“United Against Apartheid, Colonialism and Occupation Dignity & Justice for the Palestinian People”

Civil society conference and meetings sponsored by Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions National Committee (BNC) in cooperation with International Coordinating Network on Palestine (ICNP), the European
Coordinating Committee on Palestine (ECCP), the  International Jewish
Anti-Zionist Network (IJAN), [others to be added]


on the occasion of the UN Durban Review Conference “United Against Racism, Dignity & Justice for All” Geneva, 20 – 24 April 2009


Between 20 and 24 April 2009, the UN will convene in Geneva the Durban
Review Conference in order to examine the progress made in
implementation of the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action (DDPA)
adopted by the World Conference against Racism (2001) and to strengthen
its recommendations. For more clik here

The BNC decided to use the opportunity of this UN Conference for
building public awareness and pressure on policy makers and duty
bearers to hold Israel accountable to international law and protect the
rights of the Palestinian people. For this purpose, the BNC prepared a
Palestinian Civil Society Strategic Position Paper which was endorsed
by hundreds of civil society organizations abroad and publicly launched
on 29 November 2008 (for more, clik here).

In addition, the BNC will organize the ISRAEL-Review Conference and BDS
Follow-up Meetings which will take place in Geneva from 18 April
onwards. The events form part of the agenda adopted by the Bilbao
Initiative in October/November 2008 (for more clik here ). International partners, in
particular the ICNP, ECCP and IJAN, have joined the BNC in the Bilbao

Preparatory Committee, contacts: director@badil.org, omar.barghouti@gmail.com, global@stopthewall.org, rania@pngo.net.

Tentative Program and Speakers

Sa 18 April 2009

Hotel Le Grenil, Avenue Sainte-Clotilde 7, 1205 Geneve (conference room)

ISRAEL-Review Conference: a one-day expert conference that will examine
and develop the analysis of Israel’s regime over the Palestinian people
as a regime of apartheid, colonialism  and  occupation. Legal experts
are invited to help human rights activists understand what legal
analysis and strategies are worth pursuing in terms of their likelihood
to achieve a situation where Israel can be held accountable to internal
law. Presentations will be in English with simultaneous translation
provided into French [translation to be confirmed]

08:30   Registration

09:00 – 10:00 Opening and orientation

    * Brief presentation of BNC, ECCP, IJAN and the Bilbao Initiative

    * Overview of events planned for the week of the Durban Review Conference

–        Ingrid Jaradat Gassner (BNC) [tentative]

–        Pierre Galand (ECCP) [requested]

–        [to be nominated]: speakers for IJAN, other partners

 10:15 – 13:00 morning session

Examining the applicability of the crime of apartheid to Israel

Moderator: Joseph Schechla, HIC-LHRN

    * Israel’s Practices in the OPT and the International Legal Prohibition on Apartheid by Prof. Virginia Tilley, South Africa
    * Applying the Crime of Apartheid to Israel’s Regime over the
Palestinian People; report from research in progress:  Karine
MacAllister, PhD candidate, Montreal, for BADIL)
    * Guest Commentary and Notes by:

–         Mascha Madörin, Swiss feminist economist, active in the
Anti-apartheid Movement and official Commission on Swiss-South African
relations [requested]

–         Prof. Max du Plessis, international law, Durban, South Africa

    * Discussion with the audience

 13:00 – 14:00 lunch break

 14:00 – 17:00 afternoon session

Legal strategies for building Israeli accountability to international law

Moderator: Zaha Hassan, advocate, USA

    * Presentation on special crimes tribunals, ICC and domestic
courts, incl. universal  jurisdiction by Daniel Machover, advocate, U.K.
    * Presentation on civil torts claims in US courts and other mechanisms by Prof. Susan Akram, Boston University School of Law
    * Presentation on legal mechanisms of the Council of Europe and the
EU (European Court of Justice, European Court of Human Rights) by Prof.
Bill Bowring, London University School of Law
    * Q &A, experts with audience

 [to be confirmed – evening cultural event organized by hosts in Geneva]

Su 19 April 2009 Day of BDS Organizing

10:00 – 17:00 Self-organized workshops, activist teams and experts. in three venues

–        Small conference room (50 persons), Hotel Le Grenil

–        Large hall (140 persons) [name of venue]

–        Small group meeting room (25 – 30 persons) [name of venue]

 ·         BNC, IJAN, ECCP members and partners will organize
workshops/meetings in order to follow-up work on campaigns, in
particular those part of the Bilbao-II Initiative. Plans have been
announced for: workshop on the Jewish National Fund (JNF), workshop on
arms trade.

·         Present/disseminate resources and campaign tools (resource table?)

·         finalize preparations for the Durban Review Conference

·         hold meetings with members (e.g. ECCP meeting is planned; BADIL Legal Support Network-LSN may hold a meeting)
·         and others…