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The Founding Body of “The Popular Movement for One Democratic State on Historical Palestine” held a meeting on Saturday 8.2.2014 in the meetings’ hall of the municipality of Al-Bireh, in the presence of members of the body and selected guests from the Palestinian political leadership, academics and supporters of ODS from all over Palestine, including a delegation from inside the Green Line.

The participants discussed the current political situation and the position of the Popular Movement toward the initiative of U.S. secretary of state, John Kerry. The organizers presented a position paper defining the movement’s position regarding the latest political developments concerning the Palestinian struggle and the vision of the movement to solve the conflict in Palestine, which already lasted over a century. This vision proposes the establishment of one democratic state based on the principles of freedom, justice, democracy and equality, adopting the principles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights – a state for all residents – while upholding the right of return of Palestinian refugees to their homes and property from which they were expelled by force. A country governed by a democratic constitution based on the right to citizenship as one of the basic human rights, equality before the law, equality between women and men in all walks of life and equal opportunities without discrimination based on race, religion, color or anything else. It is a Humanitarian and civilized solution to the conflict, a real alternative to the racist demand to recognize Israel as a racist Jewish state.

Most of the meeting was dedicated to discussion with the audience, hearing different opinions, criticism and suggestions to the Steering Committee of the movement.

During the meeting, forms for joining the popular movement were distributed.

It was announced that the movement launched its new website:

Ods-palestine.org

The meeting was opened with a minute of silence in commemoration of all the martyrs who gave their lives in the struggle for freedom everywhere and the participants stayed standing while the Palestinian national anthem was played.

Then the chairperson, Mr. Ghassan Olayan, welcomed the participants. He was followed by Mr. Munir Abushi, the former governor of Salfit district, who presented the principles of the popular movement, its goals, its basic concepts and the reasoning for the timing of its establishment. Mr. Radi Jarai, a professor at the University of Jerusalem, read the position paper of the movement on the political situation in the Palestinian arena.

At the end of the discussion of the position paper, Mr. Awni Al-Mashni, member of the Advisory Board of the Fatah movement, and Dr. Uri Davis, member of the Revolutionary Council of Fatah and lecturer at Jerusalem University, replied to questions that were raised by the guests.

Comrade Yoav Bar from the Haifa group for one democratic state talked about the activity of different groups of supporters of the idea, the challenges facing the movement in the territories occupied since 1948 and prospects for its development both in Palestine and on the international level.

(This report was translated from the Arabic, and is also available in Hebrew.)