Spokesman for the Turkish president, Ibrahim Kalin, has slammed earlier statements by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu about Arabs status in Israel, calling them "blatant racism" on his Twitter.
He further recalled that around 1.6 million Arabs and Muslims live in Israel when responding to Netanyahu's statements that Israel is "the nation-state of the Jewish People". Kalin called for western governments to react to such an expression of "racism" and not remain silent "under the pressure".
Netanyahu says that Israel is “a nation state not of all its citizens but only of the Jewish people”.— Ibrahim Kalin (@ikalin1) March 12, 2019
I strongly condemn this blatant racism and discrimination.
1.6 million Arabs/Muslims live in Israel.
Will the Western governments react or keep silent under pressure again?
The same day, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stated that Israel "maintains contacts with half a dozen important Arab and Islamic countries", which had been hostile to the Jewish state until recently.
Erdogan spokesman's criticism comes in the wake of the Israeli prime minister's response to a post by Israeli actress Rotem Sela, who said that Israel is "a country for all its citizens", including Arabs.
Netanyahu corrected her, noting that, according to a recently passed law, Israel is Jewish nation-state, although he added that his government has "no problem with the Arab citizens of Israel. The prime minister further said that Arabs have the same rights as Jews and that his government had done more for Arab population than any other.
His vision however found little support among netizens, as well as, another Israeli-born actress — Gal Gadot, who became famous over her role as Wonder Woman. She supported Sela's statements and urged everyone to love their "neighbours" regardless of their race, religion, or political allegiance.
The Israeli parliament passed a scandalous constitutional law declaring Israel a "nation-state" on 19 July 2018. The controversial law grants only Jewish people the right to self-determination and declares Hebrew as the only official language of Israel, stripping Arabic of the same status.
The law drew massive criticism, from both political opponents, as well as Israeli-born celebrities, such as Natalie Portman. Critics of the legislation insist that it makes the Arab population of Israel into second-class citizens, who possess fewer rights.