Susiya is in danger. Again.
1. The legal background:
Mairav Zonszein summarized it her recent article on +972 Magazine:
’’Israel’s High Court of Justice on Tuesday [May 5th] gave the army a green light to demolish the Palestinian village and forcibly transfer its residents out of Area C of the West Bank. The court refused to issue an injunction that would freeze any demolitions in the south Hebron Hills village before the village’s case is even heard and ruled on by the highest court of the land.’’
2. The “law”:
As I wrote in the Daily Beast last time Susiya was threatened with demolition, in summer 2012:
There is no “law.” In the West Bank there is one set of laws for Jews and another set entirely for Arabs. It is virtually impossible for an Arab living in Area C (over 60% of the West Bank under complete Israeli civil and military control since the Oslo Accords) to receive a permit to build. According to Israeli planning rights group Bimkom, from 2000-2008, an average of 95% of Palestinian requests for building permits in Area C were rejected. 95%.
In other words, a Palestinian from Susya could, hypothetically, apply for a permit on the 5% off-chance that it will be accepted. If the permit is not granted, on the 95% on-chance, the house will be moved directly into the Israeli Civil Administration’s sites, and Israel will likely demolish the house.
Susya is illegal under Israeli occupation “law” because it is Palestinian.
3. The meaning:
As I wrote in the Huffington Post last time around: Israel is not a Jewish State.
‘’Israel is planning to destroy Susyia because Israel aims to take over the land on which Susya sits, and to “encourage” Palestinians in the South Hebron Hills and in Area C in general to move to major Palestinian cities. It is as simple as that.
Jewish history has been transformed by Israeli policy from a rich, complex legacy of human suffering and triumph to a stale combination of archeological findings and Biblical quotes, wielded together as weapons against human beings who happen to not be Jews, to expel them from their homes and to strip them of their land and their dignity.
I refuse to accept such a perversion of my history, religion and culture.’’
4. The people:
Nasser Nawajeh, a resident of Susiya and a field researcher for B’Tselem, wrote in +972 Magazine in 2012:
‘’They call my village an illegal Palestinian outpost. But these have been our lands since before the establishment of the State of Israel. My father is older than your state and I am not legal on my own land? I ask you: where is the justice in that? In your court there is a difference between a Palestinian and a settler. You call it illegal construction but what we’re talking about is an underground cave that is hundreds of years old.’’
The best chance at stopping or even delaying the demolition of Susiya is attention, public action, and particularly international attention and public action.
How you can get involved:
- Go to Susiya with Ta’ayush, many days of the week, and definitely on the weekends, every Saturday.
- Join Btselem’s tour to the South Hebron Hills this Friday, May 11th (in Hebrew): http://actionsprout.io/B3431C
- Join All That’s Left’s action weekend in Susiya and the South Hebron Hills on June 12th: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1VZk5bx-fANmrfNWnnSCl1BwM22Xiw0F-86R1ZkE1L6g/viewform
- Keep your hearts, minds and fingertips oriented towards Susiya. Write articles, share articles, follow the Facebook updates on the Stand With Susiya page: https://www.facebook.com/StandWithSusiya