Israel’s War Against Palestine: Documenting the Military Occupation of Palestinian and Arab Lands

Israeli Ministers okay bill to ban state funding for Nakba events

19 July 2009

By Haaretz Service – 19 July 2009

A[n Israeli] ministerial panel approved Sunday a bill to ban funding by the state of groups that mark the Palestinian Nakba, which commemorates Israel’s independence as a day of mourning.

All ministers on the Knesset Constitution, Law and Justice Committee voted for the bill, with the exception of Agriculture Minister Shalom Simhon (Labor).

The bill is the revised version of a proposed law scrapped two months ago – after opposition from several ministers – that would have forbidden Israeli Arabs from commemorating the Nakba, or “catastrophe,” on Independence Day.

MK Alex Miller (Yisrael Beiteinu), who submitted the bill, said: “The Israeli government today sent an important message to all who do not want the best for the state, and it said: ‘enough to lawlessness.'”

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.

Arab MKs reacted with anger to the approval of the bill.

Balad chairman Jamal Zahalka called the bill “a law of cowards that will not influence us. We will increase the commemoration of the Nakba.”

United Arab list chairman Ahmed Tibi said that the government is in “hysteria against Arab citizens. The ministers are more toxic than the Border Police.”

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