Netanyahu spars with actress over nature of Jewish state

When an Israeli actress criticized a Likud minister’s warning against Arabs making up a government majority in the Knesset, Netanyahu answered back.  

By World Israel News Staff

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says Israel “is not a country of all its citizens,” but rather “the nation-state of the Jewish People – and them alone.”

Netanyahu was responding on social media to Rotem Sela, an Israeli actress, who had taken Culture Minister Miri Regev to task for comments she made on Israel’s Channel 12 on Saturday.

Interviewed on the Meet the Press program, Regev warned that if the Blue and White party, led by former IDF Chief-of-Staff Benny Gantz, forms the next government after the April Knesset election, he will have to depend on non-Zionist Arab MKs to ensure a majority in parliament.

Writing on Instagram, Sela first criticizes the show’s host Rina Matzliach: “I ask myself why Rina doesn’t ask [Culture Minister Regev] in shock – ‘and what’s the problem with Arabs???’ Oh my god, there are also Arab citizens in this country.”

The actress continues: “When the hell will someone in this government broadcast to the public that Israel is a country for all its citizens. And every person was born equal. Arabs, too, God help us, are human beings. And so are the Druze. And so are gays, by the way, and lesbians, and…shock…leftists.”

Sela received widespread criticism for her comments to the point that she later wrote: “To everyone who wrote really disgusting things to me following my last story – I love everyone. Your revolting messages will never keep me from saying my opinion….If only the politicians whose voices are heard the loudest would be the ones to give real hope for peace, for equality, and for love instead of incitement and separation.”

Netanyahu weighs in

On Sunday morning, Netanyahu entered the fray. “Dear Rotem, an important correction: Israel is not a state of all its citizens,” he wrote.

“According to the Nation-State Law that we passed, Israel is the nation-state of the Jewish People – and them alone. As you wrote, there’s no problem with the Arab citizens of Israel – they have the same rights as us all and the Likud government has invested in the Arab sector more than any other government.”

The prime minister and his Likud party have been warning in the election campaign of a new government which would survive due to the backing of Arab MK’s who do not support Israel as the Jewish State. “A government like that would undermine the security of the state and citizens,” Netanyahu said in his reply to Sela