Culture and Sport Minister Miri Regev made headlines on Monday afternoon with a press conference in which she lashed out in fury at Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon and former Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman, who effectively blocked passage of her Cultural Loyalty Bill in the Knesset.
“For years, I have heard from dozens of bereaved families who can no longer tolerate the theater of the absurd” of the state paying for cultural works “that undermine the state … [and] see its establishment as the disaster of the Palestinian people,” Regev said.
Liberman, Regev said, “is now voting with [Meretz chairwoman] Tamar Zandberg and [Joint List MK] Ahmed Tibi. He’s voting to support terrorism. How can this be?”
As for Kahlon, Regev said his decision to give his Kulanu party MKs freedom of conscience in the vote in a coalition with a one-seat majority shows that he wants to topple the government.
“The authority to deprive budgets from cultural institutions that violate the Nakba Law [prohibiting marking Independence Day as a day of mourning for Palestinians] is only in the hands of Finance Minister Kahlon. For three and a half years the Finance Minister evaded responsibility and chose not to deprive budgets from cultural institutions violating the Nakba Law,” Regev said.
“The law was launched with the support of Ministers Kahlon and Liberman, and now Liberman proved that he allows the terrorists to transfer budgets for their battle heritage, a heritage of terror.”
They have “shirked their responsibility” to the public and proved that they “work for the New Israel Fund,” Regev said.
During the Kulanu faction meeting, held shortly after Regev’s press conference, Kahlon denied that he was responsible for destroying her bill. It’s “the 61-seat majority [that’s] the problem,” not him, he said. “Every controversial law requires that we reach an agreement.”
Kahlon cited the fate of the Cultural Loyalty Law as proof that that the coalition can’t survive much longer.
“Let’s be honest, the coalition is flimsy. I don’t want to topple the government, but we are here to act, not just to survive. A government that is struggling to survive isn’t getting anything done … Elections are on the way,” he said.
Maurice Esma, a co-founder of EconomicInform is a freelance journalist with the expertise in international finance and corporate rights. The author can be reached by email firstname.lastname@example.org