Daily Israel Report

Arabs MKs Warn: 'We Will Last Longer than the Jews’

A Knesset panel debate on a bill banning use of gov't funds for “catastrophe events” erupted into a shouting match between Arab and Jewish MKs.
First Publish: 10/26/2009, 1:16 PM / Last Update: 10/26/2009, 1:29 PM

A Knesset panel discussion erupted into a shouting match on Monday when it began discussing a bill that would ban schools and other government-funded institutions from organizing events marking the re-establishment of the State of Israel as a “catastrophe” (Nakba).

 

Most Arabs both within and outside Israel teach the “Nakba” and stage rallies against the State several times a year, including Israel’s Independence Day

 

“We cannot allow people to negate the establishment of Israel as a Jewish and democratic country, just as it is prohibited to support terror against Israel and to incite violence,” according to the bill’s sponsor, Israel Is Our Home (Yisrael Beiteinu) Knesset Member Alex Miller.

 

Similar bills were proposed in the three previous Knesset sessions but failed to be passed into law. The new bill would prohibit “acts that mark Independence Day or the re-establishment of the State of Israel as a day of mourning.”

 

Committee chairman MK David Rotem (Yisrael Beiteinu) told the panel that no other country in the world allows the government to fund groups that want to eliminate the country. “The time has come to put an end to this."

 

Hadash party chairman Afou Agbaria warned, “Marking the Nakba will continue with or without this law." He argued that the events are "intended to repair the historic injustice to the Palestinian people and is not aimed at bringing about the destruction of Israel."

 

Jewish legislators accused their adversaries of wanting “to throw the Jews into sea, but we will not let you.” Arab MK Ahmed Tibi angrily retorted, "We will see who lasts longer.”


Arab MK Taleb el-Sana charged, “This law is part of a ‘thought control war,’ and tomorrow it will be against dreaming. There will be a need to create a police authority to put people on trial according to their opinions and dreams.”