The latest events in the 1967 occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip have led many to consider a possible end of the Palestinian political system shaped by the Oslo Accords, and they have caused despair at the West’s approach to human rights and democratic principles in the Middle East (see: “The End of National Unity of the Palestinian Elites...”).
Events in the Nahr el-Bared refugee camp in Lebanon have also demonstrated, once again, the vulnerability of Palestinian refugees and the complexity of the political scene in Lebanon (see: “The Ongoing Nakba: Sickness and Health Among Palestinian Refugees in Lebanon”, “Lebanon: A Proxy Way in Nahr el-Bared Refugee Camp?” and “Commemorating Palestine in Lebanon”). At the same time, the persecution suffered by Palestinian refugees and the Iraqi population in Iraq is reaching unprecedented levels and requires immediate protection; a protection that is, unfortunately, not forthcoming (see: “Palestinian Refugees in Iraq: The Lost Protection”).
Amidst 40 years of Israeli occupation and colonization of the West Bank and Gaza Strip and the worsening political, humanitarian and human rights situation in the region, Palestinians, however, remain steadfast. In May, Palestinians commemorated the 59th anniversary of the Palestinian Nakba of 1948 while becoming victims of “a new Nakba”, i.e. Palestinian inter-factional armed conflictintheoccupiedGazaStripandWestBank.TheNakbaofalmost60years ago has become a powerful symbol of what continues to happen to Palestinians until today. It symbolizes the Palestinian quest for justice, redress, and the right of return (see: “The Power of Memory”).
In this year’s 59th commemoration of the Nakba, Badil organized the the first Al-Awda Award.Popluar marches, rallies and conferences were held in Israel, the occupied Palestinian territories, Europe and North America in memory of past displacement and with the demand for future return. The 40/60 Call to Action is an appeal from displaced Palestinians to global civil society to address the root causes of 60 years of conflict between Israel and the Palestinian people and join the quest for new principled vision and struggle (see: “BADIL’s 40/60 Call to Action”). The civil society Campaign for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel, which is being joined by an increasing number of persons, unions and organizations, is also part of this strategic effort to pressure Israel and states to respect the rights of Palestinians under international law (see: BDS Update).