Miri Regev

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Miri Regev
Date of birth (1965-05-26) 26 May 1965 (age 51)
Place of birth Kiryat Gat, Israel
Knessets 18, 19, 20
Faction represented in Knesset
2009– Likud
Ministerial roles
2015– Minister of Culture and Sport

Miriam "Miri" Regev (née Siboni; Hebrew: מרים "מירי" רגב‎‎; born 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.


Regev was born in Kiryat Gat in 1965 to a Moroccan Jewish father and a Spanish Jewish mother.[1] In 1983 she joined the Gadna, where she became a platoon commander, serving in the position until 1986. She has a Master's Degree in Business and a Bachelor's Degree in Informal Education. She is married and has three children.[2]

Revital Madar, an Israeli of Tunisian Jewish descent writer for Haaretz,[3] has argued that Miri Regev had faced discrimination due to the fact that she is an Israeli woman of Moroccan Jewish heritage, whose forthright behaviour is perceived as being stereotypically Mizrahi.[4]

Public relations career[edit]

Regev as the IDF Spokeswoman, 2005

She then 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.[2] She served in this position during Israel's disengagement from Gaza in 2005 and the 2006 Lebanon War.[5] 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.[6] 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.

In May 2012, Regev participated in an anti-immigration protest and called illegal Sudanese immigrants "a cancer in our body."[7] She later said that the quote was misrepresented, and apologized for seeming to compare human beings to cancer.[8]

Regev was re-elected in the 2015 elections after being placed fifth on the Likud list.[9] She was subsequently appointed Minister of Culture and Sport in the new government.

In July 2016, Regev announced that she would not participate in the 2016 Summer Olympics opening ceremonies, because they take place on Shabbat.[10]

LGBT rights[edit]

Although she is heterosexual and holds traditional views on the family, Regev is also known as a strong supporter of the LGBT community, and spent 25 years in the IDF fighting for the rights of LGBT officers.[11] Regev says of this: "In the political world they don’t know how to swallow me, because I am a colorful person and different. I am unpredictable. Who decided that social activists have to be leftists? Sorry, but people on the right also embrace the gay community.”[12]


  1. ^ "Miri Regev's Culture War". New York Times. 20 October 2016. Retrieved 20 October 2016. 
  2. ^ a b "Appointment of new IDF Spokesperson". dover.idf.il. 7 August 2007. Retrieved 14 November 2008. 
  3. ^ The Israeli melting pot and its discontents By Anat Georgi | May 14, 2013
  4. ^ למה מירי רגב דוחה את ראש הממשלה ומשה כחלון לא? 08.01.2015
  5. ^ "IDF Spokeswoman Miri Regev to leave army". Jerusalem Post. 11 May 2007. Retrieved 26 December 2013. 
  6. ^ Somfalvi, Attila (2 November 2008). "Benny Begin to run for Knesset". Ynetnews. Retrieved 26 December 2013. 
  7. ^ Nesher, Talila (24 May 2012). "Demonstrators attack African migrants in south Tel Aviv Israel News". Haaretz. Retrieved 26 December 2013. 
  8. ^ Hoffman, Gil (27 May 2012). "Miri Regev apologizes for calling migrants 'cancer'". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 26 December 2013. 
  9. ^ Likud list CEC
  10. ^ 2016 Olympics: Israel’s largest-ever delegation is ready for Rio
  11. ^ Regev is a source of pride? ynet.co.il, Evan Cohen, Dror Mizrachi Posted: 12/24/12
  12. ^ Likud's Miri Regev Challenges Netanyahu's Grip on the Party Al Monitor, Mazal Mualem, June 2013

External links[edit]