Regev Slams Kahlon Over Failure to Enforce Nakba Law

YERUSHALAYIM -
Israeli border police officers guard during a protest ahead of the 70th anniversary of “Nakba,” the term used to mark the events leading to Israel’s founding in 1948, near Beit Lechem, on May 10. (Wisam Hashlamoun/Flash90)

In 2018, there were 98 complaints filed with the Finance Ministry demanding that the government defund organizations and institutions for violating the “Nakba Law” – the measure that punishes organizations for “mourning” Israel Independence Day as the “Day of Nakba” – the “destruction” of Palestinians, who fled the fledgling state in 1948, turning themselves into refugees.

Of those 98 complaints, not one has been approved – meaning that no institutions or organizations have seen penalties imposed for violating the law. In a letter to Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon, Culture Minister Miri Regev accused him of “violating the Nakba Law” by refusing to cut funding. According to Ha’aretz, Regev has filed 17 of the 98 complaints, several of them over the performance by a Haifa theater company of a play, in which a known terrorist participates – and was even sentenced to prison for five years for terror activities. The content of the play is anti-Israel, and prominently mentions the Nakba, Regev said.

Despite attempts to clarify the Finance Ministry’s stance on the law, no answers have been forthcoming, Regev wrote. “It is troubling that I have to write to you again and again in order to ensure that the Nakba Law is not just a ‘dead letter,’ but will actually be activated. The lack of action on the part of members of the Ministry is screaming for correction, and I hope you will finally do something about it. The Israeli taxpayer should not have to pay for events that encourage a ‘fifth column’ out of their pockets,” the letter read.

Passed in 2013, the “Nakba Law” forbids the state from funding organizations and institutions that promote the concept of Nakba, which seeks to replace the celebrations of the day of Israel’s independence with the “misery” of Palestinians who became refugees when they ran away after establishment of the state.