Avigdor Lieberman, who handed in his letter of resignation as foreign minister on Sunday following his indictment, issued a formal apology to the Polish community in Israel for what has become known as his "Weibers" speech (a derogatory term in Yiddish that refers to Polish wenches).
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Last week, Lieberman blamed party chairwomen Tzipi Livni (Hatnua), Shelly Yacimovich (Labor) and Zehava Gal-On (Meretz) for persecuting him without basis, and chose to use the derogatory term to describe them.
In the speech, Lieberman said, "I noticed the attacks against me by the three 'Weibers' – Tzipi Livni, Shelly Yacimovich and Zehava Gal-On – the Polish clanI don't know about Zehava Gal-On because she is Lithuanian, not Polish, but they all relentlessly attacked me." Livni and Gal-On did not respond.
Lieberman found the time during his busy resignation day to make a statement about his chauvinistic and non-diplomatic remarks, which drew heavy criticism. On his Facebook page, the former foreign minister:
"As someone who highly appreciates the Polish community in Israel and its significant contribution to the state over the years, and a third of whose faction in the previous election was comprised of women in senior positions, I didn’t' think a little joke would make so much noise. Now, in all seriousness, I sincerely apologize to anyone who was insulted by the joke."
Lieberman signed the apology letter with another joke disparaging Polish people: "And now I shall sit in the dark alone and think about it."