Culture Minister Miri Regev (Likud) said Tuesday that the compromise between her office and the Al Maidan Theater was forced upon her by the Legal Advisor to the Government / Attorney General. The Arab-owned theater caused outrage when it performed a play that glorifies Walid Daka, the terrorist who abducted and cruelly murdered 19-year-old IDF soldier Moshe Tamam in 1984.
Regev was forced to renew funding of the theater, ten months after she suspended it. The theater has, meanwhile, undergone a change in management, after its previous owner aroused Regev's anger when he refused to perform in Judea and Samaria.
“Over the last few months,” Regev wrote on Facebook following the reversal, “I have waged a struggle over the basic principles” according to which a cultural institution must respect certain rules if it receives public funds.
“I will not accept the fact that a cultural institute can turn the theater into the backyard of politicians, and certainly not of anti-Zionist terrorist organizations,” she stressed. “I believed all along that the theater needs to face justice in the High Court. While the Attorney General thought my arguments were valid ones, he forced me to accept the compromise agreement, according to which Al Maidan will be fined NIS 300,000 for its transgressions. This is a meaningful and unusually large financial deduction for a cultural institute.”
Regev's decision to suspend funds to the theater followed an announcement by Education Minister Naftali Bennett (Jewish Home) that he had given instructions stop sending school students to view the play, which is based on Daka's writings.