Former Israeli anchor: Likud voters have a 'low level of intelligence'

Likud leader and opposition head Benjamin Netanyahu called the comments "arrogant and outrageous."

Likud supporters celebrate the exit polls, which give Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu a substantial lead. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
Likud supporters celebrate the exit polls, which give Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu a substantial lead.
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)

Former Israeli news anchor Gadi Soknik stated that Likud voters have a "low level of functioning, intelligence, culture and discourse" during an interview on Channel 13's "Opening the Day" program on Monday morning.

"Yesh Atid voters are at a much higher level than the average level on the market. Compare it to other parties which are apparently democratic. Check the group that votes for them," said Soknik.

"For example the Likud. The Likud Central Committee is sown with interests, infected with all the diseases of the world, and the voters match that. [They're] usually at a much lower level than Yesh Atid's: a low level of functioning, of intelligence, of culture [and] of discourse."

In response to a question about if Likud MKs are "less intelligent" than Yesh Atid MKs, Soknik responded "on average? Check the people."

Angering the Israeli right

Likud leader and opposition head Benjamin Netanyahu called Soknik's comments "arrogant and outrageous," tweeting that the former anchor "underestimates the intelligence of Likud voters [and] joins the incitement of Yair Lapid and elements on the left against Likud voters for years."

"Likud voters are smart and sharp, Zionists and patriots with a heart of gold," added Netanyahu. "This bigotry crosses every border. I expect Gadi Soknik to apologize for his remarks immediately."

 Head of opposition and head of the Likud party Benjamin Netanyahu (credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST) Head of opposition and head of the Likud party Benjamin Netanyahu (credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)

Likud MK Nir Barkat expressed outrage at Soknik's comments, tweeting "Be ashamed of yourself! The Likud is the only major democratic party in Israel. Likud elected officials are among the best and most diligent in the Knesset. I am proud to be a Likudnik and proud to be part of a winning team that represents the people of Israel faithfully. Gone are the days when we allow bigotry on the agenda!"

Likud member and former ambassador to the UN Danny Danon called Soknik "the new mast of the left," saying that the anchor has "chosen to belittle and patronize the national right-wing public."

"The Likud's team, determined by 140,000 Likud members, is the highest quality and best of the Israeli parties. I am proud to be part of the Likud party!" said Danon.