Knowledgable guides, a grounded approach to the politics of Occupation, and an insight into the difficulties of Palestinian life.
Having provided tens of thousands of people from around the world with top-quality political and critical tours since 1997, the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD) is widely known for its knowledgeable tour guides, its grounded approach to the politics of Occupation, and providing an insight into the difficulties of Palestinian life.
On our tours you will see how Israel’s settlement project has created irreversible “facts on the ground”. You will better appreciate what a truly just and lasting peace would entail. If you wish, you can meet Palestinian families suffering under Israeli policies of separation and home demolitions. ICAHD believes that first-hand learning is the only way to grasp the social, cultural, political, and historical issues that underlie the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
ICAHD tour guides provide tours in English and Hebrew.
For groups of at least 5 participants we arrange any tailor-made tour or transport. All tours can also be arranged as a private tours (i.e., with no other participants), either because you simply prefer it this way or in cases where there are not enough other participants to go on a particular tour on a particular date. Prices will change accordingly.
“These tours through their many and varied visits and opportunities to meet activists, provides an excellent opportunity for both beginners and more seasoned campaigners to extend their knowledge and understanding of the issues and priorities for campaigning back home.”
(A Mitchell, Mar 2017)
HALF DAY TOURS
Jerusalem’s Old City
A three hour walking tour in Jerusalem’s Old City allows us to present the complex historical and political situation of the area in a way that weaves together ancient history and culture with modern life and politics. We walk through various quarters of the Old City, see numerous Palestinian homes that were expropriated by Israeli settlers and the Israeli government, see the difference in the living conditions of Palestinians and Israeli settlers, and learn about the systematic and ongoing oppression of Palestinians living in the Old City.
Length of tour: 3 hours Contact us
The tour of East Jerusalem begins with an in-depth briefing about the historical and political background of the area. We then drive through Palestinian neighbourhoods such as Jabel Mukaber, Silwan, Sheikh Jarrah and Ras Al-mod to witness first-hand the reality of the Israeli settlements, all illegal under international law, that have been established in occupied East Jerusalem. Participants witness the disparity of services provided for the Palestinians compared to the quality of life enjoyed by the illegal Jewish settlers and the conflict arising from Israel’s settlement policy is discussed. Participants see the ruins of demolished Palestinian homes, the eight-metre high Separation Wall that divides Palestinian neighbourhoods, and the new Israeli highways that connect the settlements. Subjects such as education and the shortage of classrooms, systematic arrests, family reunification challenges, zoning and planning discrimination and other important issues are presented to bring understanding about why life is increasingly difficult for the more than 300,000 Palestinians squeezed in to the small area of land available for them in East Jerusalem.
Length of tour: 3 hours Contact us
Greater Jerusalem Tour – ‘Matrix of Control’
The ‘Matrix of Control’ tour of Greater Jerusalem presents a critical Israeli view of the Occupation and Israel’s long-term policies and political intentions. The tour exposes the conflict that is so clearly embodied in the Israeli Zionist concept of 'Greater Jerusalem' created when the post-1967 government officials and army bureaucrats expanded Jerusalem’s municipality borders to include as much agricultural and ‘open land’ as possible while leaving out the Palestinian towns and villages that rely on the land for their income and livelihood.
The ‘Matrix of Control’ tour begins with the East Jerusalem tour but continues through the settlement of Pisgat Ze’ev, the largest residential neighborhood in Jerusalem with a population of over 50,000, to access more of the settlement enterprise. An explanation is given about the historical and political significance of Judaizing the West Bank in order to forestall any viable Palestinian state. We take Highway No.1 to Ma’ale Adumin, the third largest settlement block in the West Bank. Set in the Judean Desert it boasts Olympic-sized swimming pools, water parks and an irrigation system where lawns are kept green and flower beds explode with colour even in the height of the summer while the deprived Bedouin communities in the valleys below suffer from water shortages. Learn about the continued expropriation of land, the threat of forced displacement to the Bedouin communities and plans for Israeli development of this land area referred to as E1 which will connect Maale Adumin to Jerusalem.
* The tour may also include the settlement of Har-Homa/Gil
Length of tour: 4 hours Contact us
“For me the experience has been truly shocking and life-changing as I'm sure it must be for everyone privileged enough to participate in them.”
(J Turtle, Nov 2016)
The Jordan Valley tour
This tour exposes participants to the Matrix of Control that Israel has laid over the strategic and fertile Jordan Valley to the exclusion of the Palestinian residents. The tour of the Jordan Valley departs from near Jerusalem’s Old City and travels through East Jerusalem neighborhoods and north into the settlement of Pisgat Ze’ev. We slowly descend through the breathtaking scenery of the Judean Mountains towards Jericho, the lowest town on earth.
An explanation is given about the intricate history of the Jordan Valley prior to 1967 and the devastation that has resulted since 1967 when Israel began its occupation of this region. The tour proceeds along Route 90 which runs parallel to the Jordan River just across from Jordan, seen in the distance. During travel various illegal Israeli settlements and Palestinian communities are observed. Some are visited to highlight the key humanitarian issues concerning life today in this unique area: home demolitions, forced displacement, child labour, movement restrictions, checkpoints and roadblocks. Participants also witness how Israel expropriates Palestinian land by declaring ‘closed military zones’ and ‘nature reserves’.
There is special focus on the immensely disproportional amounts of water used by Israelis in settlements compared to Palestinians living in the region. Stops off the main roads lead to the Bedouin herding communities for whom life is extremely harsh.
Length of tour: 7 hours (with the possibility to shorten)
Please note that the routes of tours are flexible; any group that has specific places it wishes to visit or subjects to discuss can let us know in advance and we will do our best to incorporate them into the tour. Contact us
“This tour, composed largely of close encounters with Israelis and Palestinians, penetrates the surface of Israel/Palestine, revealing realities ignored by the mainstream media. Participating in it has been one of the most valuable experiences of my 71 years.”
(J Garrett, Nov 2015)
EXTENDED STUDY TOURS
Visit Palestine/Israel on an Extended Study Tour that will change your life
4 – 14 November 2019 and 16 - 26 March 2020
There are a limited number of places still available for the November 2019 tour - please book soon to secure your place!
No amount of reading, attending lectures or watching films can convey a genuine understanding of the facts on the ground compared to being there.
ICAHD and the international chapters in the UK, USA, Finland and Germany recommend these study tours that are grounded in ICAHD analysis. They offer unique time with Dr Jeff Halper, ICAHD’s Founder, who sets the scene by describing the current reality in Palestine/Israel within its historical and political context.
Participants will visit Palestinians dealing with all the constraints and the suffering brought about from living under Israel’s Occupation and Apartheid policies:
- the demolition of their homes and loss of lands
- deliberate impoverishment,
- the inability to move freely
- issues of water discrimination
- child imprisonment
- the psychological impact of generations existing under violent military occupation
- as well as issues of women’s rights, traumatised families and refugees.
As Jeff Halper explains, “The tour is not merely a litany of suffering; it is inspiring. You will meet people who refuse to give in, Palestinians who are sumud -steadfast- and who resist their oppression in a myriad of ways. You will also meet their Israeli partners working to end the Occupation, both politically and “on the ground.” And you will explore ways to resolve the conflict that are just, workable and creative, enabling you to return home as a strong advocate for peace in your own community.”
These itineraries are individual, developed over nearly twenty years and come with hundreds of recommendations from people world-wide. The tours provide engagement with inspiring Palestinians and Israelis and meeting them will change your life. Travel south into the Negev, through different areas in the West Bank, north into the Galilee and along the Mediterranean coastline.
“Excellent selection of organisations and we valued the opportunity to travel within the West Bank and Israel to different locations. Information sharing throughout was excellent and the amount of learning and knowledge gathering was immense.”
A & A Cross, March 2018
Accommodation is in Bethlehem, East Jerusalem and Nazareth. Travel is by our own private comfortable coach with an expert local driver from a licensed bus company. The group is kept to a maximum of 18 participants.
The cost of the tour includes the full tour programme staying at good three-star hotels at half-board (bed, breakfast and evening meal), sharing a twin-bedded room with ensuite facilities, guidance from the tour leader, other day-guides and tips. Flights, lunches and travel insurance are not included. An additional supplement is available for single room accommodation by request. An application form must be completed, and a reference is sought. When participation is confirmed, a £300 non-refundable deposit is required. A comprehensive information packet for the tour is provided which includes the full itinerary and details about all aspects of the tour. Personal guidance is provided for each study tour participant.
4 – 14 November 2019 - £1230 +£290 for those requiring the single supplement
16 - 26 March 2020 - £1230 +£290 for those requiring the single supplement
For information and an application form contact email@example.com
Comments by two November 2018 study tour participants
When retired Tribunal Judge Penny Wood applied to participate in the November 2018 Study Tour to Palestine/Israel, she wrote that she wanted to go to that part of the world because she’d never been there before. She is not a member of any organisation campaigning on the Palestine issue, but she is interested in helping fight injustice, so she wanted to hear directly from people living there about what life is like and what they want and will accept for the future.
Following the tour, Penny said that what she had been left with, apart from greatly increased knowledge about the Palestinian situation, is admiration for the Palestinians who continue to battle on, despite their lack of freedom and the invidious and unremitting discrimination they suffer daily in what is a virtually apartheid state. “They have had to do this for so many years and must feel forgotten by the rest of the world a lot of the time. But I shall not forget.”
Penny went on to say, “I learnt so much from this tour and I would highly recommend it to anyone, be they knowledgeable about, or largely ignorant of, the Palestinian situation. The visits to a wide range of organisations and individual Palestinians enabled me to gain at least some understanding of the reality of life for the Palestinians, be they in East Jerusalem, Palestinian villages or refugee camps. I would never have been able to gain that understanding without going on this tour, however many books I read.”
Another study tour participant, David Grybowski from Australia, summarized some of the issues covered. “There is everyday harassment like night-time home invasions by the IDF or police; tear gassing of school yards; random closure or go-slow at checkpoints (some of which has resulted in mothers giving birth in waiting line-ups); random inspection of identification and permits; denial of access to agricultural land; destruction of olive groves; and jailing without due law processes. All of this is designed to degrade Palestinian life and open more land for Jewish settlement. I have been an eyewitness or heard testimony to these things. They are not rogue actions by extremists – they are State-aligned actions to fulfil Zionist objectives.”
For information and an application form contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Examples of what extended study tours participants will see in 2019
(Photos by Stephen Sizer)