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Tell your congressperson or senator to speak out against repeated destruction of Al Araqib in the Negev

Activism

Israeli activist and author, Amos Gvirtz wrote, “Especially in the Jewish State, we must affirm each person’s common humanity, whether Jewish or not, and uphold everyone’s basic human rights.” Will you take his words to heart to mobilize your elected officials on behalf of Al Araqib Village in Israel?

The Government of Israel has demolished Al Araqib village 83 times and levied huge fines and an outrageous lawsuit against the villagers to press them to give up their land.

Sheik Sayah in temporary shelter, Al Arakib

Sheik Sayah in temporary shelter, Al Arakib

Please ask your senators and representative to press the Government of Israel to withdraw the outrageous fines and lawsuit against the residents of Al Araqib and recognize their right to live on the land they own. Use my letter to Senator Feinstein as your model or just cut to the chase and paste this in the online form on their website:

Dear Senator/Representative _______,

I am writing as your constituent with an urgent concern. Please call the Israeli Embassy and the State Department now, on my behalf, to urge the Israeli Government to withdraw its lawsuit against residents of Al Araqib, a very poor Bedouin community in Israel’s Negev/Naqab Desert, and to acknowledge their right to stay on the land they own. The Israeli government has destroyed their homes eighty-three times and their crops and livelihoods too. This is an outrage. You can read the article here:

Israeli activist and author, Amos Gvirtz wrote, “Especially in the Jewish State, we must affirm each person’s common humanity, whether Jewish or not, and uphold everyone’s basic human rights.” I hope you agree. Please raise my concern at the highest levels. I happy to discuss this with your staff and I look forward to your reply.

On April 27th, Cindy Corrie and Kelly Leilani Main joined me in a visit with Senator Feinstein’s staff to ask the Senator to express her concern on our behalf. We know that when Congress calls, they get answers — it works. Their websites all state that their staff will help whenever a constituent needs urgent assistance with any Federal agency — so ask for their help to reach the State Department and the Israeli Embassy too. Follow this link to find their contact information. Call their senior staff for foreign policy to confirm they received it.

Then please do one more thing: On Tuesday May 5th, Rebuilding Alliance is competing for nearly $4 million in matching grants in Silicon Valley Gives. With your help, we could win a $5000 bonus to support our advocacy work on behalf of at-risk communities like Al Araqib. Please give now, before midnight Pacific time tomorrow night.

Your action makes a difference.

 

Donna Baranski-Walker
About Donna Baranski-Walker

Donna Baranski-Walker is founder and Executive Director of Rebuilding Alliance, a U.S. Nonprofit based in Silicon Valley that helps Palestinian villages build affordable homes, schools and most recently, a birthing center and works to make them safe.

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20 Responses

  1. JLewisDickerson
    JLewisDickerson
    May 4, 2015, 11:23 pm

    I sent the letter via email to my senators and congressman using the FCNL site. – http://capwiz.com/fconl/issues/alert/?alertid=65456626

    May 4, 2015

    The Honorable Johnny Isakson
    United States Senate
    131 Russell Senate Office Building
    Washington, DC 20510

    Re: The Al Araqib Bedouin community in Israel’s Negev/Naqab Desert

    Senator Isakson:

    I am a constituent yours residing in the Smyrna/Vinings area of Cobb County. I write to ask that you call the Israeli Embassy and the State Department on my behalf to urge the Israeli Government to withdraw its lawsuit against residents of Al Araqib, a very poor Bedouin community in Israel’s Negev/Naqab Desert, and to acknowledge their right to stay on the land they own. The Israeli government has destroyed their homes eighty-three times and their crops and livelihoods too. This is an outrage. You can read the article here. – http://mondoweiss.net/2015/05/crime-your-land

    Israeli activist and author, Amos Gvirtz wrote, “Especially in the Jewish State, we must affirm each person’s common humanity, whether Jewish or not, and uphold everyone’s basic human rights.” I hope you agree. Please raise my concern at the highest levels. I happy to discuss this with your staff and I look forward to your reply.

    Sincerely,
    John Dickerson

    • RebuildingAll
      RebuildingAll
      May 5, 2015, 9:54 am

      Yes! That Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL) site is a great resource. Let us know what you hear, I will too.

  2. just
    just
    May 5, 2015, 8:24 am

    Thank you. Consider the contact/ requests done ~ I’m still trying to get through on the phone.

    • RebuildingAll
      RebuildingAll
      May 5, 2015, 9:56 am

      Their office should be open now. When you talk with the receptionist, ask for the senior staffer for foreign policy and explain that this is an urgent matter and you are asking their help on your behalf to intervene with the State Department.

      Be sure to write down that senior staffer’s name and ask for their email.

      • just
        just
        May 5, 2015, 9:58 am

        Many thanks for that!

        And huge thanks for all that you do.

  3. eusebio
    eusebio
    May 5, 2015, 9:19 am

    I am against the dignity of the people of Palestine peace and stability in Palestine and Israel and the advancemment of universities the human rights in Palestine

    • just
      just
      May 5, 2015, 9:56 am

      Your comment didn’t come out “quite right” in translation, but I get what you mean.

      ;-)

  4. RebuildingAll
    RebuildingAll
    May 5, 2015, 10:54 am

    Yesterday, Ehud wrote to me on behalf of the Villages Group. Susya is in the south of the West Bank in Palestine. They are asking for help too, so is Um Al Kheir.

    The hope here in Susya rests with the pending High Court Case – but can they hold on? How is it that the High Court of Israel permits the lower courts to ok demolitions while a case is pending.

    Israel High court settler-judge Noam Sohlberg (Check: http://972mag.com/israels-new-supreme-court-liberalism-doesnt-live-here-anymore/33220/) rejected today the request of the people of Palestinian Susya and their legal representatives – Rabbis for Human Rights, to issue a temporary decree to prevent demolitions in the village until a final decision is made by the high court in their case.

    Sohlberg’s decision encourages the implementation of the demolition orders which was issued by the civil administration of the occupation’s army for a great part of the residence places in Palestinian Susya. For more details on the demolition threat pending on Susya, See: https://villagesgroup.wordpress.com/2015/04/09/a-letter-from-david-shulman-concerning-susya/

    • RockyMissouri
      RockyMissouri
      May 5, 2015, 11:49 am

      Alas, I fear because of the support of AIPAC (and the millions per day we give them!) they are mute…they are stunned, (much like Feinstein in the above photo.) …every time you ask about Palestinians…and crimes committed by Zionists.

      As if Palestinian children don’t have a right to exist.

      We are complicit in this horror.

      • RebuildingAll
        RebuildingAll
        May 5, 2015, 1:19 pm

        But they don’t like getting bullied either. Senator Feinstein helps keep the Palestinian Village of Al Aqaba standing — so did some 20 other senators and representatives. Their calls through their channels really matter. This is the Friends Don’t Let Friends Drive Drunk form of diplomacy — and if we must use it one by one, village by village, until the policy changes – do it.

  5. just
    just
    May 5, 2015, 3:52 pm

    Diana Buttu via Yousef Munayyer

    “Breaking: #israel court sanctions the ethnic cleansing of #Palestinian town Umm Al Hiran to make way for Jewish town of Hiran #Apartheid”

    https://twitter.com/dianabuttu/status/595633188195704833

    • RebuildingAll
      RebuildingAll
      May 5, 2015, 4:35 pm

      Please send a link to the source story

      • just
        just
        May 5, 2015, 4:55 pm

        I’ve searched without success thus far.

      • just
        just
        May 5, 2015, 7:22 pm

        Here:

        “Supreme Court allows state to replace Bedouin village with Jewish one

        Court rules that Umm al-Hiran in the northern Negev is built on state land, paving way for construction of Jewish community of Hiran.

        Israel’s Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected a petition by residents of the unrecognized Bedouin village of Umm al-Hiran against their removal and the demolition of the community – in order to construct a new town for Jewish residents in its place. The court ruled the land belongs to the state and the Bedouins have no legal rights to it.

        “The state is the owner of the lands in dispute, which were registered in its name in the framework of the arrangement process; the residents have acquired no rights to the land but have settled them [without any authorization], which the state cancelled legally. In such a situation, there is no justification for intervention in the rulings of the previous courts,” wrote Supreme Court Justice Elyakim Rubinstein in the majority opinion.

        Rubinstein ruled that the appeal should be rejected for two reasons: First, because the petition was an indirect attack against the decisions of the government’s establishment of the new community of Hiran, to be built on the state-owned land – a challenge that should have been raised in other forums. Second, the judges ruled the government’s actions did not in any way violate the petitioners’ legal rights – and even if such rights were harmed, it was a “proportionate harm.”

        The Supreme Court decision concerns only the evacuation orders. The Kiryat Gat Magistrate’s Court is scheduled to hold a hearing at the end of this month about the demolition orders for the houses in Umm al-Hiran……….”

        more ~ http://www.haaretz.com/news/israel/1.655145?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

    • Kay24
      Kay24
      May 5, 2015, 4:36 pm

      This is not only apartheid policies, it is also the intent to rid the territories of the Arab people.

      The racist and violent sayings of all their zionist leaders, which the hasbarats deny, are all coming true. A thousand curses on those who do this.

    • MoCHo
      MoCHo
      May 5, 2015, 4:49 pm

      One of my Facebook friends, a Palestinian Christian, posted this today: The Israeli High Court of Justice yesterday afternoon have permitted the Israeli occupation to demolish the Palestinian village of Susiya in south of Hebron hills, and relocate its residents to nearby Yatta city.

      Susiya community is part of Masafer Yatta, a rural congregation that relies heavily on animal husbandry as the main source of livelihood. The community has been a frequent target for recurrent Israeli military and settlers assaults. He did not post the source, however,

      • just
        just
        May 5, 2015, 5:32 pm

        “High Court ruling paves way for demolition of unauthorized Palestinian village

        A High Court of Justice ruling would allow the Civil Administration to demolish the unauthorized village of Sussiya in the southern Hebron Hills, which is home to 340 Palestinians.

        In February 2014 Rabbis for Human Rights along with Sussiya residents had petitioned the court on behalf of the village and had asked for an injunction to prevent the demolitions of its homes the case was adjudicated.

        On Monday, the High Court of Justice rejected that request and that it understood that an alternative living solution was available for the residents of the village.

        “It is unusual for the state to oppose a temporary restraining order in this way,” said Rabbi Arik Ascherman

        “It heightens our suspicion that they have an intent to demolish Sussiya before there is an actual court hearing on the case,” Ascherman said.”…

        http://www.jpost.com/Arab-Israeli-Conflict/High-Court-ruling-paves-way-for-demolition-of-unauthorized-Palestinian-village-402200

  6. RebuildingAll
    RebuildingAll
    May 5, 2015, 10:36 pm

    Crunch time now. Rebuilding Alliance — with our work to help Palestinian villages build and engage people around the world to make them safe — is currently in 4th place in the Silicon Valley Gives Competition. It will end at 2:29am Eastern / 11:59 Eastern Pacific.

    You could give to help finish 8 houses in our Rebuilding to Remain program:
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    You could give to send Backpack Kits for Gaza’s Children:
    http://svgives.razoo.com /story/Gazas-Children

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    We’re good, really good, at what we do but we can’t do this without you.

  7. RebuildingAll
    RebuildingAll
    May 5, 2015, 11:36 pm

    We’re so close to 3rd place. Here’s the Leaderboard for Small Nonprofits

    Give now please – Silicon Valley Gives ends at 2:59am Eastern / 11:59pm Pacific

  8. just
    just
    May 6, 2015, 11:30 am

    “South Africans apologize over forest planted on Palestinian village

    …”Campaigners with the group Stop the JNF in South Africa are trying to highlight how the land where the forest is located was once the site of the Palestinian village of Lubya. It was destroyed by Zionist forces during the Nakba (Arabic for catastrophe), the forced displacement of Palestinians in 1948.

    In a novel ceremony on 1 May, a number of South Africans who have previously given money to the JNF issued a public apology.

    “Whether we knew it or not, the money that we donated to the JNF bought the seeds that grew into these trees that cover your houses, your wells and your sacred places,” Shereen Usdin, a South African Stop the JNF activist, said during a ceremony held at the forest.

    “While this forest may be an attempt to erase the memory of Lubya, there can be no denying what happened here. These stones, these graves, these wells, these cacti plants, are all bearing witness. Now as Jewish South Africans we have come here to this forest and to the ruins of Lubya in order to acknowledge and to take responsibility for this injustice,” she added.

    The ceremony took place in the forest following a tour of the destroyed village.

    “While you are walking I invite you just to look around,” said Umar al-Ghubari, a representative of Zochrot (Hebrew for remembering), a group seeking to educate Israelis about the Nakba. “On both sides you will see ruins of houses. All these stones that you see around you are actually houses.”…

    much more @ http://electronicintifada.net/content/south-africans-apologize-over-forest-planted-palestinian-village/14494

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