Far-right Minister of Culture Miri Regev walked out of the Association of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ACUM) awards ceremony Monday evening, June 12, following the organization’s decision to allow an artist to pay tribute to a poem written by Palestinian national poet Mahmoud Darwish. Singer Mira Awad, who received an award for promoting Arab creativity within Israeli culture, sang a song using the lyrics to Darwish’s poem Think of Others.
In response to Regev’s actions, Joint List leader MK Ayman Odeh (Hadash) said: “Despite the minister of culture’s ignorance and racism, a new generation of Palestinian artists has arisen, citizens of the state, who choose art as the instrument of struggle.”
In September 2016, Regev made a similar scene at the Ophir Awards (the “Israeli Oscars”) when she walked out of the auditorium in protest to the recitation of a poem by Darwish. She later returned to the hall and addressed the audience, but was booed and several audience members walked out during her speech.