Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu fumbled the name of Britain’s prime minister at the start of Sunday’s cabinet meeting, in remarks that were delivered on live television.
Netanyahu spoke about his meetings in London on Thursday, calling the British prime minister “Boris Yeltsin” instead of Boris Johnson.
נתניהו ישיבת הממשלה:— Yanir Cozin - יניר קוזין (@yanircozin) September 8, 2019
"חזרתי מביקור מהיר מאוד בלונדון שם נפגשתי עם ראש הממשלה *בוריס ילצין* " ילצין ממקום קבורתו: "פחות" pic.twitter.com/UHhOFAAvwR
Yeltsin served as president of Russia in the 1990s, overlapping Netanyahu’s first term as prime minister. He died in 2007.
This was a rare mistake on live television for Netanyahu during the campaign.
Netanyahu’s competition in the September 17 election, Blue and White leader Benny Gantz, has had a number of gaffes on live TV during the campaign, including forgetting the name of murdered soldier Dvir Sorek and calling the public stupid.
Gantz’s No. 2 in Blue and White, Yair Lapid, told Israel Hayom over the weekend that “there are few people who are as good on cameras and interviews as Bibi.” He downplayed Gantz’s gaffes, saying that “part of his charm is that he is not a sophisticated message machine but a real person from real life.”
Tweeted Lapid on Sunday afternoon: “If Gantz would have said Boris Yeltsin instead of Boris Johnson, the Bibi-backers would not have calmed down for three days.”
אם גנץ היה אומר בוריס ילצין במקום בוריס ג׳ונסון הביביסטים לא היו נרגעים שלושה ימים.— יאיר לפיד Yair Lapid (@yairlapid) September 8, 2019
Former prime minister Ehud Barak (Democratic Union) tweeted that Netanyahu’s mistake proved he needs to focus his time on his legal defense in his criminal cases.