Israel’s War on Culture

Like many in the ruling coalition, the Culture Minister Miri Regev is openly against the establishment of a Palestinian state and has proposed annexing parts of the West Bank. She curries favor well with voters, many of them Mizrahim like herself, in part because she fuses her political agenda with her promise to upend the monopoly that Israel’s Ashkenazi elite, historically more identified with the peace camp in Israel, has had on the country’s cultural establishment. While Regev’s tenure may not represent a permanent, more coercive and censorious change in how the arts are funded in Israel, she embodies the sea-change in Israeli society, from a country that downplayed its inequities and declining democratic norms, to one that flaunts them.

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