“Dear Rotem, an important correction: Israel is not a country for all its citizens. According to the Nation-State Law that we passed, Israel is the nation-state of the Jewish nation and its alone,” Netanyahu wrote.
Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu emphatically affirmed Israel is not a state for all citizens, but solely for the Jewish people Sunday on his Instagram account.
The prime minister responded to a comment made by Rotem Sela, an Israeli TV host, and celebrity. Sela took to Instagram Saturday night to criticize Culture Minister Miri Regev and Likud’s - Netanyahu's far-right party - frequent argument that his political rivals will form a government with Arab political parties.
“Miri Regev is sitting and explaining to [Channel 12 news anchor) Rina Matsliah that the public needs to beware because if Benny Gantz is elected he will have to create a government with the Arabs,” Sela wrote and then asked “when will anyone in this government tell the public that this is a country of all its citizens, and all people are born equal.”
Her remark sparked both support and negative responses which reached Netanyahu, who also decided to pile on the discussion. “Dear Rotem, an important correction: Israel is not a country for all its citizens. According to the Nation-State Law that we passed, Israel is the nation-state of the Jewish nation and its alone,” he wrote.
רותם היקרה, תיקון חשוב: ישראל היא לא מדינת כלל אזרחיה. לפי חוק יסוד הלאום שהעברנו, ישראל היא מדינת הלאום של העם היהודי - ושלו בלבד. כמו שכתבת, אין שום בעיה עם אזרחי ישראל הערבים - הם שווי זכויות ככולנו וממשלת הליכוד השקיעה במגזר הערבי יותר מכל ממשלה אחרת. הליכוד רק ביקש לחדד את השאלה המרכזית בבחירות האלה: זו ממשלת ימין חזקה בראשותי או ממשלת שמאל של יאיר לפיד וגנץ בתמיכת המפלגות הערביות. ללפיד וגנץ אין דרך אחרת להקים ממשלה וממשלה כזאת תערער את ביטחון המדינה והאזרחים. ההכרעה - עוד חודש בקלפי. יום טוב. @rotemsela1
The Israeli Prime Minister was referring to the 14th Basic Law passed on Jan.19, 2018, which declared Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people. It anchors in law Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and it stipulates that the state views Jewish settlement as a national value and will labor to encourage and promote its establishment and development, which mark a clear exclusion for the Palestinians’ historic rights and claim to their homeland.
Netanyahu’s comment is just one more jab against Arabs in Israel, which make up about 20 percent of Israel’s nine million residents. The director of the Anti-Defamation League's Israel office, Carole Nuriel, dubbed this anti-Arab rhetoric as a “deeply troubling trend”.
In his response, he also added that in the coming elections in Abril “it’s either a strong right-wing government led by me or a weak left-wing government led by Yair Lapid and [Benny] Gantz, with the support of the Arab parties… which will undermine the security of the state and the citizens.”
A claim that, according to The Jerusalem Post, both the Arab political parties and Lapid and Gantz have repeatedly rejected, the first stating that they will not join a Zionist government, and the latter arguing that they don’t need them in order to form a coalition.