Israel: Art featuring ministers stirs controversy

4 January 2017

Two recent displays of art featuring Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu have caused renewed uproar over art and freedom of expression in the major cities of Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. Controversy erupted at the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design in Jerusalem after a provocative poster featuring Netanyahu with a …

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Morocco: News site publishes blacklist of artists with alleged ties to Israel

26 September 2016

On 9 September 2016, Moroccan news site Noon Presse published its own blacklist of seven Moroccan performers and artists who have “normalised” relations with Israel, which means, according to the site, that the artists have chosen “to go against the flow” by “unashamedly visiting Israel or communicating with Israelis”. The …

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Israel: Tensions remain strained between artists and culture ministry

8 September 2016

Members of Israel’s artistic community have filed a lawsuit against the country’s ministry of culture as artists and cultural institutions increasingly feel threatened under culture minister Miri Regev, who has attempted, among other things, to put laws in place that would tie funding to “loyalty to the state”, thus curbing …

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Israel: Detained Palestinian poet heads to trial over poem

5 September 2016

On 6 September 2016, Palestinian poet Dareen Tatour heads back to trial facing charges that one of her poems posted on YouTube and two Facebook posts constitute “incitement to violence”, a charge that carries a prison term of up to eight years. The charges mainly relate to Tatour’s poem on …

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INSIGHT publication: Targeting the Arts 2015

18 May 2016

» Read on Targeting the Arts Documenting incidents of censorship has never been enough. From the very beginning Freemuse has attempted to put censorship of music and arts into a larger context. In 2015 we introduced INSIGHT – a series of articles providing readers with analytical stories on censorship of …

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Israel: Proposed ‘loyalty bill’ to impact on artistic expression

22 March 2016

The Israeli Minister of Culture, Miri Regev, wants to make allocation of funding of arts projects conditional upon the recipient’s loyalty to the Jewish state. At the end of January 2016, Miri Regev, Israel’s minister of culture and sport, proposed an amendment – dubbed the “loyalty in culture” bill – that would …

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Israel: Culture minister proposes ‘loyalty bill’ for arts funding

28 January 2016

Israeli Culture Minister Miri Regev proposed a bill on 27 January 2016 that would tie arts funding only to projects and performances that are ‘loyal’ to Israel, reported Ynet News. The controversial ‘loyalty bill’ would aim to deny state funding to artists and institutions that, for example, incite racism, violence …

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Israel: Officials ban book on Jewish-Arab romance

11 January 2016

Officials in Israel’s education ministry banned Dorit Rabinyan’s ‘Gader Haya’ (Borderlife) book from being taught in schools because the plot involving a mixed romantic relationship between an Israeli and Palestinian is perceived as “threatening”, newspaper The Telegraph reported. Ministry of Education officials who banned the book on 30 December 2015 …

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Israel: The political legacy of muzzling artists

3 November 2015

In June 2015, Israeli artists made a collective roar against their government over its arts funding policy which bans dissident artists. Like everywhere else in the world, the government of Israel can choose which artists to support with public funding. It can ban, expel and censor artists, according to its …

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