Alternate PM Naftali Bennett spoke with PM Yair Lapid on Wednesday to convince him to not sign the cultural agreement with European Union’s “Europe Creative.” Bennett agreed to fight the decision after Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked convinced Bennett to make the request of Lapid.
Lapid acquiesced to the request on Thursday. Bennett said it was inappropriate for a caretaker government to sign a deal like that before elections.
Europe Creative provides funding for cultural initiatives, Israel would have paid NIS 33 million over the next 5 years to join the program which has a 2 billion Euro budget. Five years ago, Minister of Culture Miri Regev refused to approve the agreement.
One of the conditions of the agreement is that it openly discriminates against Jews living in Judea, Samaria, the Golan Heights, the Old City of Jerusalem, other parts of Jerusalem, and even the Dead Sea.
Israel did sign a similar deal with the EU with their Horizon 2021 program, which is for scientific research. The argument Israel used for signing it despite its discriminatory nature was that it put Israel at the forefront of scientific research.