Israeli parliamentarians have given preliminary approval to a bill banning the use of Nazi terminology.
Israeli media reported on Thursday that the bill was passed at a preliminary reading on Wednesday, AFP reported. The bill would make it a crime to use the word Nazi or a derivative, a Holocaust symbol such as concentration camp inmates garb or yellow stars of David, or a Nazi symbol. The bill proposes that a person using such terminology could be imprisoned for six months and fined the equivalent of $28,654. The draft needs the approval of a parliamentary committee and the Knesset (parliament) before becoming law. The bill has already outraged critics who say it violates freedom of expression. Shelly Yachimovich of the Labor party, who opposed the bill, said there was "a great distance between an offensive and inappropriate expression, and prohibiting it by law." Dov Khenin of the Arab-Jewish socialist party Hadash also pointed out the extensive use of Nazi terminology by Israeli politicians, including by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.