Israeli TV presenter Galit Gutman apologized to the ultra-Orthodox community on Friday afternoon after she made controversial comments she made on live television about them earlier that morning.
"How much of a burden can be placed on a third of this country to keep all these ultra-Orthodox people who suck our blood?" Gutman said during the broadcast.
Gutman initially made these statements on Channel 12 on Friday morning while talking about the protest at Bnei Brak this week.
Gutman's apology for the incident
The TV presenter later apologized for her statements. "I would like to apologize from the bottom of my heart if I offended an entire sector of people," Gutman said. "I love the State of Israel, and I have sharp criticism towards the representatives of the ultra-Orthodox sector in the Knesset out of concern for Israel's future.
"The words were said during a discussion on the government budget and the property tax fund," she continued. "But I have no intention of offending anyone at all. I apologize to everyone who was hurt by my words."
"I love the State of Israel, and I have sharp criticism towards the representatives of the ultra-Orthodox sector in the Knesset out of concern for Israel's future."Galit Gutman
Channel 12 announced after her initial statements that Gutman will be investigated on her comments, Hebrew media reported, with the Israeli broadcast also stating that her "words are unacceptable and should not have been said in any way. We regret this and apologize for the unnecessary harm."
Coalition politicians also condemned her statements
Shortly after Gutman's initial controversial statement, several coalition MKs condemned her words.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that her statements were "ugly and inciting" and that they are "reminiscent of blasphemous statements directed against our people in the past."
Jerusalem Mayor Moshe Lion said that such statements "have no place in the Jewish state. The ultra-Orthodox public contributes a lot to the State of Israel, whether it is through volunteering, charity organizations and increasing integration into the labor market."
Transportation Minister Miri Regev said in response: "Shame on you Galit Gutman. There is no place in Israel for words reminiscent of antisemitic statements that belonged to the oppressors of our people. Enough incitement."
Foreign Minister Eli Cohen stated that "Lapid's dangerous incitement against the ultra-Orthodox permeates the media and the results of such are already visible. Let's stop before it's too late! The ultra-Orthodox are our brothers, they are part of the state."