DSC_0091Alternative Strategies for Realizing Justice in Palestine held in partnership with Civic Coalition for Palestinian Rights in Jerusalem, the Birzeit University Institute of Law, Stop the Wall Campaign, the Trans-Arab Research Institute, and the Arab Studies Institute of George Mason University on December 13 – 15, 2015 in Jerusalem, Birzeit and Nazareth. The conference was attended by over 300 individuals representing Palestinians and international academics and scholars, university students, activists, journalists, politicians and civil society representatives. The conferences was based on the Palestinian natural right to self-determination and aimed to openly discuss and propose discuss alternative strategies which are viable and capable of achieving liberation from Israel’s colonization. The conference included three main areas of discussion: the issue of Jerusalem; alternative strategies were introduced with a view to achieving justice in Palestine, including legal and diplomatic strategies; and discussions on the Palestinian national struggle in the 1948 areas. The event also included talks on political fragmentation imposed on the Palestinian people as well as potential strengthening of power dynamics within the Palestinian society. In Jerusalem, panelists highlighted the case of Jerusalem, which is subject to a relentless colonial-settlement attack. In this context, discussants emphasized the need for creating collective political initiatives, which would contribute to liberating, and achieving justice in the city. It was highlighted that local and youth-led initiatives should be organized in Jerusalem to ensure involvement in these collective policies and influence the liberation project as a whole. At Beit Zeit University, speakers presented several potential liberation strategies that can play a pivotal role in shaping and implementing political action. These include legal and diplomatic strategies and tools, international solidarity movement, and creation of an economy of resistance. In Nazareth, several issues were examined, including the means and mechanisms of involvement in the wider Palestinian struggle towards justice and liberation. Overall, discussions highlighted the importance of legal, diplomatic and economic strategies including recourse to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) by the Palestinian Authority, how law can be adapted by lawyers, legal experts and legal institutions to promote procedures implemented at international forums, including the ICJ and United Nations General Assembly. In terms of diplomatic strategies, speakers addressed how the Palestinian leadership could reform its regional and international alliances in light of US control of the peaceful settlement process. In terms of economic strategies and international solidarity movement, presentations reviewed the means to support the Palestinian economy and further consolidate the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign. In Nazareth, several issues were examined, including the means and mechanisms of involvement in the wider Palestinian struggle towards justice and liberation. Panelists investigated how Palestinian national unity could be restored and speakers also highlighted obstacles to maintaining these efforts and to implementing alternative strategies to achieve justice in Palestine.



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