- BADIL (“alternative” in Arabic) is a Palestinian NGO established in 1998.
- Main declared objective is to “defend and promote the rights of Palestinian refugees and IDPs.” In practice, however, Badil promotes a so-called “right of return,” the aim of which is to eliminate Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people.
- BADIL promotes “resistance” and “martyr” rhetoric, anti-peace initiatives, and a “one-state” framework. The organization also promotes BDS (boycott, divestment and sanctions) campaigns and has engaged in blatant antisemitic activities.
“Martyr,” “Violence,” and “Resistance” Rhetoric
- In BADIL’s publication “Eight Years of the BDS Movement: Where have we come since 2005?” (Autumn 2013), an article by Nimer Sultany, “Three comments on Boycott Movement,” implies that the Palestinians should not abandon violent means:
- “Palestinian history oscillates between two dogmas: the new dogma of nonviolence and the old dogma of violence and armed struggle. …Given its apparent failure to achieve its declared objective, armed struggle has given way to nonviolence, which has become more fashionable today since it resonates with Western perspectives.”
- “… But nonviolence should not now become the new dogma. Westerners ask, ‘Where is the Palestinian Gandhi?’ They ignore the fact that Western practice and discourse have always vindicated violent resistance to unjust foreign occupiers. Thus, it is hypocritical for Westerners to dismiss violent means altogether in the Palestinian case.”
- In 2012, BADIL published an article, “The Right to Resist.” In this article, the author suggests that all sorts of resistance, even violent, are legitimate in the struggle against the occupation:
- “Colonization of a land has never taken place peacefully. Colonization is violent. Ethnic cleansing is violent. The regime of occupation in the OPT and the apartheid regime all over Mandate Palestine is brutal in its violence and humiliation of the Palestinian people. All struggles to date – including that of the Native Americans, the Algerians under the French, the Vietnamese and the South Africans under apartheid – used both violent and non-violent methods in their struggles. Ronnie Kasrils identified four pillars which were the basis for the strategy of the struggle against South African apartheid: political mass struggle; reinforced by armed struggle; clandestine underground struggle; international solidarity…”
- “It is likely, therefore, that in any situation of prolonged occupation, resistance will occur, whether it be violent or non-violent…”
- BADIL was one of the signatories of the final statement of the fourth annual meeting of the Palestine Right of Return Coalition (November 10, 2003), which concludes with the words, “Long live the Intifada, eternal glory for our pious martyrs.”
- In 2002, BADIL was a signatory of an open letter addressed to the Arab Summit that concludes with, “Glory to the intifada. We shall return.”
- On November 30, 2001, BADIL and other participants coordinated a meeting of the international umbrella organization Coalition for the Palestinian Right of Return in Brussels. As described on the BADIL website: “At the close of the meeting, the participants saluted with deep appreciation the steadfast brothers and sisters carrying out the courageous intifada. Special reverence was paid to the martyrs of the intifada, whose sacrifice is paving the way to the ultimate victories of freedom and return.”
- Several entries to Badil’s “Al Awda Award,” posted on its website, feature violent themes and imagery, such as individuals brandishing weapons.
- In December 2010, BADIL participated in the 10th Annual Meeting of the Global Palestine Right of Return Coalition. The final statement from the meeting explicitly rejects the Roadmap for Peace and the Arab Peace Initiative:
- “The Rejection of any settlement to the Palestinian/Arab – Zionist conflict…to emphasize that the terms of reference of the current purposed settlements such the Roadmap Plan and the Arab Peace Initiative do not meet the minimum rights of our people but only perpetuate the arrogance of the Zionists.”
- In May 2010, BADIL rejected negotiations with Israel in order to achieve peace, “BADIL re-iterates the call of the National Committee for the Commemoration of the Nakba issued this 15 May: for the Palestinian leadership to… Halt all negotiations, whether direct or indirect, until Israel completely halts settlement expansion, population transfer (‘Judaization’), and construction of the Wall and other infrastructure of colonization and apartheid, such as roads and the light train connecting Jewish settlements to West Jerusalem.”
Support for “one-state”
In 2012, BADIL together with the Israeli NGO known as Zochrot, organized a joint study visit to Cape Town, South Africa, in order “to learn from cases of expulsion and return.” Following this visit, BADIL and Zochrot published “The Cape Town Document.” Conclusions include:
Visions for a New State:
- Statehood Structure
“It is our hope that the new political structure created in de-Zionized Palestine will be that of a single democratic state (as opposed to the logic of ethnic separation embedded in the so-called ‘two-state solution’) with clear separation of church and state. This society will ideally be demilitarized, but due to the highly speculative and futuristic nature of this document, and the unstable political situation in the region, we have not managed to come to an agreement regarding the necessity of a standing army.” (25)
- Statehood Citizenship
“One powerful lesson learned from the ethnicized and racialized Zionist and South African systems of immigration and pass laws is that in the new state, such system must be completely de-racialized. A paramount aspect of this process will be repealing the 1950 Law of Return, which grants automatic and privileged citizenship to Jews, and prioritizing naturalization of Palestinian refugees in its stead. Diaspora Jews will be permitted to apply for citizenship, although not as part of any prioritized process.” (25)
- Symbols and Language
“Concomitant with the formation of this emergent culture, we propose promoting public discussion about the name of the new state, its flag and other symbolic representations. Recognizing that de-Zionizing lived and public spaces constitutes a vital aspect of creating a shared homeland, we also acknowledge the importance of remapping and renaming streets and other public spaces through public consultation where possible, aiming to make these spaces meaningful to all.” (24)
Promoting BDS campaigns
- Advocates for anti-Israel BDS (boycott, divestment and sanction) campaigns, including a prominent BDS section on its website and a “BDS campaign update” on BDS activities worldwide.
- In 2012, “Badil Staff” wrote and published an article, “The Continuing Need for BDS”: “The campaign for boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israel was borne of the belief that human rights and international law – in conjunction with the United Nations Charter and General Assembly resolutions – provide the only viable road map for a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East. In the 7 years that have since passed, the need for such an approach has only become more apparent, and this campaign should be maintained until such a time that the State of Israel complies in full with its obligations as laid out under international law.”
- An antisemitic cartoon won a monetary award for 2nd prize in BADIL’s 2010 Al-Awda Nakba caricature competition. The cartoon is a blatant representation of classic antisemitic tropes, including a Jewish man, garbed in traditional Hasidic attire, with a hooked nose and side locks. He stands above a dead child and skulls, holding a pitchfork dripping with blood. (See below.)
- The antisemitic caricature was removed from BADIL’s website after NGO Monitor approached BADIL partner DanChurchAid on the issue.
- Another antisemitic image that was posted on the BADIL website, a monstrous octopus, is identified with a Star of David on its head and tentacles dripping with blood. The image of the “octopus” recalls the most virulent antisemitic imagery from the Nazi era. (See below.)
- Due in part to these antisemitic cartoons, funding from the Secretariat to BADIL was frozen. There is no public documentation that an in-depth investigation was conducted regarding the explicitly antisemtic imagery or that controls were established to prevent a further occurrence.
- Indeed, BADIL continues the annual “Nakba” contest and posts the entries on its website. See Appendix A for examples.
Badil’s Al-Awda Nakba caricature competition
- BADIL continues to hold its annual Al-Awda Nakba competition. While antisemitic images, mentioned above, have been removed from BADIL’s website, countless other offensive caricatures are still displayed.
- Many of the caricatures call for the elimination of Israel and incite violence. See below for a selection of caricatures, taken from the BADIL website on April 24, 2014.