Netanyahu: Free Speech Does Not Translate to Public Funding

June 15, 2015  

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu praised on Monday the Likud Central Committee’s decision approve his proposal for a change in the Likud primaries. 

Netanyahu’s proposal stipulates that party members will choose candidates for the Likud’s national list, while the Likud Central Committee will select district representatives.

Speaking Monday at Likud’s faction meeting, Netanyahu lauded the decision, noting “the majority decided, and in my opinion it decided in a responsible and prudent manner.”

Netanyahu, however, was much less positive when addressing actor Oded Kotler’s attack on one of his government’s ministers, Culture and Sports Minister Miri Regev (Likud). 

Kotler stirred controversy Sunday when he compared Likud voters to a “marching herd of beasts chewing straw and stubble.”

“The statements made yesterday against a large and precious part of Israel’s public deserve to be condemned,” Netanyahu said, but stressed that “the law clearly protects the right to speak.” 

“The law allows anyone to say his piece and to create [something about] whatever is on his mind,” the Prime Minister added. 

Continuing, the Prime Minister sought to distinguish between the right to freedom of expression and the right to public funding, arguing that artists’ merging of the two concepts was unwarranted. 

“The right [to free speech] does not mean that everything that is said and created has the right to public funding. We must separate between these two things.”

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