Knesset OKs bills on Nazi terms, migrants

A Knesset committee has approved a measure that would prohibit the use of Holocaust and Nazi terms and symbols.

The Ministerial Legislation Committee approved the bill on Jan. 6. It would level a fine of up to $26,000 and six months in jail for using the yellow Star of David or the term “Nazi,” for example.

The bill came on the heels of a haredi Orthodox demonstration in Jerusalem in which the demonstrators, including many young children, wore yellow stars as Jews were forced to do in Europe during World War II, and after extremist right-wing settlers began calling police and soldiers “Nazi.” 

On Jan. 9, the Knesset approved a bill that would allow authorities to arrest and hold illegal migrants for up to three years. The bill also metes out a jail sentence of up to 15 years for anyone who assists illegal migrants, including providing them with housing, while they are in Israel.

The previous law allowed an illegal immigrant to be held for up to 60 days, which supporters of the new bill said wasn’t long enough to begin deportation procedures. An average of 1,200 illegal immigrants cross into Israel from the Sinai desert each month.

Critics of the bill are calling the controversial measure unconstitutional, undemocratic and anti-human rights. — jta