Several Arab MKs participated in “Nakba Day” demonstrations in what they labeled
as the “uprooted villages” in the Galilee.
Balad faction leader Jamal
Zahalka said, “Independence Day is a day of mourning for the Palestinian people
and on this day we remember the victims of the banishment.” Zahalka added that
Palestinians will not forgive and forget until the “historic injustice” is
“We have seen with our own eyes how nations have broken free
from cruel rulers, and this can happen to us, too,” the Balad MK said.
“Palestinians and Jews deserve to live in freedom, peace and equality, without
the Zionist hegemony,” Zahalka said.
MK Ahmed Tibi (United Arab
List-Ta’al) explained that there are two sides to Thursday – one celebrates and
one that has “memories of destruction and shattering of a
According to Tibi, the demonstrations are meant to prove that
Israel was not a land without a nation.
“No Nakba Law will succeed in
taking away our right to relive the history and legacy, in hopes for a different
future,” he added.
Tibi also called for the recognition of the
Palestinians’ suffering, in order to make a compromise possible.
Miller (Yisrael Beytenu), who proposed the Nakba Law, called on the Finance
Ministry to look into the demonstration’s funding.
“It cannot be that
nonprofit organizations that are supported by the state for purposes of
education and welfare will use the taxpayers’ money to harm national symbols and
go against the law,” Miller said.
The Nakba Law, which passed in March
2011, allows the Finance Ministry to deny funding to bodies that mark
Independence Day as a day of mourning and conduct events that negate “the
existence of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state.”
MK Danny Danon
(Likud) said that MKs who declare Independence Day as a day of mourning should
not be sitting in the Knesset.
“In the past, Arab MKs tried to hide and
justify their lack of loyalty to Israel, but today they show it proudly,” Danon
“They have begun their campaign for the Palestinian parliament, and
they must be taken out of the Knesset before it’s too late.