'Nakba Law' goes back to Cabinet for debate

"I cannot understand the opposition to the bill among those who define themselves as Zionist," bill's initiator tells 'Post.'

May 26, 2009 22:48
1 minute read.
'Nakba Law' goes back to Cabinet for debate

Alex Miller 248 88 aj. (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)

Nakba Law sponsor MK Alex Miller (Israel Beiteinu) blasted fellow members of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's right-leaning coalition Tuesday for attempting to block his controversial bill and prevent it from reaching the Knesset. The bill proposed would make it illegal to mark Israel's Independence Day as a day of mourning. Violation of the law could result in a prison sentence of up to three years. "I cannot understand the opposition to the bill among those who define themselves as Zionist," Miller told The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday. "The bill doesn't try to get involved in emotions or to impose rule by thought police as people tried to assert. Its central goal is to prevent cynical abuse of the mourning for the purposes of incitement and increasing tensions between nations." A Likud official told the Post late Monday night that the Nakba Law, which was passed Sunday in the Ministerial Committee for Legislation, spurring a maelstrom of criticism, was on its way back to the Cabinet for renewed debate rather than to the Knesset. Three Likud ministers - Minister for Improvement of Government Services Michael Eitan, Minister of Intelligence and Atomic Energy Dan Meridor and Minister-without-Portfolio Bennie Begin - submitted an appeal against the committee's decision Monday afternoon, hours after three Labor ministers - Welfare and Social Services Minister Isaac Herzog, Agriculture Minister Shalom Shimhon and Minorities Minister Avishay Braverman - submitted an similar appeal on Monday morning. After sailing through the committee with only Eitan and Welfare Minister Isaac Herzog opposing the bill, the proposal is now expected to face a more balanced fight upon its return to the government, with the debate slated to be renewed on Sunday. "I hope that by the government vote on Sunday, those who oppose it will come to their senses and will recognize the importance of the bill for defending Israel as a Jewish and democratic state," said Miller.

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