The Day of the Imprisoned Writer - November 15- 'Free Voices' lecture series with Randa Abdel-Fattah — 12.10.2012
Randa Abdel-Fattah Censoring Palestine: the Nakba Law**
In 2011, Israel enacted the “Budgets Foundations Law (1985) – Reducing Budget or Support for Activity Contrary to the Principles of the State”. The ‘Nakba Law’ enables “the withholding of funds to public institutions deemed to be involved in publicly challenging the founding of Israel as a Jewish state or any activity denying the existence of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state.” The law seeks to prevent Palestinians in Israel from exercising their right to run an academic conference, conduct historical research, hold a seminar, screen a film or stage a play on a seminal event in their history. It also means that discussion of the definition of the state is deemed to be seditious. Activists, both Arab-Israelis and Israelis, are challenging the censorship of the Nakba, both legally and through protests, commemoration activities and education. They are doing so because the Nakba law is simply a codification of what has been happening to Palestinians from 1948 until today: the censorship of the collective memory, free speech, history, equality and dignity of Palestinians.
Randa Abdel-Fattah is the author of eight novels. She is also a lawyer, human rights activist and a doctoral candidate at Macquarie University researching Islamophobia. Randa has been a commentator on TV programs such as Q & A, Lateline, Insight, Channel 10 News, The Drum and Sunrise, and is frequently sought for comment in the media on issues pertaining to Muslims, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and asylum seekers. In 2010 she was invited by the US State Department as the Australian representative in a 3- week program across the US to investigate multiculturalism and policy.