Minister of Culture and Sports Miri Regev was greeted with boos and some applause at the Israel Festival on Thursday following her demand to remove two performances in which the actors perform in the nude.
Regev yelled at her detractors: "No one will shut me up—not even you. I have the right to say what I believe."
"The very first result of human wisdom, of eating from the tree of knowledge, is the shame of nudity, and following that, clothing," said Regev. "There is no more distinct sign of human culture than clothing."
She added, "Just as I support freedom of expression, I support the state's freedom of funding. The public purse cannot be made available to those whose freedom of speech harms the public itself."
Regev frequently employs the term "freedom of funding" to refer to her to her refraining from allocating state funds for performances she defines as contrary to the country's values.
The minister added: "I have a dream that freedom fighters will understand that there are other values besides their values, that it is possible to believe that a nude show is offensive. Not everyone has to applaud; there are basic boundaries that are sacred to society, and it justly wants to preserve them."
Two works incorporating nudity are slated to appear in the festival: the theatrical piece "And what will I do with this sword?" by Spanish artist Angelica Liddell and "Pindorama," by Lia Rodrigues of Brazil.