[Graphic put together by Rabbis for Human Rights]
Between July 20th, the end of Ramadan, and August 3rd, the date on which the Israeli Supreme Court will hear Susiya’s case against demolition, there are expected to be a number of demolitions in the village of Susiya.
This is hideous news.
We cannot allow ourselves to be made drowsy or apathetic. Yes, Susiya has been under threat of demolition since 2012. Yes, there have been times when the call to action has been framed as urgent, and in the end, nothing happened (thank God and citizen-activists). Yes, the issue of Susiya, for those who follow this blog or the work of many other human rights NGOs and activists, is not a new one.
And yet: The essence of the story is that residents of a village are threatened with the their homes and medical clinics and playgrounds being demolished simply because they are of the “wrong” ethnic group. Imagine your home being demolished, your kids or nephews or cousins living in fear of when the bulldozers might come and destroy their swing set or their bed.
It is a hideous thing to imagine.
But it also hasn’t happened yet, and the demolition of Susiya is far from a forgone conclusion. It is politics. And politics are directly influenced by the public, especially in cases like these. And we are the public. So.
I’m going to try to compile a short list of background info, for those who want to read more or share these pieces with curious friends and family members, and below that, compile a few potential action-items for folks here in Israel-Palestine and for folks abroad.
*Legal/Political context: “Palestinian village of Khirbet Susiya under imminent threat of demolition and expulsion,” by Btselem. May 2015.
*First person narrative: “Palestinian from Area C on a life in constant need of rebuilding,” by Nasser Nawaj’ah. +972 Magazine, June 2012.
*Campaign overview: “Israeli rights groups join battle to save symbol of Arab resistance to evictions,” by Peter Beaumont. The Guardian, June 2015.
*What Susiya represents for some: “Jewish tradition demands that I stand with Susiya,” by Rena Oppenheimer, All That’s Left Blog, June 2015.
*Argument summary: “Why Susiya is ‘Illegal,'” by me, The Daily Beast, June 2012.
This is by no means an exhaustive list, just a few pieces that were at the tip of my fingers and mind. If there are other pieces folks think should be added to fill in holes here, please let me know, and I will add them.
Based in Israel-Palestine?
Here are 3 things you can do.
1. Residents of Susiya have called on activists and supporters to be present in the village from July 20th until August 3rd. Answer their call. Sign up for a shift (or more than one), which will last from evening (around 7PM) until 10AM the next morning. SIGN UP HERE.
2. Activists are collecting phone numbers to create a “Call to Action” list, which will notify everyone who signs up of any updates on the situation in Susiya, in real time. GET ON THE LIST.
3. There will be a major demonstration on Friday, July 24th, in Susiya, timing TBD. Save the date, and get on board with the Facebook Event for updates.
Here are five groups to follow:
And two hashtags to use and follow:
Again, not exhaustive lists. Let me know about others to add, and I will add them.
Based abroad and want to do more than internet?
Get creative. Here’s where I leave it to some of the readers to take initiative – in their communities, in front of embassies, online, offline – and make sure the the story of Susiya is a central one, and that we all do what we can to stop these demolitions. If you want to consult re: what should be done and where, get in touch – email me at moriel18 (at) gmail, or be in touch with any of the organizations (whose Twitter handles I mentioned above, and whose websites are easily googlable). Or just go ahead with