51 Years after the UN Call for the Return of Palestinian Refugees:
SUPPORT THE PALESTINIAN RIGHT TO RESTITUTION!
December 11 marks the 51st anniversary of UN Resolution 194 (December 11, 1948) calling for the return and compensation of the Palestinian refugees evicted from their homes and properties by the armed forces of the newly established Israeli state in 1948.
BADIL Resource Center calls upon individuals and organizations worldwide to express support for the overdue implementation of the internationally recognized Palestinian right of return, restitution and compensation by:
1. SIGNING ON to our PETITION FOR PALESTINIAN RESTITUTION (via fax, email, or directly via our website).
2. COLLECTING SIGNATURES of personalities, organizations, and individuals in the respective countries;
3. PRESENTING THE PETITION in public events, briefings and lobbying activities targeting international policy makers.
* The petition text as well as the names of (a major part of) the signatories are published on our website. The list of signatories will be updated regularly *
BACKGROUND: BADIL- Petition Campaign for Palestinian Restitution
Our petition was developed in early 1999, in conjunction with Palestinian partners in the West Bank and in exile. It was discussed with Palestinian refugee organizations and researchers in Palestine, Lebanon and Jordan, and endorsed by many of them. The petition campaign aims to raise international awareness of Palestinian refugees' right to restitution (right of return, return of properties, compensation for material and non-material losses) in the context of the broader, current debate about restitution of victims of past and present ethnic cleansing policies, such as victims of the Nazi crimes, Bosnian and Kosovar refugees, and others.
The PETITION FOR PALESTINIAN RESTITUTION was publicly launched in March 1999. Since then some 1,000 signatures have been collected worldwide. It accompanied a photo exhibition on Palestinian refugee children in Lebanon through numerous cities and towns in the United States, and was presented to the European Parliament in November 1999, in preparation of a special briefing of the European Union on Palestinian refugee rights scheduled for spring 2000 by BADIL's
partner network in Europe.
Throughout the year 2000, the petition will continue to serve as a tool for awareness raising and campaigning for the Palestinian refugees' right to return and restitution, a right whose recognition and implementation is a condition for a just and durable peace in the Middle East. PETITON TEXT: Restitution: A Basic Human Right
More than fifty years after the holocaust, Jews around the world continue to fight for and receive restitution for material and non-material losses inflicted by the Nazi regime throughout Europe. More than fifty years after the Palestinian people were displaced and dispossessed by an exclusive Jewish state established in Palestine in the aftermath of Nazi atrocities in Europe, Palestinians are still being dispossessed, dispersed, and denied any kind of restitution. Restitution is a universal human right. Persons now fighting for restitution are therefore to be supported.
We, the undersigned, believe that Palestinians, of whom two-thirds are refugees, also have the right of restitution, including the return of the rightful owners to their property as well as restitution for other material and non-material losses. Resolution 194, which recognizes the right of refugees to restitution, has been reaffirmed one hundred and ten times by the United Nations. Further, as recently as November 1998, the UN General Assembly reaffirmed in Resolution 52/644 the principle, based on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and international law, that Palestinian refugees are entitled to all revenues from their property.
We appeal to all fair-minded people, governments, parliamentarians, human rights groups and particularly Jewish organizations, to recognize, support and call for restitution of Palestinians through the restoration of homes and properties to their rightful owners as well as restitution for other material and non-material losses. While restitution can never fully make amends for all losses, suffering, and crimes against humanity, restitution establishes a precedent which should prevent the repetition of such catastrophes in the future.