BADIL Resource Center for Palestinian Residency and Refugee Rights concluded its second annual International Mobilization Course for the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People on 8 August 2021. The course was held virtually over 7 days, with 31 international advocates, activists, mobilizers, and policy officers, 19 of whom were women, from across the world.
The final day of the course engaged the participants in workshops to discuss the challenges faced by the international solidarity movement and what could and should be done to enhance it. Discussions were also 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 course’s aim was to strengthen the participants’ international mobilization and advocacy skills while giving them the opportunity to gain an in-depth understanding of the reality in Palestine. In addition, the course increased participants’ insight into Palestinian perspectives regarding international involvement and solidarity. The course combined lectures and discussions with Palestinian and international advocates, structured around virtual field visits on both sides of the Green Line to highlight the ongoing Nakba and Israeli policies of forcible displacement. This program gave participants the opportunity to not only interact with Palestinian activists and rights holders, but also to interact with one another in order to enhance mobilization and solidarity for the rights of the Palestinian people.
The virtual field trips, coupled with the legal knowledge provided to participants in the lectures and discussions, allowed participants to comprehend and observe Israel’s forcible transfer crimes. This included virtual field trips to Palestinian villages throughout the West Bank, such as those within the Etzion Colonial Bloc, that are experiencing a process of de facto and de jure annexation. In addition to Palestinian villages in Area C, virtual field visits included a refugee camp tour to Aida in Bethlehem in an effort to highlight the plight of Palestinian refugees and internally displaced persons.
The course also incorporated virtual field visits to Jerusalem and Nazareth to explore Israel’s policies and practices of forcible transfer on both sides of the Green Line. Participants were thereby shown digital stories from Sheikh Jarrah and Silwan, highlighting the most recent cases of forcible transfer and dispossession carried out in Jerusalem as part of the Zionist-Israeli colonial enterprise. The program further exposed participants to the policies that Israel implements to create coercive environments for the Palestinian people, including discriminatory zoning and planning policies in 1948 Palestine.
Through utilizing multiple formats, including lectures and digital stories, the course enhanced participants' understanding of the Israeli military court system, Israeli suppression of resistance, collective punishment, and prisoner movements. Participants were able to listen to stories from Palestinian prisoners and their familes shared in the format of digital stories.
The course further explained Palestine’s position in international politics, including discussions of various approaches to the Palestinian case, policies of third party states, and Israeli impunity in the international community. This encompassed lectures delivered by international advocates on different mechanisms and approaches, namely the ICC, UN treaty bodies and special procedures.
BADIL’s International Mobilization Course for the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People is a recent initiative, which developed in line with its new organizational strategy and will continue to be implemented on an annual basis.