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Nobel Prize Nominee and Israeli Peace Activist visits Canada on 'Gaza' tour

January 12, 2009

Jeff Halper visits Canada with surprising, eye-witness revelations about Gaza.

Jeff Halper, an Israeli human rights activist, anthropology professor, coordinator of the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD) and 2006 Nobel Peace Prize nominee will be in Toronto January 20 - 24 as part of a cross-Canada speaking tour.

In August of 2008, Halper arrived in Gaza by sea as the only Jewish-Israeli member of the Free Gaza Movement. "When we finally arrived in Gaza after a day and a half sail, the welcome we received from 40,000 joyous Gazans was overwhelming and moving," says Halper. "People sought me out in particular, eager, it seemed, to speak Hebrew with an Israeli after years of closure."

While in Gaza, Halper received honorary Palestinian citizenship, including a passport. He returned to Israel through the Erez checkpoint. Upon arrival, he was immediately arrested and jailed at the Shikma prison in Ashkelon, charged with violating a military order prohibiting Israelis from visiting Gaza.

Halper will be talking about how Canadians can participate in peaceful resistance against the Israeli siege of Gaza and occupation in the West Bank. He will be visiting universities, churches and Jewish community centres in Toronto, Montreal, Halifax, Ottawa, Hamilton, Winnipeg, Vancouver and Victoria.

The tour is sponsored by a national movement of progressive Canadian Jewish groups and others. Sponsors include Independent Jewish Voices Canada, United Jewish People′s Order, Yosher – Jewish Social Justice Network, Science for Peace, Canadian Friends Service Committee, Canadian Auto Workers, Kairos and the Canadian Arab Federation.

Toronto speaking dates:
Thursday, January 22nd, Ryerson University (TBA), 12:00 pm, Free
Thursday, January 22nd, The Winchevsky Centre, 585 Cranbrooke Avenue, 7:30 pm, TI
Friday, January 23rd, Bloor Street United Church, 300 Bloor Street West, 7:30 pm, TI

For interviews or more information contact:
Sandra Ruch

Halper′s main public appearances at other locations across Canada are as follows (please check with contact persons since details might change):

Halifax - Tuesday, January 13 - place TBA
Further info: Larry Haiven, Cell: 902 240-2782,

Montreal - Please contact Scott Weinstein, 514 289-9989,

Ottawa - Sunday, January 18, University of Ottawa
Monday, January 19, Centre Block of Parliament. $10 fee, Monday
Monday, January 19, Kailash Mital Theatre
Further info (including additional events): Diana Ralph 613 321-2765,

Hamilton - Wednesday, January 21, McMaster University
Further info: Harry Shannon, or David Cohen, 905 577-1029 .

Winnipeg - Saturday, January 24, Rudolf Rocker Cultural Centre
Sunday, January 25, Canadian Mennonite U. Auditorium
Monday, January 26, University of Winnipeg
Monday, January 26, University of Manitoba
Further info: Mark Etkin, 204-955-1929,

Vancouver - Wednesday, January 28, at the Unitarian Church of Vancouver
Friday, January 30, University of British Columbia
Friday, January 30, Al-Salaam Mosque, 5060; Canada Way, Burnaby.
Further info: Sid Shniad, 604-314-5589,

Victoria - Thursday, January 29
Further info: George McFetridge,

Bio - Jeff Halper
Jeff Halper is an Israeli human rights activist, anthropology professor, 2006 Nobel Peace Prize nominee and coordinator of the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD), a non-violent Israeli peace and human rights organization created to resist the Israeli occupation.

Born in the US, Jeff moved to Israel in 1973. For more than a decade, he worked for the municipality of Jerusalem as a community worker in the city's poor Mizrahi Jewish neighbourhoods. Eventually, having done research among Ethiopian Jews in the 1960s, he became the chairman of the Israeli Committee for Ethiopian Jews.

During his mandatory Israeli military service, Jeff refused to bear arms or serve in the occupied Palestinian territories. In 1997, he co-founded ICAHD to challenge Israel′s house demolition policies which have caused the dispossession of thousands of Palestinian families since 1967.

An anthropology professor, Jeff has taught at universities both in Israel and abroad. In addition to his many academic and political writings, he is the author of Between Redemption and Revival: The Jewish Yishuv in Jerusalem in the Nineteenth Century (Westview, 1991) and Obstacles to Peace, a resource manual of articles and maps on the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, published by ICAHD.

His new book, An Israeli in Palestine (Pluto Press, 2008) describes Jeff′s evolution from a young Zionist immigrant into a staunch opponent of the occupation and champion of Palestinian human rights.

In 2006, Jeff was nominated by the American Friends Service Committee for the Nobel Peace Prize, together with the Palestinian intellectual and activist Ghassan Andoni.

Last year, he was the only Israeli Jewish participant in the maiden voyage of the two siege-breaking vessels of the Free Gaza Movement

For more information on the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions, visit:

For more information contact:
Sandra Ruch
Phone: 416-716-4010

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