The Palestinian Youth Movement (“PYM”) is a transnational, independent, grassroots movement of young Palestinians in Palestine and in exile worldwide as a ,result of the ongoing Zionist colonization and occupation of our homeland. Our belonging to Palestine and our aspirations for justice and liberation motivate us to assume an active role as a young generation in our national struggle for the liberation of our homeland and people.
Irrespective of our different political, cultural and social backgrounds, we strive to revive a tradition of pluralistic commitment toward our cause to ensure a better future, characterized by freedom and justice on a social and political level, for ourselves and subsequent generations.
PYM Commemorates 65 Years of Al Nakba
May 15th, 2013
Nakba 2013: The Palestinian Youth Movement Commemorates 65 Years of Al Nakba (Introduction)
The fifteenth of May 2013 marks the sixty-fifth commemoration of the day the oppressive Zionist state came into being. It also marks sixty-five years from the beginning of our collective fragmentation and simultaneous resistance. This current period that we are living also marks a significant shift in our history not only as Palestinians, but as Arabs, colonized, and young people of today’s world. While there are strong sentiments of brokenness and rupture of Palestinian and Arab communities, we also must recognize, reflect on, and celebrate our histories of resistance and use these narratives as fuel for creating a new and strong resistance for our generation and those that follow. While this current period might be among the most difficult to navigate, it also creates flexibility and possibilities for a creative resurgence of a legacy that will lead us to our liberation and return.
We have produced this booklet this year in an attempt to offer new and insightful approaches and framings to today’s commemoration. After sixty-five years and multiple generations, it seems that all we can be certain of is that things must change. Over the course of these years, the rhetoric around our struggle for justice has been diluted, weakened, and split into many different directions as interests and power have shifted; so much so that it becomes difficult to see a possibility for building a popular and grassroots movement that is attentive to the needs of the masses and not the interests of a few. By using the framework of justice and liberation, a platform is provided for the incorporation of all peoples’ struggles, not only of Palestine, but of the region and the world, to partake in broader movements. In this regard, we seek to complicate purely nationalist frameworks in order to build a world view that incorporates liberation for all colonized and oppressed peoples globally. Justice and liberation struggles in different contexts are dependent upon one another because the systems that ensure the various forms of oppression are, in fact, the same.
In this booklet, you will find various articles by different PYM members that offer historical accounts of the Nakba and our history. The accounts touch upon some of the most critical issues that we face in our communities. These articles attempt to re-write our histories and how we understand them in addition to providing new frameworks for understanding the history that brought us to this present juncture. This booklet focuses specifically on our history with sixty-five years of Nakba at its core and with special attention to the right of return, refugeehood and exile from various perspectives. It provides contexts for some of the frameworks we, as PYM, have taken up including that of settler-colonialism, anti-colonial liberation, empire and neo-colonialism, critique of a rights-based approach, Palestinian and Arab dimensions, and prospects for a new young generation. While we remain critical of the various leaderships we currently have, and have encountered in our struggle and its history, there are certain historical practices that we can maintain or return to, use as a guideline for how to (or not to) move our struggle forward, in order to productively transcend the very contradictions we call into question.
In light of the sixty-five year commemoration, this reader has a specific focus on Palestine – the Nakba, the right of return, displacement and exile, and the politics of occupation and colonization. The papers to follow offer an intensive and critical intervention of how we can examine our history for a constructive future. In this booklet, you will find in-depth analyses of these various focuses and it will provide for a more in-depth mastery of how we reflect on and carry out our work. By understanding and sharing the content of this booklet and taking it into account in our daily practice, I propose that we may be able to move beyond these histories, not forgetting them, but connecting them to a broader context and struggle. Given the current geopolitical considerations of our region and world, we can no longer center Palestine in isolation. Yes, Palestine is a site and center for liberation and has its own specificities, but in this time it is increasingly important that we strive to de-isolate our struggle by making linkages to other struggles against oppression and for a better world. In this booklet we focus on Palestine in-depth and critically from both a theoretical and pragmatic outlook with the hopes that sharpening and expanding our perspective around Palestine will open up doors for a broader and politically attentive approach to Palestine, justice, and liberation. With these words, I hope you find the following pages insightful, engaging, and thought-provoking as we enter into old conversations to stimulate the new.
And the sixty-five year struggle for justice and liberation continues …
The PYM 2013 Nakba Booklet includes articles, political cartoons and poetry by a variety of PYM members. A complete table of contents can be found below.
[ Read the entire 2013 Nakba PYM Booklet here: https://palyouth.sharefile.com/d/se688607006c43b0b]
Until Return and Liberation
Palestinian Youth Movement
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Arab Youth Conference for Liberation and Dignity
December 27 – December 30, 2012
The Palestinian Youth Movement (PYM) is happy to announce the first Arab Youth Conference for Liberation and Dignity, this December 27 – December 30, 2012. The conference will take place in Tunis and it aims to gather participants around struggles for Arab liberation and the liberation of Palestine. The conference will include up to 100 youth activist from around the Arab world that aim to build a common vision and to translate it into action.
The development of a common vision among Arab youth is necessary at this juncture particularly because of the dramatic changes that our region is going through. Such changes require us to prepare a work plan and a time frame. It is also imperative that we involve participants from different parts of the region to be part of the preparation process. We therefore seek to address as many Arab youth as possible in twelve countries that have experienced important changes, such countries have strategic or symbolic importance, in the Arab world and in the international arena. These countries are: Tunisia, Egypt, Palestine, Syria, Jordan, Morocco, Lebanon, Libya, Yemen, Algeria, Bahrain and Iraq. In addition, we also seek to strengthen the trust and broadening the working relationships between those who are active in their local communities. Finally, we also hope to solidify the pioneering role of Tunisia as a political and practical base for political activists in the Arab world.
The conference will be composed of two phases and will include a number of political and academic lecturers and speakers such as: Seif Da'na, Tamim al-Barghouthi, Abdelhalim Fadlallah, Munir Shafiq, Dergham Halaseh, and Haytham Manna'. The lectures will be supplemented with roundtable discussions that will consider issues such as: colonialism and liberation, neoliberalism and neocolonialism, and other social and political issues.
Phase 1: 100 Arab and Palestinian activists participate in roundtable discussions, lectures, and workshops around political issues.
Phase 2: A public event on the last day of the conference, which will include 500-1000 persons, during which the most important conclusions will be shared with the public. Following this there will be a political and cultural event with the participation of Tunisians from Tunis and its surroundings who are active socially, religious figures, union members, academics, journalists and families of Tunisian martyrs in Palestinian resistance.
The overarching aim of the conference is to move towards an action plan that will be announced on the third day of the conference—it will be based on the declared goals of the conference. In addition it will include clear steps to enable the participants to continue building a working relationship and building a collective experience. A follow up committee will be formed at the end of the conference, composed of PYM members and Arab youths from each country, to ensure the action plan is carried out.
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The Road to Liberation
Yesterday Palestine was recognized as a nonmember observer state in the United Nations, some Palestinian voices remind us that this “victory” tastes more like a bitter defeat.
The bid-for-statehood initiative was an imposition and disregarded all the internal criticism that it has received. It was hailed to be a new step in our people's long march towards achieving our political ambitions. However, we must pause and consider, what are these ambitions? And how does this step serve our national project?
In a political climate in which there is an absence of clearly stated goals and which is marked by political division it becomes possible for any party to become a self-appointed spokesperson for our cause. These self-appointed spokespersons take advantage of this political climate to discredit all voices of dissent, going as far as labeling them as traitors. In such a situation, who can hold them accountable?
It is evident that these dissenting voices, that are critical to bid-for-statehood initiative, have been unheard, disorganized and fragmented. This is not due to their irrelevance, but rather due to an absence of alternative options that are worthy of the efforts of those who have sacrificed with their blood for the struggle. Every battle that our people has undertaken has cost a heavy price, as such the responsibility falls on us to assure that these battles were not fought in vein and most certainly not in the favor of a weak and corrupt leadership.
Our liberation will be won not on the basis of normalization with the Zionist colonial regime, rather it will be gained with the path that was written with the blood of our martyrs. We reaffirm that the only path that we are concerned with is the path that explicitly heads towards the liberation of our land and the return of our people to Palestine... All Palestine.
Until Return and Liberation,
Palestinian Youth Movement
To Read 2011 Statement go to: http://bit.ly/Vb70Vf