…Deputy Finance Minister Mickey Levy (Yesh Atid) was speaking on the "From 8 to 10" radio program, hosted by Moti Lavi, on the Haredi radio station Kol Berama. Levy said that the utlra-Orthodox must “bear the burden together, join the job market, they can’t be parasites on the Israeli public, they can’t keep on with their world view that ‘We don’t work.’”
Responding to his use of the term, Lavi asked his guest, “Aren’t you ashamed to say that on the air?” Realizing his mistake, Levy apologized immediately.
That wasn't enough for Lavi, who said, "You apologize because you realize you said something wrong, but it’s in your mind."
Levy replied, “I apologize for the term. I’m just saying that people can’t live — I’m changing it — they can’t keep on living, economically speaking, at the expense of people who pay taxes, people who enlist in the army, people who serve the state. You’re citizens who live in this country and have equal rights? Then share the obligations equally, too.”
When Lavi continued focusing on the deputy finance minister's use of the term “parasites,” Levy retorted, “You’re dwelling on something unimportant and clinging to it instead of conducting an interview. I apologized for that word, which was said in the heat of the conversation, and I apologize for it again. It was said in the heat of the moment.…
Levy's statement enraged the co-head of the Sefardi haredi Shas Party, Eli Yishai, who compared Levy's remark to Nazi language in the Holocaust, and added, "in other countries they call…behavior [like Levy's] antisemitism."