Preliminary Programme, June 20-21
This conference is a special convergence of academic discussion, open assessment of political strategies between political leaders and coming together of grass root activists from different political movements and civil society.
In order to enhance the role of the youth in the conference, we now added a special youth plenum, before the general opening ceremony. So the program will start on Friday afternoon, June 20, 2008, 17:00, at el-Midan theatre in Haifa, with a gathering of Palestinian youth, from different political and local movements, to discuss the role of the youth in regards to the right of return and the building of a democratic and multi-cultural society.
The opening ceremony will start at 19:00, and we invited key political speakers from the four main political parties of the Palestinians within the green line: The Islamic Movement, The Democratic Front for Peace and Equality (a front that includes the Communist party), The National Democratic Assembly (NDA, led by the exiled Azmi Bishara) and the Abnaa elBalad movement which initiated the conference. Till now the secretary general of Abnaa elBalad, Comrade Muhammad Kana'ane, which was newly released after four and a half years in Israeli prisons on the charge of political meetings with Palestinian leaders in Jordan, has already confirmed his presence, as well as the secretary general of the NDA, Mr. Awad Abed elFatah. In addition to the Palestinian parties from within, the opening ceremony will also include speakers from the organizing committee, a leading democratic activist from Tel Aviv, Dr Anat Matar, and Palestinian speakers from the 1967 occupied territories and from the exile. It will also include a cultural program.
On the second day, there will be 9 different workshops, always three, covering a wide range of subjects concerning Zionist aggression and ethnic cleansing, the Palestinian struggle, the democratic struggle inside the Jewish society in Palestine, and the perspective of the return of the refugees and the establishment of the future democratic society.
17:00 - Youth meeting: Youth struggle, the Return of Palestinian refugees, and the Secular Democratic Society
19:00 - Opening Session
â€¢ On behalf of the Initiating Committee - Rajaa Zo'abi O'mari
â€¢ Ayman O'deh - Secretary General - Democratic Front for Peace and Equality (HADASH)
â€¢ Awad Abed El-Fatah - Secretary General - National Democratic Alliance (BALAD)
â€¢ Muhammad Kanaa'ne - Secretary General - Abnaa elBalad Movement (The movement is part of the coalition that constitute the Initiating Committee )
â€¢ Palestinian speakers from the post-1967 occupied territories and the Diaspora
â€¢ Dr. Anat Matar
â€¢ Prof. Bhim Singh
Saturday, June 21
09:30 Reception and Registration
10:00 Welcome Session and Division to Workshops
Workshops will be held in 3 rounds, with 3 parallel workshops in each round. Each workshop includes a panel of 4 speakers and 30m of open discussion incorporating all participants.
10:30 First round of workshops
1. Different aspects of the struggle in Palestine
2. Zionism and the limits of ethnic cleansing
3. The right of return and the democratic secular state - a Human Rights perspective
12:00 Second round of workshops
4. The division of Palestine: Solving the problem or obstructing the solution?
5. Palestine toward Freedom and Return - Philosophical, Cultural and Political perspectives
6. The Crisis of the Israeli Society
13:30 Lunch break
14:30 Third round of workshops
7. Different visions of the single state in Palestine
8. Boycotting Israel and International Solidarity among Peoples
9. Attitudes to freedom and enlightenment in civil society organizations
16:15 Concluding Plenum: Summary of the Workshops, Discussion of the Final Declaration, Affiliations to the follow up committee.
All foreign visitors are welcomed to stay in the homes of local activists. We will also be glad to help our visitors to organize tours in the region and additional political meetings and activities.