Jeff Halper’s monthly update on events and political developments in Palestine/Israel takes a critical view of the ongoing war in Gaza. While we at ICAHD place great importance on critical analysis in finally reaching a just and inclusive political settlement, Jeff has asked us to acknowledge that his remarks are being made at a moment when Palestinians in Gaza face what may well become a genocidal Israeli invasion, and that we at ICAHD extend our solidarity to them, together with keeping them constantly in our thoughts.
ICAHD’s Jeff Halper continues his discussion of the vision that is unfolding from his involvement with the One Democratic State Campaign, led by Palestinians. Their vision is for a new country – a new state – a new civil society where there are equal rights for everyone who lives between the river and sea. De-colonization must happen completely and there can be no hidden agendas from any side. Creating this will not be easy because there are two distinct national groups. It will a “hard-sell” for the Palestinians to recognize the Jews after all these years of living under Israel’s domination. There will never be absolute justice but there can be substantive justice.
August 2023 - Fantasy Israel versus State of Judea
An update from Jeff Halper, Director of the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD) as he addresses what is happening with the dramatic protests within Israel. They began in January after Netanyahu took office and announced his judicial reform plan. Jeff describes the deep division between liberal Israelis and the right wing – “… it’s an intra Jewish thing … that has pushed the Palestinian issue aside to some degree”.
Jeff says that Ilan Pappe put it well when he says this is a fight inside Israel between what he calls fantasy Israel and the state of Judah. Therefore, these protests have little to do with ICAHD’s issue of how to de-colonize the Israeli apartheid settler state and transform it into a democratic state of all citizens between the river and the sea.
July 2023 - Update on Israeli Annexation
|An update from Jeff Halper, Director of the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD) on the Israeli strategy of normalisation to consolidate and justify their settler colonial project in Palestine. Jeff describes the four ways Israel is 'mopping up' the Palestinians.|
A Statement by Jeff Halper on the SItuation in Jenin (3 July 2023)
We're 12 hours into Operation "Home and Garden," a planned 48-hour military operation to wipe out the "terrorist infrastructure" of the Jenin refugee camp and restore Palestinian Authority control over it -- in other words, to eliminate one of the last vestiges of armed resistance to the Zionist/Israeli project of Judaizing Palestine and, as in Apartheid South Africa, handing the pacified population of the Jenin Bantustan back to the collaborationist warlords of the Palestinian Authority.
The Israeli army assaulted the Jenin camp -- and don't forget, it’s a REFUGEE camp of more than 20,000 people living in a squalid pressure cooker only 0.42 km2 (or 0.16 sq. mile) large, refugees that Israel created in 1948 and has persecuted for the past 75 years -- in the early morning hours with (American-supplied) jet fighters, artillery, drones (both weaponized and for surveillance and 1000 heavily-armed soldiers in armored vehicles. Reports are of 10 dead, but the number will certainly be higher.
Although I presented my monthly update for ICAHD a few days ago, before the attack began, it comes after major assaults on Palestinian camps, villages and town both by the army and masses of settlers, the latter being what even the army calls programs, and my brief presentation tries to put it all in political perspective.
The Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions calls on the international community to stop the attack on Jenin and other Palestinian communities (which we know it will not do). We call on the UN to despatch a Protection Force to defend a vulnerable and oppressed Palestinian people (which we know will not happen). We call for the international community to enforce its own laws; if only the Fourth Genevan Convention was enforced, the Israeli occupation would collapse by the weight o its own illegality. And we call not only for the end of the Occupation but for the transformation of Israel and the Occupied Territory into a single democratic state of equal rights for all -- including refugees returning from outside the country and, finally, an end to the persecution of the Palestinian people by a brutal colonial regime.
In the meantime, we stand in solidarity with the people of the Jenin camp.
A Statement by Jeff Halper on 11 July when the Sub Laban family were evicted from their home
On Tuesday, July 11th, we got news that Nora Ghaith and her husband Mustafa Sub Laban had been forced out of their family’s home of 70 years in Jerusalem’s Old City. The family had spent 45 years in a legal battle fighting settler attempts to confiscate their home and in June, Israel’s Supreme Court ruled to terminate the family’s protected tenancy status, allowing it to be handed over to Israeli settlers. Jeff wrote:
And the process of Judaizing Palestine grinds relentlessly on, sometimes house by house, as in the case of Nora & Mustafa losing their home through the legal manipulations of the settlers, sometimes by losing entire mountains (as on the case of Homesh, near Nablus) or whole valleys (as in the case of Jordan Valley, almost completely cleared of its Palestinian population, or the agriculturally-rich Baka Valley near Hebron, being swallowed, dried up and Judaized by the expansion of the massive Kiryat Arba settlement) - or for that matter, the Galilee, the Negev/Naqab or the city of Jaffa, all undergoing displacement of Palestinians and their replacement by Jews. The Zionist settler project is mopping up, but in terms of displacement, human suffering, the attempted erasure of the country's Palestinian presence and the violent repression of any Palestinian resistance, it is far from over.
June 2023 - Israel’s Technologies of Oppression
|The theme for Jeff Halper’s June update is Israel’s technologies of oppression. It has developed ground-breaking surveillance systems that it uses to track Palestinians, restricting their freedom of movement and controlling their lives. Within East Jerusalem alone there are surveillance cameras situated every five metres. This system is tested on Palestinians and then sold to other countries as a means of repressing unwanted populations.
Israeli technology collects and stores information about every single Palestinian to a chilling effect. It uses facial recognition systems so all a soldier has to do is hold a phone to a Palestinian face and immediately information about that person and his/her family is downloaded – the person’s name, age, home location, occupation, names of family members, vehicle, security information, etc.
Jeff wrote about this subject in his book War Against the People: Israel, the Palestinians, and Global Pacification (Pluto Press 2015) and he was consulted for Amnesty’s new report Automated Apartheid on this subject which it released in May and which Jeff encourages everyone to read.
May 2023 - The Nakba
Jeff Halper, the Director of the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD) introduces the historical and geo-political context for the Nakba.
The first of our monthly series of recorded messages from Jeff Halper has been launched and each recording will provide an update about what is happening on the ground in Palestine/Israel.
This month Jeff speaks about the push of international right-wing organisations to change the face of democracy in the world, with Netanyahu and his group leaders in this effort. However, Netanyahu’s agenda has fractured Israeli society and coming to the surface are questions about how Israel can be a democracy with an occupation and apartheid policies. Jeff goes on to speak about the heighten repression of the Palestinians during Ramadan and again calls for the UN to provide protective presence for the Palestinians.