Culture Minister Miri Regev was steadfast Sunday in defending her decision to review funding for an Arab-Jewish theater, making clear that cultural institutions who partner in boycotts against Israel will not be funded by the country.
Last Tuesday, Regev announced she would "reconsider" state funding to the Elmina Theater, after manager Norman Issa refused to participate in a play in Judea and Samaria.
That decision incurred the wrath of leftist artists and politicians, with Meretz chairwoman Zehava Galon accusing Regev of "silencing creators who don't align with the regime's position."
Regev, however, was undeterred. "Institutions that delegitimize the State of Israel will not receive funding," the Minister vowed in an interview Sunday with Channel 2. "This is not silencing."
"The State of Israel is in the midst of dealing with international boycotts [against it]; we succeeded against FIFA and the CEO of Orange, who apologized. There is no reason for domestic boycotts."
Regev's latest remarks come in the wake of a letter signed by a long list of left-wing Israelis artists targeting her and Education Minister Naftali Bennett.
Artists from the film, theater, dance, literature and music industries published the letter Sunday, "protesting the non-democratic measures taken by the Education and Culture Ministries against artists whose creative works or outlooks do not jive with the spirit in these offices."
"We will continue to look at reality, to express our opinions and obey our consciences even if we must pay a price," the artists stressed.