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Knesset Attorney: ‘Nakba Law’ is Constitutional

Knesset’s legal adviser declares the ‘Nakba law’ cutting funding for groups mourning over Israel’s creation to be constitutional.
By Maayana Miskin
First Publish: 10/1/2011, 10:12 PM

Eyal Yinon
Eyal Yinon
Flash 90

The “Nakba Law” does not contradict Israel’s Basic Laws, Knesset legal adviser Attorney Eyal Yinon has ruled.

The law states that the Finance Minister may cut government funding for organizations if they make statements or engage in activities rejecting Israel’s existence as a Jewish and democratic state, or if they mark Independence Day as a day of mourning. It was proposed primarily in order to prevent state funding for Arab groups that consider Israel’s creation a disaster, or “nakba.”

Multiple groups and individuals have filed suit to the Supreme Court over the law. Among them are the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI), Adalah, and Professor Oren Yiftahel.

The law does not affect the right to free speech at all, Yinon said. No statements or expressions are forbidden by the law; rather, it simply prevents state funding for certain forms of expression.

The state has a right to set priorities and to avoid funding activities that counteract the “core values it strives for,” he stated.

In addition, Yinon and his assistant stated, the law ensures that the process of reducing or cutting funding to groups that mourn Israel’s creation will be done with proper oversight, and only after consultation with relevant professional bodies – thus ensuring that it will not be used to strip groups of their funding without cause.

Yinon’s opinion will be used as the state’s response to the Supreme Court appeals against the law.