(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Currently Israel officially spends 0.2 percent of its annual budget on culture, significantly less than the 0.5-0.7% spent in most Western countries, and certainly less than UNESCO's recommended 1%.
Now 61 MKs from almost all the parties have indicated support for a bill that, if passed, would incrementally increase government spending on culture to 0.5% of the national budget by 2016.
Michael Melchior, Avishai Braverman (Labor), Amnon Cohen (Shas), and Robert Elituv (Israel Beitenu) tabled the bill last week, spurred by the crisis in the arts and culture budget that had been cut yet again to NIS 415 million, despite the Olmert-Shitreet agreement of 18 months ago fixing the budget at NS 445 m.
The annual increases would start in 2009.
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