Likud MK proposes bill to play Hatikva at every event with president

Not playing national anthem at Barcelona exhibition game an "embarrassment," Knesset Interior Committee chairwoman says.

peres receives rose from girl 390 (photo credit: Kobi Gideon/GPO)
peres receives rose from girl 390
(photo credit: Kobi Gideon/GPO)
The national anthem must be played at every event President Shimon Peres attends, Knesset Interior Committee chairwoman Miri Regev suggested on Sunday.
Regev called a meeting of her committee to discuss why “Hatikva,” the national anthem, was not played at the FC Barcelona exhibition game in Ramat Gan last week, even though Peres and Education Minister Shai Piron were present.
The Likud Beytenu MK plans to propose a bill requiring the anthem to be played at every event Peres attends, and called for the Ministerial Committee on Symbols and Ceremonies to promote the legislation.
The President’s Residence organized the popular soccer team’s visit, and the Education Ministry spent an estimated NIS 1 million to bring 14,000 children from around Israel to see the game.
According to President’s Residence director-general Efrat Duvdevani, the game brought excellent PR to Israel and was viewed by soccer fans around the world.
“According to protocol, the anthem is played only at national or official events, and the game did not fall into that category,” Duvdevani explained. “At the same time, we’re happy to have the anthem played at any event in which the president participates.”
Erez Eshel, director of the Education Ministry’s Youth and Social Administration, said the ministry’s position was that the anthem should have been played at the game, and officials were surprised when it wasn’t.
Eshel’s was one of several versions of the event and who was responsible for whether or not “Hatikva” was played.
After hearing several contradictory stories, Regev called the production company that worked at the event.
Daniel Ben Naim, who works for the company, said all the government offices knew the anthem would not be played.
“It’s embarrassing that the national anthem was not heard at an event with the president and education minister,” Regev concluded.
“Israel’s national honor is important, and someone should have made sure it was played.”