Israeli police barricade and arrest activists attempting to commemorate the Nakba

ActivismIsrael/Palestine
on 35 Comments

From the video’s YouTube page:

On Israeli Independence Day, same day that marks the premeditated ethnic cleansing of ~700,000 Palestinians in order to create a Jewish majority by force, the Israeli police besieged the offices of Zochrot at the heart of Tel-Aviv in order to prevent the activists present from holding a very symbolic memorial activity for that day.

This video shows arriving at the place already besieged by the police, the people inside prevented from leaving and those outside prevented from entering the office building.

At the time of writing this, police is still present as well as over 100 citizens demonstrating outside the offices. The police attacked and arrested some demonstrators, while preventing entry-exit to the office.

Activists from Zochrot were planning on commemorating the Nakba on Israel Independence Day by publicly reading the names of Palestinian villages that were destroyed in 1948, similar to actions they have taken in recent years.

Update: Here are photos from Activestills

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Israeli anti riot police arrest a left wing activist, after Israeli police blocked the exit from an event of Zochrot organization, commemorating the Palestinian Nakba, in central Tel Aviv, April 25, 2012. Israeli police blocked the exit from the event, claiming activists were planning to take part in actions commemorating the Nakba during celebrations of Israel’s Independence day in Tel Aviv. 3 activists were arrested, while all the people at the event were asked to show their ID’s in order to be able to leave the place. (Photos & Caption: Activestills)
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We’ll post updates as we receive them.

35 Responses

  1. justicewillprevail
    April 25, 2012, 7:58 pm

    The state has decreed that memories are banned and must be destroyed. Big Brother is watching you.

  2. Daniel Rich
    April 25, 2012, 8:17 pm

    “We’re allergic to the truth, so every time you guys open your mouths we get rashes and heartburn. That’s not fair, very inconsiderate, rude and anti-semitic!” – IDF pokemon spokesman

  3. Annie Robbins
    April 25, 2012, 8:44 pm

    i’m reading the #nakba hashtag on twitter. this is making me cry.

    • seafoid
      April 26, 2012, 4:29 am

      Don’t cry , Annie. . The refugees have never given up.
      Zionism will fall. On Yom Ha Haha .

  4. Daniel Rich
    April 25, 2012, 8:47 pm

    Hi Annie,

    One more correction:

    celebrations of Israeli Independence day = celebrations of Israel’s Independence day

    No need to thank me, Annie. I want Mondoweiss to be a success and you know how easy it is for the usual suspects to sidetrack very important topics and subjects with their claptrap, distortions, half-truths and baloney. United we stand strong.

    Daniel

  5. pabelmont
    April 25, 2012, 8:57 pm

    My telephone number used to end with “1115” which was (I thought) the date of the PLO’s declaration of the Palestinian State in 1988. For a while my answering message made some reference to this, but my wife made me change it. Just 6 months after 5/15 which I thought was Israel’s B-day.

    Happy 15th of November anybody? Keep it in mind, I don’t know why.

    • Jeff Klein
      April 25, 2012, 11:09 pm

      Israel celebrates “Independence Day” according to the traditional Jewish lunar calendar, so the date moves around in our calendar. Another deranged way of trying to connect the modern Jewish state with ancient Biblical tradition. . .

      • piotr
        April 26, 2012, 9:52 am

        Jeff, it is better not to go to far.

        There is nothing deranged in commemorating what you wish and when you wish. I would like to use Jewish calendar in archaeology, because you can date neolithic communities in Palestine “before the beginning of the world, e.g. Natufian culture can be dated from 12,500 to 9,500 BC or “9,000 to 6,000 BBoW”.

        Attacking people who commemorate events we do not like to mention is perhaps not deranged but a straight continuation of the finest Soviet traditions.

      • Jeff Klein
        April 26, 2012, 1:37 pm

        Hare’s why I say “deranged”: there’s nothing wrong with observant religious people using whatever calendar they want. But linking the date of “Independence” to the Jewish religious calendar was an artificial gesture by the secular, atheist founders of Israel. Did they normally keep track of days according to the Jewish lunar calendar? Obviously not — and those who observed the ancient traditions in those days were not Zionists. . .

      • piotr
        April 26, 2012, 7:35 pm

        You would be on stronger ground claiming that this is a lunacy. But to me nationalistic symbols should contain something irrational, otherwise we could have number codes on our banners. So I would not say that this is deranged.

        By the way, I am not familiar with the Jewish Lunar calendar, so I think that I have made a mistake in the dating of Natufian culture. It was probably 9,500 to 6,500 BBoW. Perhaps commemorating the Natufians should be illegal because it denies the veracity of Torah which is the cornerstone of the Jewish nation. More precisely, I read that attempts of converting Jews away from Judaism are illegal in Israel, so distributing pro-Natufian literature in the middle of a Jewish population center could be interrupted by the police, once they figure the true import of the situation.

        Moreover, the state religion as practiced/worshiped in Israel has a number of tenets that post-date the creation of Israel, and one of them is “people without land to the land without people”. So this is what we see in the pictures above: apostates trying to convert others to their error.

        This explains why Arab citizens could have a march of thousands to commemorate villages erased by Nakba — in pluralistic theocracy minorities are entitled to their beliefs. And why police in Tel Aviv tolerated Zochrot’s mini-demos for 6 years — it took some time to realize how pernicious the little recitations were. Some rabbis surely alerted authorities early on, but police has to prioritize. Selling socks from mixed thread is still allowed, apparently link to alibaba.com

    • Elliot
      April 25, 2012, 11:32 pm

      Israel uses the Jewish calendar for official anniversaries. It’s Independence Day was May 15 in 1948. That’s the 5th of the Hebrew (lunar) month of Iyar.

  6. jonrich111
    April 26, 2012, 1:16 am

    It is tragically ironic that some Jews will honor the memory of the Holocaust, but not the Nakba. Peace will come Jews and Palestinians acknowledging the pain and suffering of both peoples.

  7. asherpat
    April 26, 2012, 3:15 am

    The demonstration was probably illegal. If the anarchists feel that they were treated badly, they have all the rights to appeal to courts, including the High Court of Israel, where they often are supported and the State defeated. This is the essence of pluralism.

    • Shmuel
      April 26, 2012, 3:43 am

      The demonstration was probably illegal.

      What demonstration? They were not allowed out of the building.

      the anarchists

      Do you know what that word means?

      where they often are supported and the State defeated

      Lol. When it comes to matters of “security”, the High Court is completely subservient.

      This is the essence of pluralism.

      Do you know what that word means?

      • asherpat
        April 26, 2012, 4:26 am

        @Shmuel – Do you know what that word means?Do you know what that word means?Do you know what that word means?Do you know what that word means?

        I know one thing – Israel is the only country in the Middle East, where anyone can openly call for its demise and NOT be shot at. This is the essence of pluralism.

      • Shmuel
        April 26, 2012, 6:27 am

        I know one thing – Israel is the only country in the Middle East, where anyone can openly call for its demise and NOT be shot at. This is the essence of pluralism.

        I guess you don’t know what pluralism means. Even Sharansky’s famously superficial “town square” test referred to democracy, not pluralism, and postulated expressing views “without fear of arrest, imprisonment, or physical harm” (no need to get shot at). In the case of Zochrot and the Nakba, Israel has clearly failed even Sharansky’s test.

        Although structurally a Jewish ethnocracy, Israel may in fact be pluralistic in some senses. Not getting shot at for questioning Israel’s ethnocratic regime (although that has happened as well) is another kettle of fish.

      • justicewillprevail
        April 26, 2012, 6:55 am

        fail. That is not the meaning of pluralism, not when people are shot at when demonstrating against Israel’s occupation and apartheid laws.

      • asherpat
        April 26, 2012, 7:02 am

        @Shmulik – 2 questions:

        1. Define “Ethnocratic Regime” and show me a “non-ethocratic” “regime” anywhere in the world;
        2. What wud you rather – (i) live in an ethnocratic regime, able to protest, however imperfectly; or (ii) be shot, raped and tortured?

      • Shmuel
        April 26, 2012, 8:13 am

        1. If you’re really interested and not just playing the “they do it too” game, here are a few articles that explain the differences between ethnic and non-ethnic regimes:

        Sammy Smooha, “The Model of Ethnic Democracy”
        link to ecmi.de

        Oren Yiftachel, “אתנוקרטיה, גיאוגרפיה ודמוקרטיה: הערות על הפוליטיקה של ייהוד הארץ” [Ethnocracy, Geography and Democracy: Notes on the Policy of the Judaisation of Israel]
        link to geog.bgu.ac.il

        Yoav Peled, “Restoring Ethnic Democracy: The Or Commission and Palestinian Citizenship in Israel”
        link to hevra.haifa.ac.il

        2. In an ethnocratic regime, non-members of the charter ethnic group do not enjoy the same rights as members of the group. Your premise that one may protest (“however imperfectly”) in Israel is only true of members of the charter ethnic group (Jews). Since I do not wish to live in a country where only members of a specific ethno-religious group are relatively free to protest (even if I happen to be a member of the privileged group), I chose to leave Israel.

      • edwin
        April 26, 2012, 8:45 am

        2. What wud you rather – (i) live in an ethnocratic regime, able to protest, however imperfectly; or (ii) be shot, raped and tortured?

        Hmmm. There are a whole lot of Palestinians who are shot and tortured. Don’t know any statistics about rape though. Israel actually has legalized torture – I think that makes it the only country in the world with torture legalized in some circumstances.

        The primary opening is the “necessity defense” which, under certain circumstances, exempts interrogators who employ illegal interrogation techniques, including physical violence, from criminal responsibility.

        link to stoptorture.org.il

        asherpat, I think that this is known as a false choice.

      • asherpat
        April 26, 2012, 9:11 am

        @Shmuel, “In an ethnocratic regime, non-members of the charter ethnic group do not enjoy the same rights as members of the group. ”

        How does that apply to Israel?

      • Shmuel
        April 26, 2012, 9:21 am

        How does that apply to Israel?

        על רגל אחת

        Careful analysis of the Israeli polity shows that ethnos and not demos is the main organizing political principle. Israel should therefore be characterized as an “ethnocracy.” I define ethnocracy as a regime type with several key characteristics:

        – Despite several democratic features, ethnicity, not territorial citizenship, is the main logic behind resource allocation.
        – State borders and political boundaries are fuzzy: there is no identifiable “demos,” mainly due to the role of ethnic diasporas inside the polity and the inferior position of ethnic minorities.
        – A dominant “charter” ethnic group appropriates the state apparatus and determines most public policies.
        – Significant (though partial) civil and political rights are extended to minority members, distinguishing ethnocracies from Herrenvolk or authoritarian regimes.

        Oren Yiftachel, “Democracy or Ethnocracy: Territory and Settler Politics in Israel/Palestine”

        ואידך זיל גמור

      • asherpat
        April 26, 2012, 11:01 am

        @Shmuel/Iftachel – the above is a meaningless demagogy that is applicable to any democratic state with ethnic majority and minority.

      • Shmuel
        April 26, 2012, 11:21 am

        the above is a meaningless demagogy that is applicable to any democratic state with ethnic majority and minority

        Ethnic democracy and ethnocracy are political systems, as is the Herrenvolk regime. They are not the natural outgrowth of the mere existence of majority/minority ethnicities, any more than multicultural democracy is the natural outgrowth of the existence of an ethnically diverse population. Read Smooha (who coined the term “ethnic democracy”) or Peled. Smooha also compares Israel to other ethnic democracies, such as Estonia and Slovakia – in contrast to western-style democracies. Peled identifies different regimes with different periods in Israeli history. Yiftachel differs slightly, but backs his distinctions up with ample evidence. You might also want to look into the work of Sasha Kedar.

        You can put your fingers in your ears and keep repeating “Jewish and democratic like French and democratic”, but it won’t make it so.

      • asherpat
        April 26, 2012, 12:42 pm

        @Shmuel – so we are NOT “Jewish and democratic like French and democratic”, for whatever it is. We want to live and we want to survive in a sea of murderous theocracies around us – and that, my foe, we will do.

      • Talkback
        April 27, 2012, 9:29 am

        asherpat,

        it’s very easy. France is the state of french citizens. Israel is not the state of Israeli citizens but claims to be the state of the Jews as Nazi Germany claimed to be the state of the Volksdeutsche (excluding Jews).

        “We want to live and we want to survive in a sea of murderous theocracies around us – and that, my foe, we will do.”

        Would your Judemographetnocrazy even exist without being murderous? How do you keep Palestinians who should be Israelis by international and human rights law from returning?

      • seafoid
        April 26, 2012, 4:38 am

        “They were not allowed out of the building.”

        They could have been arrested as “present absentees” shmuel.
        Present in their office and absent from the mandatory Independence Day Group Loyalty Orgy.

    • Chu
      April 26, 2012, 9:31 am

      Pluralism? That wasn’t the first word that came to mind.

      It looks more like authoritarian nationalist political ideology
      at work, but I’m not in Israel. What do you mean by pluralism?

  8. Shmuel
    April 26, 2012, 3:21 am

    This has nothing to do with the “Nakba Law” passed last year, which pertains to the funding of public institutions and “budgeted entities”, and does not prohibit the commemoration of the Nakba – although an earlier version of the Law, approved by the government, did try to do just that (three years imprisonment simply for participating in Nakba Day events).

    In the video, one of the policemen says that they are there to prevent “harm to the public order”. The activist in the clip is asked for identification, whether he has been arrested before, whether it has been “for [violent] disturbances by any chance” (in a sarcastic tone), what he is doing there, told he looks suspicious, and asked to open his jacket (which the policeman says is “bulging suspiciously”). When a passerby asks the activist what’s going on, he says “ask the police why they are barricading these people”.

  9. seafoid
    April 26, 2012, 4:34 am

    So they have gone after Zochrot. Wow. That shows how effective the Zochrot message is in the eyes of the ideological thought police.
    Zochrot are a wonderful collective of people who understand where Israel is headed.

    Zochrot are in my top 5 of thinking Israelis/Israeli groups. I think their videos are incredibly powerful.

    The Zionist ideology is too fragile to deal with the truth of 1948.

    And it is only by engaging honestly with 1948 that Israel can free itself from the deluded militarism that is slowly strangling it. The militarists are the dogs humping the chair leg.

  10. Talkback
    April 26, 2012, 9:54 am

    If the Nazi regime hadn’t collapsed they would prevent people from reading out loud the names of it’s victims, too. So please don’t apply double standards here!

  11. Carowhat
    April 27, 2012, 12:55 am

    Asherpat: “I know one thing – Israel is the only country in the Middle East, where anyone can openly call for its demise and NOT be shot at.”

    If Israel is a democracy, it has a strange idea of the concept. Can you imagine anyone in Denmark, for instance, being arrested for reading a list of the English villages the Vikings ransacked?

    Would you be arrested in Australia for talking about vanished Aborigines?

    Or for that matter, would you be arrested in America for reading a list of all the Indian villages our forefathers destroyed?

    What is the danger in letting someone in Israel read a list of vanished Palestinian villages?

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