Resisting Occupation, Constructing Peace

Imagine watching your home being bulldozed. Your legal and physical re
ICAHD volunteers helped rebuild two homes in the village of Shukba (in the Central West Bank) that had been demolished by the Israeli Authorities. Photo: ICADH.org
sistance has been ignored. You may or may not be given an hour to remove your family’s possessions when the bulldozer, accompanied by government officials and soldiers, arrives in the early morning. Before your eyes your home, your land, your roots have been torn away.

After the 1967 war, Israel occupied the entire Palestinian territory (Gaza, East Jerusalem, and the West Bank), and sought to create “facts on the ground.” Through the continued growth of Israeli settlements, the construction of Israeli-only highways and the expropriation of land for “security reasons,” Israel has expanded its presence and control in the Occupied Territory. At the same time, over 20,000 Palestinian homes have been destroyed and a separation barrier (The Wall) has been built to separate the Palestinians from the Israelis.

In 1998 an Israeli organization, The Israel Committee Against House Demolitions(ICAHD), was organized to nonviolently resist the demolition of Palestinian homes. The Committee includes members of many Israeli peace and human rights organizations and its work is coordinated with local Palestinian organizations. It resists Israeli land expropriation, settlement expansion and by-pass road construction.

 ICAHD’s goal is to end Israel’s illegal occupation and bring a just and sustainable peace to Israelis and Palestinians. Its grassroots work gives its members credibility and insight into the conflict as they reach out to diplomats, fact-finding missions, the public and the media within Israel (see icahd.org).

The work of ICAHD has expanded to include helping Palestinians file police claims, deal with Israeli authorities and present legal challenges to Israeli actions and policies in the Occupied Territories. As efforts to bring the reality of the occupation to Israeli society expanded, ICAHD realized that support from the international community could be a valuable asset.

And that’s where we come in.  Members of the CNY Working for a Just Peace in Palestine and Israel heard ICAHD-USA organizer, Jimmy Johnson, when he spoke in Syracuse last fall. We realized that the goals of our two groups were in sync and were impressed with the work ICAHD was doing  in the US. We're inspired to do some fundraising on their behalf. Stay tuned!

- Ann Tiffany