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Anti-Israel Conferences
TAU Gadi Algazi, Raef Zreik, Neta Ziv, Mahmoud Yazbak, Hunida Ghanem: Discriminatory legal system, political repression, state violence


Gadi Algazi, Raef Zreik, Neta Ziv, Mahmoud Yazbak, Hunida Ghanem: Discriminatory legal system, political repression, state violence

http://www.adalah.org/eng/pressreleases/pr.php?file=13_10_10

 
ADALAH PRESS RELEASE
13 October 2010 

Adalah Holds 5th Annual Arab Law Students’ Conference on “The Right to Protest”

From 7-9 October 2010 Adalah held its 5th Annual Arab Law Students’ Conference at Wahat al-Salaam/Neve Shalom, a camping ground on the outskirts of Jerusalem. Arab students studying law at Israeli colleges and universities, among them Haifa University, Tel Aviv University, and The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, came together as a group for a series of legal lectures workshops led by Arab and Jewish academics, lawyers and activists.

The conference began with a tour of Jerusalem, led by Khalil Tufkji and Mahmoud Bilal, during which the students were given an in-depth account of many of the problems afflicting Palestinians in East Jerusalem, including poverty and inability to obtain building permits. The students were taken to the Arab neighborhood of Silwan, for which home demolition plans have recently been approved. The students were also able to speak to members of the Palestinian Legislative Council whose permanent residency status has been revoked. Many of the students stated their appreciation for the opportunity to see and learn about the complex and urgent situation of Arab East Jerusalem first hand, something that cannot be taught in the classroom.

The students then arrived at the conference site where they attended an evening lecture on “Cause Lawyering and Civil Society Activism”. Dr. Raef Zreik of the Minerva Center, Tel Aviv University, gave a thought-provoking and provocative lecture in which he stressed the divide between political and legal avenues of activism and expression. Next, Attorney Neta Ziv, Director of the Cegla Clinical Law Programs at the Tel Aviv University law school took the students through a chronology of the evolution of cause lawyering in Israel, focusing on the role played by Arab lawyers and the October 2000 events, which allowed Adalah to become a more central actor in Arab civil society in Israel. As a result, she argued Arab civil society became more active in confronting the legal challenges that face the Palestinian national minority in Israel. Hadas Ziv of Physicians for Human Rights-Israel discussed the role of medical ethics and stressed the multiple avenues through which to engender change, advising the students not to limit themselves to purely legal means.

The second day began with a panel on “October 2000: Ten Years without Accountability.” Dr. Mahmoud Yazbak of Haifa University and Chair of the Board of Directors of Adalah provided the students with an historical account of political repression and state violence against Palestinians. He stated that the October 2000 events differed from previous incidents due to the unprecedented collective reaction on the part of the Arab minority and internal societal changes that took place in their aftermath. Next Adalah Attorney Orna Kohn took the students through the series of actions and challenges undertaken by Adalah in seeking accountability for the killings from the Israeli legal system. Suheila Ghattas, 20, a law student at Haifa University responded to the lecture as follows, “Orna was great as she presented the facts very clearly and clarified how the law was used to cover up the crimes that took place after the October 2000 events, rather than to hold its violators to account”. Dr. Hunida Ghanem, the General Director of Madar – The Palestinian Forum for Israeli Studies, then spoke of the importance of documenting the October 2000 events in order to keep the issue of accountability active in the collective memory of Arab citizens of Israel.

During the third panel, on “Suppression of Popular Movements and Protest Demonstrations,” criminal defense lawyer Attorney Hussein Abu Hussein spoke about the tools of repression used by the Israeli government and the political repression of Arab society in Israel in general. He discussed how the State of Israel’s inherently racist character creates the conditions for political repression. Political activist Ayman Odeh then shared his personal experiences of political persecution. Adalah Attorney Abeer Baker stressed the importance of interpreting the restrictions of political freedoms as a systemic problem that permeates all Israeli state institutions, while drawing interesting comparisons with systemic patterns of discrimination against the African-American minority in the United States.

The following panel, on “Student Movements and Freedom of Expression in Israeli Universities,” opened with a lecture by Attorney Auni Banna of the Association for Civil Rights in Israel focused on the history of freedom of speech and its importance in a democratic society. He then emphasized the significance of freedom of expression on university campuses and the repression of Arab students’ right to freedom of expression. This session was followed by a presentation by Weaam Baloum, 21, a law student at Haifa University, about the challenges that Arab students face in terms of political expression within a prejudiced and discriminatory university environment. The fourth panel, which ended the second day, addressed the issue of the “Documentation of Human Rights Violations.” It featured a lecture and film screening, in association with Israeli Social TV, at which the students were shown videos produced by this alternative news source, and learned about the importance of the various means of documenting human rights violations.

The conference closed with a series of workshops led by human rights lawyers and activists. The workshop themes included international protest movements, the suppression of the rights of freedom of expression and demonstration in the West Bank and Gaza, protesting against the policy of home demolitions, and popular movements in mixed cities in Israel.

Overall the reaction to the conference was very positive and many students expressed a strong interest in helping determine the themes of next year’s conference, in order to build on the knowledge gained during this year’s conference. The success of Adalah’s 5th Annual Arab Law Students’ Conference underscores the importance of providing young Arab law students with the largely absent perspective of lawyering as members of the Arab minority within a discriminatory legal system.

Tariq Khateeb, 23, a law student at Haifa University, commented, “I enjoyed and benefited from all the panels, especially by learning about the Israeli legal system from the Arab/Palestinian perspective rather than the Israeli perspective we receive at university. I acquired basic legal skills to deal with the challenges that we face as Arab law students and future lawyers in Israel. In addition, it was great to have the chance to meet many new students, professionals and academics involved in issues that Arabs face as minority in Israel.”

http://www.adalah.org/newsletter/eng/sep10/docs/Programe.pdf 

Adalah’s Fifth Legal Students Conference

“The Right to Protest”

When: October 7th-9th

Where: Neve Shalom

Day 1: Thursday, 7 October 2010

9:00 - Leave from Adalah's office (Haifa) and from Nazareth to Jerusalem

11:00 – 14:00 - Jerusalem Tour

15:00 - 17:00 - Arrive to Neve Shalom / Wahat al-Salam. Check in and lunch

17:00 – 18:00 - Welcome and introductions

18:00- 19:30

Opening Seminar

Cause-Lawyering and Civil Society Activism

Moderator: Hassan Jabareen, Advocate,

General Director of Adalah

Participants:

Dr. Neta Ziv, Faculty of Law,

Tel Aviv University, Director of the Cegla Clinical Law

Programs

Raef Zraik,

Tel Aviv University

Hadas Ziv, General Director,

Physicians for Human Rights-Israel

Dr. Ishai Menuchin,

General Director, The Public Committee Against Torture in Israel

20:00 - Dinner

21:00 - Free Time

Day 2: Friday, 8 October 2010

8:00-10:00 – Breakfast

10:00-11:30

Seminar 2: “October 2000”

Ten Years without Accountability

Moderator: Dr. Mahmoud Yazbak

Chairperson of the Board of Directors of Adalah

Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of Humanities, Middle East History, Haifa University

Participants:

Hilmi Bishnaq:

Representative of the martyr’s families

Dr. Hunida Ghanem,

General Director, Madar – The Palestinian Forum for Israeli

Studies

Attorney Orna Kohn,

Adalah Lawyer

11:30 - 11:45- Coffee Break

11:45- 13:30

Seminar 3: Suppression of Popular Movements and

Protest Demonstrations

Moderator: Attorney Fuad Sultani,

Member of Adalah's Board of Directors

Participants:

Attorney Ayman Awda:

Political Activist

Attorney Hussein Abu Hussein,

Criminal defense lawyer

Attorney Abeer Baker,

Adalah Lawyer

13:30-15:00 - Lunch and Break

15:00- 16:30

Seminar 4: Student Movements and Freedom of Expression

in Israeli Universities

Moderator: Dr. Khaled Abu Asbeh,

Member of Adalah’s Board of Directors

Director of the Masar Institute for Educational Research, Planning and Counseling

Participants

:

Wiaam Balaoom,

Law Student at Haifa University

Attorney Auni Banna,

Lawyer with the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI)

17:00 - 19:00

Visual Documentation of Human Rights Violations

Lecture and film screening in association with Social TV

19:00-

Dinner and Entertainment

Day 3: Saturday 9 October 2010

9:00–10:30 – Breakfast

10:30- 12:30

Workshops:

Global protest movements (e.g., advocacy concerning the Goldstone report and the

Gaza Freedom Flotilla)

Attorney Fatmeh al Ajou –

Adalah Legal Center

Aylat Mawz –

Coalition of Women for Peace

Suppression of the rights of freedom of expression and demonstration in the

West Bank

Attorney Zari Ramati

Protesting against the policy of home demolitions (e.g., the destruction of Al

Araqib and Umm al-Heiran villages in the Naqab)

Professor Jadi Ghazi –

Tel Aviv University

Popular movements in the mixed cities in Israel (e.g., Yaffa-Tel Aviv)

Dr. Sami Abu Shehadeh

Attorney Hisham Shabayta –

Human Rights Clinic – Tel Aviv University

13:30 - 15:30 - Lunch and room check out

15:30 – 16:30 - Summary and goodbye

 

 

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