Amendment to allow State to refuse funding to inciters

Culture Minister, Finance Minister push amendment allowing gov't to refuse funding to groups which seek to undermine the State of Israel.

Nitsan Keidar,

Miri Regev
Miri Regev
Hadas Parush/Flash 90

Culture and Sport Minister Miri Regev (Likud) and Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon (Kulanu) will advance an amendment to the Culture and Art Law.

The amendment will prevent State monies from funding organizations which undermine the State of Israel and its symbols, in accordance with Section 3b of the Basics of the Budget Law.

The move comes after it became clear that the Basics of the Budget Law cannot be properly enforced when it comes to whether or not the State is permitted to refuse funding to bodies seeking to undermine it.

The amendment will be presented to the Ministerial Committee for Legislation in October.

"In the State of Israel, there is artistic freedom, but there is no freedom to abuse public funds in order to harm the State's values and symbols," Regev and Kahlon said in a statement.

"The law's purpose is to provide the proper authorities with the tools to prevent harm to the State's basic values. Freedom of expression is a worthy and important value, but democracy has a right to defend itself.

"In Israel, there are artists who are at the top of their field, who bring honor to the State and make us all proud. But there is also a small and extremist group which does not miss any opportunity to incite against the State of Israel and the IDF. This is unacceptable and it is not right that the State should fund this group."

In July, Regev demanded Kahlon end funding to organizations which defame the State.

"Do you want cultural institutions to become a political arena?" she said. "How long will you close your anyone who does everything to undermine the image of the State of Israel as a cruel and racist occupation state?"