Disrespecting Israeli Flag Could Cost Big Shekels, New Law Says

YERUSHALAYIM -
A demonstrator burns an Israeli flag placard in front of the journalists’ syndicate in Cairo to protest the recent visit to Israel by Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry, in Cairo, Wednesday. (Reuters/Mohamed Abd El Ghany)
A demonstrator in Cairo burns an Israeli flag placard in front of the journalists’ syndicate to protest the recent visit to Israel by Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry. (Reuters/Mohamed Abd El Ghany)

A correction to the recently passed Flag Law places severe penalties on individuals who are caught disrespecting the Israeli flag. Under the correction to the law, which passed on its second and third reading in the Knesset Monday night, individuals found guilty of disrespecting the flag could be subject to fines of up to NIS 58,400, as well as up to three years in prison.

“Disrespecting” the flag could include public burning, stepping and mishandling, publicly ripping or tearing and other provocative acts. Using the flag as an article of clothing and the like is not included in the list of disrespectful acts.

The Flag Law makes official the current flag, national anthem, and state symbol (the seven-pronged Menorah), all of which had, it turns out, been unofficial symbols until recently. Until the law was passed earlier this year, acts like burning the Israeli flag were not prosecutable, since the flag did not have official status.