The London-based organization Palestine Return Centre (PRC) hosted a conference which began on Friday, December 11, to discuss the Palestinian Right of Return within historical, political and cultural contexts.
The webinar ‘The Right of Return: 72 Years of Waiting’, featured Huwaida Arraf, Ali Abunimah, Farah Nabulsi, Lubnah Shomali, Najwan Berekdar, Ramzy Baroud, and was chaired by Batool Subeiti. It addressed the issue of the Right of Return as seen from a Palestinian perspective.
“I am a refugee, and for me, this is perhaps the most important part of my identity, it is the core of my identity”, Palestinian journalist and editor of The Palestine Chronicle Ramzy Baroud said.
“The legality of the Right of Return has been long-discussed and I don’t think it has ever been disputed. The issue has constantly been that of politics, how do we make the Right of Return a reality, a political reality the same way that it has been a legal reality enshrined in international law for such a long time, affirmed and reaffirmed by the UN General Assembly throughout the years.”
For her part, Najwan Berekdar, a Palestinian activist and member of the Zochrot organization, which aims at promoting awareness of the Palestinian Nakba, said that “the status of refugees does not just matter for Palestinian refugees but it matters for every Palestinian. In one way or another, we all are refugees.”
“I am from Nazareth, I am not a refugee, I was never expelled from my home, but I do feel a refugee sometimes, I do feel I am a refugee in my own land, and I think many of us do, not because we are not connected to our land but because of the continuous discriminatory policies Israel enforces not only on Palestinian refugees but on us all,” Berekdar added.
Palestinian author and co-founder of the Electronic Intifada Ali Abunimah spoke about the many strategies used by Israel throughout the years to “distract attention from the Nakba”.
“One is outright denial, which we just saw from the Ambassador of the Israeli occupation in London,” Abunimah said, referring to Tzipi Hotovely’s reference to the Nakba as an “Arab lie and a made-up story.”
“The reason that Israel is so desperate to justify or deny the Nakba is because it remains at the heart of the issue, even now, in 2020, more than 70 years after Zionist gangs expelled the Palestinian people from their homeland,” Abunimah added.
To watch the full webinar, see the YouTube link below:
(The Palestine Chronicle)