by Julia Berger, Middle East Crisis Committee
The Middle East Crisis Committee is hosting a talk by Jeff Halper, the co-founder and director of The Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD), on Thursday, June 26, at 7 p.m. at the Bethesda Lutheran Church, 450 Whitney Ave., New Haven (plenty of free parking available). Light refreshments will be served after the program.
The ICAHD was established in 1997 and is a non-violent, direct action peace and human rights organization dedicated to ending the Israeli Occupation and achieving a just peace between Israelis and Palestinians. Dr. Halper is an anthropologist, author, lecturer and political activist who has lived in Israel since 1973.
Born in the US, Jeff Halper emigrated to Israel in 1973. For more than a decade, he worked for the municipality of Jerusalem as a community worker in the city’s poor Mizrahi Jewish neighborhoods.
In 1997, he co-founded ICAHD, an organization which protests Israel’s policy of demolishing Palestinian homes (25,000 in the Occupied Territories since 1967).
Jeff has taught at universities both in Israel and abroad. He is the author of Between Redemption and Revival: The Jewish Yishuv in Jerusalem in the Nineteenth Century (1991) and Obstacles to Peace, a resource manual of articles and maps on the Israeli/ Palestinian conflict, published by ICAHD. His latest book, An Israeli in Palestine, is published by Pluto Press in London.
In 2006, Jeff was nominated by the American Friends Service Committee for the Nobel Peace Prize, together with the Palestinian intellectual and activist Ghassan Andoni.
In August, 2008, Jeff was the only Israeli to join the initial sailing of the Free Gaza Movement boats into Gaza to break the Israeli and international siege.
In connection to housing demolitions, many will recall the 2003 death of Rachel Corrie, a young American in the International Solidarity Movement, who was killed in Gaza while trying to prevent Palestinian houses from being demolished. She was crushed to death by an Israeli military bulldozer (made by Caterpillar). Israeli courts exonerated the driver although Rachel Corrie’s parents are appealing the verdict.