New Culture Minister Zohar vows to withdraw funding for art that ‘defames Israel’

New Culture and Sports Minister Miki Zohar vowed Monday to end state funding for art that “discredits the state of Israel in the country and the world.”

Speaking at the handover ceremony alongside his predecessor, the Chilean trooper, Zahr said no taxpayer dollars would be spent on art and cultural forms that “promote a narrative” against Israel.

“The world of culture and art is a world that we represent as a nation. We will stop funding those who promote the narrative of our enemy and damage the good name of Israel.

“Terrorists and martyrs will not be presented as heroes before us. We will not compromise on ideology,” Zahar added.

The minister, who is a member of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party, said receiving the portfolio was a “dream come true” and noted that his son Elaif is a musician who recently became popular on a music reality show. .

“I raised an artist and I understand how the soul of an artist behaves, so I think the world of culture will find a minister that you can work with,” Zaheer said.

Elef Zahr (C) won the reality show ‘The Next Star’ on Rishon Lezion, September 20, 2022 (Flash90).

He added: “I have countless plans and I hope to fulfill them all.” “If they succeed, they will change the culture of Israel. We will do everything to bring in more resources. The budget we have now is not enough. We need to bridge the gap in relations. [spending in] The rest of the world.”

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Zaheer also praised Troper and said: “There is no doubt that you will be remembered as an excellent minister of culture.”

In his remarks, Troper warned his successor against reviving old battles over culture, apparently over his predecessor, Likud’s Miri Regev.

“We’ve proven that the way of respect is not only more appropriate in my opinion, but more effective. The culture of lies and hate serves no purpose,” Trooper said.

“Don’t rush to war – there have been years of conflicts and wars. Don’t rush to this,” he continued. “The minister has a lot of power, and with that power you can multiply good and you can create evil. You can corrupt with power and you can make things right by protecting it.

Culture and Sports Minister Miki Zohar (R) with his predecessor, the Chilean trooper, at a handover ceremony in Jerusalem, January 2, 2023 (Yonathan Sandel/Flash 90)

Last summer, justifying his refusal to intervene in a play-off based on eyewitness accounts by Israel Defense Forces soldiers of violations of Palestinian rights in the West Bank, Tropper said: “It strikes me It doesn’t seem like you want to.Living in a country where the Minister of Culture interferes in some dramas.

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Tropper said: “Today it’s me, tomorrow someone else will be sitting in my place.

Regev, however, refused to intervene in such matters, citing the so-called cultural loyalty law that would allow her to block public funding for cultural organizations “which work against the principles of the state.”

Outgoing Culture Minister Chely Tropper in Tel Aviv, April 6, 2022 (Avshalom Sassoni/Flash90)

Also on Monday, incoming Communications Minister Shlomo Karhi said he would “present plans to lead the telecommunications market toward a free and competitive market.”

Karehi, a Likud lawmaker, last month voiced support for shutting down Kahn’s public broadcaster and the news division of Army Radio.

“Television has to be inclusive of everything – we have to allow different voices to shape what we hear… There are still voices that are not heard enough in Israeli media,” Karhi said.

He added that he intends to “strengthen [Jewish] Settlement” in the West Bank. “We have to provide the infrastructure for them to do that.”

The new minister also said he would work to reverse a decision by his predecessor, Yoaz Handel, to ease restrictions on so-called kosher cell phone plans and open up the market, a reform that many rabbinic officials and ultra-Orthodox politicians have opposed. was strongly opposed by

“The outgoing minister took a decision on the use of mobile phones in the Hindu community – an attempt to interfere with the usage habits of private citizens,” Karhi said. “I intend to roll out the change in the coming days. To implement this policy, I plan to appoint Elad Malika as the new Director General of the Ministry.

Incoming Communications Minister Shlomo Karhi arrives for a group photo of the new government at the presidential residence in Jerusalem on December 29, 2022.

Malika has previously supported the privatization of public broadcasting and even the closure of the Ministry of Communications.

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In a column published in Makar Ration last month, it was titled “Shutting down public broadcasting?” Malika claimed that the issue with the mine was not its budget, but “that it ends the private market.”

Malka is the founder of a lobbying group called Our Interests – Your Lobby in the Knesset, which calls for making markets more competitive. Before that, he was the head of Israel’s media watchdog, which oversees media policies. He has also been a member of the Jerusalem Council and is considered a liberal within the ranks of Likud.

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