April-June 2012


Youth Education and Activation Project

‘United in Confronting Israeli Apartheid’, ‘On the Occasion of Land Day-Stop the JNF Campaign’ and ‘Return is our Right and our Destiny’ (for the Nakba-64 Commemoration) are three YEAP initiatives which were implemented in the first quarter of 2012 with the participation of youth from 24 different Community Based Organizations (CBOs): 6 in Gaza, 15 in the West Bank and 3 inside the Green Line.


Third Initiative of the YEAP: Nakba-64 Commemoration

14 MayBADIL’s partner CBO in Khan Younis Refugee Camp of Gaza organized a march and a memorandum submission to the General Secretary of UNRWA, calling for the implementation of UNGA Res. 194.

15 MayBADIL facilitated the participation of hundreds of youth in the Nakba-64 commemoration events in Ramallah, which were organized by the Department of Refugee Affairs at the PLO and the National Committee for the Commemoration of the Nakba.

See: http://www.badil.org/en/press-releases/142-2012/3517-press-eng-23

Strategy Forum

BADIL – Zochrot Joint Action: The second section of the 49th issue of al-majdal, titled “Thinking Practically about Return”, is dedicated to creating a vision of return which utilizes lessons learned from the BADIL-Zochrot mission to South Africa during the first quarter of 2012. Four papers are published in the second section of al-majdal: The BADIL-Zochrot Study Visit to Cape Town-An Introduction; Working towards Return; Reparations; and Visions for a New State.

Civil Society Activists Forum (CSAF): The first meeting of the CSAF was held on 15 June. The topics discussed in the first meeting included the expectations of both the participants and the BADIL staff, the proposed strategy, action plan and framework for the forum, as well as the communication mechanisms and potential activities of the forum. The second meeting and activity of The CSAF will be organized in August.  

Academic Activists Training: Forty-eight Al-Quds University students enrolled and graduated from the course “Palestinian Refugees under International Law” offered by BADIL. In addition, two former graduates of this course wrote their bachelor’s theses on a topic related to the Palestinian refugee problem with the guidance and support of BADIL.

Local Youth Refugee Network (LYRN): LRYN and BADIL conducted an in-depth mid-year evaluation session on 14 June to assess progress, successes and failures of the newly established LYRN. The topics discussed included improving the communication mechanisms and increasing the engagement of the members with each other and with BADIL.

Al Awda Award Competition

The first phase of submissions for the award ended 30 March which encompassed the Best Nakba Poster category and Best Photographic Story category. The second phase encompassed the Best Caricature and Best Photography (less than 18 years) for the World Refugee Day. The deadline for the second phase was 15 June. Winners in both phases were honoured on 5 July during the Palestine’s First World Refugee Day Commemoration Event which took place in the Nativity Square/Bethlehem (Please see separate item on this event below).

Ongoing Nakba Multimedia Project

Ongoing Nakba Education Center (ONEC): On 10 May BADIL inaugurated its Ongoing Nakba Education Center. This event also signaled the start of the Nakba-64 Commemoration activities. The launch of the Center was attended by dozens representatives of civil society organizations who pledged their support for feeding this ever-evolving and ever-expanding project. An article in Al-Jazeera English stated that “the ONEC has the advantage of standing out from a host of NGO-based projects.”[1]

The ONEC attempts to consolidate information regarding past and present ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian population. This is achieved through an accurate, personal and user-friendly format, utilizing a plethora of multimedia tools based on the interactive map of historic Palestine. The website relies heavily on confirmed, firsthand testimonies and contributions from forcibly displaced Palestinians, regardless of their current place of residence, or time of their displacement.

See: http://www.badil.org/en/press-releases/142-2012/3511-press-eng-21

4 April – Statement – “Israel's withdrawal from the Human Rights Council”.

See: http://badil.org/en/press-releases/142-2012/3489-press-ara-16

5 April – Joint Statement – “Palestine at the ICC: Politics Prevail Once More”.

See: http://www.badil.org/en/press-releases/142-2012/3491-press-eng-18

17 April – Joint Statement – “Palestinian civil society and human rights organizations mark Palestinian Prisoners’ Day with call for action against Israeli prison contractor G4S”.

See: http://www.badil.org/en/press-releases/142-2012/3498-press-eng-19

14 May – Joint Statement-“Palestine’s Ongoing Nakba is the Responsibility of Israel and the International Community”.

See: http://www.badil.org/en/press-releases/142-2012/3512-press-eng-22

19 June – Joint Statement- “New Threats, Existing Solutions: Palestinian Refugees 64 years on”.

See: http://www.badil.org/en/press-releases/142-2012/3559-press-eng-29

15 May - BADIL produced and disseminated publication materials for the Nakba-64 commemoration to all its partner and associate organizations. In addition, BADIL’s publications were a distributed in Al Manara Square in Ramallah.

  • Nakba-64 Commemoration Poster.

  • Nakba-64 Commemoration T-shirt.

  • Stickers advocating the Right of Return.

  • Banners of various sizes in various locations throughout the oPt.

  • 2011 Al Awda Award winning Children’s Stories.

  • “Palestinian National Identity: Formation Particularity and Defining Framework”.

al majdal, Special Issue # 49, titled: “Transfer of Population . . . Return of the People: Forced Population Transfer in Palestine and Thinking Practically About Return”.

See: http://www.badil.org/en/press-releases/142-2012/3531-press-eng-25


Haq Al Awda, Issue #48, Special Nakba Edition, titled, “Return is our Right and our Dignity”.

See: http://badil.org/ar/haq-alawda/itemlist/category/222-haqawda48


14 June – 2011 BADIL Annual Report.



BADIL staff participated in 14 radio, TV and newspaper interviews contributing to approximately 206 minutes of air time regarding topics such as the Al Awda Award Competition 2012, Nakba-64 Commemoration, the Kirk Amendment, BADIL publications and activities and Palestinian refugee rights as they relate to international law.

BADIL released 8 English language and 11 Arabic language press releases surrounding its activities and initiatives in the second quarter of 2012.

Support to Popular Initiatives

In the course of commemorating Nakba-64, BADIL supported 17 popular initiatives which took place in both sides of the Green Line, as well as abroad. BADIL activities included granting small financial contributions to creative activities initiated by Community Based Organizations (CBOs), facilitating youth participation, distribution of advocacy tools, and the release of a statement encouraging Israel and the international community to take responsibility for Palestinian past and present forced displacement.

In cooperation with Droit au retour (DAR) and Collectif Urgence Palestine (CUP) of Switzerland, a march and sit-in was organized in commemoration of the Nakba-64 and to highlight the ongoing Nakba. A joint letter was submitted to the Federal Foreign Affairs Department Counselor, Mr. Didier Burkhalter, calling for the government of Switzerland to step up its role as a depository in the 4th Geneva Convention in holding Israel responsible for its blatant violations of international law.

See: http://www.badil.org/en/press-releases/142-2012/3519-press-ara-24

As the Palestinian refugee population is the largest and longest-standing refugee population in the world today, BADIL is working closely with its local partners in order to implement a coordinated and inclusive national popular initiative in commemoration of World Refugee Day (WRD). While WRD is observed on 20 June, BADIL and its partners planned a day-long event on 5 July in Bethlehem’s Manger Square and Peace Center. The event included activities that celebrate Palestinian culture and identity, highlighting the Palestinian refugee experience.

July 2012 - Manger Square (Maydan Al-Mahd) and the Bethlehem Peace Centre, Bethlehem.

5 July 2012 Manger Square (Maydan Al-Mahd) and the Bethlehem Peace Centre, Bethlehem.

Under the motto “Return is not an ideology, it is a legal right”, the festival was the biggest public event gathering Palestinian civil society organizations.

A new phase in Palestinian activism and political discourse? Addressing the biggest portion of Palestinians, the refugees (67%), this event not only reminds of the centrality of the refugee problem, it also marks a shift towards a unified Palestinian political discourse, one which is rights-based, in the legal sense of the term.