Israeli Culture Ministry to Issue 'Modesty' Guidelines for Government-funded Events

The decision was made following the Celebrate August festival in Ashdod, in which a female singer dressed in shorts, a bikini top and an open shirt was removed from the stage.

Almog Ben Zikri
Almog Ben Zikri
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Singer Hannah Goor at the Ashdod event, August 26, 2016.
Singer Hannah Goor at the Ashdod event, August 26, 2016.Credit: Eva Goor
Almog Ben Zikri
Almog Ben Zikri

The Culture and Sports Ministry will issue guidelines to production companies working with it on various shows for how modestly it deems performers should dress.

“Festivals and events funded by public money will respect the general public, which includes different communities,” a ministry official said.

The announcement followed an incident at the Celebrate August festival in Ashdod on Friday, during which the singer Hanna Goor performed in shorts, a bikini top and an open button-down shirt.

Goor, a former contestant in the Israeli reality show “A Star is Born,” told Haaretz that a production representative went on stage during her performance and asked her “to get dressed.” She said she refused, and that she was taken off the stage before finishing her set. Goor added: “Immediately after they took me down, I asked for an explanation. The bottom line, he explained to me, is that the request was imposed on him.”

According to Goor, the contract she signed with Intellect, which won the tender to put on the festival for the Culture Ministry, stated that her performance would be about half an hour, while she was removed after three songs.

Culture Ministry officials stressed that Goor was not prematurely removed from the stage. “First-line performers partook in the festival alongside local artists who received exposure to the wider, diverse public, the ministry commented. “The festival is aimed at the general public and funded by public money. Goor’s performance does not respect the general public that attended the show, and so removing her from the stage became necessary whether or not an error occurred.”

The ministry added: “This is exactly the difference between freedom of expression and freedom of funding. Therefore, a proper directive to all production bodies working through the Culture Ministry will be issued to ensure that this policy is implemented in all events.”

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