Text size

The Ministerial Committee for Legislation decided yesterday that the government coalition would not support a bill that would bar public funding of performances or events featuring performers who evaded service in the Israel Defense Forces.

In light of the lack of coalition support, the measure is expected to be defeated in a vote in the Knesset plenum during this week.

The proposed law, sponsored by Moshe Matalon (Yisrael Beiteinu ), would also empower the culture and sports minister to approve funding of events - even those featuring artists who have not served in the IDF - but only if their sponsors convince the minister that the composition of the performing cast is appropriate.

The Ministerial Committee for Legislation voted overwhelmingly to oppose the proposed law after Culture and Sports Minister Limor Livnat (Likud ) said she strongly opposed it.

A similar measure to bar funding had been introduced in the last Knesset by Israel Hasson (Kadima ).

Associates of Hasson said the proposed legislation has been around for a long time, adding that Hasson's bill was designed to spur public debate after the rise to prominence of singers Jacko Eisenberg and Marina Maximilian Blumin, on the television show "Kochav Nolad," the Israel counterpart of "American Idol." Neither singer served in the IDF. Because the goal was achieved, however partially, Hasson's associates said, his bill was not pursued.

In explanatory remarks in support of the current legislation, it was noted that IDF data indicate a rising phenomenon of individuals who fail to either serve in the IDF or to do voluntary national service, including cultural and sports celebrities who provide a role model encouraging the country's youth to follow in their footsteps.