Hollywood star Gal Gadot has leapt to defend a fellow actress who was chided by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for challenging his party’s treatment of Arab citizens.
Netanyahu and his Likud party have been accused of using scare tactics and demonising Israel’s Arab population ahead of April 9 elections in a bid to motivate their right-wing base.
“Love your neighbour as yourself,” Israeli-born Gadot wrote on Instagram late Sunday after popular Israeli model and television actress Rotem Sela received online abuse from the public and a personal reprimand from Netanyahu.
“This isn’t a matter of right or left. Jew or Arab. Secular or religious,” the “Wonder Woman” star posted.
“It’s a matter of dialogue, of dialogue for peace and security and of our tolerance of one towards the other.”
Sela fired off an angry Instagram post late Saturday after watching right-wing firebrand culture minister Miri Regev on television.
Regev stated the Likud’s line, warning voters in the April election not to choose its main opponents because if elected it would form an alliance with Israeli Arab parties in parliament — a highly unlikely scenario.
“When the hell will someone in this government convey to the public that Israel is a state of all its citizens and that all people were created equal?” Sela wrote.
“Even the Arabs — believe it or not — are human beings, and the Druze and the gays, by the way, and the lesbians and — shock — leftists.”
Netanyahu answered with an Instagram message of his own, addressed to “Dear Rotem”.
“Israel is not a state of all its citizens,” he wrote.
“According to the basic nationality law we passed, Israel is the nation-state of the Jewish people — and only it.”
– Controversial law –
He was referring to a deeply controversial law passed last year declaring Israel the nation-state of the Jewish people and downgrading Arabic’s status as an official language.
He returned to the theme at the weekly cabinet meeting on Sunday, where he called Israel a “Jewish, democratic state” with equal rights, but “the nation-state not of all its citizens, but only of the Jewish people”.
Israeli Arabs make up around 17.5 percent of the population but would be extremely unlikely to be part of any coalition government after elections.
Netanyahu has continually warned that his opponents will receive the support of Arab parties and that they will make significant concessions to the Palestinians.
Israeli President Reuven Rivlin, himself a former Likud lawmaker, took a swipe at the politicians on Monday.
“Lately, when political thinking is turning all reason on its head, we hear entirely unacceptable remarks about Arab citizens of Israel,” he said in a speech marking 40 years since Israel and Egypt signed a peace treaty.
“I refuse to believe that there are political parties that have surrendered the character of Israel as a Jewish and democratic, democratic and Jewish, state,” he said.
Arab Israelis are Palestinians who remained on their land after the 1948 creation of Israel and are largely supportive of the Palestinian cause.
Gadot’s message showed a re-post of Sela’s comment in the background.
“Rotem, sister, you’re an inspiration to us all,” she wrote.
Trump jumped to Speaker Pelosi’s defense in marathon Fox News interview
In a strange twist, President Donald Trump appeared to defend House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during an interview with Fox News host Sean Hannity Wednesday.
Hannity began by saying to Trump that he believes Pelosi has lost control of her own party, as officials like Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Ilhan Omar (D-MN) continue to call for impeachment.
"I say Nancy Pelosi is the speaker in name only," Hannity told Trump, calling Ocasio-Cortez the real start.
But what Trump said was the unusual point.
"I think Nancy Pelosi probably has control of it, I hear different things, but I think she does," Trump said, appearing to defend the Speaker. "She knows what she's doing. We will see how it all comes out."
Trump spokesperson goes down in flames up against progressive reporter: ‘All you do is lie!’
President Donald Trump's spokesperson Kayleigh McEnany went down in flames up against Cenk Uygur of The Young Turks during a CNN panel Wednesday.
McEnany went on to try and spin the president as some sort of great leader for Black Americans. She said that the campaign is very "proud" of the president's record on issues involving people of color.
"He also just said he wouldn't change his position on the Central Park Five," cut in Cuomo.
McEnany tried to cut in, but Cuomo cut in. "Now, he said we'll leave it at that. Come on."
"Chris, you come — come on, you," McEnany shot back. "We've been talking about the Central Park Five and racism and all of these things going back to the 2016 election, problem -- American people didn't believe it."
‘It’s just insane’: MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow breaks down the Trump administration’s latest Russia scandal
On Wednesday, MSNBC's Rachel Maddow delved into the latest stunning revelations surrounding Maria Butina, the admitted Russian agent at the heart of a plot to infiltrate the National Rifle Association and the Republican Party — and the connections to a high-ranking State Department official in charge of arms negotiations with Russia.
"Josh Rogin at the Washington Post reports tonight that Maria Butina also turned up at the wedding of Mike Pence's national security adviser," said Maddow. "Mike Pence's national security adviser, Andrea Thompson, got married that summer of 2017, first summer of the Trump Administration. She's got that awesome new job. Getting married and Maria Butina was at the wedding. Why was she at the wedding? U.S. Person One, her boyfriend, Paul Erickson, was officiating the wedding. Oh. It also turns out that the man who Mike Pence's national security adviser, the man who Andrea Thompson was marrying at the wedding that day, he had recently given Paul Erickson $100,000."