'Nakba Bill' passes Knesset in third reading
LAST UPDATED: 03/23/2011 01:38
New law would penalize local authorities, state-funded bodies for denying Israel as Jewish, democratic state; Admissions Committee Law passes.
NETANyahu at knesset 248.88 Photo: Ariel Jerozolimski
Two controversial laws were approved by the Knesset Tuesday night's plenum meeting. The "Nakba Bill" and the Admissions Committee Law have both been slammed by left-wing legislators for being racist
and unfairly biased towards Arab-Israelis.
The "Nakba Bill," authored by MK Alex Miller (Israel Beiteinu),
passed the Knesset with 37 voting in favor and 25 opposed, Israel Radio
Knesset to begin vote on reworked ‘Nakba Bill’
MK Taleb a-Sanaa
(United Arab List), criticized the new law, saying Arab citizens of Israel would continue
to commemorate Nakba Day. He added that Arab-Israelis should not be considered
guilty of a crime if they refuse to accept Israel as a Jewish, democratic state, Israel Radio reported.
bill, in its original form, would have authorized up to a three-year
prison sentence for anyone commemorating "Nakba" (Catastrophe) Day on
Israeli Independence Day.
The re-worked version of the law would require the state to fine local
authorities and other state-funded bodies for holding events marking
Nakba Day by supporting armed resistance or racism against Israel, or
desecrating the state flag or nation symbols.
According to the new compromise, any state-funded body that pays for the
event would be forced to pay only three times its cost in fines –
deducted from their operating budget. If the same person violates the
law again over the proceeding two years, they will pay double the normal
fine under the law.
The second bill, the Admissions Committee Law, passed Tuesday
night with 35 in favor and 20 opposed, Israel Radio reported. Opponents
criticized the bill, saying the initiative had racist components, and
would be utilized in order to block Arabs from joining new settlements.
of the bill MK Yisrael Hasson (Kadima) assured that under the new law,
admission committees would not be able to deny potential members access
based on race or religion. MK David Rotem (Yisrael Beiteinu), the other
initiator of the new law, said that the bill is meant to assist in the
social and cultural cohesion of small, rural communities.
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