Court allows <i>Nakba</i> Day procession

March will be held on Independence Day; Likud MK: This is "complete moral and Zionist bankruptcy."

arab israel flag 88 224 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
arab israel flag 88 224
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Nazareth District Court on Thursday overruled a decision by the appointed head of the Kafr Kanna local council and granted permission to the Islamic Movement to hold a ceremony marking the "Nakba" (Catastrophe), as many Israeli-Arabs call the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948 and the War of Independence. "The court did not do us a favor," Kamal Khatib, the deputy head of the northern branch of the Islamic Movement, told The Jerusalem Post in response to the ruling. "All it did was remove the black stain left by the Interior Ministry and Ilan Gabrieli, head of the appointed council. We are allowed to hold political rallies according to the law." The Popular Committee of the Islamic Movement in Kafr Kanna decided this year for the first time to add a Nakba commemoration to its annual festival in honor of the birthday of the prophet Muhammad. The event was due to take place in the local soccer stadium next Friday. According to Khatib, the police approved the request. However, after deliberating for 10 days, the Jewish-run local council, headed by Gabrieli, turned it down on the grounds that a political event could not be held in a facility belonging to the town. Last week, Khatib and his associates petitioned the Nazareth District Court against the decision. At the beginning of Thursday's hearing, an attorney representing the Interior Ministry informed the court that Gabrieli had made the decision by himself and that the ministry had not expressed an opinion on the matter. In light of the ministry's position, the attorney representing the Kafr Kanna local council informed the court that his clients were withdrawing their opposition to the event. Judge Avraham Avraham then accepted the petition and ordered the council to grant the Islamic Movement use of the soccer stadium. Khatib said, Gabrieli wanted to flex his muscles, but it didn't help. What they did will turn this rally into a gigantic event in which the entire Arab sector will participate." Likud Knesset faction chairman Gideon Sa'ar described the ruling as total moral and Zionist bankruptcy. "The court's decision, which was handed down on Holocaust Remembrance Day, with the support of the state, is shameful," he said.