Al-Awda, Palestine Right to Return Coalition First Annual Convention
(Toronto, Canada)
Press Release on resolutions
July 3, 2003

Hundreds of Palestinian exiles from North America and the Arab Homeland and their supporters gathered at the 1st Annual Convention of Al-Awda, Palestine Right to Return Coalition in Toronto, Canada from the 20th to the 22nd of June, 2003. The main objective of the Convention was to reaffirm the centrality of the Palestinian right of return in light of the existential challenges facing the Palestinian people and question, epitomized by the destruction and occupation of Iraq and the introduction of the "Road Map". While the former is the first step in a process aimed at redrawing the political and geo-strategic map of the Arab Homeland, the latter represents the latest attempt by the Zionist entity and the US to liquidate Palestinian national rights.

Motivated by a deep sense of responsibility and appreciation of the enormity of the challenges facing Palestinian aspirations for liberationand return, al-Awda activists and their supporters met to re-energize the right to return movement in North America. Participants, including representatives from Lebanon, Palestine, and Jordan,took part in sessions and panels dealing with topics ranging from divestment and the apartheid nature of the Zionist entity to the role of Palestinian women in the struggle for liberation, self-determination and return. Two speakers, Dr. Salaman Abu Sitta of the Palestine Land Society and Mr. Richard Becker of the Act Now to Stop War and End Racism (A.N.S.W.E.R), delivered the keynote addresses at the convention.

At the conclusion of the convention, al-Awda members attending the organizational and strategy session adopted and committed themselves to the following resolutions and actions.


Resolution 1

The Palestinian right of return is a historical, national and collective right rooted in the individual and collective inviolable right of an individual and a people to their original homes, property, and homeland, and to restitution, regardless of agreements, developments in international law and political framework. It is a right that transcends generations, political entities, and is not subject to any form of negation or compromise. It is an inextricable right from the fundamental right of unconditional self-determination for the totality of the Palestinian people regardless of their place of residence or birth.

Resolution 2

Al-Awda 2003 Convention opposes the US sponsored Road Map, which aims at suppressing the human and national rights of the Palestinian people. The Convention expresses support for the struggle of the Palestinian people, currently spearheaded by the Intifada, to achieve national resistance goals including, but not limited to, ending Zionist colonization, implementing the right of return, and achieving self-determination. Al-Awda Convention does not recognize any self-proclaimed Palestinian leadership, elected or appointed, in compromising any Palestinian national rights, especially the right of return.

Resolution 3

Al-Awda 2003 Convention demands the immediate termination of the use of the term "Israel/Palestine", and any of its combinations, in all and any Al-Awda related documents.

Resolution 4

Al-Awda 2003 Convention demands the immediate release of all political prisoners from all Israeli and Palestinian Authority jails.


Recommendation 1 - National Days of Action

Al-Awda 2003 Convention resolved that the following days are National & International Days of Action in support of the Palestinian Right of Return and against colonial occupations, where events and activities can be conducted on local, regional, and national scale:

Recommendation 2

That next Al-Awda Convention will be held in the San Francisco Bay Area or in Southern California, United States.

Recommendation 3

Al-Awda 2003 Convention calls on al-Awda members and the Coordinating Committee to implement the following recommendations of the various workshops:


Among the 2003 Convention's main achievements are the following: