JERUSALEM (JTA) – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on social media that Israel is “not a country of all its citizens,” but rather “the nation-state of the Jewish people.”
He was responding to an Instagram post on Saturday night by Israeli actor and television personality Rotem Sela, who on Instagram had criticized Israel’s Culture Minister Miri Regev for an attempt at fear mongering during an interview on Channel 12 news in which she said that voting for the centre-left Blue and White Party of Benny Gantz would lead to a government coalition with Arab parties.
Netanyahu responded on Sunday morning on Instagram and Facebook. “Dear Rotem, an important correction: Israel is not a state of all its citizens. According to the nation-state law we passed, Israel is the nation-state of the Jewish people – and not anyone else.
“As you wrote, there is no problem with Israel’s Arab citizens. They have equal rights and the Likud government has invested more than any other government in the Arab population,” he also wrote. But he added that a government including Arab parties would “undercut the state’s security.”
Sela, who hosts several Israeli reality shows including Israel’s Next Star, received many responses to her post, both for and against, including some she characterized as “disgusting” and “revolting.”
But she found support from her good friend Gal Gadot, who posted a message which read, in part: “Love your neighbor as yourself … The responsibility to sow hope and light for a better future for our children is on us. Rotem, sister, you are the inspiration for us all.”