Israeli minister threatens to defund art show over nudity

Israel's culture minister has threatened to pull funding for a major arts festival over performances with full frontal nudity, saying such displays harm "Israel as a Jewish and democratic state."

Miri Regev told the Israel Festival in a letter that she will withdraw funding for the three-week event opening Thursday unless the two shows featuring nudity are canceled.

Nudity "is contrary to and harms the basic values" of Israeli society and "the sensitivities of broad populations," she said in the letter.

The festival is the country's major art exhibition held in Jerusalem featuring live musical, theater, dance and visual art. The city is...