Culture and Sports Minister Miri Regev (Likud) dismissed the leftist artistic elite on Friday as leftists protest in Tel Aviv, calling some of them "petty bores" and "hypocrites."
Less than two weeks after she threatened to cut funding for a theater led by an actor who said he would boycott hundreds of thousands of Israeli citizens, cultural figures held a protest on Friday to coincide with the minister's presentation of theater awards at a ceremony in Tel Aviv.
"The world of culture is an ungrateful world," she said in a recorded interview with a women's magazine which was broadcast Friday on radio.
"I say to myself, who am I working for? For a group of ungrateful people who think they know everything, some of them petty bores, hypocrites."
In the printed interview with At magazine, published on Thursday, she says she reluctantly took on the job of culture minister after March elections.
"I knew why I didn't want to take this post," she said. "I knew I was going to work for vainglorious people."
The former general and chief army censor said on June 9 she would "reconsider" state funding to the theater in Tel
Aviv's mixed Arab-Jewish neighborhood of Yafo after its Arab director, actor Norman Issa, refused to perform for "settlers" in the Jordan Valley.
Her position saw results, as the actor who was boycotting a wide sector of Israeli citizens backed down on his discriminatory position.
Regev has also frozen state funds and ordered an examination to the Al Midan Arab theater in Haifa, over its play glorifying Walid Daka, the Arab terrorist who abducted and horrifically murdered 19-year-old IDF soldier Moshe Tamam in 1984.
On Friday, Arab Israeli actress, dancer and video artist Raida Alon said she was organizing a demonstration at the awards ceremony in Tel Aviv's Einav cultural center, over what she called government attempts to "muzzle" performers.
"I hope people will come," she told public radio. "I hope they will also be afraid because people today are starting to be fearful."
"There's starting to be a very uncomfortable atmosphere here, a kind of dictatorship where you can't feel freedom. It's getting to the point where they threaten you if you simply express an opinion," she said, indicating leftist discomfort at limitations against those supporting terror or discriminating against Jewish citizens.
AFP contributed to this report.