UN Resolution 194 was passed on December 11th 1948. The resolution adopted stipulated that the refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbours should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date, and that compensation should be paid for the property of those choosing not to return and for loss of or damage to property under principles of international law or in equity by the Governments or authorities responsible. It calls on the Conciliation Commission to facilitate the repatriation, resettlement and economic and social rehabilitation of the refugees and the payment of compensation.
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HASSANAL: And also I will be sharing this on the Facebook, okay so, Junaid please feel free to, I’ll hand over the session to you so feel free to begin. Thank you.
JUNAID AHMAD: Thank you very much Hassanal. Hello and welcome everyone. My name is Junaid Ahmad and I teach law, religion and world politics in Pakistan. I welcome to all of our participants in every corner of the globe. I welcome all of you on behalf of our organization, The Movement for Liberation From Nakba or MLN, for short. Allow me first to give both a brief introduction to MLN as well as the topic at hand today. Movement from liberation from Nakba is a coalition of organizations and individuals based throughout the world and in particular in Asia and the global south more broadly. We’re involved in a variety of global justice initiatives but we all come together in MLN to demonstrate our absolute and unequivocal solidarity with the Palestinians. MLN aims to educate and create awareness about historical Palestine, the 1948 Nakba, the Palestinian minority inside Israel, of course the occupied West bank and the besieged Gaza Strip and the plight of millions of Palestinian refugees. Our goal is to serve as a platform of informed analysis of the Palestinian struggle against Israeli colonization. We try to situate the discussion of Palestine, squarely within the matrix of anti-colonialism and anti-racism and the framework of human rights and international humanitarian law. For us, to be anti-Zionist is to be anti-colonial and to be anti-racist. With this premise, we center a narrative that affirms the Palestinian struggle for liberation from ongoing Israeli settler colonialism from the Zionist inflicted ongoing Nakba. Please do visit our website and our Facebook page, our friends will post that if it’s not already been posted, I think it has in our chat box, to find out more about us, to join in our global movement.
The topic for today’s webinar is incredibly pertinent for the day that we’re holding it on December, 11th. The topic is resolution 194 and the practicalities of the right of return. So just a few words about the resolution before we have our speakers begin.European resolution, 194 , was passed on December, 11, 1948 ,hence the choice for today for this event. The resolution adopted stipulated that the refugees wishing to return to their homes and live in peace with their neighbours should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date and that compensation should be paid for the property of those choosing not to return or for loss or damage to property which under principles of international law or an equity by the government or authorities responsible. It calls on the conciliation commission to facilitate the repatriation,resettlement and economic and social rehabilitation of the refugees and the payment of compensation.Our speakers today are deeply engaged in studying and acting on the questions surrounding this issue.We will have our first speaker begin the discussion and then we will have two discussions to respond and then we will have discussion as the format indicates as a round table in which our participants, hopefully,also have their questions and comments.
So let me introduce our speakers really quickly and then get right into it. Our speaker who will lead the discussion today is Lubnah Shomali, a Palestinian human rights defender and activist. She’s with BADIL resource center for Palestinian residency and refugee rights. BADIL is a Palestinian human rights organization established in 1998, dedicated to defending and promoting the rights of Palestinian refugees and internally displaced persons. BADIL is one of the leading and most respected resources on historic and contemporary forcible transport and the Palestinian refugee and IDP issue. Our discussions will include, first, Professor Ilan Pappe, one of the leading historians of Palestine in the world. Author of many works including the very important, ‘ethnic cleansing of Palestine’. Professor Pappe is with the College of social sciences and international studies at the university of Exeter, where he is the director of the European center for Palestine studies at college. Professor Pappe’s role in combating Zionism through meticulous scholarship has been second to none. His invaluable contribution towards the liberation of Palestine can in no way be understated. And our final discussant is Na’eem Jeenah, he is the executive director of the ‘Afro-Middle East Center’, a research institute dedicated to studying the middle east and north Africa, based in Johannesburg, South Africa. He’s been a lifelong activist and public intellectual, a young militant activist against Apartheid, a prominent voice for justice and leader amongst Muslims in groups such as ,’the Muslim youth movement’, and generally speaking a tireless and formidable Palestine solidarity activist. Not only in South Africa but globally. So as we can all see we have a very distinguished group of speakers to lead this very important discussion on this very important day. So at this point, I will ask Lubnah to begin our discussion and then we can get responses from both professor Pappe and Na’eeem. So Lubnah, the virtual floor is yours. To read the full transcript, click on the link: UN Resolution