Netanyahu accidentally calls Arabs ‘goats’ in video intended to promote ‘equality and dignity for all’

Israel/Palestine
on 35 Comments

In what was intended as a message to Palestinians citizens of Israel on “equality and dignity for all,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s accidentally called Arabs “goats,” and received backlash from Palestinian political parties for staging a “hypocritical charade.”

The clip, recorded in Hebrew and English versions, started with an Arabic greeting, the phrase, “Muwatinuna al arab al aezaa.” While the prime minister had meant to say, “My good friends Arab citizens,” with a slight mispronunciation his words were understood as, “my Arab goats.”

The gaffe was pointed out by Knesset member Ahmad Tibi from the Joint List who released the following statement, “He [Netanyahu] meant to say the word ‘al-aziziye’ which means ‘my good friends.’ However, the word he said was ‘ al aezaa,’ which means ‘my goats,’” explained Tibi.

The error was not the only item to draw umbrage from the Joint List and Arab members of Knesset. They published their own video response today and said “no thanks!”

In an adjoining statement, party leader Ayman Odeh added he rejects the idea the video was an olive branch on social inclusion.

I watched the video released by the Prime Minister and I asked myself: could this be the same prime minister who tried with all his might to block the economic development plan for Arab municipalities, who attempted to add more and more conditions so that the plan would be completely impractical?” said Odeh.

“Is this the same prime minister who incited against Arab citizens during the elections, and who since then has only intensified his incitement against us? When I saw that he chose to appeal to us in English, I understood the true purpose of his message and to whom it was really directed. So I say to the Prime Minister, in the name of the Arab public: We don’t buy this hypocritical charade,” he continued.

The video focused on Netanyahu’s “resolution to invest massive resources in Arab communities,” but the surprise nature of the message, and the fact that a second version was published in English and not in Arabic, has many questioning underlining motivations.

Typically these types of recordings posted to YouTube are reserved for holiday well wishes, or to condemn terrorist attacks such as a recent video of the prime minister on the shootings in Orlando. Netanyahu does not have a history of publishing other speeches on social media.

Tibi posted a lengthy response on Facebook that he did “not know what was the cause of this video and its timing, but I can confirm,” said Tibi, “that this ‘love’ surprise is false spin, and it is not directed at us, so much as it is to foreign and international groups for other reasons that will unfold later.”

Tibi went on to say Netanyahu sounded uncharacteristically “like an observer of the United Nations” and “I think the cameraman who filmed the video burst out laughing when he heard Netanyahu..Words of fraud worth debunking..Netanyahu: cut the bullshit ..![sic].”

Netanyahu began the video by apologizing for previous statements he said about Palestinian citizens of Israel in 2015.

Before my election, I said Arabs voters were going to the polls in droves,” began Netanyahu, “I was referring to a specific political party but many people were understandably offended. I apologized for how my comment was misunderstood.”

“But today I want to go further. Today I am asking Arab citizens in Israel to take part in our society—in droves. Work in droves, study in droves, thrive in droves,” he added.

The “droves” comment caused the U.S. State Department to say it was “deeply concerned” about the rhetoric and that the prime minister “undermines the values and democratic ideals that have been important to our democracy and an important part of what binds the United States and Israel together.”

Palestinians represent 20 percent of Israel’s population. In the election where Netanyahu made the offending comments, the the Joint List, a coalition of primarily Palestinian political parties, became Israel’s third largest political party.

About Allison Deger

Allison Deger is the Assistant Editor of Mondoweiss.net. Follow her on twitter at @allissoncd.

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35 Responses

  1. Ossinev
    July 26, 2016, 1:05 pm

    “But today I want to go further. Today I am asking Arab citizens in Israel to take part in our society—in droves. Work in droves, study in droves, thrive in droves,”

    He forgot the most important “drove” request = LEAVE our JEWISH State in droves.

    Hypocritical liar.

  2. Kay24
    July 26, 2016, 1:17 pm

    A world leader called him a liar, so whatever his motives were, any explanation by the butcher from Tel Aviv, cannot be believed. Drumpf is also an idiot, but he says racist and insulting names out loud, this man’s true colors are always hidden.

    • Citizen
      July 26, 2016, 1:47 pm

      Trump’s problem is, before he started speaking as a political in the public arena, he didn’t understand one doing such should never make blanket negative statements about any group of people, even if he follows such statement up in the next breath, by qualifying it. The libtards have seized on this amateur weakness , and will repeat it endlessly, and it will be why Trump will lose to Hillary. He will, thus, be beaten not simply by demographics, but by PC code. Under such code, one can rip up any group of people, so long as one does not say or directly imply the negative associations apply to all of those people. The Democrat Establishment are experts at this.

      • yonah fredman
        July 27, 2016, 6:43 am

        Citizen- Trump’s failing is much deeper than that. When he proposed that the judge in the Trump U case oughta be disqualified because he was Mexican, that wasn’t political incorrectness, that was cynical billionaire using his run for the presidency to help him in his personal court case. He is a fraudulent lying pompous idiot who uses racism to promote his court case and he deserves to be defeated soundly. that’s not political correctness or naivete that is his fault. he is an evil selfish narcissistic dangerous man and it is really not about political correctness and you are obfuscating for some reason.

      • eljay
        July 27, 2016, 2:35 pm

        || yonah fredman: … [Trump] … is a fraudulent lying pompous idiot … he is an evil selfish narcissistic dangerous man … ||

        I agree with all the adjectives except evil. I would apply that one to Hillary. IMO, she is much smarter and, therefore, far more dangerous. She’s the Cheney or Rumsfeld to Trump’s Du(m)bya.

      • Mooser
        July 27, 2016, 3:54 pm

        “Trump’s problem is, before he started speaking as a political in the public arena,”

        He had a reality TV show once, but politics isn’t scripted.

      • Kay24
        July 27, 2016, 4:37 pm

        I agree that Hillary has her own baggage too. However, when you see Drumpf ranting and looking unhinged like he did today, even inviting Russia to hack into our government websites, you realize that to a large extent the country will be better with Bill and Hillary Clinton, at least they do not promote hatred, insult the entire world (France today) and make Americans turn against each other. Yes, they do not have a stellar record, but at least the country will be run by sane people,, not an unhinged, think skinned, vindictive, crude carnival barker. It is disturbing to think that he will be representing this country.

      • Annie Robbins
        July 27, 2016, 5:12 pm

        it’s hard keeping up w/trump, it’s a new story every other minute. — makes for an entertaining election season anyway.

      • RoHa
        July 27, 2016, 10:17 pm

        “He is a fraudulent lying pompous idiot … he is an evil selfish narcissistic dangerous man”

        Oh dear. I thought he was a bit different from the common run of politicians.

        I was going to write “And Hillary is a crook and a warmonger”, but then I remembered that a lot of her critics and opponents have met untimely ends, so I’m going to write “Hurrah for Hillary and nuclear war with Russia!”

  3. Marnie
    July 26, 2016, 1:26 pm

    Netanyahooo has the same problem disease that afflicts alot of zionists – the belief those he addresses are as stupid as he is. PROPAGANDA FAIL. This man and his gov’t are not peace partners.

    Fabulous rebuttal from MK Odeh!

    • john_manyjars
      July 26, 2016, 10:16 pm

      Sadly, it matters not what Bibi and his band of butchers do or say, as long as the US continues to be his [email protected] The sweet, sweet tax-free ‘donations’ and ‘foreign aid’ will continue apace.

  4. oldgeezer
    July 26, 2016, 1:29 pm

    It’s hard to figure out what the slimeball is up to although it’s a safe bet it’s no good.

    He tells Israelis no two states under his watch. He tells the world he is prepared to negotiate the 2SS at any time if only Abbas would talk. He later adds in separate comments in the Israeli press there will be no peace negotiations in the discussions until Palestinian incitement is dealt with. He blames Herzog not being in tbe governing coalition for the lack of a peace agreement saying he couldn’t possibly get a deal with the hov he currently leads. He is all over the map with mendacious lies and insincere words.

    I don’t think his plan is obvious yet but my best guess is he is feeling foreign pressure and wants to paint a picture in the western press of someone who is working for peace. As the article notes the opposition called it correctly that this video is not aimed at arabs and the languages used are the proof.

    Israel cannot be a partner for peace as it has no desire for peace other than to be left alone as it continues it’s theft and ethnic cleansing.

    • Kay24
      July 26, 2016, 7:22 pm

      You are right. If Nutty is faking being nice, he is up to no good. Can it be MORE illegal squatter abodes? Another mowing of the lawn coming up during the US election season?

      • Kay24
        July 27, 2016, 4:39 pm

        I guess Annie’s article today on land thieves taking advantage of the US elections to steal more lands, proved my point.

      • Annie Robbins
        July 27, 2016, 5:04 pm

        i thought the same thing kay and i made a similar comment at the base of this thread earlier — great minds and all that;)

  5. David Doppler
    July 26, 2016, 1:37 pm

    “Droves” of Arabs or Palestinians?” The English term droves derives from “draf” meaning beasts driven in a body, and the road along which cattle are driven.

    Perhaps “my Arab goats” going “in droves” hither and yon, are all part of a piece, a layered and multi-faceted Freudian slip, explosing his racist attitudes toward Palestinians? As collected in the book, “A Murder of Crows,” there are many creative terms developed to refer to different groups (a string of violins, e.g.).

    Perhaps Palestinians in this context of occupation deserve their own unique crowd term, not rooted in the animal kingdom. In English, perhaps the word “Pale” would be apropos, combining both a root of their own name, with the English “Pale” referring to areas in Ireland outside of English control, and for the bigoted English, more broadly, meaning outside the realm of civilization itself. A “Pale of Palestinians,” e.g., a frustrated crowd queued up at checkpoints, is perhaps a worthy candidate, if there are no offensive overtones overlooked. They certainly find themselves as a group in circumstances outside normal considerations for universal rights.

  6. eljay
    July 26, 2016, 2:17 pm

    … “He [Netanyahu] meant to say the word ‘al-aziziye’ which means ‘my good friends.’ However, the word he said was ‘ al aezaa,’ which means ‘my goats,’” explained Tibi. …

    Right, because when one is reading a prepared – and very likely rehearsed – speech off a teleprompter, it’s understandable how one could replace the word “al-azaziye” with “al aezaa”.

    Bibi: I spoke with an Arab woman today. She was sharmuta.
    Tibi: He meant to say “charming”.

    … “Before my election, I said Arabs voters were going to the polls in droves,” began Netanyahu, “I was referring to a specific political party but many people were understandably offended. I apologized for how my comment was misunderstood.”

    “But today I want to go further. Today I am asking Arab citizens in Israel to take part in our society—in droves. Work in droves, study in droves, thrive in droves,” he added. …

    Be content with being second class Aye-rab and Mooslim citizens in a religion-supremacist “Jewish State”—in droves. Absolve us of our past and on-going (war) crimes—in droves. Don’t expect us to honour our obligations under international law—in droves.

  7. Talkback
    July 26, 2016, 2:55 pm

    “But today I want to go further. Today I am asking Arab citizens in Israel to take part in our society—in droves. Work in droves, study in droves, thrive in droves,”

    As long as you don’t reproduce in droves. Cause than we have do decrease your numbers like we’ve been doing since 1948.

  8. a blah chick
    July 26, 2016, 5:11 pm

    “Before my election, I said Arabs voters were going to the polls in droves,” began Netanyahu, “I was referring to a specific political party but many people were understandably offended. I apologized for how my comment was misunderstood.”

    This statement is the very definition of the non-apology apology. Also it takes a very special kind of politician to ask participation of the very people your party is trying to kick out of the legislature.

  9. gamal
    July 26, 2016, 7:37 pm

    “but many people were understandably offended.”

    will the scourge of Jewish self hatred never abate.

  10. gamal
    July 26, 2016, 8:14 pm

    George Bush my little goat and now ….this

    but hello kitty is moderate

    “Alloush cut a hawkish stance, wearing a desert camouflage uniform and a semi-automatic handgun strapped to his side.

    However, the effect was ruined by a pink-colored Hello Kitty note pad lying in front of him.”

    real men accessorize

    https://www.rt.com/news/171308-syria-isis-hello-kitty/

    • RoHa
      July 26, 2016, 11:34 pm

      Never seen that pic before. I imagine the Arabic Twittersphere buckled under the weight of the mockery.

  11. mcohen.
    July 27, 2016, 4:10 am

    i think this is aimed solely at australians as the word drover is defined as……

    A drover in Australia is a person, typically an experienced stockman, who moves livestock, usually sheep, cattle, and horses “on the hoof” over long distances.

    a goat drover……brings back good memories

    when i was a kid i used to chase the neighbours goats off our land with our 2 fox terrier dogs.they were good at catching the ram too.one would nip the back leg and when the ram spun around to butt it the other dog would nip it.soon the ram would be spinning around in circles and finally drop down in exhaustion and be caught.

    there is a good lesson to be learnt here.i kid you not

    don’t turn your back on your friends to face your enemies.

    • CigarGod
      July 27, 2016, 9:17 am

      I am a drover and have moved cattle on horseback in several western states in the usa…and Canada.

      • Mooser
        July 27, 2016, 4:27 pm

        “I am a drover and have moved cattle on horseback in several western states in the usa…and Canada.”

        So that’s what a ‘drover’ does. I always wondered, and now, thanks to you, I know.
        If it was me, tho, I’d make them walk. Well, unless they are injured, or sick. But it must be hell on the poor horses.

      • amigo
        July 27, 2016, 6:45 pm

        “So that’s what a ‘drover’ does. I always wondered, and now, thanks to you, I know.” Mooser.

        In Ireland our rovers are wild and don,t walk.They stagger.

        Btw , this is Ireland,s version of the “three no,s not withstanding Ian Paisley,s version —-“Never , never , never “.

      • oldgeezer
        July 27, 2016, 10:02 pm

        @amigo

        Ah a grand old song it is. I shared many a beer over it. I also loved Nancy Whiskey but then in that song it was a weaver who was a rovin blade and not a rover. So complicated these days sigh

    • Mooser
      July 27, 2016, 5:58 pm

      “mcohen”, thanks.
      A pair of six-dotters! And used in random spots, too. Right on! Nothing eclipses your ellipses, “mcohen”.
      Except a couple choruses of “The Lonely Goatherd”

  12. JLewisDickerson
    July 27, 2016, 9:51 am

    RE: He [Netanyahu] meant to say the word ‘al-aziziye’ which means ‘my good friends.’ However, the word he said was ‘ al aezaa,’ which means ‘my goats,’” explained Tibi

    MY COMMENT: Sounds like a Freudian mispronunciation!

  13. JLewisDickerson
    July 27, 2016, 10:06 am

    RE: Tibi posted a lengthy response on Facebook that he did “not know what was the cause of this video and its timing, but I can confirm,” said Tibi, “that this ‘love’ surprise is false spin.

    MY COMMENT: Speaking of Netanyahu’s “‘love’ surprise”, the Christian fundamentalists like to use what they call a “love bomb”. Matt Taibi refers to its use by Hagee’s Cornerstone Church in The Great Derangement.

  14. Annie Robbins
    July 27, 2016, 4:28 pm

    i totally agree w/Odeh the appeal in english was directed (as he implied i presume) at a foreign crowd — especially now during the election campaign.

    and it serves as a really good distraction from the settlement expansion, which is what foreign focus should be on right now. btw, not sure if people have read about israeli gov officials acknowledging they’re “taking advantage of the US elections to build” settlements. this is going on simultaneously, i recommend. >>>> http://mondoweiss.net/2016/07/municipality-elections-settlements/#sthash.CHUAQSWK.dpuf

    • mcohen.
      July 28, 2016, 1:48 am

      annie

      no you have it wrong.this is the final offer for a peaceful solution from the israeli government.one for the record.before the us election.

  15. traintosiberia
    July 27, 2016, 9:58 pm

    I have been trying but so far unsuccessful to see this episode referred to by CNN or NYT Though they have been a little too hurt by the shenanigans of Trump’s remarks on immigrants and on Mulsim.

    Then I saw this Editorial on today’s NYT

    The Putin-Trump Admiration Society – The New York Times
    http://www.nytimes.com/2016/…/the-putin-trump-admiration-society.ht...
    The New York Times

    http://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/27/opinion/the-putin-trump-admiration-society.html

    When placed side by side for a measure of the irresponsibility on the part of NYT , the silence and condoning of similar behavior gets mid boggling Netanyhua did try to influence Romney vs Obama election.Israelis. tried to eavesdrop on American -Iran negotiation. Israel planted moles in cabinet and in the negotiating team . Republicans showed more warmth , love and fear for the Israeli PM and also called Obama weak

    It ridicules Trump for not getting what it wanted from Russia. Has America got anything from Israel despite sustaining its very survival? Did Obama get anything despite reflexive support to Israel and despite replenishing Israeli coffers and military warehouse free

  16. iResistDe4iAm
    July 30, 2016, 3:23 am

    “But today I want to go further. Today I am asking Arab citizens in Israel to take part in our society—in droves. Work in droves, study in droves, thrive in droves” ~ Benjamin Netanyahu

    Work in droves…

    One employment policy for Jewish Israelis, a different employment policy for non-Jewish Israelis = Israeli apartheid
    http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/discrimination-against-arab-women-1.469568
    http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/arabs-the-israeli-civil-service-needs-you-1.458640
    http://www.haaretz.com/news/national/arabs-make-up-only-2-7-of-academic-teaching-staff-in-israel-1.369723
    http://www.haaretz.com/knesset-panel-slams-lack-of-arabs-in-government-agencies-1.288283

    One farming policy for Jewish Israelis, a different farming policy for non-Jewish Israelis = Israeli apartheid
    http://www.haaretz.com/business/israeli-arab-farmers-brought-into-state-quota-system-for-first-time-1.419454

    Study in droves…

    One education policy for Jewish Israelis, a different education policy for non-Jewish Israelis and non-Jewish migrants = Israeli apartheid
    http://972mag.com/arab-school-strike-highlights-israels-discriminatory-education-policies/111480/
    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/08/23/the-banality-of-racism-in-israel-s-most-liberal-city.html
    http://www.haaretz.com/israeli-arab-students-are-learning-the-hard-way-1.414489
    http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-israel-med-students-20120528,0,1686735.story
    http://www.haaretz.com/news/national/integration-of-migrants-children-into-schools-harms-israeli-students-state-says-1.460178

    One education policy for Jewish Jerusalemites, a different education policy for non-Jewish Jerusalemites = Israeli apartheid
    https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/charlotte-silver/jerusalem-children-squeezed-out-school-israeli-discrimination

    Thrive in droves…

    One budget allocation policy for Jewish Israelis, a different budget allocation policy for non-Jewish Israelis = Israeli apartheid
    http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/Fighting-discrimination-390407
    http://mossawa.org/en/article/view/511

    One housing policy for Jewish Israelis, a different housing policy for non-Jewish Israelis = Israeli apartheid
    http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4287018,00.html
    http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/netanyahu-s-housing-reform-ignores-israeli-arab-communities-says-new-research-1.421357
    http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/israel-haifa-palestinians-ordered-pay-demolition-own-homes-1440950
    http://www.hrw.org/en/news/2011/03/08/israel-stop-discriminatory-home-demolitions
    http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3995724,00.html

    One transport policy for Jewish Israelis, a different transport policy for non-Jewish Israelis = Israeli apartheid
    http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/jewish-towns-get-up-to-14-times-more-buses-than-arab-counterparts-report-finds.premium-1.481550

    One planning policy for Jewish Israelis, a different planning policy for non-Jewish Israelis = Israeli apartheid
    http://www.economist.com/news/middle-east-and-africa/21571937-arab-village-asked-bow-wishes-jewish-settlers-arab-haven

    There are more than 50 Israeli laws that discriminate against Palestinian citizens of Israel in all areas of life, including their rights to political participation, access to land, education, state budget resources, and criminal procedures.
    http://www.adalah.org/en/content/view/7771

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