Israel abandons law on “cultural loyalty”

Minister of Culture and Sport Miri Regev in the Knesset on June 15, 2015 (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
The bill, in preparation for two years, aimed to cut public financing to artworks and cultural institutions guilty of: “denying the existence of the State of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state; incitement to racism, violence, and terror; support for an armed struggle or terror act by a hostile country or terror organization against the State of Israel; marking Independence Day as a day of mourning; an act of vandalism or physical degradation that dishonours the country’s flag or state emblem”.


Proposed by Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud Party (currently in power), the law caused a wave of controversy which led artists such as Zeev Engelmayer and Oren Fischer to burn their works in a Tel Aviv square on Sunday.


However, as a result of Netanyahu’s increasingly fragile majority after the recent resignation of Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman, the project has now been abandoned. Indeed, two members of parliament have announced that they do not support the law.