Tuesday, June 23, 2015

It’s not pretty

This is what it looks like when the Israelis demolish the home of a Palestinian family.


There are so many cruelties and injustices happening here and round the world, but I confine my politics to Twitter, except for one issue: the oppression of the Palestinian people.

Imagine you and your family had lived in a village for as long as you can remember, and the village had ownership papers for the land. Then imagine that the High Court ruled someone could demolish your village, take the land and leave you homeless.

On Monday, May 4th, the Israeli high court approved a request by the Israeli authorities to demolish the tents and homes of Susiya, leaving 450 villagers homeless. Click here to see photographs of the village. The Israeli authorities are planning to demolish the village very soon (they visited it last week) and hand over the land to illegal Israeli settlers. The families of Susiya will be left homeless in harsh desert conditions.

The Israeli government is also working on plans to forcibly transfer as many as 7,000 Palestinians from 46 communities in the West Bank, in some cases to make way for more illegal settlements. These transfers would be in violation of international law and represent a breach of the Fourth Geneva Convention.

Please will you write to your elected representative and ask your government to speak out against this cruel injustice? UK citizens can find their member of parliament’s email address by googling it.

“First they came for the Jews
and I did not speak out
because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for the Communists
and I did not speak out
because I was not a Communist.
Then they came for the trade unionists
and I did not speak out
because I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for me
and there was no one left
to speak out for me.”

Next blog post I’ll show you my garden.  Until then, please consider writing. You can use this letter below. Copy, paste and email.  It will take a few minutes. You will need to include your name and postal address.


Dear [name of elected representative],

I am contacting you as your constituent to ask that you write urgently to the Foreign Secretary, Philip Hammond, to express my deep concern about developments that have taken place in the last week regarding Israel’s plan to demolish the entire village of Susiya in the southern West Bank.

At the beginning of May 2015, the Israeli High Court refused a petition for a restraining order against outstanding demolition orders in Susiya. The refusal means the Israeli Civil Administration is now able to implement outstanding orders against the entire community.

On June 16, Israeli officials visited Susiya to map the village ahead of its demolition. Based on past experience, local residents fear this means the Israeli authorities are planning to demolish the village in the near future and hand the land over to illegal Israeli settlers. Once this has happened, the families of Susiya will be left homeless in harsh desert conditions.

Alongside this, the Israeli government is advancing plans to forcibly relocate as many as 7,000 Palestinian Bedouin from 46 communities in occupied Palestine. The UN Secretary-General has stated that the Israeli government’s implementation of this relocation plan would amount to individual and mass forcible transfers and evictions, representing a grave breach of the Fourth Geneva Convention.

The plan includes transferring Palestinian communities from the politically sensitive “E1 area” in order to expand the illegal settlement of Ma’ale Adumim. Such a move would destroy any chance of a viable Palestinian state by effecting cutting the West Bank in two.

Despite strong opposition from the international community, the Israeli government has taken a number of steps recently to advance the plan, including starting work at one of the sites to which Palestinians will be forcibly transferred and appointing a retired General to liaise with affected communities and oversee the transfer process.

The situation is urgent. Please write to Philip Hammond to raise these concerns and ask that the UK issue a public statement and call directly on the Israeli government to immediately freeze all settlement activity and demolition orders, and cancel all transfer plans.

I look forward to receiving your response.

Yours sincerely,


marmee said...

No its not....I have signed on with Jewish voice for peace( one does not have to be jewish to be a member) and they are lobbying for disinvestment in Israel , for artists to not go there etc. These are strategies that were used very effectively against the apartheid regime in my own country. So I sign all the petitions...sign the thank yous to the people who comply with breaking ties with Israel....and it carries great weight because the campaign is driven by Jewish people. One just needs to read the headlines in Isareli newspapers to see how it is impacting.

One has to choose one's cause ....as you say...and for me too this is a cause and a suffering that weighs heavy on my heart. became aware of it for the first time many years ago when i watched an old man ( 83 I think) being interviewed on BBC World service . He wanted to speak of his great regret at having been part of the force that had evicted( cleared) palestinians from their home back in the day. It surprised me, i had thought Israel had sprung up on empty uninhabited land . Had no idea of the actual history of that part of the world. And one scene he described was almost exactly how a south african activist described the day he and his family were evicted from their family home in what had suddenly been declared a whites only area....

Sue Hepworth said...

Hi Marmee, it's interesting to hear all this. Thank you.
Yes, Jewish Voice for Peace is great. It is especially good because being Jewish, they can't be accused of anti-semitism, as a lot of boycotters are. (falsely)
Keep up the good work!