In gaffe at anti-violence event, Netanyahu calls women animals

The Prime Minister's Office later said his comments were taken out of context.

PRIME MINISTER Benjamin Netanyahu speaks at his office in Jerusalem on September 13. (photo credit: YOAV DUDKEVITCH/REUTERS)
PRIME MINISTER Benjamin Netanyahu speaks at his office in Jerusalem on September 13.
(photo credit: YOAV DUDKEVITCH/REUTERS)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made a major verbal gaff Monday when he referred to women as "animals with rights" during an event marking International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.
Speaking at the event, Netanyahu said: “A woman isn't an animal you can beat, and nowadays we say don’t hit animals. We have compassion for animals, women are animals, children are animals, with rights.”
The choice of words was met with controversy, and the Hebrew term he used for animals – baalei hayim – quickly became trending on Israeli social media.
In a statement, Joint List MK Aida Touma-Sliman condemned Netanyahu for his comments, stating "we are citizens, we are human beings... not animals."
The Prime Minister's Office later said his comments were taken out of context.
"Prime Minister Netanyahu, who spoke from the bottom of his heart today about women's rights and against any violation of them, only gave an example of abuse in a small part of his speech when he also spoke about harm to animals, but in no way intended to compare them," the office said in a statement, according to Walla.