Petition Submitted with ACRI to Declare the "Nakba Law" Unconstitutional as it Violates the Rights of Freedom of Speech and Equality, and Severely Infringes on Arab Citizens' Rights to Preserve their History and Culture

HCJ 3429/11 The Alumni Association of the Arab Orthodox School in Haifa, et al. v. The Knesset, et al.

Tomorrow, Wednesday, 5 October 2011 at 11:30 am, the Israeli Supreme Court will hold a hearing on the petition filed by Adalah and the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) against the "Nakba Law".  The hearing will be held before Supreme Court Chief Justice Beinish and Justices Rivlin and Naor.

The "Nakba Law" allows the Finance Minister to "punish" by drastically cutting or denying state funding to public institutions, local councils and other bodies that commemorate "independence Day or the date of the establishment of the State as a day of mourning", or conduct events which negate the "existence of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state".   The petition against the law argues that the law is anti-democratic and severely and substantially harms the basic rights of Arab citizens of Israel including the right to freedom of speech, freedom of political and artistic expression, the right to equality, the right to dignity, the right to education, academic freedom and freedom of occupation. The petition was submitted in May 2011 by Adalah Attorneys Hassan Jabareen and Sawsan Zaher, and Attorney Dan Yakir of ACRI.

ACRI and Adalah filed the petition  on behalf of an NGO of alumni of the Arab Orthodox School in Haifa that holds educational and public events at the school about the Nakba and other subjects that challenge the concept of the Jewish and democratic state; parents of pupils at the "Galil" Jewish-Arab school in Misgav in the north of Israel where educational activities are held commemorating Nakba Day along with Memorial Day and Israeli Independence Day; and the geographer, Professor Oren Yiftachel from Ben-Gurion University whose academic research challenges Israel's definition as a Jewish and Democratic state.

For the petition and all relevant materials:

For additional information please contact:
Edan Ring, Adalah Spokesperson – 054-6680085,
Dana Bar, Association of Civil Rights (ACRI) Spokesperson – 052-23410631,