End of Freedom

Sof ha-hofesh! (Hebrew:  The End of Freedom, also the end of summer vacation…)

Artistic-political protest event for the defense of democratic space in the State of Israsel

Actors, singers, intellectuals and political activists will take part in an evening of artistic-political protest, to be held at Tzavta Hall [Tel-Aviv, 30 Ibn Gabirol Street], on Tuesday, September 1st 2009, at 7:00 p.m.

Under the title Sof ha-hofesh a firm demand will be made on stage – to put an immediate end to the policy of arrests and draconian interrogations currently conducted against the Arab-Palestinian community in Israel and in the Occupied Palestinian Territories; to free ALL political prisoners; to halt the current wave of legislation aimed at curbing and restricting the civil rights of Israel’s residents and citizens; to stop the violent, racist policy now implemented against refugees and migrant workers; and to condemn crimes of hate and violence against ethnic, religious or gender minorities.

Beside dramatic and poetic pieces, actors will read personal testimonies of Jews and Palestinians who – having taken part in democratic non-violent political action and voiced legitimate criticism of the Israeli establishment – have known first-hand the heavy handed retaliation of army, police, and various other government apparatuses.

The event is also a further act of protest against the ongoing political arrest of theater artist Samieh Jabbarin – an arrest that has become a symbol of the anti-democratic tendencies currently on the rise both publicly and officially in the State of Israel. Samieh, who organized a series of non-violent protest actions against Operation “Cast Lead”, was arrested on February 10th 2009, at a demonstration held against the attempt of Jewish Israeli right-extremists to create provocations in his home town of Umm al Fahm on the day of general elections. He was charged with assaulting the commander of the regional Border Patrol. Although not a single piece of evidence has been produced to validate this charge to date, he was imprisoned for 3 weeks, and then held under house-arrest in his parents’ home in Umm al Fahm. However, following a wave of public protest in his support, he has lately been permitted to return to Yafa, but he is still under strict house-arrest there, and like him thousands of political prisoners are being deprived of their freedom.

Participants at the Tzavta event will include – among others – Doron Tavori, Mira Awad, Smadar Ya’aron, Gideon Levy, Sarah von-Schwartze, Ghassan Abas, Amer Hlehel, Rabia Khoury, Motti Lerner, Sinai Peter and Rami Heuberger. The full list of artists and speakers will be made public prior to the event.

Entry will be free of charge. Donations to cover expenses will be welcomed.

We would be delighted to see you there. Please pass on this invitation.

Friends of Samieh – Solidarity Committee

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