Knesset bill would punish arts groups deemed disloyal to Israel
search

Knesset bill would punish arts groups deemed disloyal to Israel

New legislation passes its first hearing in parliament by vote of 55 to 44, which would stop funding for cultural groups who criticise the country

Prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaking in the Knesset in 2016
Prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaking in the Knesset in 2016

Israel’s Knesset passed on its first vote a cultural loyalty bill, which would allow funds to be withheld from cultural organisations that are deemed  disloyal to the state of Israel.

The bill proposed by Culture Minister Miri Regev passed its first reading by a vote of 55 to 44. It must pass two more readings to become a law.

Among the infractions which would allow the withholding of budget funding from cultural institutions is denying that Israel is a Jewish and democratic state, incitement to racism or violence, support for terror against Israel; marking Israel’s Independence day as the Nakba – a day of morning in the Arab world, and desecrating the Israeli flag or other state symbols.

Under the legislation the culture minister, and not the Ministry of Finance, would have the final say in withholding the funds.

A current law on the books, the so-called Nakba Law, allows the government to withhold funding from organisations or events that call Israel’s establishment and mark Independence Day as a Nakba, or “catastrophe.”

 

read more:
comments