Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called Channel 2 News police reporter Moshe Nussbaum after mocking him at a Likud event, Nussbaum said on Thursday.
At a Likud Hanukka candle-lighting event on Monday, Netanyahu described what he said was the likely way police recommendations at the end of investigations into allegations of corruption will be covered by the media.
“I’m going to give you a spoiler. In a few weeks, reporters and analysts will sit in the TV studios and open the news with explosive headlines,” Netanyahu said.
The prime minister proceeded to imitate Nussbaum’s voice and put his fingers over his eyes to match the reporter’s bushy brows: “Very serious recommendations, I must say they’re very serious, I want to say, among the most serious the state has ever known.”
Asked on various radio shows and Channel 2 News main broadcast on Wednesday how he felt, Nussbaum shrugged off the incident, saying that he’s not offended but that sketch comedy show Eretz Nehederet and comedian Eli Yatzpan did a better job.
On Thursday, Nussbaum told Army Radio that Netanyahu called to apologize to him.
“I got a call from [Netanyahu’s] secretary who said he wants to speak to me, and then he said he didn’t mean it. I told him I appreciated the call very much and I wasn’t offended by his impression,” Nussbaum added. “He didn’t say it was spontaneous. I think it was planned.”
The reporter also joked: “It’s unbelievable, my eyebrows are always getting me in trouble.”
During the Likud event, Netanyahu criticized the police’s behavior during the investigations, calling them a “witch-hunt” and saying their recommendations are meaningless, because the attorney-general makes the final decision on whether to indict or not.
Nussbaum wrote a column about the speech, in which he said: “With all due respect, Mr. Prime Minister, it seems to me that instead of dealing with the reporters covering the investigations against you – whether they have thick, thin or regular eyebrows – you should look again at the version of events you relayed in interrogations, which did not disprove the suspicions against you.”