After details of Regev’s amendment demanding that cultural institution declare loyalty to Israeli culture were revealed, the Israeli Culture Minister now plans on changing the criteria for funding theatres – and allocating millions of shekels to institutions beyond the Green Line at the expense of Tel Aviv theatres performing in Israel’s periphery.

Another change that will cause a scandal? Regev

Another change that will cause a scandal? Regev Photo Credit: Mariam Alster, Flash 90 / Channel 2 News

After MK Miri Regev’s intention to deny funds from cultural institutions that express opinions against the state caused a scandal, another controversial plan led by Israel’s Culture Minister has been revealed: to give priority to theaters in settlements at the expense of Tel Aviv.

Regev plans on changing the criteria for funding theaters, and making the most important criteria “cultural uniqueness”. As part of the amendment, 5 million shekels will be allocated to the cause, an amount that is expected to reach the hands of the religious Aspaklaria Theatre in Jerusalem, in addition to theatres outside the Green Line.

Regev also plans a 9-million-shekel cut to the budget allocated to create incentives for Tel Aviv theaters like Habima, the Cameri and Beit Lessin to preform in Israel’s periphery – a move that is expected to substantially reduce the number of shows performed outside of Tel Aviv.

The Theatre Department at the Ministry of Culture seems to be in opposition of the changes, but it is only a consulting body. MK Regev explained that “the amendment process has yet to be approved, and when it is it will be presented to the general public.”

The previous amendment, whose criteria were revealed last September, called to prevent funding from cultural institutions that support terrorism, mark Nakba Day or insult the Israeli flag. Tomorrow, Regev will present the amendment to the Knesset Education Committee.

The Israeli Ministry of Culture currently provides financial support for cultural institutions based on their location, the number of instruments in their orchestra, the number of shows in the theater and other criteria of the sort. Now, Regev’s amendment will also demand that the cultural institutions declare loyalty to Israeli culture.