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(Photo: Lawbreakers- On May 14, 9 Jews and 5 Palestinians commemorated the Nakba at the home of Rabbi Brant Rosen of the Jewish Reconstructionist Congregation in Evanston IL. If they were Israelis and Yisrael Beitenu has its way, they would each go to jail for 3 years.)
The Nakba, meaning the Catastrophe, is the term used by Palestinians to commemorate the creation of the State of Israel in 1948. (Yes, Virginia, it is possible for one people’s dream-come-true to be another people’s nightmare.) Just as a small but remarkable group of American rabbis took it upon themselves to Remember the Nakba this week, Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman’s party, Yisrael Beitenu, continued the march down the road of fascism. Ha’aretz reports:
Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman’s party wants to ban Israeli Arabs from marking the anniversary of what they term “the Catastrophe” or Nakba, when in 1948 some 700,000 Arabs lost their homes in the war that led to the establishment of the state of Israel.
The ultranationalist Yisrael Beitenu party said it would propose legislation next week for a ban on the practice and a jail term of up to three years for violators.
It’s not clear if this law would apply just to Arabs, or to Arabs and recalcitrant Jews. And if so, why stop at the borders (such as they are) and why not just criminalize diaspora Jews as well? The rabbis who remembered the Nakba this week seem like a perfect place to start, Avigdor.