Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign
التضامن الإيرلندي الفلسطيني

Statement: 75 years of the Ongoing Nakba, 75 years of Ongoing Resistance

The following statement was issued on Nakba Day, May 15th 2023, by BADIL Resource Center for Palestinian Residency and Refugee Rights. It was co-signed by more than 180 organisations from around the world, including the Ireland-Palestine Solidarity Campaign. You can see all of our #Nakba75 events around Ireland here

For more than 75 years, the Israeli-perpetrated ongoing Nakba has resulted in the protracted forced displacement of 66 percent of the Palestinian people.

The ongoing Nakba is maintained by Israel’s colonial-apartheid regime’s policies and practices, namely: land confiscation and denial of use, denial of access to natural resources and services, annexation, suppression of resistance, denial of residency, segregation, fragmentation and isolation, the imposition of discriminatory planning and permit regime, and denial of reparations.

The Israeli policies and practices that maintain this system and deny the Palestinian people’s rights to return and self-determination go beyond mere human rights violations. Rather, they constitute the Israeli regime’s three main pillars: Palestinian displacement and transfer, colonization and apartheid. These pillars, which are translated into Israeli laws, policies and practices, aim to control the maximum amount of land with the minimum number of Palestinians. Correspondingly, the perpetuation of the Nakba – made feasible by the lack of practical measures to hold Israel accountable for its international crimes – reflects the extent of international complicity with the Israeli colonial-apartheid regime in Palestine.

As a result of the ongoing Nakba, 9.17 million Palestinians have experienced forced displacement and/or transfer, which includes a total of 8.36 million refugees and 812,000 internally displaced persons, constituting the largest and most protracted displaced population in the world. Meanwhile, Palestinian refugees in exile continue to find themselves in an international protection lacuna. Arab countries, for example, deny Palestinian refugees their human rights, including those stipulated in the Arab League Protocol on the Treatment of Palestinian Refugees (Casablanca Protocol, 1965) to which they are signatories.

In Syria, the demographic and political weight of Palestinian refugees has been targeted and weakened during the war and ensuing political strife. In Lebanon, the government treats Palestinian refugees as ‘foreigners’ and deprives them of their civil, economic and social rights to the point that a significant percentage suffers from extreme poverty. These actions are justified under the false pretext of preserving the right of return and Palestinian identity. Depriving Palestinian refugees of their human rights during the period of their refugeehood, however, constitutes a violation of return as it enables the continuation of Israeli policies, and the repeated displacement of Palestinians. At the same time, western states practice discrimination against Palestinian refugees fleeing armed conflicts in a number of Arab countries such as Syria, Lebanon, Iraq and Libya.

After 75 years of ongoing Nakba, the international community continues to neglect its legal and moral responsibilities towards the Palestinian people, and to provide support and immunity to the Israeli regime. Western states have been obstructing the enforcement of international law and accountability mechanisms vis-à-vis the Palestinian people. This obstruction is exemplified by vetoes of United Nations Security Council Resolutions, the failure to enforce dozens of existing resolutions, undermining ICC investigations, ignoring UNRWA’s chronic funding crisis, neglecting to provide effective protection for Palestinian refugees, and the lack of practical measure to hold Israel accountable, such as arms embargos and sanctions.

This lack of action has resulted in an umbrella of political, economic and military impunity for the Israeli colonial-apartheid regime. Moreover, the complicity of Western states is demonstrated in colonial and discriminatory statements made by the presidents of the USA administration and the EU Commission in congratulating the establishment of the Israeli colonial-apartheid regime.

The United Nations, originally responsible for the illegal partition of Palestine, continues to ignore the necessity of a human rights-based decolonization approach and solution to the core issues of the Israeli colonial-apartheid regime. The decolonization approach for Palestine is particularly relevant since the UN Conciliation Commission for Palestine, the agency mandated to provide international protection, including the right of return according to UNGA Resolution 194 has been defunct for as many decades as the ongoing Nakba.

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Refugees (UNRWA), which is the sole agency responsible for assisting Palestinian refugees, is still regarded as a temporary agency whose budget depends on the voluntary contributions of states, which decreases annually despite the increase in the number of refugees and their growing needs. In the absence of a compulsory funding mechanism, UNRWA is being sabotaged through the imposition of securitization procedures and conditional funding by Israel and the US, particularly with the recently proposed USA draft law.

This situation has resulted in the drastic reduction of services as Palestinian refugees’ needs continue to rise. Other strategic attacks on UNRWA that call for transferring its responsibilities to other agencies and organizations constitute unlawful attempts to alter its mandate – the  only way the mandate can be altered is through a UN resolution, which would thereby not only protect UNRWA but also by extension, Palestinian refugees. Such a resolution must necessarily expand UNRWA’s mandate to include all Palestinian refugees and provide all the components of international protection (i.e., physical, legal, and humanitarian protection).

The historic and current international response to Palestine is one that is based in a conflict resolution paradigm and a humanitarian approach. The ‘conflict’ in Palestine is perceived to be between two equal parties with equally valid claims requiring a ‘balanced’ response. Both the paradigm and the approach are erroneous as they fail to take into consideration Israel’s violent colonial origins and have, as such, grievously obscured the root causes and ignored Israel’s domination and oppression of the Palestinian people.

The reality, however, is that Palestinians are confronted with two Israeli forms of domination – colonization and apartheid – which deny the Palestinian people’s inalienable rights to return and self-determination. As such, the right to resist foreign domination and oppression as a means of liberation and in pursuit of the rights of self-determination and return is an irrefutable fact in the case of Palestine.

The only approach and solution to the ongoing Nakba is a comprehensive rights-based decolonization framework. This approach must tackle the root causes of the Israeli colonial-apartheid regime and fulfill the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, specifically the rights of self-determination and return.

To decolonize Palestine in a way that will achieve a lasting and just peace means uprooting and dismantling the pillars of the Israeli regime: forced displacement and transfer, colonization, and apartheid.

Return is our right and our will

One people, one destiny, and return is certain

Ensuring a stable and adequate budget for UNRWA without political conditions is an obligatory international responsibility

Granting refugees their human rights in host countries supports their right to return to their original homes

Endorsing Organizations and Networks:

  1. BADIL Resource Center for Palestinian Residency and Refugee Rights
  2. Global Palestinian Refugee Network (GPRN) – 40 Organization
  3. Libyan House of University Students Representatives – 23 Universities Palestinian Performing Arts Network – 13 Organization
  4. El-Funoun Palestinian Popular Dance Troupe
  5. Al-Harah Theater
  6. Palestinian Institute for Cultural Development NAWA
  7. Wishah Popular Dance Troupe
  8. Al-Awda Center – Toulkarem
  9. The popular Theater – Amari camp
  10. Haifa Center- Tulkarem
  11. Ansar Center – Al-Walajeh Village
  12. Lajee Center – Aida Camp
  13. Ibdaa Foundation for Child Development – Dheshieh Camp
  14. Addar for Culture and Art – Nazreth
  15. Jouthor Association – Dheisheh Refugee Camp
  16. Yafa Cultural Center – Balatah Refugee Camp
  17. Shorouq Organization – Dheisheh Refugee Camp
  18. Palestinian Children Cultural Center – Al-Fawar Refugee Camp
  19. Al-Fawar Youth Cultural Center
  20. Baladi for Culture and Art- Beit Jala
  21. Addamer Support and Human Rights Association
  22. Defence for Children International
  23. Al-Haq Association
  24. Besan Benevolent Association- Gaza
  25. Political and Religious Parties – Gaza
  26. Educational Diversity Group – Gaza
  27. National Rehabilitation Association – Gaza
  28. Al Rabwat Charity for development – Gaza
  29. Committee to Promote Community Resilience – Qaa Al Areen Community – Gaza
  30. Committee to Promote Community Resilience – Mawasi Community – Gaza
  31. Al- Mawada Heritage Association – Gaza
  32. Al-Qarara Association for Rural Women Development – Gaza
  33. Al – Muna Association for Development – Gaza
  34. Yafa Youth Association – Gaza
  35. Wifaq Association for Women and Children – Gaza
  36. Al-Fukhari Association for Development – Gaza
  37. Khaza’a Center for continuous tillage – Gaza
  38. Beit Al-Mustaqbal Association – Gaza
  39. Association of Women Charitable Program – Der Al Balah – Gaza
  40. Palestine Vanguard Organization – Gaza
  41. Women’s Program Center Association – Beach Camp – Gaza
  42. Majd Al-Krum Movement – Majd Al-Krum – Palestine 1948
  43. Aidoun Association – Lebanon
  44. Al Karmel Sport Center – Shatila Refugee Camp – Lebanon
  45. Nuwat Association Social Solidarity Center – Lebanon
  46. Chess Club – Lebanon
  47. Beirut Heritage Soceity – Lebanon
  48. Nahr Al-Bared Youth – Lebanon
  49. Al-Adab Magazine – Lebanon
  50. Fraternity Association Beirut – Lebanon
  51. Human Call Association – Ein El -Helweh Camp – Lebanon
  52. Future Leaders Youth Movement – Lebanon
  53. Libyan General Student Union (23 Universities)
  54. Al houlah association – Lebanon
  55. Majed Abu Sharar Media Foundation – MASMF
  56. One State Youth Initiative – Lebanon
  57. Free Palestine Melbourne – Australia
  58. Center for the Study of Islam and Decoloniality – Pakistan
  59. Palestine Solidarity Committee – Pakistan
  60. JUST-IS Interfaith Solidarity against Global Militarism and for Social Justice
  61. Intal Globalize Solidarity – Belgium
  62. Ireland-Palestine Solidarity Campaign
  63. Palestine Solidarity Network Aotearoa
  64. BeaconResearch Ltd
  65. Palestine Israel Ecumenical Network (PIEN)
  66. Australians for Palestine
  67. BADAYL
  68. Australia Palestine Advocacy Network
  69. European Legal Support Center (ELSC)
  70. Sheffield Palestine Solidarity Campaign
  71. International Movement for a Just World
  72. Manchester Palestine Solidarity Campaign
  73. Stop the JNF – UK
  74. Sheffield Palestine Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid
  75. Brighton and Hove Palestine Solidarity Ccampaign
  76. Palestine Action Scotland
  77. Sabeel
  78. IAJS
  79. Loud Jew Collective
  80. Jews against the Occupation Australia
  81. Whatcom Peace and Justice Center
  82. Kairos Palestine
  84. Utrecht in Solidarity with Palestine
  85. Makan UK
  86. Free Palestine Maastricht
  87. Palestine Solidarity Campaign UK
  88. Palestine Solidarity Rotterdam
  89. Australian Foundation for Palestinian Children
  90. Center for Global Education
  91. Students for Justice in Palestine – Amsterdam
  92. West African Human Rights Defenders’ Network
  93. Indiana Center for Middle East Peace
  94. Israeli Committee Against Home Demolitions (ICAHD-USA)
  95. Gaza Bristol Friendship Group
  96. Black Republic Publication
  97. Plataforma de Solidaridad con Palestina – Granada
  98. Palestine Solidarity Alliance south africa
  99. Movement for Liberation from Nakba (MLN)
  100. Kumi Now
  101. South African BDS Coalition
  102. Sabeel Kairos Norway
  103. Venceremos, Partido de Trabajadorxs
  104. Juventud Chileno-Arabe por Palestina de Valdivia
  105. Movimiento Amplio de lZquierda, de Argentina
  106. Movimiento Venezolano de Solidaridad con Palestina
  107. Masar Badil
  108. Al-Yudur
  109. Alkarama – Palestinian women’s movement
  110. African Centre for Democracy and Human Rights Studies
  111. New Weapons Research Group (NWRG)
  112. Law for Palestine
  113. PSC Gauteng, South Africa
  114. Trinity College Dublin Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Implementation Group
  115. Indo Palestine Solidarity Network
  116. Friends of Sabeel, North America (FOSNA)
  117. Asociación Paz con Dignidad
  118. International Institute for Nonviolent Action (NOVACT)
  119. Comité de Solidaridad con los Pueblos-Interpueblos Cantabria
  120. Comunidad Palestina en Canarias
  121. BDS País Valencià
  122. Anticapitalistas
  123. BDS Almería
  124. United Methodists for Kairos Response (UMKR)
  125. Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network
  126. Plate-forme Charleroi-Palestine
  127. Kairos Palestine Sweden
  128. Collectif Palestine Vaincra
  129. UK-Palestine Mental Health Network
  130. Groningen for Palestine
  131. ActivistenpartijUvA
  132. Activistenpartij
  133. UvAsociaal
  134. University of Gothenburg
  135. Kairos Sabeel netherlands
  136. Saddlworth Palestine Women’s Scholarship Fund
  137. Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union
  138. Comhaltas na Mac Léinn Ollscoil na Gaillimhe, University of Galway Students’ Union
  139. TU Dublin Students’ Union
  140. DCU Student’s Union
  141. International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network
  142. Comhlamh justice for Palestine
  143. plant een olijfboom
  144. Young Communist League of Britain
  145. Madison for Palestine
  146. Association France Palestine Solidarité (AFPS)
  147. Carlow College Students’ Union
  148. Association of Young Democrats
  149. National Council of Churches in India- Kairos India Partnership (NCCI)
  150. Indo-Palestine Solidarity Network
  151. Arab Lawyers Association – UK
  152. Arab Lawyers Netwok
  153. European Coordination of Committees and Associations for Palestine (EECP)
  154. Associació Catalunya-Liban
  155. Ateneu del Món ONG
  156. Plataforma de Solidaridad con Palestina de Sevilla
  157. SUDS
  158. SODEPAZ – Solidaridad para el Desarrollo y la Paz
  159. Coalició Prou Complicitat amb Israel
  160. Comité de Solidaridad con la Causa Árabe (CSCA)
  161. Plataforma Solidaria con Palestina de Valladolid
  162. RESCOP – Red Solidaria Contra la Ocupación de Palestina
  163. Plataforma Córdoba con Palestina
  164. Plataforma unitària contra les violències de gènere
  165. Asociación Pro Derechos Humanos de Andalucía
  166. Muslim Counterpublics Lab
  167. Democratic Lawyers Association of Bangladesh
  168. Just Peace Advocates/Mouvement Pour Une Paix Juste
  169. Indian Association of Lawyers
  170. Palestinian and Jewish Unity (PAJU)
  171. Colectiva Actoras de Cambio
  172. Association Marocaine des Droits Humains
  173. Organización de Mujeres Salvadoreñas por la Paz (ORMUSA)
  174. Belgian Academics and Artists for Palestine (BAA4P/BACBI)
  175. Africa4Palestine
  176. Edmonton Small Press Association
  177. Arab Organization for Human Rights
  178. Baltimore Nonviolence Center
  179. International Organization for the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (EAFORD)
  180. Association Marocaine Mains Solidaires
  181. Aida-Celtic Club
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