New bill outlaws 'disrespecting' Hatikva

MK Uri Orbach (Habayit Hayehudi) proposed on Wednesday a bill that would prohibit "disrespecting" the national anthem.
The initiative, an amendment to the 1949 Flag, Symbol and Anthem Law, follows an incident in which fans of the Bnei Sahnin soccer team rioted as Hatikva was played before a game against Beitar Jerusalem.
According to Orbach’s bill, the national anthem will have a status equal to that of the state flag and symbol. In the legislation’s explanatory section, the MK pointed out that Hatikva was added to the law in 2004, but not to the part prohibiting actions that disrespect the flag and symbol.
The Habayit Hayehudi faction chairman pointed out that Hatikva was “sung by the entire nation long before the State of Israel’s establishment.”
“In recent times, when the national anthem is not always respected and sometimes it is even disparaged, we must protect [Hatikva] from those who seek to harm it,” Orbach wrote.
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