Forced to resign from the Knesset after he attended his gay nephew's wedding, former MK Yigal Guetta (Shas) wrote his first response to the affair—saying he does not regret his actions and holds no grudges against his fellow party members.
"I have no complaints against anyone. I love each and every one of our brothers, the children of Israel," he said. "I forgive anyone who intended to hurt me, simply because they did not succeed (in doing so—ed)."
After thanking his wife and children, Guetta stressed the importance of family, calling it a "value of utmost importance."
"From this moment, my resignation from the Israeli Knesset has come into effect," he wrote on his Facebook page. "It was a great honor to serve the people of Israel in the Knesset."
Guetta promised he would continue to work on issues that everyone agree on but do not make efforts to resolve—such as poverty, pensions for the elderly and disabled and affordable housing—apologizing for failing to do more for the people adversely affected by them.
"I would like to ask for forgiveness from all the people (that I failed—ed)," he said. "Despite my best efforts, I did not always succeed in my short mission to help (them)."
"I am sorry that (I couldn't help) two million poor people in the State of Israel, who have not been able to escape poverty," he continued. "I ask forgiveness from hundreds of thousands of disabled people who (the government thought) could somehow subsist on NIS 2,348 a month.
"I am sorry for the hundreds of thousands of young couples who cannot afford affordable housing, people who—and let's call them by their name: 'homeless'—are forced to move from one house to another without rest.
"I ask forgiveness from elderly people of Israel who we have not been able to provide with a long-term care allowance, so that they could live out their remaining years without shame, and with a minimum of dignity.
"I apologize to the hundreds of thousands of children and families in the periphery, who we failed in (regards to—ed) to reducing the gaps in education, welfare and health (between them and the people living in the central region)."
In a recent radio interview, Guetta disclosed that he had a gay nephew who invited him to his wedding. The 51-year-old lawmaker said he attended out of respect for his sister, with whom he said he had a close relationship despite their ideological differences.
The disclosure caused outrage in the ultra-Orthodox community and led to calls from rabbis for the lawmaker to step down.