Jeff Halper: The Global Pacification Industry (must-see)

February 26, 2010

Interview with Jeff Halper, Coordinator of the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD) and author of Obstacles to Peace: A Re-framing of the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict and An Israeli In Palestine: Resisting Dispossession, Redeeming Israel.


Voices for Justice for the Palestinians, Part 1

Voices for Justice for the Palestinians, Part 2 (with Jeff Halper)

Palestinians tear segregation barrier + Palestinian village isolated from West Bank

9 thoughts on “Jeff Halper: The Global Pacification Industry (must-see)

  1. Pingback: The fight against Israeli “impunity” « Dandelion Salad

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  4. I have dial-up internet access and thus could not hear the interview. IS THERE A PRINTABLE COPY? I read everything Jeff writes because I agree with what Phil (previous comment) said. Jeff is a great analyst as well as an activist and a warm human being, whom I have the pleasure of knowing. Anything he can tell us on the Left about getting our act together is worth listening to. Let me add a plug for VISITING Palestine, which is NOT dangerous and is soooo educational, and will inspire anyone to ACT.

  5. I think this guy is one of the best commentators I have heard, a guy we really need to continue to hear from. He is soooo on the ball. His overarching point, that we on the left need to get a lot better at connecting the dots, is probably the most critical point anyone can make – and he does a darn good job himself of connecting dots. He painted quite a complete picture, weaving together multiple concerns that we have which almost always tend to atomize. At the same time, he’s absolutely on the money when he zeros in on one issue which pre-eminently ties in with all the other issues, and that’s Israel and the Occupation. He even narrows it down further to the struggle over housing demolition. He’s just on the money on every level.

    We on the left need to face some very painful facts. We are losing a desperate last ditch struggle for America’s soul and for the world’s soul. And we aren’t just losing. We are being routed. By so many measures, we are being just routed. For example, look at the poll that came out just recently showing that support for Israel has actually risen to the highest level in decades. I don’t doubt that this poll was rigged and skewed, but it still suggests a terrible, terrible loss for the left. We had probably the best odds ever for turning it around, for getting closer to a fairminded attitude towards Israel. And turning around US attitudes about Israel is the single most important thing for the left to do, the key to the kingdom, so to speak. Why did we fail so utterly? Well, I think the proximate reason was the bogus Iran election fraud hype, because this was embraced uncritically by most of the left (you’d think we’d have learned by now not to trust media hype), and it was used to demonize Iran, which in turn automatically raised support for Israel.

    But there is a larger reason: the left lacks any unifying narrative. The last time we had a unifying narrative, the civil rights movement, the power of it was awe-inspiring and it wrought change. But since then the Left has had a piecemeal attitude towards the world. This approach can only lose. It can win battles, perhaps, depending on how the battles are defined, but overall it loses and loses and loses. Those who oppose us have worked hard on their narratives and on getting them to fit together into larger narratives. To do this, we need to connect the dots, and we need vision.

    • I believe the good news is that polls also show that people in general lean progressive even if they don’t tend to self-identify as progressive. And I think it’s no small matter that truth and justice are on our side. I think that if we do better at connecting the dots and building narratives, narratives that both explain and inspire, we can turn our defeats into forward steps. Take Israel for example. Israel is so far out on a limb of criminality and wrongness, that public opinion about Israel is on the verge of changing. But it’s not enough to criticize the old picture. We also need to make it easier for people to replace the old picture they had in their heads with a new one. Public opinion on Israel is on the verge of changing drastically.

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