In audio clip, Regev also refers to Weinstein’s staff as ‘scumbags’ over theater funding spat; she says she called him to apologize

Culture and Sport Minister Miri Regev speaks to press in Jerusalem, AUgust 31, 2015. Marc Israel Sellem/POOL)
Culture and Sport Minister Miri Regev speaks to press in Jerusalem, AUgust 31, 2015. Marc Israel Sellem/POOL)


Culture and Sports Minister Miri Regev on Wednesday tried to downplay a recording aired on Channel 10, in which she could be heard calling Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein “garbage” and his staff “scumbags,” as mere human nature.

In the undated recording, Regev can apparently be heard venting her frustration at Weinstein after he prevented her from cutting funding to a theater in Haifa that drew the minister’s wrath for putting on a play she deemed unpatriotic.

Regev froze state funding for the Arabic-language al-Midan theater in June following its production of “A Parallel Time, a play based on the life of Walid Dakaa, who killed an Israeli soldier.

In the recording, Regev can be heard saying, “It is a shame that the attorney general remembered two weeks later to hold a discussion that he [could have] had two weeks ago. They have given us the run around, ah, those scumbags there.”

“‘Weinstein stopped Regev’s involvement in culture’,” she added speaking rhetorically. “What garbage.”

Shortly before the recording aired on Wednesday evening, Regev posted a message on her Facebook page noting her ongoing spat with Channel 10 which, she claimed, is specifically targeting her with “preposterous inquiries, and checks that the channel’s reporters do on me which are abnormal and unusual.”

Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein. (Marc Israel Sellem/POOL)
Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein. (Marc Israel Sellem/POOL)

“I haven’t heard it and I don’t remember saying such a thing,” she wrote, referring to the recording of her comments on Weinstein. “If the things were indeed said, they were said in a moment of anger and there is nothing in that declaration, if it was said, that reflects my position and my feelings towards the attorney, whom I admire, respect, and honor. I called him up and apologized to him for this statement.”

“We are all people, we all, in a moment of anger say harsh things to those close to us, and that is acceptable. I am not proud of it, but it happens.”

The recording was part of a report featuring alleged details from the handwritten notebook of Regev’s chief of staff Eitan Cohen, in which he laid out which jobs he planned to hand out to Likud party supporters. While not strictly illegal, ministerial appointments are supposed to be based on suitability for a position.

Responding to the report on appointments, the Culture and Sports Ministry said that Regev “is committed to appointments according to the law. Every appointment has the approval of the ministry’s legal adviser, in keeping with procedures and the law.”

Last month Regev sued Channel 10 for NIS 1 million over a report claiming she had directly given a NIS 2.5 million publicity campaign to a company without first publishing a public tender. Regev denied the claims.

As reported by The Times of Israel