Miri Regev

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Miri Regev
Date of birth (1965-05-26) 26 May 1965 (age 53)
Place of birthKiryat Gat, Israel
Knessets18, 19, 20
Faction represented in Knesset
Ministerial roles
2015–Minister of Culture and Sport
Military career
Allegiance Israel
Service/branch Israeli Defense Forces
Years of service1983–2008
RankIDF tat aluf rotated.svg Tat aluf (Brigadier general)
UnitIsraeli Military Censor
IDF Spokesperson's Unit
Battles/warsLebanon2ribon.svg Second Lebanon War
AwardsOutstanding Presidential of Israel Award for Soldiers

Miriam "Miri" Regev (Hebrew: מרים "מירי" רגב; born Miriam Siboni on May 26, 1965) is an Israeli politician and a former Brigadier-general in the Israel Defense Forces, in which she served as IDF Spokeswoman. She is currently a member of the Knesset for Likud, and Minister of Culture and Sport. On June 14, 2017, she was appointed acting PM to serve while PM Netanyahu would be abroad.[1]

Early life[edit]

Regev was born in Kiryat Gat in 1965 to Sephardi Jewish immigrants. Her father, Felix, was from Morocco and her mother, Mercedes, was from Spain.[2] In 1983, she joined the Gadna, where she became a platoon commander, serving in the position until 1986. She earned a Bachelor's Degree in Informal Education and an MBA.

Public relations career[edit]

She began serving as the IDF Spokesperson's representative in the Israeli Southern Command. Regev was promoted to a Colonel rank for the position of Deputy IDF Spokesperson in 2002. In 2003, she was appointed coordinator of the national public relations efforts at the Israeli Prime Minister's Office in preparation for the Iraq War. After a short stint (2004–2005) as the Chief Press and Media Censor, she was promoted to the rank of Brigadier General and to the position of IDF Spokesperson in 2005.[3] She served in this position during Israel's disengagement from Gaza in 2005 and the 2006 Lebanon War.[4] In 2007, she was discharged and was succeeded by Avi Benayahu.

Political career[edit]

In November 2008, Regev joined the Likud party, saying that she had been a supporter of the party's platform for many years.[5] She won twenty-seventh place on the party's list for the 2009 elections, just high enough to enter the Knesset as Likud won 27 seats. At the 2015 elections Regev was re-elected, after being placed fifth on Likud's national list.[6] She was subsequently appointed by prime minister Netanyahu to Minister of Culture and Sport in the new government.

The Daily Beast has described her as the Likud party's "attack dog", an "outspoken politician who embodies a flag-waving, gung-ho brand of Zionism, and a folksy, sneering attitude towards the Israeli Left and the country's media elites", and "the closest thing Israel has to Sarah Palin".[7] Revital Madar, a Tunisian-Israeli writer for Haaretz,[8] stated that Regev had faced discrimination due to her Moroccan origins, and her forthright behaviour is perceived as being stereotypically Mizrahi.[9]

Minister of culture[edit]

Miri Regev (left) alongside Prime Minister Netanyahu, Ayelet Shaked (center) and Naftali Bennett (right)

In September 2015, four months in office, Regev announced a list of criteria that will cause the withdrawal of state funding the following year. The list included the deformation of state symbols and a call for boycotting Israel.[10]

In July 2016, Regev announced that she would not participate in the 2016 Summer Olympics opening ceremonies, because they take place on Shabbat.[11]

In her position as Minister of Culture, Regev frequently equates artistic Freedom of Expression with the power of the government to withdraw its funding, using the term "Freedom of Funding".[12][13] Regev also argued that state-funded artists or organisations must show "loyalty" to the Israeli state. She has called this a "Loyalty in Culture" initiative, and has proposed legislation making "support for a cultural institution dependent on its loyalty to the state of Israel".[14] She has said the group Breaking the Silence "hurts Israel's image" and accused a gallery that had hosted a talk by the group of "holding political activities".[15]

At the closing ceremony of the 2017 Maccabiah Games on July 18, 2017, Regev passed the Maccabiah torch to a number of Maccabiah athletes.[16][17]


Immigration from Africa[edit]

In May 2012, at a demonstration against illegal immigrants in Tel Aviv, Regev said that "Sudanese infiltrators are a cancer in the nation's body".[18][19][20][21] She later said that the quote was misrepresented, and, while justifying the comparison, apologized for seeming to compare human beings to cancer.[22]

LGBT rights[edit]

Although she is heterosexual and holds conservative family values, Regev met with LGBT community members of her party,[23] and said (in parallel to social activism), that "not only the left can support and embrace the gay community".[24]

Personal life[edit]

She is married to Dror Regev, an engineer at Israel Aerospace Industries and has three children. Her husband is from a left-wing background and holds some views opposing her own.[25][26][3][27]


  1. ^ http://www.timesofisrael.com/in-first-miri-regev-appointed-acting-pm-while-netanyahu-abroad/
  2. ^ "Miri Regev's Culture War". New York Times. 20 October 2016. Retrieved 20 October 2016.
  3. ^ a b "Appointment of new IDF Spokesperson". dover.idf.il. 7 August 2007. Archived from the original on 31 May 2008. Retrieved 14 November 2008.
  4. ^ "IDF Spokeswoman Miri Regev to leave army". Jerusalem Post. 11 May 2007. Retrieved 26 December 2013.
  5. ^ Somfalvi, Attila (2 November 2008). "Benny Begin to run for Knesset". Ynetnews. Retrieved 26 December 2013.
  6. ^ Likud list CEC
  7. ^ The Sarah Palin of Israel
  8. ^ The Israeli melting pot and its discontents By Anat Georgi | May 14, 2013
  9. ^ למה מירי רגב דוחה את ראש הממשלה ומשה כחלון לא? 08.01.2015
  10. ^ http://www.mako.co.il/news-military/politics-q3_2015/Article-1ff16e809ee8f41004.htm
  11. ^ 2016 "Olympics: Israel’s largest-ever delegation is ready for Rio"
  12. ^ https://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4969967,00.html
  13. ^ http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/227421
  14. ^ Israel, Mired in Ideological Battles, Fights on Cultural Fronts
  15. ^ Gallery refuses eviction after hosting Israeli veterans’ group; Jerusalem gallery seems to fail culture minister’s “loyalty test” [1]
  16. ^ [2]
  17. ^ [3]
  18. ^ "Israeli MP Miri Regev Says African Migrants Are 'A Cancer In Our Body' At Tel Aviv Protest". The Huffington Post. 25 May 2012. Retrieved 1 May 2017.
  19. ^ Schechter, Asher (21 December 2012). "How Likud MK Miri Regev Talked Her Way to the Top". Haaretz. Retrieved 1 May 2017.
  20. ^ Schechter, Asher (27 June 2015). "How the Right-wing Already Won Israel's Culture War". Haaretz. Retrieved 1 May 2017.
  21. ^ Nesher, Talila (24 May 2012). "Demonstrators attack African migrants in south Tel Aviv Israel News". Haaretz. Retrieved 26 December 2013.
  22. ^ Hoffman, Gil (27 May 2012). "Miri Regev apologizes for calling migrants 'cancer'". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 26 December 2013.
  23. ^ Regev is a source of pride? ynet.co.il, Evan Cohen, Dror Mizrachi Posted: 12/24/12
  24. ^ Likud's Miri Regev Challenges Netanyahu's Grip on the Party Al-Monitor, Mazal Mualem, June 2013
  25. ^ https://knesset.gov.il/mk/eng/mk_eng.asp?mk_individual_id_t=831
  26. ^ http://mfa.gov.il/MFA/AboutIsrael/State/Personalities/Pages/Miri-Regev-MK.aspx
  27. ^ http://www.mako.co.il/tv-people/articles/Article-5fd9f79da038851006.htm

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