March 2011  

Awda Award Competition 2011

BADIL received 604 entries to the 2011 Award Competition (almost double the number of 2010 entries). This increase is attributable to the promotion of the competition among Palestinian refugees abroad and the acceptance of submissions from both Palestinians and non-Palestinians. March 15th was the closing day for submission with jury members receiving entries in five categories: poster, caricature, children story, written journalism, and photography. The jury is evaluating and selecting the winners in preparation for the Annual Al Awda Award Festival, which will take place in Ramallah on May 6th. 

Stop the Jewish National Fund (JNF-KKL)

The JNF-KKL was created in 1901 to acquire land and property rights in Palestine and beyond for exclusive Jewish settlement. While indigenous Palestinians are barred from leasing, building on, managing or working their own land, the JNF holds the land in trust for “those of Jewish race or descendency” living anywhere in the world to “promote the interests of Jews in the prescribed region.” The JNF-KKL has been a key pillar of the colonization of Palestine - from the founding of the State of Israel to the present – and enjoys charity status in over 50 countries. This is despite its role in the on-going displacement of indigenous Palestinians from their land, the theft of their property, the funding of historic and present-day colonies, and the destruction of the natural environment. On the occasion of Palestinian Land Day and the Global BDS Day of Action on 30 March, BADIL will be joining with hundreds of other organizations to support the call from the BDS National Committee of Palestine (BNC) to launch an international Stop the JNF Campaign which calls upon people and organizations of conscientious worldwide to expose the JNF’s crimes against the Palestinian people and to implement boycotts and legal action against the JNF wherever it operates. See more at:

BADIL Law Course at Al-Quds University

32 Students have been enrolled in BADIL’s Law Course at Al-Quds University Law School. The course, entitled “Palestinian Refugees under International Law”, was initiated in Autumn 2007-2008 and will be run along side two workshops and three on-campus activities all of which are aimed at increasing awareness of a rights-based approach among students.

Youth Education & Activation Program

The Youth Education and Activation Program (YEAP) was launched in 2005 and has been conducted with BADIL’s partners both in Palestine and in exile. In 2011, the YEAP is
being implemented with 14 partners, in the West Bank, Gaza, Palestine 48, and Syria and aims at training, educating, activating, and building capacity among refugee youth.

Based on the assessment of results achieved in the previous program, BADIL has decided to develop a methodology based on the implementation of five actions and participation in a two-week Summer School. The purpose in the change in methodology is to make the course more exciting in response to feedback from the youth who felt that the previous course was “too much like school”.
Israeli Apartheid Week (IAW) 2011

Started in 2005 by students in Canada to raise awareness of Israel as an Apartheid state and to build the campaign for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) until Israel complies with international law, Israeli Apartheid Week (IAW) has now grown to one of the highlights of the Palestine solidarity calendar with over 94 cities around the globe participating in 2011.

BADIL participated in IAW 2011, the biggest so far, by supporting local, films showings, musical events and public discussions and by printing and distributing stickers, posters and flyers. The focus of the week’s activities was to raise awareness of how Israeli Apartheid as a regime applies to all Palestinians including refugees and Palestinian citizens of Israel. Activities took place in Nablus, Ramallah, Gaza, Yaffa, Haifa, Bethlehem, Nazareth, Al Quds (Jerusalem), and Birzeit.

About this Newsletter

To keep you up to date with BADIL’s work we will be publishing a regular newsletter which will update you on our projects and legal advocacy action points.

UN-Based Legal Advocacy


BADIL participated in the 16th session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva where it presented 7 oral statements on:
  • Jerusalem/Self-determination;
  • Impact of lack accountability on refugees in Gaza;
  • Adequate housing;
  • Human rights defenders;
  • Arbitrary detention (joint statement with Addameer);
  • Special Rapporteur report on torture;
  • Special Rapporteur report on freedom of religion and beliefs.
In addition, BADIL submitted one written statement on 'protracted demographic transformation of Jerusalem as a function of a policy of population transfer and a regime of apartheid and colonialism’ to underscore Special Rapporteur on the OPT, Richard Falk’s, Report to the Council.

BADIL also prepared a Briefing Note on the Right to Self- Determination of Palestinian People defining the scope of Palestinian self-determination, which was presented to the High Commissioner on Human Rights during her visit to Palestine, February 7, 2011.

BADIL coordinated two side events during the Session:

side events
With Addameer on Palestinian women political prisoners on the occasion of International Women’s Day; and also with Richard Falk on the issue, ‘How can civil society play a role in pushing the international community’.

Most recently, BADIL formulated an appeal to the Special Rapporteur, Richard Falk, on adequate housing in relation to the eviction notices handed to 15 Palestinian families in Beit Hanina.

(for more information on all of BADIL’s work at the 16th HRC session visit the BADIL website )

BADIL-Zochrot Joint Action: Practical Approaches to Refugee Return


BADIL and Zochrot met in Istanbul between the 12th and 15th of December 2010 to develop their joint project on practical approaches to refugee return. The seminar was a continuation of the Belgrade seminar of 2009 and as part of the project which is working to understand how refugee return is to be practically implemented.

BADIL and Zochrot organized a seminar in Istanbul dedicated to developing the four main themes/papers based on Belgrade seminar, namely: creating a culture of return, transitional justice, rehabilitation andintegration, and restitution. During the first two days, participants were divided into for sub-groups, each sub-group discussed and developed one paper and added new ideas to build on the outcomes of the Belgrade seminar.

The last 2 days of the seminar were dedicated to practically applying the contents of the paper to a particular locality in Palestine. Participants applied the principles and lessons from previous discussions to the Almanshyia neighborhood of Yaffa in an exercise which allowed participants to supplement their theoretical knowledge a keener understanding of the difficulties that will be encountered when formulating a program and mechanisms for refugee return.

A full summary of BADIL-Zochrot's entire project so far will be available in the forthcoming issue (#46) of AL Majdal.

Public Events & Lectures 

BADIL has participated in several national conferences and regional speaking events to discuss the Palestine Papers (Jerusalem Fund); the impact of the Arab revolutions on Palestine (US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation and Jadaliyya); refugees in the peace process (Palestine House-Toronto); the Gaza blockade in international law (University of Toronto Law School); BDS (MERIP and NYU); and a general overview of the conflict (Episcopelean Church alongside Americans for Peace Now). BADIL has also worked to organize several events in Washington, D.C. including an event for the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People and Israeli Apartheid Week. BADIL also participated in the Al Quds Conference in Qatar (submitted paper but the conference was postponed due to events in Egypt), the World Social Forum in Dakar as well as the ECCP meeting in Brussels. BADIL participated in a course on the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, which was organized by the Dignity Organization in Euskadi and the University of the Basque Country. BADIL presented a two hour lecture entitled “Palestinian Refugees Rights and the Israeli Apartheid Regime” to 102 participants, mostly students of law, political science and international relations.

Writing & Publications

BADIL is working on several papers and research projects including:
  • Jurisprudence Regarding Article 1D 2005-2010, (to be published in April);
  • Badil Working Paper (12): Applying International Law to Israel’s Treatment of The Palestinian People, (to be published in April);
  • Brief on Refugee Women’s Rights (to be published in June);
  • The paper on The Applicability of the Crime of Apartheid to the State of Israel (to be published in August);
  • Response Assessment to Situations of Internal Displacement in the OPT (to be published in November);
  • BADIL survey of Palestinian Refugees and IDPs 2010-2012 (to be published March 2012).
Several articles have been published on behalf of BADIL in Jadaliyya, the Huffington Post, and Al-Shabaka. In addition, BADIL’s periodicals; the two magazines Al-Majdal issue 45, and Haq al Awda, issue 42 were published in early March 2011.
Al Awda Award Publications

The top ten journalist entries from the 2010 Awda Award were published; three research papers addressing “The Role of Palestinian Women in Defending and Advocating The Culture of Return” are awaiting publication.