The far-right Minister of Culture and Sports, Miri Regev, has asked Attorney General Avihai Mendelblit to look into how budgetary support can be withheld from the Tel Aviv Cinematheque before the conscientious objectors event scheduled to be held there on August 1. The planned event, entitled “Who’s afraid of freedom of conscience?” follows the release this week of 19-year-old Tair Kaminer who spent 159 days behind bars for refusing to serve in the IDF, as a conscientious objector against the occupation of Palestinian territories.
A movie called Clean Conscience directed by Uri Barbash will be screened during the event, after which Kaminer will participate in a panel discussion with three winners of the Israel Prize to discuss the issue: Professor Zeev Sternhell, Professor Edit Doron and Professor Yehuda (Jad) Ne’eman. Dr. Ishai Menuhin, one of the Yesh Gvul founding members, will be the moderator. The event is being organized by the Festival for Solidarity with Cinema, Activism and Human Rights, and has been held on an annual basis at the Tel Aviv Cinematheque for the past four years.
Regev wrote the attorney general that Kaminer had asked to be released from IDF duties “because serving in the IDF means participating in the crimes of occupation.” Regev characterized as a “serious situation when a cultural establishment supported by the state, such as the Cinematheque, provides a stage for activities that violate the law. Therefore I would ask to instruct the legal authorities to come up with a legal solution to withhold support for any establishment providing a stage for activities that undermine the country.”
“Who is afraid of freedom of conscience?” event on Facebook: