For the return of Palestinian refugees
And for the Democratic Secular State in Historic Palestine
Haifa, Al-Midan Theater, 28-30/5/2010
The preparatory committee is welcoming all those interested in participating in the conference.
As preparations to the conference are progressing, we update our welcome letter with more details of the program and the procedures. This dispatch was last updated on 10/5/2010.
This update is written to highlight both the progress in the preparation of the program and the growing interest in the conference, as many international delegations are signing up.
We are still working on the program of the conference, but we are able to publish a tentative outline that may help you make your plans.
Coming to Haifa
Friday, May 28
We expanded the Friday program to allow the best utilization of the time of the international delegations for networking with local activists and organizations.
10:00 Special interest networking meetings, according to prior coordination: Political parties, Feminist organizations, Religious dialogue, Social science, Physicians for Human Rights, etc.
14:00 Walking tour in Haifa.
14:00 Youth meeting: The role of the Palestinian youth in support of the right of return (Arabic).
16:00 Workshops: Getting to know the participating delegations (in the big hall) + Homage to Haifa (in the small hall).
18:00 Reception: Films, Food
19:00 Opening Session: Key political speakers, Cultural program
Between the speaker: Ghada Karmi, Ilan Pappe, Muhammad Kana’ane and a speaker from the 67 occupied territories. Special greetings from guest delegations from five continents.
Saturday, May 29
09:00 – 10:00 Gathering and registration + Breakfast
10:00 – 10:30 General meeting – Welcome + Distribution to workshops
10:30 – 12:15 Three parallel Workshops
12:30 – 14:15 Three parallel Workshops
14:30 – 15:30 Lunch
15:30 – 17:15 Three parallel Workshops
17:30 – 18:30 Presentation of workshop results in plenum
19:00 – 22:00 Cultural Event
Sunday, May 30
10:00 Trip to the Galilee: The destroyed villages and the unrecognized villages.
10:00 – 15:00 – Consultations for the establishment of an international coalition.
The Themes of the Workshops
The program contains the following workshops:
1. The return of Palestinian refugees: Refugees in their homeland, Planning for the return, Legal views on the right of return and property rights, 62 years of struggle for the return.
2. Different views about the conflict and the road toward Democratic Palestine: Democratic perspective, The Bi-National state proposal, Islamic perspective, Socialist perspective.
3. The political role of Palestinian prisoners’ movement and participation from the prisoners in formulating the conference’s positions.
4. The vision of a democratic secular Palestine.
5. The Democratic solution to the Palestinian cause and the struggle for the future of the Arab World: The Lebanese example, Social and National struggle in Egypt, Confronting imperialist hegemony, Arab Unity,
6. Criticism of Zionist Colonialism and support for the Secular Democratic alternative – Different methodologies: Human Rights, International Law, Struggle and Liberation.
There will be three special workshops for activists to participate in discussing experiences and building together the coalition and the global campaign for the return of the Palestinian refugees and for the democratic secular state:
· Building Palestinians convergence around the program in different locations. Our participation in the resumption of the Palestinian unity in struggle.
· Building an international movement to support this program.
· Building Arab-Jewish partnership in struggle.
Partial list of the workshop speakers
Details of some workshop are still under construction and discussion. Because of technical problems, we are forced to publish a partial list of speakers.
With our full apology and respect for every participant and speaker.
Lawyer Wakeem Wakeem: Refugees in their homeland
Eytan Bronstein: Planning for the return project
Lawyer Suhad Bishara: The legal aspect of the return and property rights
Rajaa Zo’abi ‘Omari: The puzzle of a "single state" option, in view of Regional Settings for a deadlocked global system
Shir Haifr: The economy perspective of one state
Samah Idris: The Lebanese experience
Eli Aminov: A critical comparison between the different solutions of the conflict
Abed Anbetawi: The importance of 'the secularity' in the one state proposal
An Alexander: The working class in Egypt
Omar al Barghuthi: The Democratic vision
Raja Aghbaria: The Democratic Secular state as a political struggle project
Hisham Nafaa': A Socialist approach concerning the conflict and its resolution
Noel Ignatiev: Zionism as an ideology of race.
Willhelm Langthaler: The struggle in the West against Imperialism
Dr. Haidar A'id: The experience of South Africa
Languages: All major discussions will be held in Arabic, Hebrew and English with simultaneous translation.
- There are no registration fees to the conference. Participation is open to the public (registration is not a precondition).
- All the conference is paid for by donations. Your contributions are essential for the success of the conference and will be most appreciated. Donations may be transferred to the bank account as published on the site or paid directly in the conference.
- Activists from Haifa and the region 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. We will be ready to help in organizing guided tours and more political encounters.
· Participation in absentia
Unfortunately the conference dates could not be suited to the schedules of all those who found interest in it. Even worse, many of those people that are most interested in participation, Palestinians from the West Bank and Gaza and from the Diaspora, are prevented by Israel from coming to Haifa. We welcome participation in absentia in the following ways:
2. Support and greeting letters to the conference will be posted on the website and we shall read them out at the opening session.
3. Sign a petition in support of the conference, using the link on the site: http://www.petitiononline.com/ror1stat/petition.html
4. We welcome the initiative to hold preparatory or parallel events in other locations.
5. We call on all supporters of the goals of the conference to contact us in order to work together for the building of an international coalition for the return of the Palestinian refugees and for the Democratic Secular state in Historic Palestine.