The Palestinian Catastrophe

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Keynote Address by the Hon Bob Carr

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The Palestinian catastrophe, known as the Nakba, refers to the devastation of the Palestinian homeland in 1948, and with it the displacement of the majority of Palestinian Arabs. The Catastrophe did not end in 1948. 75 years later Palestinian lands remain under occupation. As the dramatic use of military force in recent weeks shows, violence, discrimination and displacement remain the lot of the Palestinians.
What is a principled response? Which way for a just peace? What constructive initiatives can Australia and other governments take? What of the UN? Is civil society everywhere ready to assume its responsibilities?
The peace of the region and the world beyond hangs in the balance.

SOPHIE MCNEILL, has been researcher for Human Rights Watch in Australia, and before that an investigative reporter with ABC’s Four Corners program. She was also a foreign correspondent for the ABC and SBS in the Middle East, including Israel/ Palestine.
RAWAN ARRAF, is the executive director and principal lawyer of the Australian Centre for International Justice. She has practised in refugee protection, administrative law and international human rights law.