(19 August 2019) BADIL concluded its first International Mobilization Course

BADIL Resource Center for Palestinian Residency and Refugee Rights concluded its first inaugural International Mobilization Course for the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People on 9 August 2019. The course was held over 10 days, with 19 international advocates, activists, mobilizers, and policy officers, 15 of whom were women, from across the world.

The  course’s aim was to strengthen the participants’ international mobilization and advocacy skills while giving them the opportunity to more deeply understand and experience the reality in Palestine. In addition, the course also increased participants’ knowledge and insights into Palestinian perspectives regarding international involvement and solidarity. The course consisted of lectures and discussions with Palestinian and international advocates, structured around field visits on both sides of the Green Line to highlight the ongoing Nakba and the Israeli policies of forcible displacement. This program gave all participants the opportunity to not only interact with Palestinian activists and rights holders, but also each other in order to enhance mobilization and solidarity for the rights of the Palestinian people.

The course consisted of lectures regarding several topics surrounding the Palestinian case such as legal and human rights perspectives. This legal knowledge was coupled with field trips on both sides of the Green Line, to allow the observation of Israeli crimes inactions such as trips to Palestinian villages throughout the West Bank such as those within the Etzion Colonial Bloc that are experiencing a process of de facto to de jure annexation. In addition to Palestinian villages in Area C, field visits included refugee camp tours to Aida and Dheisheh camps in Bethlehem and an introduction to some of the youth centers that are located within the camp.

The course utilized multiple formats to enhance participants understanding, such as lectures, panels and discussions on the Israeli Military court system, Israeli suppression of resistance, collective punishment, prisoner movements and personal stories from family members of Palestinian prisoners, and prisoners themselves. The participants were exposed to on Palestine in international politics, including understandings and discussions of various approaches to the Palestinian case, policies of 3rd party states, and Israeli immunity in the international community.

The course also included field visits and tours to Jerusalem, Haifa, and Nazareth to highlight Israeli illegal policies and acts in those areas. The day also included a visit to the area of Tantoura, a Palestinian village depopulated during the Nakba in 1948 and that also experienced a massacre by the Zionist militias. The participants were also exposed to the intricacies of discrimination experienced by Palestinians with Israeli citizenship through a panel comprised of four youth activists.
Moreover, the ninth day focus was on understanding and unifying the discourse on Palestine. The participants traveled to Hebron in the morning where they had a field visit to the Old City of Hebron and had a meeting with Hebron Rehabilitation Committee (HRC). For more information on forcible transfer in the Old City of Hebron, watch BADIL’s short video spot. After they returned to Bethlehem, a lecture was held on National Palestinian discourse followed by discussion, analysis and critique of the discourse on Palestine.
The tenth and final day engaged the participants in workshops to discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the international solidarity movement and what could and should be done to enhance it.  Discussions were held about international solidarity movement approaches, how to develop and influence activities for third party duty bearers, and developing partnerships within international and Palestinian civil society.
The International Mobilization Course for the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People is a new initiative of BADIL, which developed in line with its new organizational strategy and will be implemented on an annual basis. More information about the upcoming course will be published on a later date.