Miri Regev says that because the ministry deals in matters of state, it’s appropriate that it should operate from Israel’s capital.
By Roi Yanovsky
Miri Regev’s first decision as minister of culture and sport is to move the ministry’s offices from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, Ynet has learned.
Regev has already approached Finance Ministry officials with the request to find the Culture and Sport Ministry a new home in the capital.
As part of the move, the ceremony to replace ministers on Sunday will not take place at the Tel Aviv office, but rather in the ministry’s existing branch in Sheikh Jarrah in Jerusalem, where the ministry’s operations have been far and few so far.
One of the main reasons that led Regev to speed up the move is the fact the ministry deals with state-related issues like symbols and ceremonies, and she believes such a ministry should be operating from the state’s capital.
The issue of moving government ministries to Jerusalem has been a disputed issue for years. In May 2007, the government decided to move all of the offices operating outside Jerusalem to the capital within eight years. But the implementation of this decision was faced with a lot of difficulties, among them the fact there was no practical plan for the move. A state comptroller report from 2013, which harshly criticized the government’s operations, prevented the implementation of the decision.
Last year, an amendment to the government decision was approved, extending the deadline for the completion of the move in three years. However it is once again unclear when the move would actually happen. The move relies heavily on the motivation of senior government officials to move from central Israel to Jerusalem.
Regev’s appointment to the Culture and Sport Ministry was met with harsh and at times blunt criticism from prominent figures in Israeli culture. Actor Gavri Banai called her a “behema,” which means a beast, and is also a slang word to describe a vulgar person.
“I’m sorry to hear these comments,” she said in response. “Those who expect us to be tolerant should be tolerant themselves. I would be happy to meet with him and he will be pleasantly surprised.”
When asked whether she will censor art that she considers to be inappropriate, Regev told Ynet: “Limits must be set in movies. I won’t shut mouths, but if we need to censor – I will.”
Attila Somfalvi contributed to this report.
View original Ynet publication at: http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4657964,00.htm