Yair Garbuz
Yair GarbuzFlash 90

Education Minister Naftali Bennett (Jewish Home) prevented the Israel Prize from being given to leftist artist Yair Garbuz, Yediot Ahronot reported.

In a public speech ten days before the elections, Garbuz spoke about the "handful," referring to Religious Zionists, and said, "The horrific person who killed the Prime Minister came from a handful of insane people... They told me those with yellow shirts with black insignia - the 'Kahane was right' people, those who yell 'Death to the Arabs' - they're a handful, just a handful!

"These people don't represent Israeli society, they're a handful of people! And they think democracy means a handful of people tyrannizing the majority.

He then went on to ridicule customs and those who keep them: "Those who kiss amulets, who serve idols and bow to graves of the righteous dead - they're only a 'handful'! Even the rapists and molesters are only a 'handful'. The disgusting police, and the liars who lied - these represent the majority? If all of these are only a handful....how can it be that this handful is making the rules for all of us?

"How can it be that this handful has become the majority?"

According to Haaretz, the Israel Prize for Plastic Art Committee recently met to discuss giving the prize to Garbuz, but could not come to a unanimous agreement: three supported giving the prize to Garbuz, but the fourth opposed.

They met a second time, but still could not come to an agreement.

The prize can only be given if all Committee members agree to the recipient.

After the committee met twice, Bennett ordered them not to meet again, and to simply abstain from giving a prize in Plastic Arts for the year 2017.

"The 2017 Israel Prize panel of judges for the field of plastic arts will not agree unanimously on a worthy candidate," the committee's final report said.

A spokesperson for Bennett said, "Minister Bennett was not involved in the process in any way. When the lack of agreement became apparent, the Minister acted according to protocol."