Last Friday (14.10), the mayor of Beer-Sheva Mr. Ruvik Danilovich sent a letter to the NCF’s CEO, Haia Noach, to cancel the event “Who’s Afraid of Freedom (of Speech)?” This is in spite of the fact that last year the Attorney General made it clear to the Beer-Sheva Municipality that it cannot interfere with the programs of associations and organizations that work from municipal properties.
In the letter, Mayor Danilovich hinted that the NCF could lose access to the shelter in which they operate an Arab-Jewish culture center, the Multaqa Mifgash that the municipality gave to them. Despite this, NCF’s board decided to go ahead with the event because freedom of expression, a sacred value for the existence and strength of democracy in Israel, is more important than the threat of losing the cultural center’s current space. Therefore, on Monday (17.10), the members of the board sent a letter to the mayor, to explain at length why they believe it is important to hold the event and announced that it will take place as planned.
It should be noted that the CEO, Haia Noach, accepted the request of a representative of the right-wing organizations that suggested he attend the event, claiming that he was sent by the mayor of Beer-Sheva to participate present his position. However, he then canceled his participation two hours after being contacted.
The event will take place today, Thursday, October 20th, from 19:30 Multaka Mifgash, King Solomon St 7, Beer-Sheva
At the event there will be a discussion attended by Omri Baranes and Uriel Ferera, and led by Dr. Yishai Menuhin from “Yesh Gvul” and a screening of Uri Barbash film ‘The Deckhands’ (2004).
Entrance is free and the public is invited to attend
To read a response letter to the mayor from the organization’s board Click here (Hebrew)
Read more on Haaretz: Be’er Sheva Doves Defy Mayor to Hold Draft-dodging Event (English)