The Palestine Right to Return Movement Al-Awda

Al-Awda New York, the Palestine Right to Return Coalition, is a Palestinian and Arab led, grassroots community organization working for Palestinian rights since 2000 in New York City. Our name, “Al-Awda,” or “return,” refers to the central cause of the Palestinian movement – Palestinian refugees’ right to return home to all of their lands and properties stolen since 1948, with full rights and sovereignty, and more broadly, to the return of all of Palestine , the people, the land, and their rights, and freedom and justice from oppression and occupation.

We have been on the front lines of nearly every demonstration and struggle in New York for Palestine, as well as standing with our allies in the struggle for social and economic justice in New York City and the world. From antiwar demonstrations, to the response to the attack on Gaza, to caravans and convoys to Palestine, to conferences and conventions, to struggling for the boycott of Zionism, to organizing the Palestinian community in the U.S. to play its role in its national movement, Al-Awda New York is at the center of building a Palestinian movement – and a movement for Palestine – that can make a real impact for meaningful justice.

We also work intensely on issues of civil rights and liberties. Our Arab and Palestinian communities in New York City have suffered greatly from state repression, police abuse, racism, surveillance and violations of our rights. We provide political and legal support to our communities as well as an organizing base to struggle to fight racism and oppression here in New York, and the U.S. as a whole, as well to liberate Palestine.

Points of Unity

Al-Awda New York is the local chapter of Al-Awda, The Palestine Right to Return Coalition (Al-Awda is Arabic for “THE RETURN”).

The coalition adheres to the following points of unity:

1. This Coalition affirms that the Palestinian Arab people, regardless of their religious affiliation, are indigenous to Palestine. Therefore, they are entitled to live anywhere in Palestine which encompasses present-day “Israel”, the West Bank and Gaza Strip. This Coalition regards the “Israeli” definition of Jewish nationals, granting exclusive rights to citizenship and land to any Jew from anywhere in the world, as part of the racism and discrimination inherent in Zionist ideology which underlies the policies and laws of the settler state of “Israel”.

2. This Coalition unequivocally supports the rights of all Palestinian refugees to return to their original towns, villages and lands anywhere in Palestine from which they were expelled. This Coalition also unequivocally supports the rights of all Palestinian refugees to compensation for damages inflicted on their property and lives, and to restitution of all destroyed and confiscated property. All Palestinians are entitled to the rights to self-determination, to political, economic and civil equality, and to live in a single democratic state for all its citizens in all ofPalestine. The Palestinian national identity encompasses more than 5.5 million people living in exile, more than 2.5 million living in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, and more than 1.2 million living within the areas of Palestine controlled by “Israel” since 1948.

3. This Coalition firmly stands against the continued displacement of Palestinians, the construction of illegal Jewish-only colonies in the form of residential settlements, the racist confiscation of land and the demolition of homes since 1948. This Coalition firmly stands against the collective punishment of Palestinians, and all violations of Palestinian civil, economic, political, national and human rights. This Coalition abhors and condemns the use of massacres and abuse of civilians to further the expansion of “Israel” to the detriment of Palestinian society.

4. This Coalition supports the struggle for the liberation of Palestine and views it as a struggle against all forms of colonialism. This struggle is inseparable from the universal and labor struggles for social, economic and national equality, development, justice and freedom against an imposed global new world order. This Coalition upholds all of the values enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Fourth Geneva Convention, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, the Convention on the Political Rights of Women, and the International Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid. This Coalition also upholds the African Charter of Human and People’s Rights, the Comprehensive Anti-Apartheid Act (Pub. L. 99-440) and the American Convention on Human Rights.

5. This Coalition respects, recognizes, and supports the central role of Palestinian women in the struggle for national liberation and the right to return. This includes the leadership of Palestinian women in the right to return movement.

6. This Coalition will work to educate the public about “Israeli” injustices the USgovernment subsidizes with billions of dollars annually. Until the dismantlement of the exclusionary and racist character of “Israel”, and until all Palestinians are granted the right to return and achieve equality, this Coalition is united in working for and demanding:

a. An end to all US political, military and economic aid to “Israel”

b. The divestment of all public and private entities from all “Israeli” corporations and American corporations with subsidiaries operating within “Israel”

c. An end to the investment of Labor Union members’ pension funds in “Israel”

d. The boycott of all “Israeli” products

e. The right to return for all Palestinian refugees to their original towns, villages and lands with compensation for damages inflicted on their property and lives

f. The right for all Palestinian refugees to full restitution of all confiscated and destroyed property

g. The formation of an independent, democratic state for all its citizens in all ofPalestine