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Israel culture minister seeks powers to punish violators of ‘Nakba Law’

Israeli Cultural Minister Miri Regev [Miri Regev/Facebook]

Israel’s Culture Minister Miri Regev “plans to submit a kind of cultural loyalty bill in November that would allow her to cut state funding to cultural institutions which violate the so-called Nakba Law”, according to a report by Haaretz.

Regev made the “announcement at a Tel Aviv press conference yesterday called to unveil a reform of state funding for the film industry”, the paper added.

As explained by Haaretz, “the Nakba Law allows the Finance Ministry to cut state funding to any institution that publicly observes Israel’s Independence Day as a day of mourning, but doesn’t allow the Culture Ministry to do so.”

Read: Israel pressures French suburb to remove Nakba street sign

The Nakba, meaning ‘catastrophe’ in Arabic, refers to the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians by pre-state Zionist militias and Israeli state forces over the period 1947-1949.

During the Knesset’s winter session, Regev informed journalists, “she plans to submit legislation enabling the Culture Ministry to slash funding to such institutions”, Haaretz reported.

“The Film Council will be able to deny funding to cultural institutions that violate the Nakba Law and participate in incitement against the state,” she said.

Regev added “that the intended legislation would also bar film fund lectors from approving funding for films that violate the Nakba Law or ‘delegitimise Israel’.”

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