43 thoughts on “Israel Criminalizes the Nakba – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم
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    1. Wrong again. Read my reply to Bob Mann. There is a clear distinction bet the way the police relate to Palestinian Nakba expression & Jewish Nakba expression. The authorities believe they’ve so succeeded in dividing Palestinians from Jews that it doesn’t matter what Palestinians do. But when Jews adopt the views of Palestinians, then THAT is truly subversive & worth criminalizing.

    1. These people will be recognized among the righteous one day even in Israel. It is a comfort to know that in every time and place, there are always some people like that around. They count as the ten that Abraham needed.

  1. The light unto the nations casts a bit of darkness on TALK after 64 years of darkness-in-fact.

    It’s OK – Michael OREN will give it a good gloss (if he has to).

  2. From Gulf News, via the AP:

    Israeli Arabs march to commemorate ‘Nakba’

    Thousands of Israeli Arabs yesterday marked the ‘Nakba’ (Catastrophe) that accompanied Israel’s foundation in a march to where two Arab villages existed before 1948.

    Bearing Palestinian flags and banners with names of displaced villages, the procession left Abu Snan in northern Israel for the nearby Kibbutz of Beit Haemek, which was established on the grounds of Kweikat and Omqa villages.


    And from an Israeli source:

    Thousands of Arab Israelis, including MKs, mark ‘catastrophe’ of Israel’s inception with march to villages depopulated in 1948

    A number of Arab Knesset members, as well as Raed Salah, the head of the Islamic Movement in Israel’s northern branch, were among the thousands who took part in the rally.

    “Independence Day is a day of mourning for the Palestinian people, and on this day we remember the victims of the expulsion and expropriation,” said MK Jamal Zahalka (National Democratic Assembly).


    Clearly, as indicated from those two articles, the Nakba was commemorated in Israel and doing so is not illegal (several Israeli MKs took part in the commemoration).

    1. You’ve failed to note a key distinction between the subject of my post and your news sources. Zochrot is an Israeli Jewish NGO seeking to compel Israeli Jews to mark the Nakba. The events you indicated were spearheaded by Israeli Palestinians. It would be almost impossible for the State to criminalize Nakba expression among Palestinians. If they did there would be riots & the danger of igniting a Palestine Spring. But Jewish Nakba expression drives the authorities crazy. This is what was so dangerous about Zochrot’s actions.

      1. That is an important distinction. All Israelis ought to be able to express their views on this subject publicly without fear of arrest for doing so.

          1. To be accurate, the law does not criminalize the Nakba as your headline suggests. What the law does is forbit any org that is funded by the state from allocating money to activity that the state sees as negating the existence of Israel.

            This might be reprehensible in itself, but it is certainly not “criminalization of the nakba” as your headline suggests.

            Likewise, your connection between the nakba law and the protest is Rabin Square is tenuous. The protest was stopped on grounds of disturbing the peace. A ridiculous reason perhaps, but nothing to do with the Nakba law.

          2. No. The excuses (the “grounds”) given of “negating the existence of Israel” and “disturbing the peace” are fraudulent as is often the case in a tyrannical state. At the behest of the government, the police acted just AS THOUGH Nakab was a criminal topic and activism was illegal. That’s all we need to know.

            The police added to the existing law by detaining some people who talk about the Nakba. People who are arrested by the police are commonly termed “criminals”, you know, and these people were criminals because they spoke about the Nakba. So, talking about Nakba is in fact criminal in Israel right now. The term “criminalization” is therefore appropriate, all things considered.

            It would not surprise me if, next, protestors and activists, start to just disappear, picked up at night and spirited away, not charged with anything, not jailed, just disappeared as in Argentina at one point and South Africa.

      2. Funny enough, the Israeli authorities make that distinction between Jews and Palestinians and their right to commemorate the Nakba, giving ‘more freedom’ to the Palestinians.
        I remember reading an analysis of Israeli history books some years back, and at the time – that is before Livnat Limor “cleaned up the mess” – the Jewish high school students had more informations about what happened in ’48 than the Palestinian students in the “Arab section”.
        According to the author (I can’t remember who), the authorities of course thought that allowing Palestinians to study their own catastrophy could be a dangerous thing whereas the Jewish students were ‘mature’ to confront the past, even superficially.

      3. Richard,
        There is no Israeli law that criminalizes EITHER Jewish or Palestinian Israeli citizens from talking about the Nakba or commemorating it in any way … publicly or privately. There is a law, which allows, but does not require, the finance minister to reduce the budget of STATE-FUNDED AGENCIES that mark the Israel’s Independence Day as a day of mourning, but that is very different from what you have been alleging.

        1. Blah blah blah. The police had never criminalized Zochrot’s commemoration of Nakba before in 7 previous yrs. The only reason they imprisoned these activists in their office was because the Nakba law was enacted. The new law is creeping fascism. The next iteration of it will creep ever closer to criminalizing actual speech & eventually get activists thrown in jail merely for planning to recite the names of destroyed Palestinian villages.

          And you can stop pissing on our backs & telling us it’s rain…

          1. I have no more sympathy to Nakba deniers than I have to those denying any other colossal atrocity.

            Having said that, Richard, I’m afraid you’re factually wrong here — to the best of my knowledge, no current Israeli law criminalises divulging (let alone reiterating) information regarding this man-made calamity.

            The police actions witnessed in Tel-Aviv have nothing to do with law-enforcement and plenty to do with the ever-intensifying seepage of police/IDF lawlessness from the occupied territories into proper Israel.

            This is not to say, of course, that West-Bank Palestinian protesters should expect such kid-gloved treatment when THEIR human rights are downtrodden.

          2. As another commenter already pointed out, when you arrest someone for reading the names of Nakba villages you’ve criminalized Nakba. It doesn’t matter whether there’s a law specifically forbidding this or not. The result is the same.

  3. Seems that Tel Aviv police took initiative with no legal necessity to do so. Law in Israel has somewhat advisory status, so authorities may follow it or not.

  4. @ Richard, please correct your statements.
    The Nakba law prohibits government funded organizations to allocate funds to commemorate the nakba, make sense.

    anyone who doesn’t use government funds can do what they like.
    if the High Follow-Up Committee for Arab Citizens of Israel was involved in organizing said demonstration then it is likely they violated the law, as they receive government funds.


    Zochrot people were trying to demonstrate without getting prior license for said demonstration.
    Can a demonstration be held in the US without a license ?
    and to save everyone time, if you are going to try and claim that the police denied them the license please submit a copy from the request.

    1. in Israel you ARE allowed to demonstrate without a license if the group consists of less that 50 people. If, for instance, a single person wants to stand in the street and hold up a sign, she doesn’t need special permit. The original group consisted of less than 50 people and thus did not require any approval.

      As far as I know the High Follow-up Committee isn’t officially recognized by the government, so that it doesn’t receive government funds.

    2. and it makes as much sense for the government to deny funding for the commemoration of the Nakba as the recent decision in Arizona to ban Ethnic Studies, on the grounds that teaching about historical injustice towards Chican@s is hateful. You could also ban teaching about slavery since some white people could get offended.

    3. In the US you need a parade permit if you want to close a street for a demonstration, but I’ve never been required to get a license or permit to demonstrate on the sidewalk.

      Sure, if I want to shut down Union Square, I need a permit…on the grounds that I am keeping other people from using the Square.

      Quite a few of us held signs defending the Park 51 Islamic community center after Fox “news” began to spread the lie that it was to be a mosque overlooking “Ground Zero”. In that case, “us” included Military Families Speak Out, 9-11 Families for a Peaceful Tomorrow, people from several synagogues and churches. The NY Police did not ask for a license; they just made sure that nobody got into fights.

    4. I don’t believe Zochrot were going to demonstrate. They intended to post signs around Rabin Square displaying the names of destroyed Palestinian villages. That’s not a demonstration.

      And yes, small demonstrations can certainly be held without a license as long as they don’t impede public access or endanger the public.

  5. @ Tom, you are wrong, The the High Follow-Up Committee for Arab Citizens of Israel is funded by the committee of the Arab municipalities and as such is a recipient of government funds.


    With respect to demonstrating without a license, though you are right and below 50 people you can have a demonstration without a license, the police can prohibit that demonstration according to paragraph 151 to the Israeli criminal law which states “סעיף 151 מגדיר התקהלות אסורה באופן הבא: “שלושה אנשים לפחות אשר התקהלו במקום מסוים לשם עבירה, או לשם מטרה משותפת, והתנהגותם עלולה לגרום לאנשים סביבם לחשוש להפרת השלום הציבורי”

    since Zokhrot wanted to create a provocation by shouting the names of the villages that they claim were destroyed during the nakba,amid an independence day ceramony , there was a real reason to believe that their behavior will cause a breach of public peace, Hence the police was obligated by law to stop them.

    1. Since when is reciting words a provocation? Even the words of a long destroyed village? This is a provocation? But you know what isn’t a provocation for people like you? “Death to Arabs!” “Kahane was right” “Kill Mohammed.” THose are all kosher slogans and don’t rattle you at all, do they?

      There was no reason to believe their behavior would cause a breach of the peace & you’re nothing but a 2 bit paid (possibly) shill for Israel anti-Nakba brigade. You disgust me.

      1. Here we go. Accusing the guy of being a racist hooligan, merely because he doesn’t agree with you. Mature.

          1. I will conform to the same standards as you do.
            As long as you sprinkle your comments with thuggish ad-hominem remarks, I will feel at liberty to call you out.

          2. Sorry, but you don’t make the rules around here & anytime you speak as if you do you’ll pay a penalty.

            If you want to hear some real thuggish remarks & get kicked around a bit I’d send you to Bilin on any given Friday. Then you can see what your boys do when they act like REAL thugs.

          3. [Off-topic comment deleted. After a warning, you have been moderated. Stay on topic, read the rules and respect them.]

    2. there needs to be some reasonable definition of what a provocation is. The signs Zochrot had each included the names of two villages. We weren’t sating someone should be harmed, just mentioning names of villages which are usually forgotten within the jewish public. Of course every protest is provocative in some sense but this one did not intend to breach public peace. If you use that definition too loosely you could criminalize any form of political expression outside of the mainstream: maybe calling for the government to resign could also annoy someone too.

      1. this is exactly the meaning of enjoying rights in a democracy. Dictatorships are the ones that arrest people for reaading out of history books, which is exactly what happened.

  6. @ Richard, nothing worth getting upset over, not even your disgusting ad hominem attacks.

    Most Israeli citizens, do not want anything to do with radicals, left or right. That includes Richard Silverstein on one end and Kahane on the other. Most of the Israelis will treat Zokhrot activity amid an independence day ceremony as provocation, some will use force to stop it, their activity at the time they chose for it was a disturbance to public’s safety.

    I see you can’t handle a debate behaving like a normal person. Under these terms i see no reason to continue any sort of dialog with you.

    1. “Most Israeli citizens do not want anything to do with radicals….”
      That’s simply not true. If you look at the results of the last elections, right-wing extremists got a majority of the votes: Likud > 21,61%, Israel Beitenu > 11,70%, Shas > 8,49%, United Torah Judaism > 4,39%, National Union > 3,34, The Jewish Home > 2,87.
      And personally, I consider Kadima right-wing extremists too, but that’s seen from Europe. As Marine Le Pen said in an interview last year: in Israeli politics the French National Front would be in the center, I would even say on the left.

      Most, or rather all Palestinians didn’t want to have anything to do with zionism either, but they weren’t asked !
      If most Israelis consider Zochrot’s activity a provocation amid the national navel gazing, it simply shows that it’s a sick society. Yeah, let’s linger in the memories of the Holocaust and pretend we’re the eternal victims…

      1. @ Deïr Yassin “Most, or rather all Palestinians didn’t want to have anything to do with zionism either, but they weren’t asked !”

        You believe that nonsense ? The Palestinians were given the choice, they decided to reject the division plan, they started a civil war, they lost.

        As for your Holocaust analogy, according to Goodwin’s law you lost the debate, before it started.

        1. @ Liron
          You shouldn’t mention ‘sophisticated’ concepts that you clearly haven’t a clue about: yesterday you misused “ad hominen” and now you misuse ‘Goodwin’s Law’ that has nothing to do with merely mentioning the Holocaust or anything else related to Nazi-Germany…..it’s more about comparing to Hitler and the Nazis.
          I’m sure ‘wiki’ has an entry on both ‘ad hominem’ and ‘Goddwin’s Law’
          I see your historical knowledge of Zionism is as developed as your linguistic skills.

      2. Liron of course meant left-wing “radicals” when he used that word. He doesn’t count rightists like Lieberman or Bibi as “radicals” even though they are of course. In Israel today, I’m sorry to say, anyone holding out for democratic values, rule of law, rights of Palestinian citizens is considered “radical.”

  7. “The Real News” on the Zochrot-incident yesterday.
    Extracts: min 2:36
    Woman: Why ruin the celebration for everyone ?
    Eitan Bronstein: We’re just trying to get people think at what price their celebrations come, what we forget on this day, and all year around.
    Woman: Forget what ?
    EB: That from this land almost a million people were expelled before Israel was created.
    Women: They can fuck themselves ….in the ass.
    My Hebrew isn’t very good, but do I hear a foreign accent in that lady’s language ?

    Min 6:00: “The only thing you are is a bunch of traitors….and if we had the chance we’d shoot you one by one”.
    Charming people.

      1. Thank you, Tom P.
        That was what I thought. Particularly at the end of her sentence, there’s a very strong accent. I even wondered whether she spoke Hebrew at all or had switched to something else.
        I don’t doubt that plenty of Israelis think like her, but it takes a particular kind of chutzpah as an immigrant to claim the native Palestinians can go fuck themselves.

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