Artists Blast 'Non-Democratic' Ban on Play

Slamming Bennett and Regev for sanctions against Israeli-Arab theaters, group of artists promise to fight censorship.

Shimon Cohen ,

MK Miri Regev
MK Miri Regev
Oren Nahshon / Flash 90

Israelis artists were on the warpath Sunday targeting Education Minister Naftali Bennett (Jewish Home) and Culture Minister Miri Regev (Likud) over their recent decisions to impose sanctions on two Israeli Arab theaters

Bennett declared last Tuesday that he was removing the Al Midan Theater's play, "A Parallel Time, on the life of the terrorist who murdered IDF soldier Moshe Tamam in 1984, from the ministry's culture basket, thereby suspending its government subsidies. 

Later that same day, Regev announced she would "reconsider" state funding to the Elmina Theater, after manager Norman Issa refused to participate in a play in Judea and Samaria.

Artists from the film, theater, dance, literature and music industries signed a letter Sunday, "protesting the non-democratic measures taken by the Education and Culture Ministries against artists whose creative works or outlooks do not jive with the spirit in these offices." 

"We will continue to look at reality, to express our opinions and obey our consciences even if we must pay a price," the artists stressed.

"We will fight against every threat. We will not censor or sterilize our creations because of terrifying laws, intimidation and threats. We will not hide and we will not lower our profile."

"We the undersigned are the voices you wish to silence," the artists fired to conclude their letter. "We hope with all our hearts that Israel does not deteriorate and become a country in which artists who express their views are put on a 'blacklist.'"

Signatories included: Ohad Naharin, Moni Moshonov, Doron Sabari, Dovale Glickman, Joseph Cedar, Leora Rivlin, Menashe Noy, Tzruya Lahav, Rami Heuberger, Shevi Gavizon, Ran Danker, Assi Ezer, Eyal Geffen, Asi Levi, Dan Toren, David Tartakover, Yigal Sarna, Yonatan Geffen, Mira Awad, Nissim Dayan and others.