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Other Institutions
Haifa Conference for the Right of Return And the Secular Democratic State in Palestine. June 21-22.



Friday and Saturday, June 20-21, 2008

Haifa, Al Midan Theatre, Khouri St 2

The Program

Friday June 20th, 2008

Young members and activists of various

organizations of 48 Palestinians – Discussion of

youth activity in the struggle for a free, enlightened,

democratic and secular society… Memory of the

Nakba and dreams for the future, return of the

refugees, preserving ties amongst various parts of

the Palestinian people, and message to Israeli


17:00 – 19:00

Young People's Encounter

Youth Struggle, Manifesting Return,

Democracy and Secularism

Workshop Facilitator : George Ghantous

The workshop aims to explore the meaning of the

expression "right of return and democratic secular

state", through examining the components of 1)

right of return, 2) secularism and the interrelations

of religion and politics, 3) democracy, 4)

Palestinian identity, 5) pluralism within one society.

17:00 – 19:00

Youth Meeting

Youth Struggle, Manifesting Return,

Democracy and Secularism

Workshop facilitator: Lana Khaskia

19:00 – 22:00 Opening Session

On behalf of the Initiating Committee – Rajaa Zo’abi O’mari

Ayman O’deh – Secretary General - Democratic Front for Peace and Equality


Awad Abed El-Fatah – Secretary General - National Democratic Alliance (BALAD)

Muhammad Kanaa’ne – Secretary General - Abnaa elBalad Movement (The movement

is part of the coalition that constitute the Initiating Committee )

Palestinian speakers from the post-1967 occupied territories and the Diaspora

Dr. Anat Matar

Prof. Bhim Singh from Kashmir

Greetings to the Haifa Conference.

Cultural Program

Saturday, June 21

9:30 – 10:00 Reception and registration in the lobby

10:00 – 10:20 Greetings and dividing into workshops – large hall

9 workshops in three cycles: 3 simultaneous workshops in each cycle

3 workshops

3 workshops

10:30 – 12:00

12:00 – 13:30

13:30 – 14:30 Lunch Break

14:30 – 16:00 3 workshops

16:00 – 16:15 Coffee Break

16:15 – 18:00 Concluding Session

First workshop cycle: 10:30 – 12:00

(1) Aspects of the Conflict in Palestine Facilitator: Hisham Naffa

Dr Massoud


1. The Palestine Question, from understanding the conflict, to

defiance: theory and practice

2. Between national and class levels – the history and horizon of the Wehbe Badarneh

trade union struggle in Palestine

3. The racist separation wall and the World Monetary Fund's policy Doud Hamoudi

4. Israeli economic hegemony – variations in a one complementary Prof. Leila Farsakh

colonialist economic order throughout Palestine

5. The Jewish question and the Jewish state, in view of resisting Eli Aminov

imperialism in Palestine

(2) Zionism and the Borders of Ethnic Cleansing; facilitator: Dr. Johnny Mansour

1. Ethnic cleansing in Zionist ideology and practice Dr. Mahmoud Muhareb

2. The Negev – ethnic cleansing here and now Atiya el-A’assam

3. Cleansing without borders – ethnic cleansing in the Golan and Dr. Taysir Mara’i

failed attempts in South Lebanon

4. Separation as a new form of transfer Jonathan Cook

5. Ethnic cleansing in Palestine, a crime against humanity – who Attorney Walid Al-Fahum

bears the responsibility?


(3) Right of return and the democratic secular state in human rights perspective;

facilitator: Attorney Hussein Abu Hussein

Attorney Hassan


1. Democratic regime throughout Palestine: expanding the borders

of the state of all citizens, and the return of the refugees

2. Right of return of the internally displaced and refugees – between Attorney Wakim Wakim

positive law and natural right

3. Return of the refugees as a condition for humanizing the Israeli Michael Warshavsky

entity – criticism of recognizing the right of return in exchange for

an actual return

4. The democratic secular state – the right to self-determination and Omar Barghouti

de-Zionisation of historical Palestine

Second workshop cycle 12:00 – 13:30

(4) Partition of Palestine: Solving the problem or complicating the solution?

facilitator: Rawiya Shanti

1. Palestine – a one united continual history and geography across the Dr. Ibrahim El-Fanni


2. The colonization and racist separation regime – comparing South Dr. Amneh Badran

Africa and Israel

3. The right of return between the two-state and the one-state solutions Badil - Bethlehem

4. Concluding the one-state solution from international law and Dr. Uri Davis


(5) Palestine towards freedom and return – Philosophical, pedagogical and

political perspectives; facilitator – Salman Natur

1. Dialectics of homeland and Diaspora, and resisting the misleading Prof. Ilan Gur-Ze’ev

temptation of the 'return home'

2. Scenes of the tragedy – notes at the sides of the catch Dr. Ismail Nashef

3. Secularism – supportive environment for the national and cultural Abed Anabtawi

freedom project

4. An optimistic look at the return of the refugees – from an anarchist Eyal Rosenberg

point of view

(6) The Crisis in Israeli Society; facilitator: Ranin Giryes

1. Who's afraid of the return of the refugees? Developing practical Eitan Bronstein

ideas about the return of the refugees to Palestine

2. An optimistic perspective: "Despairing of the state" as a leverage to Ofra Yeshua-Lyth

end the religion/state fixation

3. Jewish Arabs in Israel: will they facilitate the way to the 1 state? Reuven Aberjil

4. Anti-Zionism as a Zionist belonging, and alternatives to a Jewish Yana Knopova

collective identity


13:30 – 14:30 Lunch Break

Third workshop cycle 14:30 – 16:00

(7) Different Perspectives of a One-State Palestine; facilitator Muhammad Kayal

1. A bi-national state for Palestinians and Israelis Dr. As’ad Ghanem

2. A democratic secular republic of all its Palestinian citizens Prof. Yehuda Kupferman

3. The democratic secular state in the context of a liberation vision Muhammad Kana’aneh

of the Arab world

4. The catch and the escape Ahmad Katamesh

(8) Boycotting Israel and Solidarity of Nations; facilitator Samieh Jabbarin

1. Lessons to be learned from South Africa – boycott from without Melissa Hall

and popular struggle within

2. The European civil society’s support of the struggle for return and John Rose

against racism

3. Boycotting Israel – Resisting the normalization of Occupation and Yael Lerer


4. How to comply with the Palestinian call to boycott Israel? Roy Haroush/Kobi Snitz

5. Boycott: civil resistance is the most effective in face of a Omar Barghouti

complicated Zionist Colonial oppression

(9) Approaches to freedom and enlightenment in the activity of civil society

organizations; facilitator Subhi Zgheir

1. Feminism: resisting hegemony in theory and in practice Leila Jaroushi / Areen Hawari

2. The dialectics of the self and the other, and the formation of Awni Kreim

a belonging youth Palestinian identity

3. Towards liberation of the Israeli Society of Hegemony and Dr. Mary Totari

the Nakba denial

4. The Palestine 48 struggle against discrimination and racism, Muhammad Zidan

differs but completes the struggle of the Palestinian people

16:00 – 16:15 Break


16:15 – 18:00 Concluding Plenary; facilitator Makbula Nassar

Presentation of workshops conclusions;

discussion on what to do tomorrow, and how to define the tasks at hand?


17:00 Proposal for a concluding public statement

17:15 Discussion with audience participation

Joining the Follow-up Committee for ongoing activity

(defining timetable for the final formulation of public statement)


18:00 Closure


- Activists of the Haifa and the region area will host guests from other areas.

- We request guests to inform us of their interest in accommodations.


- Guests from abroad interested in tours to familiarize themselves with other aspects – political

and social – of the struggle, are requested to inform us in order to a guided tour to be organized.


Yoav Bar 0544 790989 yoav_bar@mail.com

Rajaa Zoabi Omari 0542 117796 rajaaomari57@gmail.com

Participation in absentia and support letters

Unfortunately the conference dates could not be suited to the schedules of all those who found

interest in it, and we have chosen to enable participation in absentia in the following ways:

1. Publishing articles, studies, and position papers about the right of return and the democratic

secular state at the conference website.

2. Papers written especially for the conference will be printed along with all the conference

papers in a book we are planning to publish.

3. Support and greeting letters to the conference will be posted on the website and we shall read

them out at the opening session.

4. Those interested in joining the follow-up committee of the conference are requested to notify us.



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