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.
"The draft law is intended to strengthen unity in the state of Israel and to ban marking Independence Day as a day of mourning," said party spokesman Tal Nahum.
The initiative could fuel racial tensions stoked by Lieberman's February election campaign call to make voting or the holding of public office in Israel contingent on pledging loyalty to the Jewish state.
May 15, 2009
One of the more overt racists in the Israeli government commemorated the Nakba by proposing that any Palestinians commemorating it should go to prison for 3 years. Here's Ha'aretz: