ICAHD denounces Israeli demolitions (and American enabling)

The Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions is based in Jerusalem and has chapters in the United Kingdom and the United States. Yesterday, it reported that, as far as East Jerusalem is concerned, the building freeze is over, in spite of the pretense that it was stopped in deference to American wishes. After Netanyahu's recent meeting in Washington with Obama, it appears that the ethnic cleansing of East Jerusalem either got the go-ahead to proceed or Obama just received another slap in the face.

For whatever the reason, after the unofficial “moratorium,” the Israeli government returned with a vengeance to its policy of demolishing Palestinian homes with six homes demolished in East Jerusalem just a few days ago and only a week after Netanyahu's visit.

In Jabal Mukaber, the homes of the Tawil family (15 people) and the Masrawi family (six people) were demolished. In Beit Hanina, the municipality demolished the home of the Rajabi family (6 people). And in Issawaiyeh, three homes in advanced stages of construction were demolished: one of the Dari family, another belonging to the Nasser family and a third of the Abu Rameileh family.   

  Today, in the West Bank, a reservoir belonging to the Jabar family was demolished by the Civil Administration, and other buildings are threatened. (This, despite the fact that the Ma’aleh Adumim settlement, which already has four large municipal swimming pools, is constructing a water park complete with an artificial lake.)

  All this, plus municipal approval for the demolition of 22 homes in the Silwan neighborhood, continued pressure to remove Palestinian families from Sheikh Jarrah – and the approval by the municipality this week of 54 new housing units for the Pisgat Ze’ev settlement.

  Despite claims that Palestinian houses, reservoirs and other buildings are “illegal,” demolition is merely another face of ethnic cleansing, since the Jerusalem municipality, the Ministry of Interior and the Civil Administration of the West Bank all deny Palestinians the right to build homes on their own property.  Although the pressure to demolish is constant – the Israeli authorities have demolished 24,000 Palestinian homes since 1967 and new orders are issued daily – the current wave of demolitions can only be explained only on the background of Prime minister Netanyahu’s visit to Washington a few weeks ago. For the past decade or so demolition orders can be executed only with the approval of the Prime Minister’s Office; these are not municipal-level decisions, even if the municipality presses for demolitions.

  Only one of two explanations for the wave of demolitions is therefore possible. Either Israel has received a green (OK, blinking orange) light that the US will not object vociferously to demolitions – and, in fact, the State Department issued a mild statement describing the demolitions as “unhelpful,” the same term Hillary Clinton used when homes were demolished during her visit to Ramallah. Or Netanyahu, flush from his victory over Obama in the Biden affair, when Congress overwhelmingly supported the Israeli position of building settlements over that of their own Administration, felt free to return to his aggressive policies of “judaization.” Basking in the warm embrace he just received at the White House, Netanyahu knows he has nothing to fear from an increasingly weakened Obama Administration.

It is becoming obvious – if it wasn’t already – that the United States will not, or cannot “deliver” a just peace in Israel-Palestine. Even if an Administration tries to pursue a more critical line towards Israel, its hands will inevitably be tied by Congress. The time has come to pursue a “working around America” strategy, mobilizing the civil societies of Europe, Latin America, Africa and perhaps Asia as well to create a global consensus that either presses for a just solution to the conflict on its own, or prods the US to become constructively involved by virtue of its international isolation. The present wave of demolitions demonstrates the bankruptcy and ineffectiveness of the American “approach.” 24,000 demolitions later (and counting), it is time to look elsewhere.

For further information, visit any of the ICAHD sites (Israel, England, US)




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The Israel Committee Against House Demolition is active in the Palestinian territories. This message:


This year we, the participants of ICAHD`s 2010 work camp, will be rebuilding the home of the Hamdan family: the parents Youssef and Ouda and their four children, Mohamed, Kassem, Saja and Hasma. The Hamdan home, located in the Jerusalem section of Anata, was first demolished in 2005 for lack of a building permit (which is virtually impossible for Palestinians to acquire). ICAHD began rebuilding the home in its 2007 work camp, but because the Wall was being built just in front of their home at the time, conflicts between the residents and the police and army reached such a pitch that we were forced to suspend the construction and move to another house. In 2008 we returned to the Hamdan home and rebuilt it, only to have it demolished once again. Now we are back to rebuild the home for the third time.

The vast majority of homes built by ICAHD have remained, but we do lose some, occasionally twice, three or even four times. ICAHD rebuilds homes with our Palestinian, Israeli and international partners as acts of political resistance to the Occupation, not as humanitarian acts. In that context rebuilding makes sense, even if it means repeated confrontations with the Israeli authorities.

We seek demolition – the demolition of the Occupation and oppression – and so we engage in construction, constructing a just peace.

by MainStreet 2010-07-19 03:58PM | 0 recs
ICAHD also conducts summer camps. Here is their schedule: join in.



July 18 – August 2 

Arrival Day – Sunday, July 18

16:00 – Participants meet at ICAHD office

17:30 – Travel to camp; Introduction to ICAHD staff, orientation

18:30 – Dinner at Beit Arabeya


Day 1: Monday, July 19



·         clean site

·         shuttering for concrete columns


07:30 – Breakfast

08:00 – Introduction for all

08:30 – Non–violence training

10:45 – Walking tour of Anata and introductions to local people (Jeff and Salim)

14:00 – Lunch

16:00 – 18:30 – Work at building site

19:30 – Dinner at Beit Arabyia

20:30 – Jeff and Salim: slide show presentation on House demolitions.


Day 2 – Tuesday, July 20



·         Release column shuttering

·         Prepare hollow blocks for exterior wall

·         Shuttering for roof


08:00 – Breakfast – at Beit Arabyia

08:30 – 1:30 – Work at building site

14:00 - Lunch – at Beit Arabyia

15:00 – 18:30 – Work at building site

19:30 – Dinner at Beit Arabyia

20 : 30 : Talk by Xavier Abu Eid, PLO Negotiating Support Unit


Day 3 – Wednesday, July 21



  • Continue hollow blocks for exterior wall
  • Hollow blocks for roof
  • Reinforcements for roof



08:00 – Breakfast

08:30 – 13:00 - Leave for Jerusalem Tour of the Old City with Yahav

11:00 – Tea break in the Old City “Papa Andreas Coffe shop”

13:30 – Lunch – at Beit Arabyia

16:30 – 18:30 - Work at building site

19:30 – Dinner

20:00 -- Film screening on East Jerusalem and talk


Day 4 – Thursday, July 22



·         Finish reinforcements for roof

·         Pour concrete for roof


08:00 – Breakfast

08:30 – 13:30 - Work at building site

14:00 – Lunch – At Beit Arabyia

16:30 – 18:30 - Work at building site

19:30 – Dinner – at Beit Arabyia

20:30 – Talk with representative of BDS movement


Day 5 – Friday, July 23


08:00 – Breakfast

08:30 – 13:30 – Work at building site

14:00 – Lunch with Jeff + Briefing about the Matrix of Control Tour.

15:00 – 18:30 - Matrix of Control Tour

18:30 – Return to Beit Arabyia; dinner outside

Night OFF


Day 6 – Saturday, July 24



  • Windows
  • Begin plastering outside of house
  • Hollow blocks around the top of the house


08:00 – Breakfast

08:30 – 13:30 – Work at building site

14:30 – Tour and meeting '48 Palestinian residents of Ramleh/Lod/Lydda

20:30:  Return to Beit Arabiya


Day 7 – Sunday, July 25


Today we will work on:

  • Remove shuttering
  • Partitions inside the house
  • Frames for the doors
  • Schedule:

08:00 – Breakfast

08:30 – 13:30 – Work at building site

14:00 – Lunch at Beit Arabyia

16:00 – 18:00 Work at building site

19:00 – Dinner

18:30 – 19:30 – Discussion with members of Palestinian and Israeli women's groups


Day 8 – Monday, July 26


Today we will work on:

  • Start electricity + plumbing work
  • Plastering the inside of the house


08:00 – Breakfast

08:30 – 11:30 – Work at building site

12:00- Lunch

13:00- Leaving for ICAHD office and Meeting with Yehuda Shaul (Breaking the Silence)

Hebron tour with Yehuda

18:30 – Return to Beit Arabyia

19:30 – Dinner – Beit Arabyia

20:30 – Debriefing with Miri+ Jeff


Day 9 – Tuesday, July 27



  • Finish plastering
  • Begin tilework


08:00 - Breakfast

08:30 – 13:30 - Work at building site

14:00 – Lunch – at Beit Arabyia

16:00 - 18:30 – Work at building site

19:00 : dinner

19:30 – Meeting with Israeli activists


Day 10 – Wednesday, July 28




  • Finish tilework
  • Aluminum window frames
  • Bars for downstairs windows
  • Schedule:

08:30 – 13:00 : morning off

14:00 – Return to  Beit Arabiya; lunch

16:00 – 18:30 – Work at building site

19:30 – Dinner at Beit Arabiya

Evening program


Day 11 – Thursday, July 29



  • Install doors (Steel front, wooden inside)


08:00 – Breakfast

08:30 – 13:00 – Work at building site

14:00 – Lunch

15:00 – Talk with Shir Hever (AIC) on the economics of the Occupation

16:00 – 18:30 – Work at building site

19:30 – Dinner – at Beit Arabyia

Evening program


Day 12 – Friday, July 30

08:00 – Breakfast – at Beit Arabyia

08:30 – 13:30 – Work at building site

14:00 - Lunch – at Beit Arabyia

16:00 – 18:30 – Work at building site

19:30 – Dinner – in Beit Arabiya

Day 13 – Saturday, July 31


08:00 – Breakfast

08:30 – 13:30 – Work at building site

14:00 – Lunch

16:00 – 18:30 – Work at building site

19:00 – Dinner at Beit Arabyia

Evining off

Day 14 – Sunday august 1st

Today we will work on:

·         Clean house and FINISH!!


08:00 – Breakfast

08:30 – walk to building site

11:00 – tea break

13:30 – back to Beit Arabyia

14:00 – Lunch

15:30 – dedication ceremony

19:30 – Dinner/Party – at Beit Arabyia

Day 15 – Monday 2d

08:00 – breakfast

09:30 - departure



The Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions is based in Jerusalem and has chapters in the United Kingdom and the United States.

by MainStreet 2010-07-19 04:02PM | 0 recs
RE: ICAHD also conducts summer camps. Here is their schedule: join in.

Sorry for the length of the post.

by MainStreet 2010-07-19 04:03PM | 0 recs
Got to add this bit about Obama's ass-kissing during the recent Netanyahu visit.
Fisk: Obama ‘grovelling’ to Israel lobby for midterms

Philip Weiss

The Obama-Bibi performance is bringing catcalls from Europe. In the Independent, Robert Fisk condemns "the unctuous, weak-willed, cringing figure of Barack 'Change' Obama" for

rolling over and talking about how the brave Netanyahu, whose government has just destroyed some more Arab homes in East Jerusalem, is taking "risks for peace".

Needless to say, the only good guys in this story are the courageous Jewish Americans who oppose the thieves in Netanyahu's government and the racism of his foreign minister, the Ahmadinejad-like Avigdor Lieberman. And which Western newspaper was bold enough to point out that the house destruction in Jerusalem "effectively end(ed) an unofficial freeze of such internationally condemned demolitions"? The New York Times? The Washington Post? No, the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, of course. And anyone who thinks Haaretz is alone in condemning the illegal actions of the Israelis should read the excellent Jewish magazine Tikkun in the US, which goes for Israel's Likud lobbyists – for they are Likudists – like a tiger. Their latest target was Neal Sher, the Likudist who used to be in the US Justice Department and who is trying to persuade La Clintone to ban Judge Goldstone from America (where he holds a university professorship) for accusing Israel of war crimes in Gaza. And whose government was it that also condemned Goldstone's report? Well, Obama's of course.

Looking back, the Obama grovelling started in that famous Cairo reach-out-to-the-Muslim-world speech, when he referred to the Palestinian "relocation" of 1948 (as if the Palestinian Arabs got up one morning on the birth of Israel and decided that they all wanted to go on holiday to Lebanon).



by MainStreet 2010-07-19 06:23PM | 0 recs
Twilight Zone / Gestures to the Palestinians.

Ethnic cleansings in the Jordan Valley are continuing, quietly, while distracted by the East Jerusalem house demolitions.

"While the prime minister is dispensing promises about easing restrictions in the territories, Israel is expelling hundreds of shepherds from the Jordan Valley"

Which is crueler? Expelling an urban family from its home in Jerusalem's Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood, or bulldozing a meager tent encampment of shepherds living on private Jordan Valley land they leased, destroying their water tanks, their tents and their sheep pens, and expelling families with many children from the land on which they live? It's hard to say. But while the Sheikh Jarrah expulsions are attracting interest in Israel and elsewhere, hardly anyone notices or protests what's going on in the Jordan Valley.

There, far from view, Israel has been trying for several years to methodically remove Palestinian inhabitants from wide swaths of land. And in a week when the prime minister was making more promises about a "package of gestures" to the Palestinians, in order to curry favor in Washington, the Civil Administration bulldozers brutally destroyed several more encampments, leaving dozens of residents helpless and destitute under the open sky. But the Jordan Valley is far from the public eye and the public heart, and there Israel can do as it pleases.


by MainStreet 2010-07-20 01:26PM | 0 recs
The above story on the Jordan Valley is from the Israeli newspaper, Haaretz.

LINK: http://www.haaretz.com/magazine/week-s-end/twilight-zone-gestures-to-the-palestinians-1.302315


by MainStreet 2010-07-20 01:27PM | 0 recs
prepared to blow yourself up yet

like you blow up your own diaries?

by Lakrosse 2010-07-21 11:45AM | 0 recs
RE: prepared to blow yourself up yet

Not getting on this post. Could you explain yourself a little? So where has Strummerson gone in hiding?

by MainStreet 2010-07-24 02:50PM | 0 recs
newsbreak-Norm Finkelstein is a Communist
"As to what I favor, I am an old fashioned person, a communist" So the type of people you peddle armire mass murderers like Lenin, Stalin, and Mao
by Lakrosse 2010-07-24 09:48AM | 0 recs
RE: newsbreak-Norm Finkelstein is a Communist

So you have a link to this garbage? Chomsky was once a socialist too. Does that make him a communist. What about American socialism, social security or Medicare. Do they qualify as communism? And did you know that Israel has a socialist medical care system?

Ask you once more: where is Strummerson? It is as if he lost his direction and gave up.

by MainStreet 2010-07-24 02:55PM | 0 recs
RE: newsbreak-Norm Finkelstein is a Communist

Finkelstein didn't say he was a "socialist," he said "communist." And Communism more than socialism (which is or aspects are widely used in much of the West) was responsible for the Great Purge, the Cultural Revolution, Pol Pot, the Holodomor, etc. Finkelstein loves those things, apparently.

by Lakrosse 2010-07-24 06:30PM | 0 recs


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