28-30 May 2010, Haifa, Al-Midan Theater
The first Haifa conference for the right of return and a democratic secular state in historic Palestine was held on 20-21/6/2008. It met with wide interest and support and raised many hopes in different sections of the public. The success of the first conference and the growing interest in and endorsement of the one democratic state solution, locally and internationally, encouraged us to hold a second conference. A large number of activists and increasing number of political parties and organizations, in historic Palestine and abroad, have already confirmed their participation in the conference.
We hope that this conference will be a political turning point regarding a critical dimension of the struggle in our region, by reaching out to the wide local and international publics with a vision of and practical steps for launching a movement for a just and morally consistent solution to the question of Palestine.
We hope that, as a result of this conference, a local and international coalition will be formed to support the right of return and the establishment of a secular democratic state. For this reason, we placed the role of activists from all sectors in developing the principles and practical aspects of building this coalition at the center of the conference’s program. This discussion will involve activists from a wide range of social and political movements and organizations, building together a vision for a better future.
All this in order to uprooting Zionist racism and colonial oppression and let Palestine open its arms to embrace all the returning refugees and those who struggle for its freedom.
The conference program
10:00 Networking meetings between the guests and local activists. Meetings are organized according to the request of the guests around specific issues: Feminism, Health and Social issues, Political parties, the environment, etc.
12:30 Rest and lunch
14:00 Walking tour in Haifa - Johnny Mansour will guide the tour between the sites and stories of the old and new history of the city. Gathering at Al-Midan.
14:00 Shabab (youth) meeting: The role of the Palestinian youth groups in support of the right of return (Arabic).
16:00 Acquaintance with the delegations (the big hall): Welcoming on behalf of the preparatory committee - Raja Eghbarieh. Representatives of different delegations will tell the public about the movements or organization that they represent and why they support the conference goals.
16:00 Homage to Haifa (the small hall): The establishment of the city and its history; The 1948 ethnic cleansing; The Arab Society and its struggle in Haifa today; Proposing a project for connecting Haifa residents and Haifa refugees in the struggle for return.
18:00 Reception and dinner
Friday on 19:00 - The Opening
Ghada Karmi – Refugee from Jerusalem
Muhammad Kana’ane – On behalf of the Organizers
Haidar Eid – Speaking from Gaza
Ilan Pappe – From the Jewish Partners
Greetings from the guests and the delegations from 5 continents
Art program: Singer Rana Hadad, Palestinian Rap group DAM and others
There are 9 different workshops:
· 6 workshops for presenting and discussing different views.
· 3 special workshops for activists and delegations to build the coalition and a global campaign for the return of the refugees and for democratic secular state.
09:00 Reception and breakfast
10:00 Opening session and distribution to workshops (big hall)
10:30 Three parallel workshops
1. The Return: 62 years of struggling to return; Refugees in their homeland; Planning for the return (project); Legal aspects of the return.
2. Dimensions of the conflict and the road to democratic Palestine: A Democratic Ethical perspective; Socialist Perspectives; Zionism as an ideology of race.
3. Building the coalition - Partnership in the struggle: How to distance section of the Jewish public from Zionism? How to integrate activists from the Jewish community in Palestine in the struggle for return of the refugees and for the democratic secular state?
12:30 Three parallel workshops
4. Secular democratic Palestine - the vision and the implementation: Women's rights; The importance of secularity; The Economic foundation.
5. The concept of freedom in the Arab world: The Palestinian cause; The Lebanese experience; Social and National struggle in Egypt; The media and national identity; Arab Unity.
6. Building the coalition - The Palestinian Base: Promoting Palestinian support to the proposed solution; Our contribution to the restoration of the unity in struggle of the Palestinian people in all different locations.
14:15 Rest and lunch
15:45 Three parallel workshops
7. Resisting Zionist Colonialism: Between liberation and sell-out; Popular struggle; The role of International Law; Political struggle.
8. The Political Prisoners: The political role of the prisoner's movement and participation of the prisoners from inside the occupation prisons.
9. Building the coalition – International Solidarity: Building international movement to support the conference program.
17:45 Summary Session: Summary of the workshops and the participants' suggestions toward a final statement.
20:30 Art and cultural event: Singer Hanan Wakeem, video films, Palestinian Debka, Dammar Rap group and others.
10:00 Trip to Galilee. The destroyed villages and the unrecognized villages.
10:00 – 15:00 Meetings to establish the international coalition.
This conference proposes a vision for the return of the Palestinian refugees and a democratic Palestinian state and restoration of all rights to their owners on the ground of the right to self determination, in order to end 120 years of colonial aggression which endangers the whole of humanity with a new world war.
The conference provides a platform for discussion which affects the future of us all. We invite all of you to participate and support our national cause.
Partial list of the workshop speakers
Because of technical problems, we are forced to publish a partial list of speakers.
With our full apology and respect for every participant and speaker.
Wakeem Wakeem: Refugees in their homeland
Eytan Bronstein: Planning for the return project
Suhad Bishara: The legal aspect of the return and property rights
Rajaa Zo’abi ‘Omari: The puzzle of a "single state" option, in view of Regional Settings for a deadlocked global system
Shir Hever: The economy perspective of one state
Samah Idris: The Lebanese experience
Eli Aminov: A critical comparison between the different solutions of the conflict
Abed Anabtawi: The importance of 'the secularity' in the one state proposal
An Alexander: The working class in Egypt
Omar Barghouti: The Democratic State: An Ethical Perspective
Raja Eghbarieh: The Democratic Secular state as a political struggle project
Hisham Nafaa': A Socialist approach concerning the conflict and its resolution
Noel Ignatiev: Zionism as an ideology of race.
Wilhelm Langthaler: The struggle in the West against Imperialism