Monday, June 5, Minister of culture and sports Miri Regev declared that does not agree with the request of the Deputy legal adviser to the government of Dina Zilber to abandon the intention to revoke the funding for some cultural activities.
«No one can make me just to transfer money without the right to say anything, said Regev. – If so, let them close the Ministry of culture. If I was forced just to transfer money, I’ll take the hard decisions».
Regev added: «I sign the orders and rules. Not a legal adviser to the government. Not The Dina Zilber. The powers have only me.»
As previously reported, on 4 June, a meeting was held of representatives of the Ministry of culture and office of the legal adviser of the government, which was devoted to relations with Miri Regev and cultural figures.
According to the Israeli media, at this meeting, the Deputy legal adviser to the government of Dina Zilber said that Miri Regev is not empowered to decide questions relating to the deprivation of funding of cultural institutions.
In the past two weeks, the culture Minister Miri Regev twice warned the workers of culture that they may lose state funding for productions that do not meet the «interests of the Israeli society.» In repertoire of Theatre of Jaffa, the Minister did not like the premiere performance of «From the prison notebooks», which tells about the life of Palestinian prisoners serving sentences for terrorism in Israeli jails. During the play the actors from the stage to read letters received by the relatives of prisoners. The Minister also threatened to revoke the funding for the Festival of Israel, which included the production of Brazilian choreographer Leah Rodriguez «Pindorama» and a show-performance «And what do I do with this sword.» In both performances there’s a scene involving fully Nude actors, that the Minister called unacceptable.
At the meeting of representatives of the office of the legal adviser and staff of the Ministry of culture Dina Zilber demanded Miri Regev to stop irresponsible statements and to send letters with threats to cultural institutions. According to Zilber, the irresponsible behavior of the Minister adversely affects the development of culture in Israel, as well as forcing cultural institutions to impose self-censorship.
In response to these demands, Miri Regev, citing freedom of speech, said that no one can make her silent. Regev also promised to continue to talk about the principles that, in its opinion, are of national significance.