Culture Minister Miri Regev cabinet meeting March 11, 2018.
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon (Kulanu) and Culture Minister Riri Regev (Likud) presented an amendment to the current Culture and Art Law bill Thursday that would prevent extremists who oppose the State of Israel from receiving government funding for cultural projects.
The bill presented is the latest version of legislation that Regev has been pushing for years – allowing the Culture Ministry the power to cut funding to projects and initiatives it deems unworthy.
“Israel has freedom of cultural expression, but there is no freedom to harm the values and symbols of the state,” Regev and Kahlon said in a joint statement. “The purpose of the bill is to give the right tools to the relevant bodies to prevent harming the basic values of the state.”
Regev was unsuccessful in passing her Film Industry reform law
before the last Knesset session ended, and has vowed to resurrect that bill - which would give the culture minister more control - as well. An earlier version of her loyalty bill, first presented in 2016, was criticized by Kahlon and never passed into law.
The Knesset returns to session on October 15 after a four-month summer and holiday recess. But with the prospect of elections early in 2019, passing a controversial new bill from start to finish before the Knesset disbands is unlikely.
Zionist Union faction chairman Yoel Hasson blasted the bill, saying “Miri, we already saw that movie! The minister of silencing culture is recycling another law into the bin of anti-democratic bills advanced by the current government. This is why we need elections immediately.”
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