Call for Proposals: Third International Conference on the Return of Palestinian Refugees
Tel Aviv, March 2016
From: 22/07/2015 - To: 30/09/2015

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 67 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.

In March 2016, Zochrot will hold its third International Conference on Return to discuss

What is currently being done to promote return, and what can be done in the future?

What will life in this country look like after the return of Palestinian refugees?

The conference seeks to examine different ways of promoting return today as well as imagine the post-return reality. Its point of departure is recognition of the right of return and its objective is to explore how return will occur in practice, and how it can offer an opportunity for living together in a truly democratic, egalitarian and just regime for all inhabitants of this country. Accordingly, the issues discussed in the conference will focus on the post-return political, cultural, educational, economic and planning realities, as well as on current spaces and activities to promote return in practice.

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

Zochrot calls for proposals on the following issues

Final submission: October 15th, 2015

  • Recent studies on Palestinian refugees and their return:
  • Reference to second and third displacement in recent years among refugees in Syria and Lebanon, but also in Gaza, the West Bank and Israel.
  • Perceptions and attitudes of refugees and internally displaced persons about return.
  • Studies by UNRWA and various other organizations on refugeehood and return.

Fissures in Zionism?

  • Judaism and Israeliness without Zionism – how is it articulated in various Jewish communities worldwide?
  • Present-day crises of Zionism – what do they mean for return?
  • The implications of return for Zionist ideology and practice.


The responsibility for return among various Jewish populations

  • Mizrachi Jews, Nakba and return – the question of historical responsibility for the Nakba and social responsibility for finding return solutions.
  • How will return impact the intra-Jewish ethno-class conflict in Israel?
  • Can disempowered and subaltern Jewish populations in the State of Israel be partners in promoting return? How?
  • Calls for return among the Jewish population after 1948.


Practices for promoting return

  • The role of cyberspace in promoting return: trends and examples such as the iNakba
  • Return in Palestinian memorial websites.
  • Models of return.
  • Symbolic practices and their role in promoting return.


Civil society’s responsibility and action

  • Palestinian refugees and return – what is their place in the radical discourse in Israel?
  • What is the position of human rights and social organizations in Israel regarding return, and why?
  • How can Israeli civil society contribute to promoting return?
  • Test cases of returning refugees in other countries, and civil society’s contribution to that end.


Post-return

  • How will a joint space look like in terms of nationality, and how will identities be shaped by return?
  • Proposals for designing post-return space from various aspects, including political, cultural, educational, legal, economic, etc.


Proposals may be suitable for diverse conference formats, including: lectures, round tables, panels, art performances/installations and workshops

For submission proposal and further information: conference@zochrot.org

Zochrot online