Israeli lawmaker Miri Regev, who came under fire last week after calling African migrants “a cancer” in Israeli society, apologized for the first time for her comments on Sunday, opting, however, to leave the migrants out of her apology.
Regev’s controversial comments came during a violent rally staged by residents of Tel Aviv’s south – where many African migrants live – to protest rising crime rates in the area. In the rally, the Likud MK said “the Sudanese are a cancer in our body.”
She was later criticized for inflaming the protesters, with angry demonstrators later going on to attack African passers-by and journalists, breaking into and looting shops associated with the African migrant community and shattering car windshields.
At the time, Regev condemned “any violence from any side, but I understand the rage and hurt of the residents, of the families that live there. They tell us: ‘Help us. We are being humiliated, look how we live, we are afraid to leave the house.’”
“When I compared the migrant worker phenomenon to cancer I was referring to the way the phenomenon had spread, and not anything else. If anyone took it otherwise and was consequently offended, I apologize and I surely did not intend to hurt either Holocaust survivors or cancer patients,” she said.
For more, go to Haaretz.com