BDS IN THE PEWS
Israeli Committee against House Demolitions (ICAHD)
March 01, 2015
- Website: http://www.icahd.org/
- Founded in 1997, located in Jerusalem.
- According to its mission statement, ICAHD aims “to end Israel’s Occupation over the Palestinians” and “oppose and resist Israeli demolition of Palestinian houses in the Occupied Territories.”
- Funding: As of March 2015, “donors” (amounts and dates unavailable) included: European Union, Spain, Trocaire, NGO Development Center, UNDP, World Vision, Mennonite Central Committee. Reflecting a lack of transparency, ICAHD has since removed all information relating to its donors.
- In September 2008, ICAHD announced that its “request for re-funding [was] rejected" by the EU’s Partnership for Peace Program (PfP). ICAHD did receive EU funding via the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR) until 2012.
- Recent financial details are not available on the NGO’s website, on independent nonprofit tracking websites, or on the website of the Israeli Registrar of Non-Profits, reflecting a lack of transparency and accountability (accessed March 1, 2015).
- ICAHD USA reported a 2013 revenue of $152,333. The branch raises money for the NGO and conducts politicized advocacy tours.
- In 2013, ICAHD reportedly closed its Jerusalem office, due to a lack of funds.
- Political Advocacy: ICAHD’s rhetoric includes accusations of “ethnic cleansing,” “genocide,” “collective punishment,” and “apartheid.”
- Active in promoting the BDS (boycotts, divestments and sanctions) campaign against Israel.
- Explicitly advocates for the end of the state of Israel as the nation state of the Jewish people, stating that “the only option for resolving the conflict [is] a one-state solution.”
- Director Jeff Halper has said (2008): “I think it is impossible to have a Jewish state” and that that a bi-national state is the only remaining option resulting from Israel’s “futile attempt to impose an apartheid regime.”
- In a July 11, 2014 article in Mondoweiss (“Israel’s message to the Palestinians: Submit, leave or die”), Halper alleges that “Neither [Operations Brothers’ Keeper and Operation Protective Edge] had anything to do with the operations’ purported triggers, the search for the boys or rocket fire from Gaza.” The article claims:
- “the military operations had a purpose of their own, that they would have been launched regardless, that they were merely waiting on a pretext.”
- “[Israel’s military operations in Gaza] represent the imposition of a regime of warehousing, of outright imprisonment of an entire people” and “the declaration of a new political reality…This country has been Judaized.”
- “Warehousing is worse than apartheid…it is a form of cultural genocide that can lead to worse. This is what Israel has left the Palestinians, this is the meaning of the bombing of Gaza, the terrorizing of the West Bank – and the ongoing destruction of Bedouin and Palestinian homes within Israel.
- In an interview with the Halifax Media Co-op (“Next Level #BDS,” February 2, 2015), Halper discusses security training and cooperation between Israel and Canada as a target for BDS, claiming that “The erosion of civil liberties in Canada, freedom of speech, is directly linked to the Israel-Palestine conflict” and “There's a direct connection between the freedoms of Palestinians and the freedom of Canadians. I think that should be a thread in the BDS movement.”
- ICAHD is a “Partner” of the 2013 “Bethlehem Unwrapped” Christmas Festival in London, which exploits Christmas themes to demonize Israel. The festival features a life-size replica of Israel’s security barrier and aims to go “behind the romanticised Christmas card images of the ancient city to show what life is like for people in Bethlehem today.”
- In December 2013, wrote a letter to the European Union, together with the European Coordination Committees and Associations for Palestine, maintaining that only “ a zero-tolerance policy towards such cruel [Israeli] actions as home demolitions and illegal settlement construction, will in the end force Israel to relinquish its occupation altogether.”
- Planning a summer 2014 “Rebuilding Camp”, inviting international students to “strengthen [their] involvement in the global movement to end home demolitions” and “rebuild a Palestinian home that was demolished by Israeli authorities.”Halper has participated in many activities under the framework of “Israel Apartheid Week” around the world. Halper is also on the board of advisors of the Free Gaza Movement and a support committee member of the Russell Tribunal, a mock court with a radical anti-Israel and anti-West agenda.
- Regularly accuses Israel of maintaining a “Matrix of Control”, or "a maze of laws, military orders, planning procedures, limitations on movement, kafkaesque bureaucracy, settlements and infrastructure – augmented by prolonged and ceaseless low-intensity warfare – that serves to perpetuate the Occupation".
- ICAHD joined a group of Israeli NGOs in writing a letter (2009) to the Norwegian Government Pension Fund, as a part of Coalition of Women for Peace’s “Who Profits?” campaign, accusing a number of Israeli and international corporations of “provid[ing] specifically designed equipment for the surveillance and repression of Palestinian population through restrictions of movement and collective punishments.”
- ICAHD employee and Jerusalem Council member Meir Margalit published a book (published 2010), funded by the Spanish government, titled, Seizing Control of Space in East Jerusalem. Margalit accuses Israel of “ethnocratic policy of contempt for Arabs,” attempting to “wipe the Arab presence off the face of the earth,” and “colonialism.”\
- According to its website, “ICAHD Finland, founded in 2009, is the Finnish branch of ICAHD” and is “an autonomous organisation, and takes part in formulating common ICAHD positions along with the other branches.”
- During the summer 2014 Gaza conflict, ICAHD Finland participated in seven anti-Israel demonstrations in Helsinki, which focused on demanding an end to arms trade between the countries.
- ICAHD Finland’s founder Bruno Jäntti, who previously worked as a country coordinator on Israel for Amnesty International, published an article (August 29, 2014) in Al-Jazeera urging the EU to impose sanctions on Israel.
- Published a December 2013 report, “Straight route to the occupation,” promoting a boycott of the company Veolia and contributing to a proposed motion at the Helsinki city council not to renew Veolia contracts.
- Promoted a tour by the The Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI), in conjunction with Finn Church Aid (funded by the Finnish government), to major university campuses in Finland, alleging that Israel victimizes and discriminates against the Palestinian population and “vindictively persecutes” Palestinian children.
- Three Israeli NGOs that Don't Want Israel to Reach Its 67th Birthday, NGO Monitor Press Release, May 1, 2014
- St. James Church Creates a Barrier to Peace, Elana Shafran, The Jerusalem Post, January 2, 2014
- Bethlehem Unwrapped, NGO Monitor Factsheet, December 23, 2013
- "No, Mr. Halper, whoever incites against Israel does not want peace," Ben-Dror Yemini, Ma´ariv, May 22, 2009
- Summary of NGO Monitor analysis of ICAHD, NGO Monitor, April 30, 2009
- EU Funding Promotes ICAHD´s Ideological Agenda, NGO Monitor, March 26, 2007
- An Interview With Jeff Halper: As Israelis, We Also Fight for Palestinians", Iwasaki Atsuko, Counterpunch.com, April 03, 2006