While Arab countries have seen great change in recent weeks, it sometimes feels that the Israel-Palestine conflict is a permanent blight in the Middle East landscape.
Yet small changes have been occurring in the United Kingdom that we must not disregard. Just a few weeks ago in the House of Commons an exhibition entitled ‘Everyday Life in the Occupied Territories’ took place. Organised by EAPPI, the Eccumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel, the exhibition collected real life photographs by the children of Yanoun, giving a distant conflict a personal touch. Also in attendance were representatives of ICAHD.
ICAHD also known as the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions is a non-violent organisation established in 1997 to resist Israeli demolition of Palestinian houses in the Occupied Territories. It encourages Palestinians, Israelis and international supporters to work side by side in resisting demolitions, informing the Israeli public of government activities and co-operating internationally with other human rights groups and peace activists. In the words of director Jeff Halper, an Israeli Anthropologist and 2006 Nobel Peace prize nominee ‘Governments will not do the right thing unless they are pushed by the people. Since this conflict destabilises the entire Middle East and impacts directly on the security... of people in Britian we call on you to join in our efforts’. Other patrons include John Pilger, Clare Short and Professor Avi Schlaim.
ICAHD has organised summer rebuilding camps in which international and Israeli volunteers join Palestinians in rebuilding a demolished home. They also welcome people to sign up to their newsletter, invite one of their speakers and even organise a viewing of their documentary on the conflict.
The world is changing and each of us can be a part of justice. For more information or to get involved visit www.icahd.org