Updated January 16, 2006
The BADIL Resource Center for Palestinian Residency & Refugee Rights, established in Bethlehem in 1998, is one of the most active NGOs in promoting extreme Palestinian political positions in the context of the conflict against Israel. Its declared goal is to "provide a resource pool of alternative, critical and progressive information and analysis on the question of Palestinian refugees and displaced persons."  Its actions, however, focus on the use of the suffering of refugees as a political basis for maintaining the conflict with Israel.
Adopting the language of demonization and a highly distorted version of the 1947/8 war, BADIL claims that "Sources of flight [of Palestinian refugees] include indiscriminate attacks on civilians, massacres, looting, destruction of property (including entire villages), and forced expulsion. Israeli military forces adopted ‘shoot to kill’ policies along the armistice lines to prevent the return of refugees…A smaller number of Palestinians have become refugees due to policies and practices akin to low-intensity transfer."
BADIL also campaigns against recognition of Israel as a Jewish state, openly declaring the goal of using the "right of return" to "alter the demographic balance in Israel so much that it would destroy Israel’s Zionist, exclusionist character… But the preservation of this character of Israel is neither an international responsibility nor a moral-juridical-political fact that outweighs in importance the restoration of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people."
BADIL attacks on the legitimacy of Israel are blatant and continuous. Its website declares "The UN has no obligation to protect or safeguard the Zionist character of Israel, particularly in its demographic aspect; On the contrary, the United Nations is a guarantor of the rights whose denial was a prerequisite of the Zionization of Israel; and The UN is obligated to the Palestinian Arabs to restore their rights and to undo the actions of Israel which led to the denial of those rights."
BADIL uses UN Resolutions selectively in order to promote its agenda. Thus it claims that Resolution 194 states: "refugees wishing to return to their homes…should be permitted to do so." Quoting selectively, BADIL purposely excludes significant parts of this Resolution which actually states "that refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbors should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date, and that compensation should be paid for property of those choosing not to return and for loss of or damage to property…Instructs the Conciliation Commission to facilitate the repatriation, resettlement and economic and social rehabilitation of refugees and payment of compensation…" (emphasis added).
BADIL’s agenda of demonization and distortion of history is evident in a 15 September 2004 press release misleadingly titled "They say 9//11 changed the world. What about September 16?" Failing to mention the role of Christian Phalangist militias in the events surrounding the 1982 Sabra and Shatilla massacres, BADIL attributes the blame solely to Ariel Sharon claiming that "An Israeli commission of inquiry found that he and other Israelis were responsible for the massacre."
BADIL also publishes the "al-Majdal" magazine whose September 2004 editorial addresses the ICJ ruling on Israel’s security barrier, arguing that "Academic, consumer, cultural, and sports boycotts, divestment and a campaign for sanctions by states must all be considered." BADIL was also a signatory to an August 2002 call to boycott Israel, including an endorsement of the NGO Program of Action conceived at the 2001 Durban conference. BADIL’s statement emphasizes the Durban declaration’s call for the "launch of an international anti-Israeli Apartheid movement as implemented against the South African Apartheidâ€¦" The magazine’s Autumn 2005 editorial demonstrates that this remains BADIL’s policy: "Israeli and international civil society can help pressure states to uphold international law and human rights through boycotts and divestment." And as of January 2006, BADIL internet homepage, press statements, and other activities continue to give prominent display to support for anti-Israel boycotts, extreme divestment campaigns, and the attempt to label Israel as "an apartheid state".
In these activities, BADIL has formed alliances with other radical political groups, such as " Stop the Wall," Ittijah, the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) and the European Coordinating Committee of NGOs on the Question of Palestine (ECCP). In a joint project with the Geneva based Centre on Housing Rights and Evictions (COHRE), Israel is charged with "the calculated theft of Palestinian land…through military aggression…the imposition of apartheid-like laws…a cruel form of ethnic cleansing."
It is evident that BADIL has engaged in promoting a politicized and ideological agenda. The basis for funding by government and ostensibly humanitarian funding agencies to such a blatant Palestinian political group is entirely unclear.
1. With a budget of over $400,000, BADIL has received funding from sources including Oxfam, the MCC, Canadian International Development Agency, Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation, the Swiss Foreign Ministry and church groups. However, in 2004/5, some of these sources have ceased funding Badil or limited support to specific and non-political projects.