(9 June 2020) BADIL’s Advocacy During the Covid-19 Pandemic

Hits: 464
PR/EN/090620/25
 
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the subsequent lockdown, cancellation of flights, and restrictions on movement and travel, BADIL modified its programs and projects to continue to engage Palestinian and international civil society on current issues and developments. A number of webinars and interviews were conducted to replace the absence of international delegations and general outreach activities.

 

BADIL collaborated with Tufts University in the US on two separate occasions in March and April to discuss the current situation in Palestine. The focus of the interviews was on the role of various institutions and states that have an obligation to the Palestinian people to provide protection, rights and assistance. Topics that were highlighted included the defunding and smear campaigns against UNRWA and the consequences, as well as the role of the Palestinian Authority and the Israeli forces, the political prisoners and the high rate of unemployment amongst Palestinians. During the interview BADIL explained that “there is a lack of protection, rights and assistance to Palestinian refugees in general. Now in the time of Covid-19, a longstanding crisis has intensified,” despite this, “in the face of this crisis, a spirit of compassion and cooperation among Palestinians has materialized. As people here say, no one can sleep while their neighbours are hungry.”  A summary of the interview can be found here.

 

BADIL participated in a webinar on 3 May with Massachusetts Peace Action (MPA) titled “Palestine Today: Facing Coronavirus and Colonialism.” The webinar discussed the decades of forcible displacement, occupation, annexation and colonization that the Palestinian people had to endure. Furthermore, it focused on the threats that Covid-19 poses to Palestinian communities that are already impoverished and fragmented. The webinar included Palestinian voices from 1948 Palestine, Gaza and Lebanon. BADIL highlighted how the Covid-19 pandemic impacts the already existing regime of oppression, discrimination and apartheid which is created and sustained by Israel over the Palestinian people. The situation exacerbates the institutionalized discrimination and human rights violations against Palestinians. In addition, the increased restrictions and case of emergency  provides opportunities for Israel to exploit the situation, which can be been seen in actions such as; numerous home demolitions, destruction of water, sanitation and hygiene facilities, the forcible displacement of Palestinian people, heightened militarization, greater impunity for colonizer violence and illegal land possession through squatting, as well as implementing the annexations outlined in the Trump plan.

 

On 15 May, in commemoration of the Ongoing Nakba, BADIL, amongst other Palestinian organizations and human rights activists participated in a webinar with Jewish Voice for Peace–Knoxville and Knoxville Area Women in Black. BADIL highlighted the features of the Ongoing Nakba, including the creeping process from de facto to de jure annexation, designed to sustain and enhance colonization and apartheid, while continuing the forcible displacement and transfer of Palestinians from their homes and places of residence. Furthermore, it was explained how the Covid-19 pandemic offers many opportunities and is the perfect cover for Israel to exploit and to further entrench this regime .