Jeff Halper, ICAHD’s Director, reflects on the final day of ICAHD’s annual rebuilding camp for internationals:
The ICAHD Rebuilding Camp is completed! Two weeks of building in 40 degree (104 F) heat, 20 international activists bolstered by their Palestinian and Israeli compatriots and a wonderful, professional Palestinian team of builders led by Salim and Riad, and grassroots donations from around the world have given rise to a 4-room home – the home of Fhadad family, who were forced to demolish their own home by the Israeli authorities.
The festive dedication ceremony was held on Sunday. Local residents of the West Bank town of Anata (including the mayor), Palestinian activists from around the West Bank and East Jerusalem, Israeli activists and large delegation of Go Palestine! kids – young Palestinians from around the world who spend the summer in Palestine – gathered to hear speeches, plant fruit trees in the family garden, dance the Dabka, partake in a delicious Palestinian meal – and help the family move their furniture in. They slept in the house last night.
This was ICAHD’s 189th rebuilt home – its 189th act of political resistance to the Israeli Occupation. But because of your support, it is really a home built by a growing international community supporting Palestinian aspirations for freedom.
There’s a lot more to say about the rebuilding (more posts to come) but also about ending this interminable oppression. If anything came out of our discussions the past two weeks, it is the urgent need to formulate an end-game. BDS is fine, but what are BDS-ing for? (and “ending the Occupation” is not a political program).
What do we want? Governments will not resolve this conflict justly. It is up to us, primarily Palestinian civil society supported by progressive Israelis. If we do not articulate our own solution, no one else will. And in my humble view, that has to take the form of one democratic, bi-national state in Palestine/Israel.