Palestinians participate in a march to commemorate the ‘Nakba Day’ in the West Bank city of Ramallah, May 13, 2015. Photo by AFP
Activists now face difficulty in commemorating Palestinian dispossession during Israel’s founding due to Israeli law.
By Patrick Strickland, Al Jazeera
May 14, 2015
Haifa – Each year on May 15, Palestinians across the world commemorate the Nakba (catastrophe), or the 1948 establishment of Israel that led to hundreds of thousands of Palestinians being displaced from their homeland.
The estimated 1.7 million Palestinians who carry Israeli citizenship and live in villages, towns and cities across the country are no exception. Each year, protests, marches, lectures and other events to mourn their ancestors’ dispossession are held in Palestinian communities across Israel.
Yet, since 2011, Israeli legislation has made mourning the Nakba publicly difficult for Palestinians and others in Israel. The “Nakba Law” authorises Israel’s finance minister to revoke funding from institutions that reject Israel’s character as a “Jewish state” or mark the country’s Independence Day as a day of mourning.
Although the Nakba Law has yet to be technically implemented, human rights groups and activists say it has a dangerous deterrent effect and is meant to intimidate Palestinians and others who view Israel’s establishment as a day of mourning for Palestinians.