Israel's culture minister had a blunt message on Sunday for liberals worried about what they consider efforts by the government to stifle dissent in the arts: "Cut the bullshit."
Free-speech debate in Israel has grown fierce under conservative Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Non-governmental organizations and artists that document or dramatize conditions for Palestinians complain about legislation scrutinizing their funding.
Culture Minister Miri Regev, a former army spokeswoman and censor who is among the rising stars of Netanyahu's Likud party, has been a focus of criticism. Appearing at an arts and culture conference hosted by the liberal newspaper Haaretz
, she was greeted by protesters who booed or stood with mouths gagged.