The Ongoing Nakba Education Center is Badil's information services program, aiming to make available resources to visitors, journalists, researchers, and the general public while maintaining up to date information on Palestine's Ongoing Nakba.
Palestine's Ongoing Nakba
The term Nakba (Arabic for 'Catastrophe') designates the first round of massive population transfer undertaken by the Zionist movement and the State of Israel in the period between November 1947 (UN Palestine Partition Plan) and the cease-fire agreements with Arab states in 1949. The Nakba was an act of forced population transfer (ethnic cleansing) undertaken for the purpose of establishing Israel as a state that would ensure permanent dominance of the Jewish settler-immigrants over the indigenous Arab people of Palestine. More than 750,000 Palestinians were forcibly displaced from their homes and lands during the Nakba of 1948.
The Ongoing Nakba designates the ongoing Palestinian experience of forced displacement, as well as Israel's policies and practices which have given rise to one of the largest and longest-standing populations of refugees, IDPs and stateless persons worldwide. By mid-2007, more than 7 million Palestinians were displaced persons. Palestinian refugees and IDPs are denied access to effective reparations, including return, housing and property restitution and compensation. Forcible displacement of Palestinians by Israel continues even today, while those in exile are vulnerable to persecution and renewed displacement in their host countries.
The rights of displaced Palestinians are protected by international law and have been affirmed by UN Resolutions, including UN General Assembly Resolution 194 (1948) and UN Security Council Resolution 237 (1967). International agencies have recognized the phenomenon of ongoing forced displacement of Palestinians in the OPT. Forced displacement, however, continues because the international community has so far failed to hold Israel accountable to international law and provide effective protection to Palestinians from, during and after forced displacement.
Badil's Ongoing Nakba Education Center includes:
1. Multi-Purpose Hall
This is the main visitor's reception area for Badil (upper floor). It includes displays that describe the Ongoing Nakba. The display is mainly composed of a photo exhibit that details various aspects of ongoing forced displacement since 1947, plight of Palestinian refugees, and refugee and civil society campaigns. An electronic version of the photo exhibit is one of the education and advocacy tools developed by the Center. Items through which various aspects of the Ongoing Nakba are also on display.
2. Research Library
Situated on the lower floor, the Library is home to printed copies of over 2,600 books and several periodicals, as well as hundreds of electronic reports and other resources. The library also includes an audio-visual library. The library is also equipped with three desktop computers for use by visitors.
3. Resources for Visitors and Journalists
Badil offers services to local and international visitors and delegations on a variety of topics that include:
- historical, legal and political overview of the Palestinian struggle;
- history and development of the Palestinian refugee issue;
- Palestinian refugee rights in international law;
- ongoing displacement of Palestinians on both sides of the 'green line';
- applicability of the crime of apartheid to the state of Israel;
- Palestinian civil society campaign for Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS);
- other topics (on request, and based on availability of presenters)
4. Education, Advocacy and Media Tools
The Center provides education and advocacy tools (print, audio and video) that can be easily accessed and used by lawyers, activists, teachers, and policy makers.
5. Monitoring Ongoing Displacement
A central feature of Palestine's Ongoing Nakba is the ongoing nature of Israel's forced displacement of Palestinians, as well as the ongoing displacement of Palestinian refugees in host countries outside of Palestine. While there are a plethora of organizations monitoring cases of displacement, these organizations focus either on a specific geographical location, on certain forms of displacement, and/or on a particular sector of the society that is particularly vulnerable. A central purpose of the Center is to collect and supplement information on ongoing forced displacement from the various existing sources, develop a system for regularly updating this information (electronically), and to disseminate this information.
An additional project accompanying the monitoring of ongoing forced displacement is to provide informational workshops to journalists, editors, and field workers reporting on cases of displacement. The purpose of such workshops is to enable those reporting on these cases to provide the information needed for the purposes of monitoring displacement (through the displacement 'tracking form' developed by the Inter-Agency Displacement Working Group), as well as training on the legal concepts related to displacement that can inform the language and understanding of different cases of displacement in their reporting.