Secret tapes reveal Natan Eshel making racist remarks

Netanyahu’s former chief of staff Natan Eshel was caught in a tape revealed on Channel 12 making racist statements against Sephardi voters.

Former PMO Chief of Staff Natan Eshel (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
Former PMO Chief of Staff Natan Eshel
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
After a weekend of Blue and White leader Benny Gantz enduring the fallout from leaked tapes of his strategist Israel Bachar calling the possibility of him becoming prime minister “a "danger to the people of Israel," Likud had to deal with a new tape of an unofficial adviser for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Netanyahu’s former chief of staff Natan Eshel, who is still sent on political missions by the prime minister, was caught in a tape revealed on Channel 12 making racist statements against Sephardi voters.
Eshel said on the tape that “non-Ashkenazim hate everything.” He praised what he called “Likud’s campaign of hate” for motivating such voters and uniting Netanyahu’s political camp. He also called Culture and Sports Minister Miri Regev, who has organized Netanyahu’s campaign rallies “a beast.”
"I called and made it clear to Natan Eshel that his words were unworthy and unacceptable to me," Netanyahu tweeted Saturday night in response to the remarks. "He apologized for his words immediately."
"The Likud is a home for all sectors of Israeli society and always will be," he concluded.
Eshel said in response to the tape that his words were taken "out of context only to hurt the Likud."
"I'm a proud grandfather to Moroccan grandchildren. I am ashamed of the many years of white tribal behavior and their damage to the wonderful heritage of the people of the Sephardi communities," he said.
"The people of the Sephardi communities are right in their anger and the first to recognize this and admit his mistake was Menachem Begin," he added, referring to the late former Likud Prime Minister.


Blue and White responded that such comments were typical of how the Likud sees its own voters.
“That is the bad spirit of Netanyahu that is poisoning Israel,” Gantz said. “In two days, it will be over.”
Blue and White MK Gabi Ashkenazi, who is Sephardi, added: “We in Blue and White won’t let hate win. We won’t let racism win.”
"Natan Eshel revealed what we all knew: Netanyahu is a divisive and inflammatory man, whose whole campaign is based on racism, hating the other, division and incitement. In two days, citizens of Israel will go out to tell him - Enough [Netanyahu], until here. We won't let you destroy the Zionist enterprise!" said the Labor-Gesher-Meretz List on Saturday night in response to the report.
The Likud responded that there was no comparison between Eshel’s and Bachar’s tapes. The party said Eshel does not work for Likud and speaks only for himself.