Israel culture minister probes troupes that shun settlements


JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel’s polarizing culture minister has dispatched a contested questionnaire to theaters and dance troupes to find out whether they are performing in Jewish settlements in the West Bank.

The move marks the start of Miri Regev’s plan to change regulations that would allow her to penalize cultural institutions that refuse to perform there.

Her office said Wednesday she is proud to lead a “revolution” that shuns boycotts and makes culture accessible to all Israeli citizens. Critics, however, say it’s politicizing the art world and impinging artistic freedom.

Regev has had a fraught relationship with the cultural community since her appointment last year and has been accused of attempting to bring Israeli artists in line with her hawkish political ideology.

Israeli artists are mostly liberal and critical of the settlements.