The Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD) is a non-violent Israeli direct-action organization established in 1997 to end Israel’s Occupation over the Palestinians. A grassroots organization, ICAHD has focused on the “big political picture” even while engaging in protest, resistance and informational activities “on the ground.” We seek, together with our Palestinian, Israeli and international partners, to formulate and achieve a genuinely just political settlement to the Israeli-Palestinian “conflict,” one that revolves around the creation of a single democratic state over the entire country.
As its name implies, ICAHD takes as the main focus of its resistance Israel's policy of demolishing Palestinian homes, both in Israel and in the Occupied Palestine Territory. A key element of Judaizing,” of transforming Palestine into the Land of Israel, is the demolition of Palestinian homes and entire communities. During the Nakba some 52,000 Palestinian homes were destroyed, more than 530 villages, towns and urban neighborhoods. Since the Occupation began in 1967, another 55,000 homes have been demolished in East Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza, while thousands more have been demolished inside Israel from the time of the Nakba until today. Resisting Israel’s policy of house demolitions addresses the essence of the “conflict”: one people displacing another. This has proven a powerful and effective vehicle for reframing the “conflict” from that of a security need, as Israel portrays it, to that of one-sided settler colonialism, ethnic cleansing and Judaizing rather than mutual conflict.
ICAHD operates on several levels:
- Resistance “on the ground.” ICAHD members physically resist the demolition of Palestinian homes and rebuilds homes that Israel has demolished as political acts of resistance, together with Palestinian partners and international supporters. Since our founding we have rebuilt 189 homes and constructed a community centre in the much-contested Jordan Valley
- Advocacy within Israel. ICAHD attempts to reach the wider Israeli society through its informational materials in Hebrew, networking with other Israeli organizations and conducting Hebrew-language tours in the Occupied Territory
- International Advocacy. ICAHD’s familiarity with realities “on the ground,” combined with its political analysis rooted in Israeli politics and society, gives it unique authority and political insight. Our views are frequently sought by diplomats, journalists, political delegations and fact-finding missions, church and Jewish groups, and the general public. ICAHD conducts extensive and systematic advocacy campaigns abroad supported by ICAHD USA, ICAHD UK, ICAHD Finland and ICAHD Germany, along with many other partner organizations. ICAHD also initiates campaigns abroad and participates in international conferences.
- Cooperation with Palestinian organizations and communities. ICAHD can only operate in the Occupied Palestine Territory in close collaboration with its Palestinian partners. By the same token, it is engaged with them in formulating an end-game – one democratic state – and strategizing towards its realization.
The Goal: A Just and Sustainable Peace
As Israelis, we believe that the only chance for a political settlement that can work is to advocate for full equality of Palestinians and Israelis in Palestine/Israel, with their collective and individual rights constitutionally guaranteed. Indeed, a workable peace must also address the needs of all the peoples of our conflict-ridden region for security, dignity, freedom and economic opportunity.