Where now for the Palestinian Right of Return: Special Balfour Centenary Workshop

To commemorate the one hundred year anniversary of the Balfour Declaration, Columbia Global Centers | Amman hosted a workshop in partnership with Dr. Ghada Karmi, Honorary Research Fellow at the Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies at the University of Exeter, on October 20.

January 02, 2018

A convening of 11 experts with backgrounds in sociology, law, anthropology, journalism, political science and refugee studies, met to examine where the issue of Palestinian return stands today, what it now means to Palestinians, and what is its future.

The workshop was divided into four sessions, each addressing a specific issue, including: the notion of return and what constitutes it, how current eventualities could affect the right of return, the right of return in international law and its impact on humanitarian efforts, and lessons learnt from past displacement.

The workshop takes as its basis the international legal position on the right of the Palestinian people to return to their homeland as a fundamental human and political right. Participants addressed how in the context of a people so fragmented into separate communities living in different locations and developing separately, and after the passage of more than three decades on this arrangement, what does “return” mean for Palestinians today? The workshop concluded with a paper of recommendations for dissemination.