It should have come as no surprise when Minister of Culture and Sport Miri Regev used the eve of Independence Day, May 9, to announce a provocative new piece of legislation that she intends to champion. She wants to compel institutions and facilities built with state funding to fly the Israeli flag.
Regev’s flag law is the latest link in a series of controversial legislative initiatives, ordinances and statements by her that have offended various sectors of the population. They are also the kind of initiatives that she can ride all the way to the Likud primaries. Take, for example, the Mizrahi agenda that she is trying to advance in Israeli culture. The problem is that she is using an attitude of disdain toward everyone else to win the hearts of the masses. Regev is never satisfied with speaking out sharply about Ashkenazi cultural hegemony over Israel. She always insists on being defiant, expressing herself in ways that she knows will make headlines and turn her into a “working class hero.” For example, she used the term “tightasses” to describe Ashkenazi artists from Tel Aviv.