After Israeli Sports and Culture Minister Miri Regev requested that a police investigation into Mohammad Bakri be opened, the Israeli-Arab actor and director responded by saying that he is not afraid of the Likud minister and does not “believe a word that comes out of her mouth.”

Bakri and Regev

Bakri and Regev Photo Credit: Miriam Alster/Flash90/Reuters/Channel 2 News

On Sunday, Israeli Sports and Culture Minister Miri Regev (Likud) asked the Israeli attorney general to open a criminal investigation into actor and director Mohammad Bakri for violating the ban prohibiting citizens from visiting a country that is engaged in a military conflict with Israel. A few days ago, Bakri said during a press conference in Lebanon that “normalization with the Zionist enemy is treason.”

“Mohammad Bakri is an Israeli citizen who, according to various reports in the media, is currently in Lebanon in order to take part in a cultural festival called The Days of Palestine,” wrote Regev in her letter to Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit. “Bakri, who is known for his confrontational views toward the State of Israel, dared to call the Arab countries that have relations with Israel traitors. According to him, Israel is nothing more than the Zionist enemy and all connection to it is considered treason.”

“I would like to ask that an investigation be opened and that he be questioned immediately when he returns to Israel,” she added. “The lack of a firm response from the law enforcement authorities would give legitimacy to this type of activity that we must not allow.”

In response, Bakri told Channel 2 News Online: “I don’t believe a word that comes out of her [Regev’s] mouth and I don’t take her seriously. It’s very simple.” He added: “I’m only afraid of God, not Israelis, not the Israeli government and especially not Regev.”