Culture Minister Regev Slams Israeli Director Who Called Government 'Fascist'

Regev says Udi Aloni's comments at Berlin film festival is ultimate proof artists who 'smear' state should not be funded at the taxpayer's expense.

Actress Salwa Sakkara (left), actor Tamer Nafar, director and producer Udi Aloni and actress Samar Qupty pose at the 2016 Berlinale Film Festival in Berlin, Germany, Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016.
AP

Culture and Sports Minister Miri Regev assailed director Udi Aloni for calling the government “fascist” at an awards ceremony in Berlin, writing on her Facebook page on Sunday that his remarks were “ultimate proof” of why Israel ought to slash its subsidies to artists who criticize the country.

Aloni told reporters in remarks broadcast by Israel's Channel 10 after accepting an award for his “Junction 48” film, he thought Germany should not supply Israel with submarines because of its fascist government.

“Junction 48," the story of a Palestinian rap star set in the mixed Jewish-Arab city of Lod, won the Panorama Audience Award for best fiction film. 

The son of Shulamit Aloni, the late founder of Meretz, Aloni said he was specifically criticizing the government and not Israel as a state. He also accused Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of spreading hatred.

Regev, who has advocated cutting government funds to theater groups and other articists who criticize the country, wrote that Aloni’s remarks were “the ultimate proof that artists who undermine the country, who smear it and attack its legitimacy should not be funded at the taxpayer’s expense.”

Last month, Regev proposed legislation that would enhance her ministry's power and allow it to condition funding for institutions on their allegiance to the state and respect for its symbols.