The Political Program of the Campaign for One Democratic State in Historic Palestine
In recent years, the idea of a one democratic state in all of historic Palestine as the best solution to the conflict has re-emerged. It started gaining increased support in the public domain. It is not a new idea. The Palestinian liberation movement, before the catastrophe of 1948 (the Nakba) and after it, had adopted this vision, including the Palestinian Liberation Organization. The PLO abandoned this idea in the framework of the diplomatic negotiations at the late eighties that led to the Oslo agreement of 1993. The Palestinian leadership hoped that this agreement would enable the building of an independent Palestinian state on the territories that Israel occupied in 1967. But on the ground Israel has strengthened its colonial control, fragmenting the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza into isolated cantons, separated from one another by settlements, checkpoints, military bases and fences. Read more...
Webinars and Films
ICAHD UK Webinar: Clare Short in Conversation with Jeff Halper and Awad Abdelfattah
27 May 2020
Former Labour politician, Clare Short has worked internationally with non-governmental advocacy groups across the developing world and has had long-standing interest in Palestine/Israel. She will be conversation with Awad Abdelfattah from the Galilee and Jeff Halper from Jerusalem. Awad is a political writer and former General Secretary of the Balad political party which aims to transform the state of Israel into a democracy for all its citizens, irrespective of national or ethnic identity. Awad Abdelfattah now leads the One Democratic State Campaign (ODSC)..View video (opens in a new window)
ICAHD UK’s Interview with Awad Abdelfattah
Can you tell us about yourself?
Awad: I was born to a hard-working farming family in Kawkab, a village in the north of Palestine, today Israel. Since childhood, my father told me stories about its history. My family is one of those who survived the expulsion and the ethnic cleansing which the Zionist gangs carried out during and after the 1948 war, the Nakba. At the time, the population of the village was 400 and most of the people remained thanks to the wisdom of a charismatic and influential figure who conducted successful negotiations with the gangs’ officers that occupied my village. However about 20 percent of Kawkab’s residents, many of whom are my relatives, fled as soon as they learned the gangs had gathered village men in front of my grandfather’s house. They were subjected to torture and everybody expected them to be massacred as had happened in many other places. Women were screaming and crying; it was very frightening. At the time, my grandmother had just lost one of her sons while engaged in defending the village, and she expected that her three remaining sons and husband would also be massacred by the Zionists; thankfully they were spared. My father remembers how his brother bled for hours before he died, and he carried the trauma with him for many years. Read more...
ICAHD UK’s Interview with Diana Buttu
Diana, you were born in Canada. What identity did you grow up with?
As the daughter of immigrant parents, I knew - and was made acutely aware - that I was not white; that I was from a different place, but that I was born in Canada. In Canada, there is a lot of veiled racism with people often asking questions to such as “where is ‘back home’?” or “where are you REALLY from?” It becomes both difficult and easy to adopt a “Canadian” identity: easy because it becomes the way of trying to fit in but difficult because you never do. As I say this, however, I think it is important to highlight that, during my education in Canada, Indigenous peoples were rarely, if ever, discussed. Canada was created on top of Indigenous land. Indigenous peoples’ place in the national narrative of the “birth” of Canada has been minimized and viewed as peripheral to the dominant culture’s stories and identity. Read more...
ICAHD UK’s Interview with Majd Nasrallah
Majd, you have recently taken on the role of Coordinator of the One Democratic State Campaign (ODSC). This has not only raised your profile in Palestine/Israel, but also internationally so we’d like to get to know you.
I understand that you’re from Palestine ’48, is that right?
Yes, I am categorized legally as a Palestinian citizen of Israel. In fact, when I usually share with people where I am from – the Triangle region – I get one of two responses; either people have no idea where that is, or people only know the stereotypes of my community: violent, tribal and conservative. As a matter of fact, my close friends usually tease me about being quadruple marginalized as a Palestinian from ’48 disconnected from the wider Palestinian struggle, as an Arab living in the troubled Triangle, as a resident of Qalansuwa, and as a member of a small peasant family.
On the other hand, my mother is from an esteemed family from Nablus, and due to the nature of my parents relationship and professions, they met and established their lives in East Jerusalem where I was born and raised in my early life. Read more...
ICAHD UK’s Interview with Jonathan Kuttab
Jonathan, you’ve established yourself as a leading human rights lawyer in Palestine and Israel, what is your background?
My earliest years were in Bethlehem but then I went to Jerusalem for much of my schooling. At the time, the place was small and movement between them was easy. I went to the US shortly after the June War of 1967, to attend college and law school because I felt that it offered better education. After my studies, I worked at a Wall Street firm in New York to pay off my student debt and then two years later, I returned to Jerusalem which had always been my intention.
ICAHD UK’s Interview with Nadia Naser-Najjab
Nadia, the first time I heard you speak was at the ICAHD UK annual conference in 2018 and since then, I’ve heard you talk at other events, including in British parliament. But I know nothing about your background. Where were you born and where did you spend your childhood?
I was born in Kuwait which is where I grew up. My parents moved there when my father got a job with Kuwait Oil Company (KOC), but he and my uncles used to work at the port in Haifa, where they had purchased a house. But the house was taken in 1948 and a Jewish family moved into it. We are originally from Burqa near Nablus, but my father sought a job in Kuwait to avoid living in poverty. I came along seventeen years later followed by my three younger sisters. As a youngster, I had a nice life in Kuwait. When my father retired, he decided to take his family and return to Palestine. We moved to Burqa, which is where the extended family lived. I was a teenager at the time so that is where I went to high school.
ICAHD UK’s Interview with Haidar Eid
Haidar, you reside in Gaza where two-thirds of the population residing there are from refugee families, is this also the case for you?
Yes, my parents are from the village of Zarnouqa, in the Ramla district, which was ethnically cleansed by Zionist gangs in 1948. I was born in a refugee camp in Gaza and then lived in Gaza City where I grew up. My father worked for UNRWA and my mother was at home. My parents died in 2005 but all of their lives they dreamed of returning to their village.