ACRI: Minister Regev is Overstepping her Authority and Becoming a Cultural Censor


 In a letter to Minister of Culture Miri Regev, the Association for Civil Rights in Israel has insisted that she refrain from becoming a cultural censor and warned that her behavior threatens Israel’s democracy. ACRI asserts that freedom of expression is a basic right for all members of society, and that the public has a right to view the full spectrum of artistic creations.


On Tuesday, June 16, ACRI Chief Legal Counsel, Dan Yakir, contacted Minister of Culture, Miri Regev, following the Minister’s controversial public statements in recent days. Minister Regev announced that she is reconsidering the ministry’s support for the Jerusalem Film Festival due to its screening of a documentary about Yigal Amir and his wife, and that she is reconsidering the ministry’s support of the Al-Midan Theatre in Haifa due to its presentation of “A Parallel Time” – a play based on the life of a security prisoner.


“The Minister of Culture is not the Commissar of Culture, and the Ministry of Culture is not the Public Censor. The role of the Ministry of Culture is to support culture and the arts, not to smother them. It is the very function of movies and theatre to engage with sensitive and controversial issues and encourage critical thinking. It is not the role of art to support the legitimacy of the state or preserve the image of IDF soldiers. In those rare instances where a work of art incites to violence or racism, the Ministry is entitled to withdraw public funding. Apart from this, the Ministry must not interfere with the content and subject matters of artistic creations.”


Attorney Dan Yakir, ACRI Chief Legal Counsel: “In recent weeks, Israeli artists have felt threatened due to the sustained attack on their freedom of creation and freedom of expression. Though artists may stand at the forefront of this attack, the threat is to Israeli democracy as a whole. Freedom of expression is a fundamental right of the general public. Artists require this artistic freedom to create, and the wider public has the right to be exposed to the full spectrum of artistic creations.”


Additional Materials

To view the full letter to Minister of Culture Miri Regev, click here.

For more information about correspondence with Minister Regev and Minister Bennett on free artistic expression, click here.

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Categories: Democracy and Civil Liberties


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