Outgoing FM Lieberman Apologizes After Insulting Israel's Top Three Female Politicians

In a speech last week, the Yisrael Beiteinu chairman referred to Tzipi Livni, Shelly Yacimovich and Zehava Gal-On as 'Weibers,' a derogatory Yiddish term referring to Polish wenches.

Jonathan Lis
Jonathan Lis
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Jonathan Lis
Jonathan Lis

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).

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."

Sorry to Shelly, right, and Zehava.Credit: Haaretz
Lieberman speaking at a Foreign Affairs Ministry ceremony.Credit: Michal Fattal

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