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Baladna Arab Youth Association

Profile

Country/TerritoryIsrael
Websitehttp://www.momken.org/
Founded2001
In their own words“Baladna works to enable and strengthen the Arab youth’s understanding and application of the principles of democracy and gender equality, pluralism and tolerance, youth empowerment and community building, as it is part of a growing trend towards building independent institutions and striving to equalize the Palestinian community's relationship with the State. In conjunction to this, Baladna engages the youth with discussions and debates concerning the history, grievances and culture of Palestinians in Israel, the occupied territories and Diaspora.”

Funding

Activities

  • Promotes a 1948 agenda and a Palestinian “right of return,” which, if implemented, would effectually mean the elimination of Israel as a Jewish state. Refers to the establishment of the state of Israel as a “Nakba” [“catastrophe”].
  • Organizes an ongoing campaign encouraging youth to refuse to serve in the Israeli army or do national service, claiming that the “Israeli government’s attempt to integrate young Arab Palestinian citizens of Israel into civic/national/military service and the Community Police is a threat to our identity and therefore the existence of our Arab Palestinian culture.”
  • In 2015, Baladna implemented a cooperative project called Oudna (“Our Return”) together with Association for the Defense of the Rights of the Internally Displaced (ADRID), Zochrot, and the Arab Association for Human Rights to “support youth to imagine the concept of returning to their ancestral towns and villages which were destroyed during the Nakba.”
  • Together with Badil, Baladna organized a program “Raising the Voice of Palestinians Youth,” through which training was conducted to teach about “forced displacement as a crime and its relation to international colonization, forced displacement and its effects, and the Palestinians refugees in international law.”
  • During 2014-2015, Baladna implemented an EU funded-program (see above for more information regarding EU funding) entitled “Naqab Youth for Human Rights” in which “Palestinian Bedouin youth documents ‘abuses of rights’ and ‘human rights violations’ in the Naqab” which allegedly occur on a “daily basis.”
  • Co-signed a July 23, 2014 written statement to the UN Human Rights Council on the “Gross Human Rights and Humanitarian Law Violations and Suspicions of War Crimes in Gaza,” accusing Israel of “widespread and systematic destruction,” “terrorizing the population,” “unlawful[y] targeting of civilians, civilian objects, and civilian property” and “grave violations of international humanitarian law and international criminal law.”
  • Co-signed an August 5, 2014 open letter to UN General Secretary Ban Ki-moon, accusing him of “reckless endorsement of Israeli version of facts, blaming Hamas for violating the cease-fire” and “always advocate[ing] unlawfully the Israel right to self-defense” (emphasis added).  The letter further accuses Israel of “war crimes,” “ongoing violations of international humanitarian law” and acting with “impunity.”
  • Published an August 4, 2014 report titled “Palestinian Youth Voices Suppressed during Gaza War,” accusing Israel of “structural racism,” “collective punishment” and “discriminat[ing] and marginaliz[ing” the Palestinian population.

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