About 100 people gathered at Salon Mazel (a political bookstore-cafe in Tel Aviv) on Monday evening to commemorate the Palestinian Nakba on the eve of Israeli Independence Day.
Rela Mazali of New Profile spoke about the screen of consciousness that concealed from her/from us the images of abandoned Arab villages on the many camping trips of her youth, and about the Orientalist Zionist approach that sees the Palestinian native as "nature."
Actor Norman Issa told about his experiences with flags. His father, a displaced person from Bir'im, was enraged when he found his son had drawn an Israeli flag. Years later, Norman put up a Palestinian flag and was arrested by the police.
Reuven Moskovitch, a veteran peace activist, recounted his experience as a Zionist emissary sent to Romania in 1947 to help Jews immigrate to Israel. When he returned in 1948, he was shocked to hear from his friends about the massacres and the expulsion that had been carried out against the Palestinians. Reuven told us about the attempt by his kibbutz to return the residents of the neighboring village who had been expelled, an attempt that was not well received.
Tal Haran sang the song of Shaul Tchernichovsky "Shachki, Shachki" in Arabic and in Hebrew. The idea came to her after she learned that at Ansar prison Palestinian prisoners were punished by being made to listen to "songs of the land of Israel."
Later in the evening, we went on an expedition through the celebratory streets of Tel Aviv. Periodically we stopped to stand on top of refugee suitcase/mobile platform and read testimonies of Palestinian refugees. The testimonies were taken from booklets that Zochrot had produced on a number of destroyed Palestinian villages. Among the readers were members of Zochrot, friends from Black Laundry and One Struggle, and activists who are displaced persons from Lod.