Nakba Day - AP
A boy marking Nakba Day in Ramallah with a symbolic “key” to his home. Photo by AP

Knesset Legal Adviser Eyal Yinon ruled on Saturday that the controversial Nakba Law passed by the Knesset in March is constitutional. Israel’s High Court of Justice is set to discuss an appeal of the law, brought forth by several civil rights organizations, on Wednesday.

The law, which was proposed by MK Alex Miller (Yisrael Beiteinu) grants the finance minister the power to reduce the budget of state-funded bodies that openly reject Israel as a Jewish and democratic state, or that mark the state’s Independence Day as a day of mourning.

According to Yinon and his aides, the law itself does not in any way prevent individual freedom of speech, nor does it forbid individuals from commemorating what Israeli Arabs and Palestinians refer to as the “Nakba” (“the Catastrophe” in Arabic), a term used to describe the 700,000 Arabs who lost their homes in the war that led to the establishment of the state of Israel. Yinon and his aides claim that the purpose of the law is to ensure that the state does not fund organizations or actions that undermine its existence.

Furthermore, they claim that according to the law, any reduction in funds for state-funded bodies will be done in a highly-scrutinized manner, and only after consultation with experts.