“Nakba Law” to be approved, raises questions on Israel’s commitment to democratic values

Posted: July 19th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: In the News, racism, The Right | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

The Ministerial Committee for Legislation has approved today the “soft” version of Israel Beitenu’s “Nakba Law”, aimed at preventing events or ceremonies marking the Palestinian catastrophe of 1948.

According to the old version of the law, commemorating the Nakba would have become a criminal offense, leading up to three years in prison. International criticism, as well as doubts over the consequences of trying to uphold such a law, led to the new version, which was presented before the ministerial committee today. Haaretz reports that

The new bill prohibits funding of activities that reject the existence of the State of Israel as a Jewish state or deny the democratic character of the state.

It also outlaws funding for activities that fall within the definition of armed struggle or terrorist activities – by an enemy state or a terror organization – against Israel.

Additionally, the bill prohibits funding for activities that could harm the honor of the flag, the state or state symbols. 

Judging from the public support for both versions of the bill, I believe there is a good chance the new version will become a state law in a matter of a year or so, possibly even less.

One has to understand the political reality in Israel to fully appreciate why this new law is no less than a direct attack on the core principles of the democratic system, and most notably, on the rights of the large Israeli-Palestinian minority. Read the rest of this entry »