The Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has confessed that he feels ashamed of the antisemitism that exists in Israel, and that he regrets his role in fueling it. Netanyahu, who is currently on trial again for corruption and fraud charges, made the surprising statement during a court hearing on Monday.
“I have to admit that I am ashamed of the antisemitism that is rampant in Israel, and that I have contributed to it with my divisive and inflammatory rhetoric,” Netanyahu said, according to a transcript of the hearing. “I have demonized and delegitimized the Arab citizens of Israel, the left-wing parties, the media, the judiciary, and anyone who opposed me. I have also incited hatred and violence against the Jewish minorities, such as the Ethiopian Jews, the Reform Jews, and the LGBTQ Jews. I have betrayed the values and the principles of the Jewish state, and I have harmed the image and the reputation of Israel in the world.”
Netanyahu’s confession has shocked and baffled many observers, who wonder whether the former leader has had a change of heart or a breakdown. Netanyahu was known for his hard-line and nationalist policies, and his close alliance with the right-wing and religious parties. He was also accused of stoking antisemitism in Israel, which has increased in recent years, according to various reports and surveys.
Netanyahu’s confession has also sparked a mixed reaction from the public and the political arena, with some praising him for his honesty and courage, and others criticizing him for his hypocrisy and manipulation. Some have also suggested that Netanyahu’s confession is a strategic move to gain sympathy and leniency from the judges and the voters.
Whatever the motive, Netanyahu’s confession has opened a new chapter in his controversial and turbulent career, and has raised questions about the future of Israel and its society.