Skip To Content
Fast Forward

Israeli Culture Minister Walks Out On Work By Famed Palestinian Poet

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Miri Regev, Israel’s minister of culture and sports, walked out on an awards ceremony after an artist performed a song based on a work by Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish.

Regev walked out of the Association of Composers, Authors and Publishers awards ceremony Monday evening as Arab-Israeli singer Mira Awad, who received an award for promoting Arab creativity within Israeli culture, sang the song.

Darwish, who died in 2008, was a member of the Palestine Liberation Organization.

Regev said before the event that she would not stay in the auditorium for the song. She explained in an address to the audience that Darwish was a “Palestinian poet who hoped… for the death of the Jewish state, who wanted to eat the flesh of the ‘occupier.’ ”

Awad said in a post on Facebook that Regev was mistranslating Darwish’s works and that she would never have performed words written by a Jew hater, the Times of Israel reported.  She called on Regev to “educate yourself” on Darwish’s poetry.  Awad posted the words to the poem, “Think About Others,” in Arabic, Hebrew, English and Spanish.

I hope you appreciated this article. Before you go, I’d like to ask you to please support the Forward’s award-winning, nonprofit journalism during this critical time.

Now more than ever, American Jews need independent news they can trust, with reporting driven by truth, not ideology. We serve you, not any ideological agenda.

At a time when other newsrooms are closing or cutting back, the Forward has removed its paywall and invested additional resources to report on the ground from Israel and around the U.S. on the impact of the war, rising antisemitism and the protests on college campuses.

Readers like you make it all possible. Support our work by becoming a Forward Member and connect with our journalism and your community.

Make a gift of any size and become a Forward member today. You’ll support our mission to tell the American Jewish story fully and fairly. 

— Rachel Fishman Feddersen, Publisher and CEO

Join our mission to tell the Jewish story fully and fairly.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.