Wonder Woman star Gal Gadot has proposed something so radical it added fire to a debate unfolding on Instagram over what it means to be Israeli: dialogue.
After Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called Israel the homeland “only of the Jewish people” – despite the small nation’s 20% Arab-Israeli population – Gadot’s friend, actress and model Rotem Sela, defended their rights.
“What is the problem with the Arabs?” Sela asked on Instagram. “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, and that even the Arabs and the Druze and the LGBTs and – shock – the leftists are human.”
Netanyahu’s reply directly opposed her statement.
“Israel is not a state for all its citizens,” he retorted, also on Instagram. “According to the nation-state law that we passed, Israel is the state of the Jewish people — and belongs to them alone.”
That’s when Gadot entered the fray, writing to her own legions of followers – that would be 28.3 million – that “love thy neighbor” is really the operative phrase here.
“It is not a matter of right or left, Arabs or Jews, secular or religious,” she wrote. “It is a matter of dialogue, of dialogue for peace, and of our tolerance for each other. It is our responsibility to shine hope and light for a better future for our children.”
The debate stems from a law passed last year drew massive protests both in and outside Israel for legislating that only Jews have the right of self-determination in the country, as NBC Newsreported at the time. It also set Hebrew above Arabic as the official language, BBC News reported.