The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is an issue that has divided opinions since the state of Israel was formed in 1948. What are the obstacles to achieving peace in the Middle East? Dr. Jeff Halper is an Israeli academic and activist who is no stranger to controversy.
On his recent tour to Australia, the Australian Jewish News refused to advertise his lectures. This would come as little surprise to Halper, who is a vocal critic of Israel's actions in Gaza and the West Bank. Halper claims that Israeli policy towards the Palestinians is akin to apartheid, and that the issue of settlements are intrinsically linked to a wider policy to disempower the Palestinian people.
As co-founder of the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions he is actively involved in the non-violent protest of demolitions of Palestinian properties on what Israel deems is illegal land.
Jeff Halper grew up in Hibbing, Minnesota and throughout the 1960s was involved in the civil rights and anti-war movements. He has lectured in anthropology and written numerous articles and books on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict including Obstacles to Peace and An Israeli in Palestine.
Jeff Halper, co-founder of the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions, explains why he believes Israel’s "separation barrier" enforces apartheid between Israelis and Palestinians. He compares the Israeli West-Bank barrier to the Berlin Wall.
Jeff Halper, co-founder of the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions, discusses Israeli's uprooting of ancient Palestinian olive trees to build the barrier wall. The same trees are then resold to wealthy Israelis. "Humiliating a person is worse than killing him," reminds Halper.