Within the events of "Palestinians in the Diaspora between Theory and Practice: Role, Representation, and Challenges" workshop that is jointly organized by Center for Islam and Global Affairs (CIGA) and Popular Conference for Palestinians Abroad (PCPA), a session was held under the title "Role of Palestinians Abroad in Challenging the Zionist Project", on Saturday, February 1st, 2020, in Istanbul.
The session included words delivered by Sami Al-Arian and Ramzy Baroud, from Center for Islam and Global Affairs (CIGA), Taher Labadi, from University of Aix-Marseille in France, Raed Jarrar and Kamel Hawwash.
Al-Arian: We Need Palestinian Institutions Equivalent to the Institutions of Occupation
"According to a study I have worked on, the theoretical and the conceptual framework of the act plan that shall be adopted by Palestinians abroad, has to take into consideration that the zionist project has been built on several pillars; one of them is dividing and separating Palestinians," said Sami Al-Arian the director Center for Islam and Global Affairs (CIGA), adding that "there are tactics and means on which the zionist project depends in order to make itself stronger on the political, the economic, the academic, the legal, the psychological and the media levels. And if we want to challenge zionists, we need to have institutions that can be equivalent to theirs."
Baroud: BDS is one of the Best Means Used by Palestinians
"There is a historic opportunity for the Palestinian issue," said the political scholar Ramzi Baroud, adding "there is an unprecedented awareness in the west, and this was not the case anytime before."
Baroud argued that "here is the reason why the racist Israeli regime is becoming more and more brutal,"pointing out that "western liberals who were historically standing by the side of Israel, are currently changing their stance. It is the first time in the history of the Democratic Party in the US to have opponents to Israel more than its supporters."
"Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement is so far the most successful political mean Palestinians have used. It has become a universal tactic," he added.
Labadi: Time to Move from Defence to Attack
"There have been a massive work done by Palestinian students, scholars and aademics in the universities all over the world, to offer a narrative that shall oppose the zionist propaganda," said Taher Labadi, from University of Aix-Marseille in France.
"Even though, I think it is time to move from defending the Palestinian narrative towards attacking zionism," he added.
Jarrar: the American Public Opinion about the Palestinian Issue has Changed
"A public poll recently held in the US, showed that 67% of Republicans oppose BDS movement while only 15% of Democrats do.. Furthermore, about 50% of Democrats support the movement," said Raed Jarrar, a Palestinian activist based in Washington DC, adding that "the presence of a Palestinian senator in the congress is a big change."
Hawwash: Palestinians in the UK are Divided
Kamel Hawwash, an academic and Palestinian activist based in the London, spoke about the main vulnerabilities of the Palestinian community in the United Kingdom.
"The community is divided and there is no representatives or defenders of the Palestinian issue," he said.
Under the title "Palestinians in the Diaspora between Theory and Practice: Role, Representation, and Challenges", started on Saturday, February 1st, 2020, the activities of the workshop that is organized by Center for Islam and Global Affairs (CIGA) and Popular Conference for Palestinians Abroad (PCPA), with the participation of a group of Palestinian researchers, academitians and politicians from more than 16 countries, at Istanbul Sabahattin Zaim University, Istanbul.
The workshop which is scheduled to end on Sunday, is meant to discuss the role of Palestinians abroad and political representation. The activities include six sessions that are supposed to come up with practical recommendations.