The leader took to social media after famed Israeli TV star Rotem Sela criticized Netanyahu's campaign rhetoric — particularly, his commentary on the country's Arab population — ahead of the upcoming spring election.
“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 asked in an Instagram Story on Sunday, taking a jab at a remark Israeli Culture Minister Miri Regev made during a recent TV interview, according to a translation from The Washington Post. Regev reportedly urged citizens to vote for Netanyahu in April to avoid a government with Arab political parties, referring to prime minister candidates Benny Gantz and Yair Lapid's Blue and White party.
In a Facebook post on Sunday, Netanyahu offered Sela a correction, which apparently inspired the "Wonder Woman" star to speak out.
“Dear Rotem Sela, I read what you wrote. First of all, an important correction: Israel is not a state for all its citizens. According to a basic law we passed, Israel is the nation-state of the Jewish people — and the Jewish people only,” Netanyahu wrote, referring to a Jewish state law passed in July 2018 that defines Israel as “the national home of the Jewish people" as well as declared Jerusalem its official capital, according to The Times of Israel.
Arabs, who have full citizenship rights, comprise about 20 percent of Israel's 9 million residents.
“As you wrote, there is no problem with the Arab citizens of Israel — they have equal rights like all of us and the Likud government has invested more in the Arab sector than any other government,” Netanyahu continued in an Instagram post. “The Likud just want to sharpen the central question in these elections: Should Israel be led by a strong right-wing government headed by myself or by a left-wing government of Yair Lapid and Gantz with the support of the Arab parties? Lapid and Gantz have no other way of forming a government and such a government will undermine the security of the state and the citizens. The decision will be made in another month at the ballot box. Good Day.”
After reading Netanyahu's post, Gadot pledged allegiance to Sela.
"Loving your neighbour 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 posted in Hebrew on her Instagram Story, a translation by The Straits Times states.
"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," she added.
According to The Straits Times, Gantz and Lapid's Blue and White party is receiving "slightly" more support in the polls compared to Netanyahu's Likud party.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.