An amended version of the Nakba Law, which will not consider the mourning of Israel's Independence Day a criminal office, passed the preliminary reading at the Knesset Wednesday by a 38-14 margin.
The original law called for the banning of Nakba Day, during which Arabs mourn Israel's establishment. The amended law rules that this will not be a criminal offense, but the Finance Ministry will be permitted to cut funding to any institution that sponsors events denying Israel's existence as a Jewish state.
Yisrael Beiteinu MK Alex Miller, who initiated the bill, said after the vote: "The Knesset stated clearly today that the State of Israel should not be funding organizations denying its Jewish character, supporting armed resistance against it, or offending its national symbols. This is an important and proper bill drafted in the spirit of the Declaration of Independence."
'Knesset home to Nakba deniers'
However, MK Ahmad Tibi (United Arab List, Ta'al) said he is offended by the bill and claimed it reflected the racism harbored by many ministers and legislators.
"The Knesset is home to several Nakba deniers," he said.
"There are ministers in the government who think that by changing street signs or canceling education programs they can rewrite history. There are racists in this Knesset afraid of historical truth, who deny the pain of the other. They deny that families were destroyed in 1948 – their homes destroyed and their lands taken. It was a personal, familial, and national disaster, no matter what the reason," Tibi added.