Fact Checking Jeff Halper

Jeff Halper

An Irish Times article on Palestinian political paralysis includes an interview with Jeff Halper.

He’s an Israeli activist better known for — among other things — founding the Israeli Committee Against Home Demolitions, and for sailing to Gaza with a 2008 Gaza flotilla. Halper revealed to reporter Michael Jansen the juicy secrets of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s peace plan.

A comment like this screams for independent verification. Instead, it’s dutifully quoted for the record.

Halper, founder of the Israeli Committee against House Demolitions, says Netanyahu took with him to the US settler leaders and staff members to “float a new Israeli plan” in Congress.

This plan is based on the 1993 Oslo Accords, which divided the West Bank, captured by Israel in 1967, into areas A, B, and C. In Area A, 17 per cent of the territory, Palestinians would have “autonomy-minus”; Area B, 23 per cent, would be “shared” by Israel and the Palestinians; and Area C, 60 per cent, where Israeli settlements are located, would be “annexed” by Israel, which could grant some of the residents full citizenship “without disturbing the demographic balance” between Palestinians and Israeli Jews. “Palestinians would become a permanent underclass. They will either leave or hunker down.” Halper says.

Palestinian enclaves would be isolated and “Palestinian neighbourhoods in East Jerusalem split up by settlers”. East Jerusalem and its Palestinian inhabitants would be absorbed by Israel, while Gaza would be on its own and encouraged to establish ties to Egypt.

Jansen could’ve asked Halper how he knows this. But it would’ve spoiled the mood.

(Image of Halper via Flickr/Beautiful Faces of Palestine)