Israeli minister calls artists ‘hypocritical, ungrateful’

Jerusalem, (IANS) In a scathing attack on artists in her country, Israeli Culture and Sports Minister Miri Regev dismissed them as “tight-ass, hypocritical and ungrateful” people, Efe news agency reported.

Regev’s poor relationship with the sector she governs has been worsening by the day ever since the ministry has been cancelling its funding to programmes and events that are deemed to be inconsistent with her criteria, largely based on “patriotism”.

The situation worsened still after the publication of an interview with the magazine AT, published on Friday by Ynet online, in which the minister admitted that the culture ministry was far from being her favourite.

“I knew the cultural world was ungrateful, I don’t feel like working for ungrateful people. Tight-ass, hypocritical and ungrateful, and I don’t feel like working for them,” Regev replied when asked about the criticism she received from various artists upon her appointment.

Regev’s statements were met with harsh criticism from artists and politicians alike, such as Zehava Galon, president of the leftist Meretz party, who asked: “What else needs to happen for the prime minister to understand that you can’t leave the freedom of culture and creation in Israel in the hands of the cultural censor, Miri Regev?”

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