Government to fund Jewish museums in the West Bank

Culture Minister Limor Livnat approves measure to give millions of shekels to institutions in settlements

Ilan Ben Zion, a reporter at the Associated Press, is a former news editor at The Times of Israel. He holds a Masters degree in Diplomacy from Tel Aviv University and an Honors Bachelors degree from the University of Toronto in Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations, Jewish Studies, and English.

Culture and Sports Minister Limor Livnat. (photo credit: Miriam Alster/Flash90)
Culture and Sports Minister Limor Livnat. (photo credit: Miriam Alster/Flash90)

In an unprecedented move, the Israeli government on Monday decided to provide Jewish museums situated in West Bank settlements with millions of shekels in funding.

Culture and Sports Minister Limor Livnat established the Judea and Samaria Museum Council for the purpose of providing government monetary assistance to such institutions. Until now, Israeli museums in the West Bank received no government support because Israeli law does not apply in those territories.

The council’s establishment was made possible by Livnat’s political efforts to obtain a military order to commence the transfer of millions of shekels, a matter that enraged members of the Left, Army Radio reported.

Livnat argued that “the State of Israel must grant residents of Judea and Samaria the same services — including culture — that it provides residents of every other area of Israel.”

Livnat said that it is appropriate to give the museums in the West Bank the opportunity to receive the same financial support as museums in Israel. “Establishing the council symbolizes the end to the judicial bias that discriminated against museums in Judea and Samaria,” she said.

The council will be headed by former Education Ministry director-general Samson Shoshani.

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