Arab MKs 'mourn' Independence Day

Balad leader Zahalka, United Arab List-Ta’al MK Tibi participate in "Nakba Day" demonstration as Israelis celebrate Independence Day.

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 reversed.
“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 community.”
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.
MK Alex 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 said.
“They have begun their campaign for the Palestinian parliament, and they must be taken out of the Knesset before it’s too late.