Jerusalem-based NGO that favors Palestinian "right of return" and refuses to recognize Israel as a Jewish state
A project of the NGO Alternatives, the Badil Resource Center for Palestinian Residency & Refugee Rights was established in Bethlehem in 1998 to "provide a resource pool of alternative, critical and progressive information and analysis on the question of Palestinian refugees and displaced persons." Badil (pronounced "badeel") is an Arabic word that means "alternative."
A member organization of Al-Awda (a.k.a. the Palestine Right of Return Coalition), Badil refuses to recognize Israel as a legitimate state and actively promotes the "right of return" for 7 million Palestinian refugees whose influx into Israel would render Jews a permanent minority in that nation.
According to Badil, “There are five primary groups of Palestinian refugees and displaced persons. The largest group is comprised of those Palestinians displaced/expelled from their places of origin in 1948. … The second major group … is comprised of those Palestinians displaced for the first time from their places of origin in the West Bank, eastern Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip (often referred to as ‘1967 displaced persons’). The third category ... includes those … who are neither 1948 or 1967 refugees and are outside the Palestinian territories occupied by Israel since 1967 and unable due to revocation of residency, denial of family reunification, deportation, etc., or unwilling to return there owing to a well-founded fear of persecution. [The fourth group] includes internally displaced Palestinians who remained in the area that became the state of Israel in 1948. [The fifth group] includes Palestinians internally displaced in the West Bank, eastern Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip.”
"The majority of Palestinians became refugees during armed conflict and war in Palestine," says Badil. "Sources of flight include indiscriminate [Israeli] attacks on civilians, massacres, looting, destruction of property (including entire villages), and forced expulsion. Israeli military forces adopted 'shoot to kill' policies along the armistice lines to prevent the return of refugees."
Badil's activities are divided into two spheres:
(a) The Campaign Unit "facilitates partnership-based initiatives with local Palestinian and international organizations in order to strengthen refugee identity, promote refugee unity, and empower initiatives of refugee self-organization for Palestinian refugee rights. Activities include workshops on refugee rights, support for rallies and community lobbying, study tours to villages of origin, regional workshops, support for media initiatives including radio and TV series, English training courses for activists ..."
(b) The Research, Information and Legal Advocacy Unit publishes Arabic- (Haq al-Awda) and English-language (Majdal) magazines; conducts an annual Survey of Palestinian Refugees and Internally Displaced Persons; sponsors expert workshops; offers policy advice; and distributes advocacy materials, legal papers, and press releases.
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