Bennett on Nakba Day: No tolerance for Israeli Arabs who promote Palestinian nationalism

Palestinians kick off Nakba Day, an annual event commemorating Palestinian lament over the establishment of the State of Israel; Bayit Yehudi leader speaks out against Israeli Arabs holding Nakba Day events.

May 15, 2014 12:32
2 minute read.
Naftali Bennett

Naftali Bennett.. (photo credit: REUTERS)


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analysis from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief


Economy Minister Naftali Bennett spoke out on Thursday against expressions of Palestinian nationalism within Israel, saying, "We need not tolerate Israeli Arabs who promote Nakba Day."
Nakba Day, which commenced on Thursday, is an annual day of commemoration on which Palestinians lament the establishment of the Jewish state and the fate of Palestinian refugees from the Israeli War of Independence in 1948.

Bennett was quoted by Army Radio as saying, "I do not support any event or organization which promotes the establishment of a national Palestinian agenda in Israel."

"This will not be tolerated," said Bennett.

Bennett stressed that the government believes all of Israel's Arab citizens are entitled to full equality under Israeli law. However, he stated, those who promote Palestinian nationalism within the state will not be tolerated.

MK Jamal Zahalka, the head of the Balad party, told The Jerusalem Post in an interview the day that Nakba Day preparations began on Sunday: “We want to remember the Palestinian Nakba. It is not possible to uproot people from their land and cause a catastrophe and silence our voice... At least we have the right to shout.”

Israeli Arabs held Nakba Day protests at Tel Aviv University on Sunday.

The demonstrators were met by a smaller counter-protest of students holding Israeli flags, led by the Zionist organization Im Tirtzu (If You Will It). The Im Tirtzu demonstrators called for an alternative Nakba ceremony, which would "truthfully depict the historical facts – that the Arabs sought to destroy the Jewish nation in the 1948 war."

On Wednesday night, Palestinians were preparing for the main commemoration events and a march with torches, candle light vigil, was held in Ramallah

In Gaza the Palestinians organized a day to showcase their heritage in order to teach children about the traditional way of how their ancestors used to live in their land which they hope to return to someday.

"They (the Israelis) say that the old people die and the young will forget, on the contrary we teach our children even the unborn babies we teach them that their land was stolen by the Zionists," said Mnawar Abu Mousa refugee living in a refugee camp in Gaza.

"We do not forget our land and it does not matter how long it will take, we will return to our lands. We will return to our lands all the refugees in Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, all the Arab countries and everywhere they should have the right to return," said another refugee.

Ariel Ben Solomon and Reuters contributed to this report.

Related Content

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
August 31, 2014
Prime minister to Channel 1: I’ll be running again in next election

By Gil Stern Stern HOFFMAN

Cookie Settings