Israeli actress Gal Gadot who has grown into an international symbol of women’s empowerment since her role in DC’s hit movie Wonder Woman is now trying to get out of an Israeli election campaign she was swept into over her recent remarks. Her image, as well as photos of several other celebrities, has appeared on campaign posters by the left-wing Labour Party over their stance in the debates regarding the status of Arab Israelis prompted by actress Rotem Sela.
חייב רק להגיד- לא אישרתי את השימוש בתמונה שלי. אם הייתי מצביע ״העבודה״ אגב, הייתי מאשר בשמחה. pic.twitter.com/rtMWRx5TyH— Assi azar (@assiazar) 12 марта 2019 г.
Gadot has distanced herself from the campaign, pointing out that she “has never participated in any political campaign of one kind or another”.
“We take a serious view of this, and already this evening we will approach the Labour Party with a demand it immediately remove Gal Gadot’s image from the campaign”, the statement on her behalf reads, as quoted by Channel 12.
The Times of Israel points out that it is unclear where the material, reading “We need another Rotem Sela”, was published. Apart from Gadot, they feature TV hosts Assi Azar and Galit Gutman, model Shlomit Malka, and musician Aviv Geffen. Channel 12 presenters Sela and Gutman stated that although they “support free and democratic dialogue”, they “never agreed to be part of the campaign of any party”. Meanwhile, the newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth reported that the celebrities’ lawyers were evaluating legal options over the incident.
Sela earlier commented on a potential government with Arabs being formed in the event IDF Chief of General Staff Benny Gantz gets elected, saying that she saw no problems with such an outcome because Israel is "a country for all its citizens" without exception. She argued with Culture Minister Miri Regev who commented about the political party Kahol Lavan possibly collaborating with Arab parties.
Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu later corrected the actress by saying that "Israel is not a state of all its citizens. According to the Nation-State Law that we passed, Israel is the nation-state of the Jewish people, and them alone".
This led to heated debates as more and more prominent Israelis weighed in.
Gal Gadot, who has remained tight-lipped about her political opinions since moving to Hollywood, stepped in this time.
"Love your neighbour as yourself. This isn't a matter of right or left, Jew or Arab, secular or religious. It's a matter of dialog, of discussing peace and equality and our tolerance toward one another. The responsibility for sowing hope and light for a better future for our children is ours. Rotem, sister, you are an inspiration to us all", the actress posted on her Instagram in Hebrew as quoted by Haaretz.