Susiya, a small village in the South Hebron Hills in what is known as “Area C” of the West Bank, recently received demolition orders.
For the entire village
If you already know the story, skip to the bottom for how to take action! If this is new information, please read on.
The Israeli government, through its “Civil Administration,” a body which is responsible for planning (and demolitions) in Area C, over 60% of the West Bank, justifies this plan through a façade of legalism. After all, the houses and structures in Susiya, like most houses and structures in the South Hebron Hills, like most houses and structures in all of Area C are built “illegally,” or, without permits from the Israeli Civil Administration. Not only does this claim distract from the fact that the whole occupation is itself illegal, but it obscures the fact that on average, according to Israeli planning rights group Bimkom, in a report based on date from between 2000-2008, 95% of Palestinian requests for building permits in Area C were rejected. 95% According to Susiya resident Nasser Nawajeh, the people of Susiya have already been through numerous demolitions and forced expulsions, beginning in 1986, when Israeli archeologists discovered the remains of a Jewish synagouge under Susiya and Israeli authorities then expelled its residents, on to 2001, when settlers, backed by the IDF, destroyed Susiya’s wells and caves in a form of collective punishment following the murder of a Jewish man, all the way up to this year:
Nasser and the people of Susiya were informed by the Israel Civil Administration on June 12th that 51 structures, virtually all that is left of Susiya, will be demolished in the near future, including a kindergarten, houses, wells, a medical clinic, and a Solar Structure built by Israeli activists from the group Comet-ME who help bring electricity to Palestinian villages denied service by the Israeli occupation authorities.
Palestinian and Israeli activists have been organizing non-stop here on the ground, including an enormous peaceful demonstration last week, legal efforts, media work and more. We realize that most of you will not be able to travel to the region and join efforts here on the ground, but there is much to be done from abroad!
Here’s what you can do:
- Take facebook action! (if any of this is confusing, go to this blogpost for detailed instructionson how to do all of the facebook stuff). A. Download (drag to your desktop) the picture at the top of this email and make it your “timeline cover photo” on facebook. B. Put the following “Picbadge” on your profile picture: FOLLOW THIS LINK (Super easy). C. Take a picture of yourself inside or outside of your house– which you wouldn’t want to be demolished either- and then upload it to the facebook page “Stand With Susiya: No to Demolition” (which you should also “like”) with your Name, Profession and Location. “C” is an important step: Once we have enough pictures, Israeli and Palestinian activists will deliver the pictures, in physical copies, to the Civil Administration in the settlement of Beit El, to let them know that concerned citizens abroad are also opposed to the Civil Administration’s plans to Demolish Susiya.
- Sign and Spread Online Petitions: Sign and spread the Avaaz Petition started by Susiya resident Nasser Nawajeh, Save My Village!, and the petition started by Jewish Voices for Peace calling on the US government to speak out against racial profiling and racism, including in Susiya.
- Read More, Learn More, and Spread the Word:
- Nasser Nawajeh, of Susiya, tells of A life in Constant Need of Rebuilding.
- Akiva Eldar in Haaretz on Susiya and Area C in general: “Palestinian Disinheritance Sponsored by Oslo.”
- David Shulman’s reflective essay in the New York Review of Books: “I am an Illegal Alien on my Own Land.”
- A brief history of Palestinian Susiya, assembled by Ta’ayush and Rabbis for Human Rights.
- A short film on Susiya by Dani Rosenberg and Yoav Gross.
- Moriel Rothman in the Daily Beast/Open Zion on “Why Susiya is “Illegal.”
- A blog containing more info, maps, articles, etc: Stop the Demolitions: Susiya Forever.
Stand with Susiya NOW, before it is too late, and Susiya is demolished, once again.