Nakba Law

The Budget Foundations Law, commonly known as the Nakba Law, passed in March 2011. This law penalizes actions that are seen as "rejecting the existence of the State of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state" or "commemorating Independence Day or the day of the establishment of the state as a day of mourning." In essence, the law (which was introduced by the Yisrael Beiteinu party) seeks to target Palestinian citizens of Israel who commemorate al-Nakba, which is Arabic for "the catastrophe" and refers to the uprooting and displacement of up to 800,000 Palestinians during and following the 1948 War. An earlier draft of the law made Nakba commemoration a felony, punishable by a prison sentence, but the version that eventually passed holds instead a financial penalty on government-funded bodies. The law is one of many discriminatory laws that have passed the Knesset or are in different stages of consideration in recent years. See Israel passes controversial funding law," Bethany Bell, BBC, March 23, 2011; and "High Court ruling on Nakba Law Reveals its waning power," Fady Khoury, Jan 7, 2012. See also "Discriminatory Laws," Adalah: The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel.

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