Regev: Culture Ministry used to be an ATM for the elite

Culture Minister says Rahat, Elad, never received any funds from the Ministry, since Tel Aviv took too big a chunk, says policy is changing.

Hezki Baruch ,

Finance Ministry discussion
Finance Ministry discussion
Hezki Baruch

The Knesset Finance Committee on Monday discussed the Culture and Sport Ministry's budget reforms, led by Culture and Sport Minister Miri Regev (Likud).

"The Ministry's budget does not belong to any elite," Regev said. "It belongs the the entire public, to every sector, and to every region of Israel. We want to work towards distributive justice, and the public deserves to hear the full report."

Previously, Regev came under fire for refusing to fund nudity shows and a terror-promoting theater.

During Monday's meeting, Regev displayed a map of the 2015 budget, and how the funds were distributed just before she took office.

"I am against the 'two states for two peoples' policy, both budget-wise and policy-wise. A situation in which Tel Aviv receives most of the budget, and the rest of the country receives less, is not a workable budget," she said.

"The culture map for 2017-2018 is completely different.

"The Ministry used to serve only as an ATM. It had no policy, no agenda, no way to deal with existing distortions. It completely lacked distributive justice, and it was outrageous.

"The strong center won the day, and all of the weaker ones fell to the wayside. Rahat never saw anything from the Culture Ministry, and neither did Elad or Rekhasim. First, they needed to have activities for two years, before they could receive anything. How can you build an Ethiopian or Druze theater if there's no initial funding? And we managed to change that... We worked to fight the discrimination of different sectors and populations."

Regev also spoke about the current reforms, which will go into effect next year.

"The Culture and Sport Ministry never had a very big budget," Regev said. "During our first year, we provided 100% protection to Tel Aviv institutions. From next year, the institutions will need to prove themselves worthy before we provide that budget. Our budget grew by 31.6%, and that's good news for Israel. It means that no matter who the Culture Minister is, there will be more to work with."