“Wonder Woman” actress Gal Gadot has called on the Israeli prime minister to “love thy neighbour as thyself” in reference to Palestinian citizens of Israel.
The Israeli actress spoke out after Benjamin Netanyahu hit back at TV star Rotem Sela’s social media post asking: “When the hell will someone in this government broadcast to the public that Israel is a country of all its citizens? And the Arabs, God have mercy, are also human beings. So are the Druze, so are homosexuals and by the way so are lesbians….and, shockingly, the left.”
Netanyahu replied with an “important correction”, adding: “Israel is not a country of all its citizens. According to the Nation-State Law that we passed, Israel is the nation-state of the Jewish nation – and its alone.”
The Nation-State Law, passed in July last year, declared Israel the “national home of the Jewish people” and effectively rendered Palestinian citizens of Israel second-class citizens.
Criticising Sela’s comments that a future Israeli government would require the backing of Palestinian members of the Knesset, he continued: “It’s either a strong right-wing government led by me, or a weak left-wing government led by Yair Lapid and [Benny] Gantz, with the support of the Arab parties.”
Wading into the row, Gadot called on Netanyahu to “love thy neighbour as thyself. It’s not an issue of Right or Left, Jew or Arab, secular or religious. It’s an issue of dialogue. Of dialogue for peace, for equality, for tolerance between one another.”
Adding that Sela is an “inspiration”.
The “Wonder Woman” star has herself previously come under criticism for a Facebook post she made during Israel’s 2014 brutal attack on Palestinians in Gaza, in it she applauded the Israeli army’s actions under the hashtag “#loveidf”. As a result, her film was banned in a number of Arabic countries in 2017.
Netanyahu has come under repeated criticism following his remarks, with Israeli President Reuven Rivlin slamming the “unacceptable remarks about the Arab citizens of Israel”.
“There are no first-class citizens, and there are no second-class voters. We are all equal in the voting booth. We are all represented at the Knesset [parliament].”