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Knesset bans Arab minister from proposing law to punish Nakba-denial

February 20, 2014 at 3:33 pm

The speaker of the Knesset (Israel’s parliament) has disqualified a bill submitted by Arab Member of Knesset, Ahmed Al Tibi, proposing that state funding be revoked from NGOs denying the Nakba or Palestinians Catastrophe.

The bill, which proposed that budget approval for groups denying the Nakba be denied, was put forward to counter a bill submitted by Knesset Member Alex Miller (Yisrael Beiteinu Party) which proposed to forbid funding of institutions that commemorate the Nakba.

In the session that was held Monday (July 4), the Knesset speaker and all his deputies voted against Al Tibi’s proposal, and refused to put his bill on the schedule of proposed bills.

Al Tibi, who heads the Knesset’s United Arab party, said it was “a dark day for democracy” after his bill was disqualified. “I stood in front of you with a challenge and you failed it.” “You are unable to confront this political and intellectual challenge”, he added.

On their part, Jewish members of Knesset denounced Tibi’s bill. The Likud Party’s Danny Danon said, “This bill negates the very establishment of the State of Israel and its place is in the trashcan of history and not the Israeli Knesset.”

Yisrael Beiteinu’s Miller described Tibi’s bill as “bizarre and aims to harm anyone who does not want to mark Independence Day as a day of mourning or refuses to recognize the myth that undermines the Jewish People’s right to their own state in the Land of Israel.”

“There is no reason to allow this anarchic circus that Tibi and his friends want to hold in the Knesset. There’s a limit to our masochism,” he added.