Yisrael Beytenu MK Anastasia Michaeli apologized on Thursday for saying the day before in a Knesset committee meeting that most gay people were sexually abused as children and that they eventually "commit suicide when they are 40.”
Michaeli's comments were condemned by gay groups and fellow lawmakers from across the political spectrum. Her own Yisrael Beytenu faction distanced itself from the MK's remarks, clarifying in a statement that her opinions were hers alone and did not represent the thinking of the party.
In a letter released on Thursday night, Michaeli stated, "I'm sorry if anyone was hurt," adding that she did not believe her comments were homophobic.
"I respect the right of every person to live as he sees fit," Michaeli said, explaining that she was merely attempting to raise important issues with her remarks. "First, is the real distress members of the gay and lesbian community are subject to in different stages of their lives, and second, is the violent and crass programming, especially of a sexual nature, in the media and television."