Gal Gadot pushes back on Netanyahu's criticism of model

Actress Gal Gadot lends support to model, after Netanyahu chided her for endorsing Israel as 'state of all its citizens'.

David Rosenberg ,

Gal Gadot
Gal Gadot

Actress Gal Gadot appeared to back up an Israeli model who chided the Likud over its campaign rhetoric, declaring Israel to be a state of all its citizens.

The story began when Rotem Sela, an Israeli actress and model, ripped Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s Likud party over its warnings that the Blue and White party could form a ruling coalition with the backing of anti-Zionist Arab factions.

Responding to an interview Saturday by Rina Matzliah with Culture Minister Miri Regev (Likud), Sela wrote on Instagram “I see Miri Regev sitting and explaining to Rina Matzliah that the public needs to be careful because Gantz will form a coalition with the Arabs if he is elected,” she wrote.

“Rina is silent. I ask myself, why doesn’t Rina ask in bewilderment - And what’s the problem with the Arabs??? Master of the Universe, there are also Arab citizens in this country. Israel is a state of its citizens, and all people were born equal and Arabs, Heaven forbid, are people too, and so are Druze, and so are gays, by the way, and so are lesbians and so are…*shock*...leftists.”

With polls showing the right-wing – religious bloc and the left-wing – Arab bloc nearing parity, Netanyahu and others from the Likud have warned that Gantz could form a narrow governing coalition, relying either on the anti-Zionist United Arab List-Balad party or Hadash-Ta’al party to secure a majority.

Following Sela’s comments, Prime Minister Netanyahu responded – both via social media, and in his weekly cabinet meeting statement – noting that Israel is not, in fact a “state of all its citizens”, but a Jewish state.

PM Netanyahu, Rotem Sella
Meir Vaknin & Noam Revkin Fenton / Flash90

“I would like to clarify a point that, apparently, is not clear to slightly confused people in the Israeli public. Israel is a Jewish, democratic state. This means is that it is the national state of the Jewish people alone. Of course it respects the individual rights of all its citizens – Jews and non-Jews alike, but it is the national state, not of all its citizens, but only of the Jewish people.”

“Other peoples, other nationalities and other minorities – have national representation in other states. The national representation of the Jewish people is in the State of Israel. Israel is the national state of the Jewish people and of it alone.”

Later on Sunday, actress Gal Gadot, best known for her role as the titular character in “Wonder Woman”, weighed in, writing that the issue wasn’t a matter of politics, but of “tolerance”.

"Love thy neighbor as thyself," wrote Gadot.

“This isn’t a matter of left-wing or right-wing, Jewish versus Arab, secular or religious. It is about dialogue for peace, equality and our tolerance for each other.”