(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
Culture Minister Miri Regev faced harsh criticism and a Knesset Ethics Committee complaint on Sunday, after she compared law enforcement officials to Bigtan and Teresh, the two conspirators in the Megillat, or Scroll of Esther, who plotted to kill King Achashverosh and were hanged for their crime.
“Sometimes I feel like we’re living in an upside-down kingdom,” said Regev on Saturday night, while dressed as a flamenco dancer at a Purim feast she hosted for Likud activists.
“There are those who swallow whatever the media gives them until they don’t know the difference between democracy and dictatorship.”
“Did you think democracy was the rule of the people?” Regev asked. “It’s the opposite, they tell us. If you dare represent your voters, you’re not democratic. There are advisers and bureaucrats who grew accustomed to deciding what’s right or what’s wrong. They’re called the gatekeepers.”
Regev added: “As we read in the Scroll of Esther this week, there were gatekeepers there, too – Bigtan and Teresh – what a wonderful pair.”
According to Regev, the duo looked statesmanlike, “but had a guillotine in their pocket.”
“The minute they didn’t identify with the king, didn’t agree with the way he manages the kingdom, all the rules disappeared,” she stated.
Zionist Union faction chairman Yoel Hasson petitioned the Knesset Ethics Committee against Regev, calling her speech incitement.
“Minister Regev’s remarks are harsh and blatant incitement against the rule of law in the State of Israel,” Hasson said. “Judges, investigators, legal advisers... are not enemies or traitors, and certainly are not partners in a conspiracy to bring down the prime minister.”
Hasson said Regev forgot that she was a minister instead of an Internet commenter.
Regev, however, said her speech was misinterpreted.
“It goes without saying that I did not call to hurt anyone,” she said.
“Yes, I used motifs from the Megila,” she said Sunday. “In light of the recent scandals of inappropriate text messaging between a judge and an investigator, I stood up for the basic principle in democracy that the people are the ruler and the need for the gatekeepers to behave democratically.”