Jerusalem: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that Israel is “the national state, not of all its citizens, but only of the Jewish people.” His comments drew criticism and prompted many people — including Israel’s president and the star of Wonder Woman — to defend Israel’s Palestinian Arab minority.
It must be noted that Palestinian Arab citizens are about a fifth of Israel’s population and often face discrimination and accusations of disloyalty.
Netanyahu’s comments came after an Israeli actress and TV host Rotem Sela posted an Instagram story about comments that Culture Minister and Likud member Miri Regev made during a news interview. Questioning why Regev’s statements about what she called the dangers of Palestinian Arab citizens taking part in a governing coalition went unchallenged, Sela wrote, “When the hell will someone in this government tell the public that Israel is a country of all its citizens.”
Responding to Sela, Netanyahu stated, “Dear Rotem, an important correction: Israel is not a state of all its citizens.”