and inclusive discourse, regardless of the depth of the ideological controversy."