Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told a woman who interrupted a speech he was giving Tuesday by saying “you’re not interesting, you’re boring us” – after she complained about the closure of an emergency room in northern Israel.
The prime minister was in the northern town of Kiryat Shmona to dedicate a medical center. When Netanyahu said that "all of Israel's citizens, at every location, deserve the best possible care," the woman asked: "So why did you close the emergency room?"
The prime minister replied: "You're not interesting, you're boring us. Give us interesting things." The woman responded: "I've voted for you every four years, and that's how you treat me?"
Later, Netanyahu said that "this morning, a political activist interrupted my remarks at a dedication ceremony for the medical center in Kiryat Shmona."
As he put it, "it was a few hours after I was informed of the passing of my close friend, attorney Jacob Weinroth. I'm used to criticism and have no problem with interruptions. I've been interrupted hundreds of times in my life. But today, in the depths of pain and sorrow, I felt it was simply inappropriate."
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An emergency room in Kiryat Shmona that was associated with Ziv Medical Center in Safed closed five years ago. The medical center that was dedicated Tuesday does not have an emergency room.
The Prime Minister's Office later issued a statement about the exchange with the woman, saying: "We are sorry that the complete picture is not being presented. This is a woman who interrupted the prime minister, even when he tried to speak about Jacob Weinroth," a high-profile lawyer who once represented the prime minister and who died Tuesday.
"The woman yelled: 'a sad day.' The prime minister responded that this was correct, that it was a sad day following the death of Jacob Weinroth, but unfortunately, she chose to interrupt anyway."
Sources close to Netanyahu said he usually does not respond sharply to people who interrupt his speeches, but he found the interruption hurtful, saying the woman went too far by interrupting his comments about Weinroth's death.