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1. AICP Democracy and Counter Extremism Think Tank

Extremism - religious, political, social economic and cultural - as well as racism and hatred, have become a dangerous threat to societies, values ​​and human achievements and must be urgently addressed. In the Palestinian context, of course, we must also confront the Israeli occupation and its attendant colonial policies. The exacerbation of political, economic, social and cultural contradictions and the failure to deal with them in a just and realistic manner is the structural basis of today’s explosive situation. Since the end of the Cold War, instead of turning states, institutions and cultural, political, social and religious constituencies towards rationalism in resolving contradictions, ending conflicts, fairly and rethinking international political systems to become more effective and just, we observe that contradictions are increasingly dangerous and disruptive.

The AICP will launch a broad and inclusive think tank for dialogue among social movements, political groups, governmental ministries and organizations, academics, schools, faith leaders, NGOs, local and municipal councils and the private sector to articulate and promote policies for a free and democratic Palestinian society – toward which ending the Israeli colonial occupation is a necessary but insufficient condition. The AICP Think Tank will be guided by the principles and aspirations formulated in such documents as the Palestinian Declaration of Independence, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and its subsequent human rights conventions, the principles of international law and the Kairos Palestine Document, as well as values and objectives for sustainable development and environmental justice.

 The AICP Think Tank will act as a center for dialogue and policy making:

 To defend Palestinian national rights for independence and self-determination within a secular state based on the idea of ​​full citizenship for all residents.

To articulate and promote policies for a free and democratic Palestinian society that values principles including human rights, the right of expression, diversity, social, economic and cultural justice, women’s rights, sustainable development and an equitable distribution of wealth while acting against the exploitation and plundering of the wealth of peoples and nations.

To combat the culture of extremism, racism, colonialism, hegemony, exploitation and wars.

 To accomplish this, the AICP will:

Initiate action-oriented seminars, workshops and position papers, policies and practical recommendations, as well as advocacy campaigns to promote these ideas together with social and political groups on a local, regional and international levels, in addition to support campaigns against the normalization with the Israeli colonial occupation.

Build evidence-based cultural and educational programs to confront racism, extremism and hatred while promoting community-based political development grounded in critical, analytical thought.

Promote and support environmental policies that address the climate crisis and the irrational exploitation and depletion of natural resources.

AICP Youth for Development and Transformation

The systematic targeting of Palestinian youth by the Israeli occupation, coupled with the social, political and economic pressures to which young Palestinians are subjected, have resulted in the spread of despair, frustration, selfishness, narrow mindedness and a distorted consciousness of national identity. The Palestinian community often does not provide youth with the space to initiate and lead. Young Palestinians are frustrated, see no horizon for their personal future and are negatively impacted by religious extremism and the spread of consumer culture. This leads many to focus on local, micro-issues, without an understanding of how they are related to and impact upon the wider context.

 In this highly volatile reality and given the power of the information and communication revolution to exert enormous influence on Palestinian youth, it is necessary to develop appropriate and youth-driven actions to address these challenges and risks.

 Programs to support Palestinian youth are a professional and social need and they contribute to building and developing the abilities and skills of the next generation. However, such initiatives by many institutions and non-governmental organizations focus on important but limited technical skills while inadvertently ignoring fundamental national questions and issues in their work. When youth lack vision and awareness of the national issues confronting them, particularly in a situation of colonial occupation, serious weaknesses and imbalances are created in their consciousness that negatively impact their nascent role as a force for social change. This has resulted in the growing phenomenon of young people staying away from political action and losing confidence in political groups and their own abilities to bring about positive changes, as well as their tendency toward sectarian and tribal identities and focus on micro, parochial issues in the absence of a strategic vision to unite their varied efforts and initiatives.

 The AICP objective of this work is to participate in social change and transformation by developing the awareness, strategic vision and critical thinking of Palestinian youth, both young women and men, about the contexts, dimensions, challenges and key elements of the concept of Palestinian national identity, in order to enable them to overcome narrow partisan, political, party, religious, gendered or social approaches and promote their acceptance of the principle of unity in diversity.  In addition to developing their ability to comprehend Palestinian reality in a deeper and more comprehensive way, AICP programs will assist young people in understanding their potential roles and responsibilities in society building and transformation, as well as their individual and national choices, in more critical and expansive manners.

 All AICP youth programs include both women and men while emphasising to all the necessity of defending women’s rights and the struggle against all types of exploitation, whether political, economic, cultural, social or gendered.

 AICP youth programs will employ a variety of interactive and interdependent activities that build upon each other:

Capacity building and mentoring: Workshops, seminars, courses, tours and field visits to learn about the social and political issues facing Palestinians and in particular Palestinian youth and other minority and/or marginalised groups within Palestinian society.

Voluntary work: Reviving the concept of voluntary work through development and support for youth-led field initiatives.

Learning, experience sharing and exchanges: Creating and sustaining a platform on which diverse Palestinian populations, including Muslims, Christians, urban and rural residents, Bedouins  and refugees, young and adult women and men can meet and learn together, overcoming social, religious, gendered and geographical divisions that currently keep them apart and help to sustain stereotypes and limited understandings.

Encounters with political parties and NGOs: Facilitating exchanges with these social groups and training youth to hold them accountable.

Public events and media work: Encouraging Palestinian youth to share their problems, ideas and solutions with the wider Palestinian public, with a focus on political parties and NGOs, opening up discussions and avenues for exchange.

Public advocacy campaigns: Transforming the knowledge, understandings and relationships gained into wider advocacy campaigns to impact and benefit both youth and Palestinian society as a whole.

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Palestine +972 2 277 5445