JERUSALEM (JTA) — The Knesset presidium has rejected a bill calling for recognition of the Nakba, or "the catastrophe" — what the Arab community calls the founding of the State of Israel.
The presidium committee rejected the measure, which would deny funding to state organizations and authorities that deny the Nakba, on Monday by a vote of 5 to 3.
Submitted by Arab-Israeli lawmaker Ahmed Tibi, the bill comes in response to a law passed by the Knesset in March under which the state could fine local communities and other state-funded groups for holding events that mark the Nakba. The fines, deducted from a group’s operating budget, would equal up to three times the event’s sponsorship cost; repeat violations would double the fines.
It was the first time in seven years that the presidium has rejected a request to bring an urgent proposal to the Knesset.