Photo taken by T. Ambrose.
ICAHD’s Co-Founder Jeff Halper was detained by Israeli police on 8th March for suspected incitement following a visit he made to the illegal settlement of Maale Adumin with an international tour group during ICAHD’s ‘Matrix of Control’ tour of Greater Jerusalem. Someone from the settlement had reported Jeff on suspicion of carrying material related to BDS and police rushed to respond to the complaint. Jeff was questioned and his ICAHD maps and BDS 4 BDS poster (Boycotts, Divestment, Sanctions for a Bi-national Democratic State) were photographed. Jeff wasn’t arrested but the fact that he was detained and questioned is a reflection of the increasingly authoritarian climate in Israel. Lisa Goldberg covered the story in +972 and also wrote, “Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and members of his cabinet have used loaded language to conflate BDS with anti-Semitism, gratuitous hatred of the State of Israel — and even with violence.” Supporting BDS is enough to get detained by the cops in Israel these days | +972 Magazine
The incident was covered by other media outlets including this television interview with Jeff Halper on The Real News Network BDS Activist Speaks About His Arrest by Israeli Police.
On 16th March Jeff participated in an Israeli television programme that is sub-titled, “You Ask, He Answers” that featured American lawyer Alan Dershowitz, staunch supporter of Israel. It was supposed to be a debate. Jeff opened with issues (settlements, Israel’s intention of making the occupation permanent, apartheid) and got back nothing but insults (“you’re an anti-Semite,” a “fraud”, etc ) and slogans (“Israel is the only democracy” in the Middle East) and pontification — a lot of condescending, hot-air pontification. Jeff wrote a blog about the programme and gave the mild example of Dershowitz holding up Ramallah as a model of Palestinian “development.” He pointed out that although Ramallah looks impressive with office blocks, hotels and fancy restaurants, it’s all based on soft money from the UN and other “development” agencies. There is no genuine economy in the isolated enclave that is Ramallah. If anything, Ramallah demonstrates how much the Palestinians have been transformed into wards of the international community, an entire people kept alive through international donations although they would have the resources and skilled people necessary for normal life if occupation and apartheid would be lifted. The very idea that a country can develop under repression — or that repression can somehow be liberal and benign, which is what Dershowitz is intimating — is absurd. Jeff is willing and eager to debate Israeli policies with any “pro-Israel” advocate so let’s hope there are more opportunities for him in the future. For now take a look at the programme and draw your own conclusion. Jeff appears at 4.55 minutes into the programme. One one One with Alan Dershowitz – Mar. 16, 2017 – YouTube
Don’t miss hearing Jeff when he participates in the ICAHD UK annual conference on 13th May.