Posted on March 12, 2009



The Emanuel Synagogue Woollahra has rescinded its invitation to Israeli peace activist, Professor Jeff Halper, to speak at the synagogue on 23rd March.

This follows the axing by the Australian Jewish News of an advertisement for Professor Halper’s other meetings in Sydney.Professor Halper is Coordinator of the Israeli Committee against Housing Demolitions (ICAHD).

Vivienne Porzsolt, a spokesperson for Jews against the Occupation said ‘It is regrettable that yet once again the power brokers of the Jewish community are seeking to block open discussion about Israel.

This is self-defeating as the realities of Israel’s brutal occupation and ongoing dispossession of the Palestinians are to be seen every day in our media.

These acts of censorship bring no credit on our community and can only provoke the antisemitism they are supposed to avoid.

Jews against the Occupation challenges the noxious culture of silence, fear and suppression that dominates the organized Jewish community in relation to Israel. We want to encourage free debate to dispel those fears and explore a way to peace with justice.

In that spirit, we will organize an alternate venue so that members of the Jewish community can hear for themselves from Jeff Halper about his work.

The Israeli Committee against House Demolitions is committed to non-violent direct action to prevent the demolition of Palestinian homes by Israeli forces and helping re-build demolished homes. They work closely with Palestinians defending their property. ICAHD sees home demolitions as a focal point of the Israeli occupation and resistance to them a concrete form of resistance. Their web site is

In September last year, Professor Halper sailed on one of the boats which succeeded in breeching the Israeli blockade of Gaza. A succession of boats is trying to bring medical and other humanitarian aid to Gaza. Professor Halper was subsequently arrested on his return to Israel.


Vivienne Porzsolt

Jews against the Occupation Sydney

ph 0411 366 295

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