Hotovely: Comment on 'convenient lives' of US Jews not directed at lone soldiers
Deputy foreign minister posts video on Facebook in Hebrew in which she doubles down on position that 'life in Israel and life in the US is very different,' but stressed she did not direct her comments at American Jews serving in the IDF.
"If any of the lone soldiers in Israel were hurt because they thought I directed my comments at them, I certainly did not direct my comments at any such soldier who serves in the Israel Defense Force," Hotovely said in Hebrew in a video posted on her Facebook page.
"Among the American Jews are people who send their sons to fight in the Israeli army, and there are of course people in American history who fought in the American military," she allowed.
"The connection, the dialogue—as is acceptable among siblings within a family—is the most important thing," Hotovely asserted. "It's okay to criticize, it's okay to give voice to pain, but it's important to remember there is one state for the Jewish people and that is Israel, and it is committed to all Jews in the world."
She maintained that "what happened over the past 24 hours does not reflect the spirit of my comments. I embrace American Jewry, call on it to have a connection with the State of Israel, and truly believe in dialogue with Diaspora Jewry and particularly with the wonderful American Jewry."
However, Hotovely doubled down on her position that "the reality of life in Israel and the reality of life in the US is very different, and that does not contradict the connection and dialogue that must take place between us and this important Jewry."
In English, Hotovely only offered a short clarification of her comments, saying: "American Jewry is important to us, we are siblings, and siblings are allowed to have an argument within the family. Israel is home to all Jews from all denominations. I view the link between us and the American Jewry as essential. Let me make it clear: There is no argument about the loyalty of American Jews to their country. The use of partial quotes from a full interview only undermines the central message."
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sought to distance himself from Hotovely’s comments earlier on Thursday, issuing a statement against what he described as “offensive remarks.”
"The Jews of the Diaspora are dear to us and are an inseparable part of our people," Netanyahu said.
“There is no place for such attacks, and her remarks do not reflect the position of the State of Israel,” he added.