Other Group

Al-Awda (Palestinian Right to Return Coalition)

Flag of the Ba'ath Party (link)
Website:

al-awda.org/

Location:

Coral Springs, FL

Type:

Anti-Israel Activism

Chair:

Amani Barakat

Al-Awda is an activist organization that claims to represent the interests of the Arab population in Israel and the disputed Palestinian territories, including compensation for the alleged displacement of Arabs after the founding of Israel and a one-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. [1] Pro-Israel groups have accused Al-Awda of maintaining ties with terrorist organizations by way of its membership in the Palestinian Boycott, Divest, and Sanction National Committee. [2]

Background

Al-Awda is a member of the Palestine Right to Return Coalition, and its Arabic name means “return.” The group opposes the existence of the state of Israel in its current form, claiming that the Jewish state is occupying historical Palestinian Arab land. The organization supports a range of initiatives intended to reduce international support for Israel—particularly American military and economic aid—and increase the political power of Palestinians. According to Al-Awda, the ultimate goal of the “right of return” coalition is to extract territorial and financial compensation for the alleged displacement of Arabs by Jews during the formation of Israel. The organization also advocates for a one-state solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict. [3]

Al-Awda should not be confused with the Iraqi political party and militant organization of the same name, which claimed to fight for the return of deposed dictator Saddam Hussein’s Ba’ath party and was active throughout the 2000s until the Iraqi government cracked down on its leaders. [4]

Al-Awda is based in Coral Springs, Florida, and solicits donations through PayPal. [5] [6] According to the Jerusalem Post, the organization raised approximately $10,000 in 2018. [7]

The “Right of Return”

The state of Israel was founded in 1948, pursuant to a proposal to divide territory administered by the British Empire under a mandate from the post-World War I League of Nations between its Jewish population and the Arab population (which was and is mostly Muslim). [8] The subsequent concentration of the Jewish population within the newly formed state, the consequences of the defeat of a coalition of multiple Arab states by Israel in the Israeli War of Independence, and continued Jewish immigration from Europe and elsewhere, resulted in up to 70 percent of Palestinian Arabs within the new borders being displaced. Palestinian nationalists refer to this as the Nakba, or “the catastrophe.” [9]

This event, along with subsequent land disputes, serves as the basis for radical Palestinians’ claims to a “right of return” and related reparations in the form of financial compensation and political representation. Palestinian activist groups such as Al-Awda frequently deploy left-progressive rhetoric against Israel, calling Zionism and support for Israel “racist” against Arabs and non-Jews and comparing Israel’s land policies to colonialism. Al-Awda also opposes Israel’s immigration policies, which grant Jews from anywhere in the world the right to Israeli citizenship, even while the organization claims that Palestinians have an inherent right of return to the territories that they consider their historical land. [10]

Supporters of Israel oppose the supposed right of return in part because it would eliminate the state of Israel as it exists and because the creation of the supposed right ignores the role that Arab irredentism in rejecting the proposed partition plan played in creating the displacement of Palestinian Arabs. [11]

Activism

Al-Awda promotes awareness of Palestinians held in Israeli prisons, claiming that Israel uses a legal procedure called “administrative detention” to detain suspected militants indefinitely without charges or a trial. It also organizes Palestinian diaspora communities in Western countries to produce statements condemning Israel and supporting continued resistance against the Jewish state. [12] This includes initiatives to boycott Israel and oppose pro-Israel causes on college campuses; the organization claims its actions have been subject to censorship. Al-Awda has attempted to connect the pro-Palestine movement to the international feminist movement, and has identified extreme-left Antifa organizations as its allies in the resistance campaign against Israel. [13]

Al-Awda routinely stages protests against events hosted by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, the highly influential pro-Israel lobbying group. [14]

References

  1. “Points of Unity.” Al-Awda. Accessed February 5, 2022. https://al-awda.org/about/our-aims-and-objectives/points-of-unity/ ^
  2. Lahav Harkov. “Anti-AIPAC protest organizers Al-Awda have ties to terrorist groups, history of antisemitism.” Jerusalem Post. March 5, 2019. Accessed February 5, 2022. https://www.jpost.com/international/anti-aipac-protest-organizers-al-awda-have-ties-to-terrorist-groups-history-of-antisemitism-582402 ^
  3. “Points of Unity.” Al-Awda. Accessed February 5, 2022. https://al-awda.org/about/our-aims-and-objectives/points-of-unity/ ^
  4. “Baathist detained in Diala.” Iraqi News. July 2, 2010. Accessed February 5, 2022. http://www.iraqinews.com/iraq-war/baathist-detained-in-diala/#axzz2dixtG6dY ^
  5. “Make a one-time or recurring donation to Al-Awda.” Al-Awda. Accessed February 5, 2022. https://al-awda.org/give/ ^
  6. Al-Awda, PRRC. PayPal. Accessed February 5, 2022. https://www.paypal.com/donate?token=Azsc_iC6bF6MJup7XPG8fmt7FvgADmX5CfrvrHO3xYYAfIPnsvEz2g4EMo9y8KOEWqgG_a4_SRfkAjjv ^
  7. Lahav Harkov. “Anti-AIPAC protest organizers Al-Awda have ties to terrorist groups, history of antisemitism.” Jerusalem Post. March 5, 2019. Accessed February 5, 2022. https://www.jpost.com/international/anti-aipac-protest-organizers-al-awda-have-ties-to-terrorist-groups-history-of-antisemitism-582402 ^
  8. Tobin, Jonathan S. “The Misleading Nakba Narrative.” Commentary Magazine, May 8, 2014. https://www.commentary.org/jonathan-tobin/the-misleading-nakba-narrative-haaretz-shlomo-avineri-israel-palestinians/. ^
  9. Saeb Erekat. “Israel Must Recognize Its Responsibility for the Nakba, the Palestinian Tragedy.” Haaretz. May 15, 2016. Accessed February 5, 2022. https://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-israel-must-recognize-its-responsibility-for-the-nakba-1.5383272 ^
  10. “Points of Unity.” Al-Awda. Accessed February 5, 2022. https://al-awda.org/about/our-aims-and-objectives/points-of-unity/ ^
  11. Tobin, Jonathan S. “The Meaning of Nakba Day.” Commentary Magazine, May 15, 2012. https://www.commentary.org/jonathan-tobin/the-meaning-of-nakba-day/. ^
  12.  “Actions & Statements.” Al-Awda. Accessed February 5, 2022.

    https://al-awda.org/category/news/actions-and-statements/ ^

  13. “Actions & Statements.” Al-Awda. Accessed February 5, 2022. https://al-awda.org/category/news/actions-and-statements/page/2/ ^
  14. Lahav Harkov. “Anti-AIPAC protest organizers Al-Awda have ties to terrorist groups, history of antisemitism.” Jerusalem Post. March 5, 2019. Accessed February 5, 2022. https://www.jpost.com/international/anti-aipac-protest-organizers-al-awda-have-ties-to-terrorist-groups-history-of-antisemitism-582402 ^
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Al-Awda (Palestinian Right to Return Coalition)

P.O. Box 8812
Coral Springs, FL