On the eve of Independence Day, police imposed lockdown on the office of Zochrot (Hebrew for “remembering”), an Israeli activist organization dedicated to raising public awareness of the Nakba, the catastrophe of displacement and dispossession inflicted on Palestinians.
Just as Zochrot activists tried to leave their office last night, around 10:30 PM, for a symbolic action to commemorate the Nakba in Rabin Square — posting the names of Palestinian villages destroyed in 1948, in Arabic, Hebrew, and English — they were astonished to find the whole building housing the Zochrot office blockaded by police.
For the last seven years, Zochrot had held similar Nakba commemorations without any such incident. This year, however, they found themselves locked down in their building for nearly four hours. The police officers imposing the lockdown also demanded to see the activists’ IDs and to search their belongings, without any probable cause.
Three activists were then arrested by police.
The arrested activists were all released this afternoon. Nevertheless, Zochrot director Liat Rosenberg is alarmed by the whole idea of preventive lockdown on Zochrot, an example of the Israeli state’s attempts at “silencing” of any dissent reaching “new heights.”
For more information about Zochrot, visit <www.zochrot.org>. Information used in this article is based on Zochrot’s statements circulated by Dorothy Naor on the New Profile mailing list.