“Wonder Woman” actress Gal Gadot is defending a fellow Israeli celebrity in a clash with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Gadot stood in solidarity with Rotem Sela, one of Israel’s top models and TV hosts, after she was criticized by the prime minister.
In a call for equality with a fiery Instagram post Saturday, Sela criticized Netanyahu’s party. Her post came after Miri Regev, a top minister for Netanyahu’s Likud party, said in an interview that if Netanyahu loses the election, his main challenger, Benny Gantz, will rely on Arabs to form a government.
“When the hell will someone in this government let the Israeli public know that this is a country for all its citizens and that every person is born equal. And also, that the Arabs are human beings,” Sela wrote, The Washington Post reported.
Netanyahu responded to the star on Facebook shortly after, writing in part: “Dear Rotem Sela, I read what you wrote earlier. First of all, an important correction: Israel is not a country for all of its citizens. According to the law that we passed Israel is the national state of the Jewish people solely. As you wrote, there is no problem with the Arab citizens, they have equal rights like all of us and the Likud government invested in the Arab sector more than any other government.”
Netanyahu’s post fired up Gadot, who usually does not speak about politics publicly. “Loving your neighbor as yourself is not a matter of right-left, Jewish-Arab, secular or religious, it is a matter of dialogue, of dialogue for peace, equality and tolerance for each other,” Gadot wrote in Hebrew on Instagram, according to the Washington Post. “The responsibility for such hope is on us to create a brighter future for our children. Rotem, my sister, you’re an inspiration for us all.”
Netanyahu and Sela’s posts didn’t just get attention from “Wonder Woman” — several other high-profile Israelis responded to the feud.
“Recently, when political thinking is turning all reason on its head, we hear entirely unacceptable remarks about the Arab citizens of Israel. I refuse to believe that there are political parties that have surrendered the character of #Israel as a Jewish and democratic state,” President Reuven Rivlin wrote on Twitter.
“The State of #Israel has complete equality of rights for all its citizens,” he tweeted. “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.”