Haifa mayor mustn't undermine freedom of expression
By Haaretz Editorial
By: By Haaretz Editorial
05/08/2015
Haifa mayor Yona Yahav, Photographer: Tomer Neuberg

The Haifa municipality likes to brag about coexistence, but now it turns out it is one of the standard-bearers in the cultural war of gagging and censorship that has been declared against Israeli artists.

The Haifa municipality and its mayor, Yona Yahav, frequently brag about coexistence in the city, terming it a “beacon in the darkness” of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. But it now turns out that the Haifa municipality is one of the standard-bearers in the cultural war of gagging and censorship that has been declared against Israeli artists.

Three months ago, the city froze funding for Haifa’s Al-Midan Theater after it staged the drama “A Parallel Time,” based on the life story of Walid Daka, who was convicted of involvement in the kidnapping and murder of soldier Moshe Tamam and has been in jail for 30 years. To this we can now add the recent decision by two other municipal institutions, the Cinematheque and the Tikotin Museum, to bar the screening of films about the Nakba, or “catastrophe,” as Palestinians term the results of Israel’s establishment in 1948.

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