The One Democratic State (ODS) Structure
We are the people of Palestine and our descendants, working with all those who value justice and peace to establish a grassroots international movement of the one democratic state in Palestine (ODS) that can serve all its people equally. We are a movement expressing the vision of existing solidarity organizations, groups, and individuals articulating the aspirations for ODS as it has been eloquently stated in the Declaration of One Democratic State in Palestine.
Who are we?
We are a grassroots international movement expressing the will of existing solidarity organizations, groups, and individuals in articulating their vision for One Democratic State in Palestine (ODS). This vision has been eloquently stated in the Declaration of One Democratic State in Palestine and reaffirmed at the Dallas Conference on October 23-24, 2010. The Declaration strives to defend, protect, and preserve the ideals of equality and democracy that are essential to the establishment of a comprehensive and lasting peace in the region.
This Movement does not replace existing groups or organizations or diminish the role played by activist individuals. It supports such groups and individuals to debate and adopt the Declaration of ODS as an integral part of their mission and to unite behind this vision.
The Structure of the Movement
The Movement for ODS will develop By-Laws for approval by the General Assembly in its next convention within one year. Until this can be done, the following provisional rules will apply:
The Movement will be organized as a General Assembly (GA). The General Assembly will serve as the highest decision-making body of the Movement.
- The GA will meet annually to elect a Chair and Organizing Committee (OC), receive reports from the Secretariat, evaluate actions taken, adopt action plans, and approve the activities of the Secretariat. At the annual meeting and through the Movement’s website, forums and referenda, the Assembly will decide on strategy and activities raise funds and share resources.
- The General Assembly will not have any authority to limit members in pursuing activities consistent with the Declaration, but will have the authority to expel members who violate the Principles of the Declaration or act unethically regarding the Movement.
Membership in the General Assembly
- Until 1 January 2012, membership in the Assembly shall be at the discretion of the Secretariat. Organizations and potential chapters that wish to join the Movement will contact the Secretariat expressing their interest in being represented in the GA and fill out the necessary documents for membership. The Secretariat shall grant membership based on all available documentation.
- After 1 January 2012, membership shall be at the discretion of the GA. Groups and potential chapters that wish to join the Movement will establish contact with the Secretariat expressing their interest in being represented in the GA and fill out the necessary documents for membership, which shall be reviewed by the Secretariat. The Secretariat shall then make recommendations to the GA and seating shall be approved by the GA.
Qualifications for membership in the GA
- Membership in the ODS General Assembly will require the following:
1. Signing the Declaration for One Democratic State in Palestine. (All individuals attending Assembly meetings or contributing to Movement website forums must personally sign the Declaration.)
2. During the first year (2010-2011), members must commit to organize at least one independent meeting during the following year to promote the Declaration.
3. After the first year, continuing membership will be based on having organized at least one independent meeting during the preceding year to promote the Declaration.
Term of Service in the GA
- The term of service for all representatives in the Assembly is 2 years. No person shall serve more than 2 terms or a total of 4 years. At the end of the representative’s tenure, Chapters will elect a replacement.
- Applications for exemption from this rule may be submitted to the Secretariat, which will advise the General Assembly.
- Individuals invited by the Secretariat to join the Assembly are not subject to this rule but their membership will be reviewed every two years by the Secretariat, which will recommend renewal to the Assembly.
The Organizing Committee (OC)
- The Organizing Committee shall serve as a coordination and decision-making body between meetings of the GA. The OC shall advise the Secretariat where needed, approve special expenditures consistent with the by-laws, and serve as a problem-solving and facilitating resource for the Movement.
- All decisions of the OC are subject to review by the GA.
- One member of the OC shall serve as Treasurer and shall be charged with reviewing the annual financial report of the Secretariat.
- The Secretary (head of the Secretariat) will have one seat ex officio on the Organizing Committee.
The Secretariat will implement decisions of the Assembly. The Secretariat will be based in Dallas, Texas unless the Assembly deems it in the best interest of the Movement to move it by a 2/3 vote. No move shall take place before the lapse of four years from the date of adopting this document.
1. The Secretariat will be charged with the following:
2. Ensure that the events and activities of members are consistent with the Declaration;
3. Assist members with information and resources to promote the Declaration;
4. Maintain the ODS Movement’s website to ensure that it provides an active forum for discussion, debate and networking for ODS members;
5. Organize the annual meeting;
6. Bring to the attention of the OC to any issues that require decisions and action between annual meetings or that implicate the integrity and healthy growth of the Movement;
7. Conduct any other activities requested by GA.
The Secretariat and Funds
The Secretariat is also charged with handling all the funds of the Movement. Funds obtained through the Movement will be held in a dedicated bank account and may only be used for the benefit of the Movement and for purposes consistent with rules that will be established by the GA. These activities may include publicity, staffing the Secretariat, running the annual meeting, and essential travel as approved by the OC.
The Secretariat and Bank Accounts
The Secretariat will ensure that the Movement’s Bank accounts are kept and tax reports made in accordance with United States law. The Secretariat will also submit a complete account of all income and expenditures to the Treasurer at the annual General Assembly for review. Failure to submit this report shall be cause to dismiss all responsible members of the Secretariat including the head of the Secretariat. All financial reports shall be subject to an independent audit by a CPA.
ODS Categories of Membership
Members in the GA will consist of four categories:
2. Organization Members
3. Activists and Eminent Personalities and
- Chapters shall be composed of at least 5 individuals. Each Chapter shall have one vote at the Assembly.
- Special provision shall be made in the October 2011 conference to facilitate the organization and registration of Chapters.
Existing Solidarity Organizations
- Existing solidarity and concerned organizations may also register as ODS members. Each will have one vote at the assembly.
- National offices of organizations that are themselves organized into chapters will be registered as one member.
Activists and Eminent Personalities
In the first year, the Secretariat may also grant voting rights to individual activists and eminent personalities for their unique and continued contribution to the cause of ODS.
After the first year, the Secretariat will recommend these appointments to the GA for approval.
The Movement welcomes affiliations by organizations that do not wish to compose themselves as ODS chapters but wish to endorse the Declaration of the ODS Movement. Organizations can request status as affiliates from the Secretariat. Once invited to join, Affiliates may send one representative to the assembly, who may speak but not vote at the Assembly and in on-line Assembly referenda. Like members, the individual representatives of Affiliates must sign the Declaration in order to attend meetings of the GA or post messages on Movement’s website forums.