Hours after Culture Minister Miri Regev’s Cultural Loyalty Law was approved by the Knesset Education Committee on Tuesday, she was booed for it at an arts awards ceremony in Petach Tikva.
The law would empower the Culture Minister to cancel funding to cultural institutions for presentations that deny Israel’s existence as a Jewish and democratic state, or incite to racism, violence and terrorism.
When Regev mentioned the law during remarks at the ceremonies, there was a round of boos from the crowd, Arutz Sheva reported.
“All those who are hysterical from the law, I suggest you take a drink and relax. There is a limit to freedom of expression,” Regev said, and was greeted by booing from the crowd.
MK Ofer Shelah, chairman of the Yesh Atid faction, said he was determined to defeat the bill. “I know that there are a lot of people in the coalition who oppose it, and we intend to use all the cracks in the coalition to try to bring him down by a vote in the plenum – as we did yesterday to other laws,” he said.
The issue will be one of the early tests of Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s shrunken 61-MK coalition.
Members of the Zionist Camp party reportedly invited coalition members to bring sleeping bags for what looked to be a marathon session.
But Regev seems unfazed by the left-wing reaction. The bill goes to the Knesset plenum for debate and voting next Monday.