Regev not capitulating

Culture Minister Miri Regev responds to Deputy AG's criticism: 'I am the one who signs. Jurists must stand like bulwark to help me.'

Mordechai Sones,

Culture Minister Miri Regev
Culture Minister Miri Regev
צילום: Yonatan Sindel/FLASH 90

Culture and Sports Minister Miri Regev (Likud) responded to criticism that she is not willing to fund certain programs such as nude shows at the Israel Festival or performances that seek to undermine the State of Israel.

The latest criticism came from Deputy Attorney General Dina Zilber, who told Regev that she did not have the authority as Culture Minister to intervene in artistic content.

"It is inconceivable that a clerk should shut the mouth of a minister in the name of freedom of expression," Regev said in an interview with Army Radio, and made it clear that if she was forced to transfer money to supporters of terrorism, "if it were up to me, they would close the Ministry of Culture.

"I think that a state should invest in and encourage culture, I passed budgets that were never available to Israeli culture so that the best voices in Israeli society would be expressed. It can't be that they demand the Culture Ministry be an ATM."

Regev added, "I hope that Dina Zilber will help execute the law in the country. I do not care about the content; but the laws of the state and the jurists must stand as a bulwark to help me.

On her desire not to fund nude shows at the Israel Festival, Regev said, "I do not have to support all the content at the Israel Festival. Why does a conservative public have to finance a nude show? I have no problem with one scene or another in Habima theater, but full nudity is crossing boundaries.

"I did not say that I objected to nude performances, and I said that I was opposed to financing nude shows because it hurts a large population in Israel," she recalled. "When I asked not to play a film about Yigal Amir, they did not say anything because it suited that elite of the left."

Regarding financing shows that support terrorism, Regev said, "It can't be they glorify terrorists in a show on the Muqata (PA military complex) in Ramallah, they are terrorists who murdered women and children. Israel says never to finance terror, but in the end we do it ourselves."