Netanyahu overrides Zohar, says Shabbat cultural activities will not change

Published date23 January 2023
Publication titleJerusalem Post, The: Web Edition Articles (Israel)
According to the statement, Prime Minister Netanyahu and Culture and Sports Minister MK Miki Zohar clarified the situation in a conversation between the two. Zohar stated that he wants the initiative for the activities to come from the funded entities and not from the ministry itself, but funding and the content of the activity would not be harmed

"I welcome the fact that the "Israeli Shabbat" project will continue to operate as usual. Not everything is politics. Sometimes the truth is simple: all Israelis, religious and secular, those who can reach and those who can't, will be able to continue to come every weekend to more than 100 heritage sites and museums throughout the country and connect with our heritage and our culture," former Minister of Culture and Sports Chili Tropper said.

"I hope that the agreement will indeed be realized and the activity will continue to be free of charge, so that everyone can participate in it. Thank you to all the Israeli public, right and left, Shabbat-observant and non-Shabbat-observant, who linked arms together to keep the Israeli Shabbat.''

Miki Zohar had defended himself against critics who blasted him for freezing subsidized cultural events on Shabbat during an interview on KAN Reshet Bet on Monday morning.

Upholding the status quo

"From the founding of the state, there is a status quo in Israel which, unfortunately, the outgoing minister violated last year and for the first time in the history of the Culture and Sports Ministry, decided to actively initiate an activity that takes place precisely on the Shabbat. Which had never taken place."

"Just as no official government body in Israel initiates an activity on Shabbat, neither will the Culture and Sports Ministry initiate an activity on Shabbat," Zohar said.

Zohar further explained his actions in a series of tweets, saying: "So after the false media spin, here is the truth as it is. I have never said or considered canceling events or denying funding to cultural institutions operating on Shabbat.

"On the contrary, when I took office I made it clear unequivocally that we would preserve the...

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