The 3rd International Conference on the Return of Palestinian Refugees will take place on the lands of the village al-Shaykh Muwannis which was located there till the Nakba.
Address: Eretz Israel Museum,Tel Aviv - Rothschild Auditorium, 2 Haim Levanon St., Tel Aviv

Monday-Tuesday, March 21-22, 2016

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Since the beginning of the Nakba in 1948, hundreds of thousands of Palestinians have lost home and homeland due to the ongoing violence of the State of Israel and Zionist militias against civilian populations. To this day, most Palestinians are refugees dispersed in various locations worldwide, many of them victims of a second and even third displacement.

For 68 years, Israel has consistently prevented the Palestinian refugees from returning.

Zochrot works to promote recognition and responsibility-taking by Jewish Israeli society for its part in the ongoing Nakba and realize the return of Palestinian refugees as the necessary redress of the Nakba.

Zochrot’s activities, including this conference, reach out primarily to Jewish Israeli society in order to promote discussion of return. However, the conference is open to anyone interested in return and contributing to its promotion.

Monday, March 21, 2016

9:30     Registration

10:00   Opening address

10:15   Keynote speaker: Prof. Ilan Pappé – Imagining the Post-Return Space

Prof. Ilan Pappé – Haifa-born historian, University of Exeter, UK

11:00   The Current Situation of Palestinian Refugees / Badil– Resource Center for Palestinian Residency & Refugee Rights, Bethlehem

11:30   Coffee break

12:00   Panel: "Thy children shall come again to their own border”: Learning From Refugee Returns in the World

Chair: Dr. Anat Leibler – A fellow of the Science, Numbers and Politics research project, the Heidelberg Academy of Sciences and Humanities

  • "They are doing it for themselves”: Lessons learned From Self-Organized Return in Post-War Bosnia and Herzegovina / Dr. Selma Porobić – Activist and Forced Migration scholar, Director of the Centre for refugee and IDP studies, University of Sarajevo
  • Repatriation and Reintegration: Lessons From Rwanda / Justine Mbabazi Rukeba – International lawyer and development practitioner, expert in transitional justice, peace and security, and community integration; Team Leader, Deloitte/USAID, Juba, South Sudan
  • How Can the Return be realized: Learning from International Precedents / Muhammad Kayyal - Association for the Defence of the Rights of Internally Displaced Persons


13:30   Lunch break

14:30   Panel: The Return of Palestinian Refugees in the local Civil Society Discourse

Chair: Liat Rosenberg – Director of Zochrot

  • 1967 And Not 1948? On the language, Space and Time of Human Rights Organizations in Israel: Lifta as a Metaphor / Prof. Daphna Golan –Director of Human Rights Fellowship Program, Minerva Center for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, Hebrew University of Jerusalem
  • Visibility, Documentation, Testimony and the Big Elephant / Yudit Ilany – sociopolitical activist and freelance documentarist; photojournalist and correspondent for the Israel Social TV; parliamentary advisor for Member of Knesset Haneen Zoabi
  • Practical Return in Palestinian Civil Society: Challenges and Opportunities / Badil – Resource Center for Palestinian Residency & Refugee Rights, Bethlehem
  • The Intensified Political Activism to Promote Return in Palestinian Society Within 1948 / Nadim Nashif – Director of Baladna, Association for Arab Youth, Haifa


16:00   Coffee break

16:30   Panel: Between Mizrahim and Palestinians: The Tension Between Exclusion and Responsibility

Chair: Dr. Tom Pessah–Yonatan/ Shapira postdoctoral fellow at the Dept. of Sociology and Anthropology, Tel Aviv University

  • Ashkenazi Privileges, the Nakba and the Mizrahim / Tom Mehager – Mizrahi activist and blogger at Haoketz website
  • The Mizrahim and the Nakba: Analyzing the Problematic Conjunction / Dr. Zvi Ben-Dor Benite – Professor of history and Chair of the Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies, NYU
  • We? We Weren’t Even Here”: Between Ethnic Identity and Collective Responsibility / Adi Livny – PhD student, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, member of Zochrot’s Mizrahi Struggle and the Nakba group
  • Holon Project: In search of the Mizrahi Heritage of 1948 / Dr. Hilla Dayan – Amsterdam University College, co-founder of the Israeli Equality Academy and gate48 – platform for critical Israelis in the Netherlands

Respondent: Hana Amoury - Palestinian activist from Yaffa, involved in struggles for public housing and against the occupation; member of Tarabut; previously Director of Sadaka-Reut, an NGO that provides bi-national education


18:30  End of first day


Tuesday, March 22, 2016

9:30     Registration

10:00   Panel: Ongoing Palestinian Refugeehood and the Demand to Return

Chair: Badil – Resource Center for Palestinian Residency & Refugee Rights, Bethlehem

  • Double Displacement and Partial Protection: The Paradox of Palestinians as Constant Refugees, as in the Cases of Syria and Iraq / Nadya R. Tannous – MSc in Refugee and Forced Migration Studies, University of Oxford, England
  • Hoping For Return, Planning for Migration: The Complex Coexistence of Dreamed and Assumed Futures Among Palestinian Refugees in Southern Lebanon / Tiina Järvi – Activist and doctoral student in social anthropology, University of Tampere, Finland
  • The Struggle for Return of Internally Displaced Palestinians in Israel / The Association for the Defence of the Rights of Internally displaced persons
  • Imagining Return: Landscapes of Hope in Recent Israeli and Palestinian Films / Yulia Gilichinskaya – Media artist and theorist, her works deals with border landscapes, marginality, and trauma


11:30   Coffee break

12:00   Panel: Return Now! Local Models (Part 1)

Chair: Umar al-Ghubari– Coordinator of Space for Return, Zochrot

  • Return to Majdal Asqalan / Ideas and Challenges for Return
  • Return to Al-Birwa / A Post-Return Model of the Village
  • Return to Al-Ghabisiyya / 3D film of the reconstructed village
  • Return to Al-Lajjun / Visiting the village as a practice of return

Respondent: Justine Mbabazi Rukeba


13:30   Lunch break

14:30   Panel: Return Now! Local Models (Part 2)

Chair: Umar al-Ghubari– Coordinator of Space for Return, Zochrot

  • Community Power at Iqrit /Shadia Sbait, coordinator of the Iqrit NGO and activist in the struggle of the Iqrit displaced persons for 20 years
  • From the Palestinian Jamassin Al-Gharbi to the Israeli Givat Amal B: Critical Reading of a “historical taboo” / Dr. Uri Davis – Anti-Zionist of European-Jewish descent, born in Jerusalem in 1943, citizen of Apartheid Israel, Member of the Palestinian National Council and Fatah
  • Uncovering the Role of Displaced Women in the Return to Kozarac (Bosnia and Herzegovina) / Dr. Selma Porobić –  Activist and Forced Migration scholar, Director Centre for refugee and IDP studies, University of Sarajevo


16:00   Coffee break

16:30   Cracks in Zionism? The Implications of Return for Zionist Ideology and Practice

Chair: Elisha Baskin – Archival researcher and Zochrot activist

  • Bi-Nationalism in a Nation-State? The Demand for Refugee Return and Criticism of the Nation State in the Writings of Rabbi Binyamin in the Journal "Ner" / Avi-ram Tzoreff – Doctoral student of Jewish history, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev
  • Embracing the Fear: Jewishness That Celebrates Cultural Autonomy Instead of Territorial Sovereignty / Jewdas – Radical voices for the alternative diaspora: Nimrod Evron & Tali Janner-Klausner
  • From Banning the Nakba to Bridging Narrative: Law and Collective Memory of 1948 / Jeremie Bracka - Australian/Israeli human rights lawyer, PhD Candidate at Monash University and Visiting Scholar at Tel Aviv University
  • The key for living together: To each his share / Shuli Dichter – The author of On Tensions and Good Intentions


18:30   Coffee break

19:00   Concluding discussion with the audience: Return - from the margins to the mainstream

20:00 End of conference

For the Registration Form to the conference click here

The conference discussions will be simultaneously interpreted into English, Arabic and Hebrew. 

Address: Eretz Israel Museum - The Rothschild Auditorium, 2 Haim Levanonstreet, Tel Aviv.