Culture Minister Miri Regev cabinet meeting March 11, 2018.
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
State Comptroller Joseph Shapira will investigate Culture and Sport Minister Miri Regev’s handling of the canceled Argentina- Israel soccer game, Shapira’s office said Wednesday night.
The comptroller was already investigating the government’s allocation of tickets for the game, and now will add to the probe her decisions to allocate NIS 2.7 million for the event and to move it from Haifa to Jerusalem.
Knesset State Control Committee chairwoman Shelly Yacimovich (Zionist Union), whose committee makes recommendations to the comptroller, held a hearing this week on Regev’s actions in relation to the planned game.
Argentina calls off friendly match against Israel, June 6, 2018 (Reuters)
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“Instead of taking responsibility for the terrible failure, we heard from Minister Regev lies and fury about everyone else,” Yacimovich said. “No one hurt Jerusalem’s honor and status as much as she did. Regev forced Argentina’s team to be part of the 70th anniversary [of Israel] events and turned it into a show for herself, while enslaving a wonderful and enjoyable event to petty and showy politics for credit. Israel and people who only wanted to enjoy a good game paid the price.”
Zionist Union MK Stav Shaffir went further, calling on Regev to quit.
Regev responded in a press conference that she expected to be criticized by members of the Joint List, but she did not expect Yacimovich and other Zionist Union MKs to cooperate with enemies of Israel in an attempt to harm her and the government.
In a Channel 2 interview, Regev said Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gave her his full backing. But when reporters asked Netanyahu in London about whether the game was canceled due to Israeli mishandling, he said he had only spoken to her briefly and had not understood that moving the game to Jerusalem could result in its cancellation.
MK Itzik Shmuli, also of Zionist Union, said that “even her fury, slander and sowing hatred won’t hide the truth. Miri Regev can blame the whole world and pathetically desecrate the names of the victims of Munich in order to explain her shameful own-goal that she scored for Israel and the children of the Gaza envelope.
“There’s only one thing she didn’t say: I apologize. My delusions of grandeur and desire to take advantage of the event for my political needs brought this farce,” Shmuly added. “BDS should send a big bouquet of flowers to Miri Regev, who brought them their greatest achievement to this day.”Lahav Harkov contributed to this report.