Israeli Culture Minister Miri Regev is seeking to cancel state funding for Barbour Gallery in Jerusalem, in light of the institution’s forthcoming hosting of a book launch event on the Nakba.
Regev has asked Attorney General Avihai Mandelblit “to advance legislation that would enable us to cease supporting once and for all cultural institutions that use their public spaces to provide a platform for relentless subversion against our very existence, symbols and values”, said Haaretz.
The event in question will launch new book “Nakba in Hebrew – A Political Journey” by Eitan Bronstein Aparicio and Eléonore Marza Bronstein, which focuses on the activities and impact of Zochrot, an Israeli organisation that supports the Palestinian refugees’ right of return.
In her letter, Regev said she had discussed the event with Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat, and that they would seek a court injunction against the event.
The Jerusalem municipality confirmed to Haaretz that “at the instruction of the mayor, the city plans to ask the court to issue an urgent injunction against the holding of the event”.
According to Regev, the Barbour Gallery has been repeatedly guilty of “subversive activity” and of promoting “ceaseless pro-Palestinian provocations” that “seek to subvert the state’s existence and nurture fairy tales about the Nakba”.
The Barbour Gallery stated in response: “We are hosting a book launch as part of our regular cultural activity. We are not doing anything illegal, as Minister Regev herself acknowledges. Our role also is to present positions that are outside of the consensus”.