(17 May 2019) Al Awda Youth Forum confronts Israelization

On 30 April 2019, the Al Awda Youth Forum published its “Palestinians and awareness raising policies” (Arabic), a magazine written and produced by youth. The magazine is composed of six articles, three photo stories and one info-graphic. In addition to this the youth also produced two short video spots: Israelization and Dissolving Palestinian National Awareness.

The Al-Awda Youth Forum is a youth platform established by BADIL composed of Palestinian refugees and internally displaced persons from both sides of the Green Line. The members are alumni from BADIL’s youth empowerment programs and have previously participated in multiple thematic Al Awda Schools.  The core group consists of 13 youth (9 female).

The youth selected the theme of the magazine and the video spots, highlighting their observations that there exists a concerted and systemized effort by Israel to dissolve and co-opt Palestinian identity and culture. This process occurs on multiple levels; economic, political, cultural, education and rights. This ‘Israelization’ (or de-Palestinianization) involves wiping out Palestinian knowledge, awareness and norms and replacing it with Israeli (and often western) knowledge, awareness and norms. It is a form of colonization of the mind of Palestinians to assimilate them into Israeli thought and ideology, and dissolve or deny their identity and existence. Israeli policies aim to create a Palestinian society that suits the Israeli colonial system and the youth felt that these efforts are targeting youth specifically, hence they felt the need to produce tools to combat ‘Israelization’. The overall focus throughout this process has been on skill building and awareness raising by and for youth regarding discourse and the power of words.