Advertising bigwig Udi Pridan apologized Thursday for offensive remarks he made in a post-election interview, in which he called Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu “The Devil.”
"I was wrong for using calling the prime minister by a harsh word,” he tweeted. “This is our prime minister, who was elected in a democratic process. There was an unfortunate selection of an improper word, and I am sorry for that and apologize.”
Pridan, who was one of the directors of Kulanu's advertising campaign in the recent elections, also appeared to allude to statements he made in the interview regarding Mizrahi Jews. He said that he owes “an apology to the people who were hurt by the things I said, which created an insensitive sterotypical differentiation, for which I am also sorry.”
"All that was said was said in a state of agitation, following emotional involvement in the election,” he added. “I choose not to hide behind [statements like] 'my words were twisted' or 'taken out of context', and I apologize to whomever was hurt.”
"In my mind, Bibi is the devil, an evil man, dishonest, a troublemaker, and a schismatic…but because half of the people didn't want to vote for Tzipi Livni, and because social-economic issues were pressing on them, there was always an equality [in polls]," Pridan had told Globes a month after the elections.
Another target of Pridan's displeasure was the Mizrahi or Sephardic Jewish public, much of which voted for Netanyahu (who is Ashkenazi) over Kahlon, a fellow Mizrahi.
Pridan blamed that on what he termed Mizrahim's "inferiority complex," explaining that Kahlon was not able to achieve twenty seats because, "Mizrahis do not believe in themselves, that someone like them can be a leader."
Instead, he posited, despite their dislike of the "white Ashkenazi," they look to someone like Netanyahu as the only person capable of doing the job
They say, "I want a suit, a cigar, Bibi, English. I do not believe Kahlon can lie to Obama, and I want someone who can lie to Obama," Pridan claimed. "They want Bibi the presenter."
In response to the interview, Likud said that “Pridan's hate-filled statements are a direct continuation of the words uttered in recent weeks by Yair Garbuz, Alona Kimhi and Anat Waxman, against the Right's voters.
“These leftists cannot fathom the possibility that the fact that about a million people voted Likud is due to a sober perception of security, diplomacy and social matters. Likud voters appreciate the huge surge in development of the Galilee and Negev – a flourishing that the Left denies – including Udi Pridan, who says of himself that he “never left and is not leaving the state of Tel Aviv.”
"This is hypocrisy,” a party communique said. “When controversial statements are made by the Right, that is incitement. When they are said by leftists – that is freedom of expression.”