The government intends to impose economic sanctions on the organizers of these important commemorations, which will only increase the discrimination suffered by Palestinian citizens of Israel. The economic sanctions contradict the state؟s obligation to the welfare of all its citizens, regardless of their political beliefs or national identity. In recent years, a growing number of Jews have participated in the return marches to Palestinian localities which Israel captured during the Nakba, and support for the right of return is increasing. These Jews are undermining the ethno-national dichotomy of the slogan, recognizing that the tragedy which occurred in 1948 is part of their own history. The participation of Jews in events commemorating the Nakba undermines the effort, which is as old as Zionism itself, to bring about confrontation and schism between Arabs and Jews in the country.
It may not come as a surprise that in this difficult time for Israeli public relations efforts, the government disseminates absurd "facts" about the Palestinian refugees. For example, that they numbered only 320,000, not approximately 800,000, as a result of the Nakba, while 150,000 "were absorbed in Arab countries" and 50,000 " returned to their countries." Such newspeak insults the intelligence of many Israelis, who have known for a long time that the official government explanations for the events of 1948 are intentional lies.
Hundreds of Israelis contact Zochrot every year. Educators, students, journalists, directors and others who are interested request information which has been concealed for so long about what happened just outside the house where they were born. The editor of the most comprehensive web site about the Nakba, www.palestineremembered.com reports that the number of Israelis entering the site is second only to the number of Palestinians. These are dramatic developments which no law which tries to compel people to forget the Nakba will be able to stop.
The Nakba is increasingly present in Israeli cultural production, no longer ignored by best-selling books and films by young directors. Even architects are beginning to show signs of addressing the traditions of local Palestinian architecture.
Despite these positive signs, it is impossible to underestimate the danger presented by the strengthening of anti-democratic currents in Israel. The present government is acting to greatly restrict the freedom of civil society to negotiate with the regime over the most controversial topics. Arbitrary arrests, outrageous investigations and draconic legislation are what you find in the toolbox of a government which knows that its survival depends on creating a "iron wall" that, for now, protects the Israeli colonial regime.