Gal Gadot, the Israeli actress best known for playing Wonder Woman in the hit 2017 movie, has occasionally drawn controversy for comments about politics in her homeland, as well as discussion of her past service in the Israeli Defense Forces.
Now, Gadot is in the news for criticizing the prime minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, ahead of next month’s elections in that country.
According to The Times of Israel, Gadot has weighed in on a controversy in her homeland, in which the prime minister criticized Rotem Sela, for her own criticism of comments by Netanyahu that were critical of Israel’s Arab minority.
Gadot has taken Sela’s side.
“This isn’t a matter of left or right, Jew or Arab, secular of religious, it’s about dialogue for peace and equality, and our tolerance for one another,” Gadot said on her Instagram page, per the newspaper. “Love your neighbor as yourself,” she added, along with “the responsibility to sow hope and light for a better future for our children lies with us.”
The argument began when a government minister who is part of Netanyahu’s Likud Party predicted that Israel’s Arab parties would join Israel’s next government, in the event of an election victory next month by the “Blue and White” coalition, which is the Likud Party’s main opposition in the April 9 vote.
After Sela posted to social media the question “What is the problem with the Arabs,” Netanyahu, in comments that drew controversy worldwide, replied that “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.” That nation-state law indeed passed in July of 2018.
Not a good idea to fight with #WonderWoman @netanyahu Gal Gadot supports TV presenter Rotem Sela: "Loving ur neighbor as ur self not a matter of right-left, Jewish-Arab, secular or religious, it is a matter of dialogue, of dialogue for peace, equality & tolerance for each other." pic.twitter.com/nkDwlpDfNN— Ruth Marks Eglash (@reglash) March 10, 2019
Meanwhile, Education Minister Naftali Bennett, of a party further right than Netanyahu’s, criticized the prime minister not for the comments, but for arguing with a TV host rather than dealing with more pressing matters.
Israel has a parliamentary system of government in which seats are handed out proportionally after elections, and because no party is large enough for a majority by itself, parties must form coalitions to establish a government. Israel’s Arab parties serve in the Knesset, the country’s parliament, but have never been part of a coalition government.
Gadot’s past service in the Israeli Army led several countries in the Middle East to threaten to ban her Wonder Woman movie, but it appears that Lebanon was the only country that actually did, per The Washington Post.