Local musicians and artists are calling for election candidates to commit to putting more funds and emphasis into culture.

Nadav Nishri, a former nightclub owner and current PR consultant for musicians, started the initiative, gathering signatures from 73 cultural figures, including Arik Sinai, Eran Tzur and Asaf Harel, on a petition saying the government should invest in culture as a way to fight violence and divisions in society.

“The culture of the Jewish People has been a central tenet that our forefathers held onto in order to preserve our existence as a nation in the Diaspora,” the petition reads. “Our culture was the glue that connects us since we were exiled to this day.”

The artists called for all parties running for the next Knesset to commit to allocate one percent of the state budget to culture, saying that is the acceptable amount in most OECD countries.

“We believe that protecting and cultivating culture is our responsibility to past and future generations, and this is the responsibility of whatever governments are formed in Israel, now and forever,” the petition states.

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