Skip to main content

Why is Israel's culture minister cutting funding to culture?

Culture Minister Miri Regev threatens to withdraw funding of the 48 mm Tel Aviv film festival dedicated to the Nakba.
Read in 

Once again, Minister of Culture Miri Regev is making threats to defund an Israeli cultural institute due to political considerations. In May, for instance, she withheld the ministry’s funding of the Haifa-based Arab-Israeli Al-Midan Theater for putting up the play “A Parallel Time,” which is based on a story by terrorist Walid Daka. The Haifa municipality followed in her footsteps.

In September, the ministry sent a letter to all the cultural institutes in Israel, citing various laws and regulations affecting the eligibility for budgetary support in 2016. There are various reasons for which the state can withhold financial support, such as negation of Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish and democratic state; incitement to racism, violence and terror; expressing support for an armed struggle or an act of terror by an enemy state or a terrorist organization against the State of Israel; marking the state’s Independence Day as a day of mourning; and showing contempt for or defacing the national flag or the state’s emblem.

Access the Middle East news and analysis you can trust

Join our community of Middle East readers to experience all of Al-Monitor, including 24/7 news, analyses, memos, reports and newsletters.


Only $100 per year.