Skip to main content

Israeli leftist artists, the enemy within

As far as Culture Minister Miri Regev is concerned, all intellectuals who do not agree with her right-wing agenda are enemies of the state.
Likud legislator Miri Regev, a former brigadier general and political hardliner of Moroccan origin, looks out a car window during a campaign stop in Netanya, north of Tel Aviv February 25, 2015. Israel's Sephardic community, Jews of Middle Eastern descent, have traditionally been the Likud party's backbone. But political analysts say Sephardim, disproportionately poorer than Israel's Ashkenazi Jews with roots in Europe, may throw their support elsewhere in the March 17 election, angry over the high cost of

Minister of Culture Miri Regev has been swept up by a wave of support, especially from the far right, for advancing the “No Loyalty, No Budget for the Arts” Law. It is what carried her to the premiere of "Evita" at the Habima National Theater in Tel Aviv the night of Jan. 27.

Just a few hours earlier, she had been involved in an impassioned argument with opposition Knesset members during a discussion by the Education and Culture Committee. On the table was a law she proposed to deny state funding to cultural institutions that allegedly assailed state symbols. “Cultural organizations that undermine the state will be denied budgets from the state,” Regev said during the debate. “Cultural institutions are not above the law. … Miri Regev did not come up with this law or that. All I want to do is enact a simple law that says that the minister who releases money can also prevent that money from being released.”

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 for annual access.