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Israeli Draft-law: Those Raising Palestinian Flag Risk Time in Jail

Israeli Draft-law: Those Raising Palestinian Flag Risk Time in Jail

Thursday, 23 August, 2018 - 11:45
Palestinians raise their flag during a demonstration in Tel Aviv against the Nation-State Law. (AP)

Israel’s Likud lawmaker Anat Berko announced proposing a new bill that would prohibit the Palestinian flag from being raised at demonstrations and would subject violators to up to a year in prison.

“The flags of enemies should not be tolerated in the public sphere,” Berko said. “This cannot be allowed, and it must be enforced.”

The bill will be introduced to the Knesset during the upcoming winter session starting October and will emphasize the principle of reciprocity, which means that whoever raises the flag of a country that is already banning the flag of Israel will be punished too, Berko explained.

She confirmed that the bill enjoys broad party support.

The lawmaker stressed that she has decided to take this step in the wake of increasing cases of the Palestinian flag being raised in demonstrations by Arabs in Israel, especially in the protests that took place in Tel Aviv against the "Nation-State Law” early this month.

The bill would be an addition to the "penal code," which prevents the gathering of people suspected of "violating public order."

The current law states that if at least three people gather to commit an offense or gather for a common purpose, even if it is legitimate, in a manner that forces others to believe that public safety will be violated or that the mere gathering may provoke other people to do so, without need and without sufficient reason, it is then considered an illegal gathering, and those who participate in it will be punished by a one-year imprisonment.

Member of the Higher Follow-up Committee for Arab Affairs Taleb el-Sanea reacted to the draft-law by saying that it will be another outcome of the extreme right-wing leadership.

“We will see additional populist laws on the eve of the upcoming elections. The Knesset has become a small entity compared to the populist extremists who have been pushing it to dig its own grave and undermine the democratic foundations,” Sanea stressed.

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