JERUSALEM (JTA) — A Knesset committee has approved a measure that would prohibit the use of Holocaust and Nazi terms and symbols.
The Ministerial Legislation Committee on Monday approved the bill, which would level a fine of up to $26,000 and six months in jail for using the yellow Star of David or the term "Nazi," for example.
The bill comes on the heels of a haredi Orthodox demonstration in Jerusalem in which the demonstrators, including many young children, wore yellow stars as Jews were forced to do in Europe during World War II, and after the distribution of a poster depicting Jerusalem’s police chief dressed as Hitler, as well extremist right-wing settlers calling police and soldiers "Nazi."
Uri Ariel of the National Union Party proposed the bill along with Ruhama Avraham-Balila, Otniel Schneller and Marina Solodkin of the Kadima Party; Eitan Cabel of the Labor Party; and Aryeh Eldad of the National Union Party.
"Sadly, in recent years we have witnessed a growing trend where Nazi symbols are used with flippancy and complete disregard for the feelings of the Holocaust survivors and their descendants," Ariel told reporters."This use is completely illegitimate and it makes no difference if those behind the use are Bilin rioters, haredim or price tag criminals."
Some lawmakers who rejected the measure said it hurts the principle of freedom of expression.