Posted by: ZOA Staff
August 16, 2016
Action Alerts

Sussiya Action Alert

URGENT Action Alert:  Contact the Israeli Officials TODAY, and U.S. State Dept.

ZOA:  Stop U.S. State Department’s Outrageous Threats and Interference With Israeli Court Orders to Demolish Unlawful Arab Tents and Huts on Jewish Archeological Site and Synagogue in Sussiya

To All our wonderful Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) Friends and Activists:

Breaking News:  The Israeli Supreme Court on Monday gave the Israeli government a two-day extension on yesterday’s deadline to deal with the illegal Arab squatters’ camp of tents and tin huts that Arabs deliberately recently erected on the synagogue and archaeological site of the ancient Jewish town of Sussiya (near the modern day Jewish community of Sussiya).  The deadline is now tomorrow Wednesday August 17.

Encourage them to follow the law of the land in Israel by removing the illegal Arab Sussiya tents and huts.

We need you to write TODAY (or at the latest by tomorrow morning) to

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu – bnetanyahu@knesset.gov.il – and Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman – alieberman@knesset.gov.il

(and others – see below)

to encourage them to follow the law of the land in Israel by removing the illegal Arab Sussiya tents and huts.  Israel’s courts approved the removal of the illegal Arab tents and huts on Sussiya’s synagogue and archaeological site after thorough and lengthy litigation.

 

Immense pressure has been publicly put on the Israeli government by the U.S. State Department, European Union and anti-Israel NGOs to halt the court-approved plan to move the illegal squatters.  Do NOT let the Obama administration and hostile European governments interfere with Israeli court decisions and the rule of law in Israel.

 

Thank you for your help!!

 

See https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G6zL1lFZ0rQ

Here is more information:

Let’s suppose for a minute that a group of anti-Catholic, anti-Protestant or anti-Muslim provocateurs suddenly erected illegal tents and dilapidated tin huts on St. Peter’s Square in Vatican City, or on the grounds of Westminster Cathedral in England, or someplace in the vicinity of Mecca that is holy to Muslims – and falsely claimed that they always lived there.   And let’s suppose that the courts of England, the Vatican or Saudia Arabia, after giving the provocateurs due process and fairly and fully considering all the issues and adjudicating the case through these nations’ highest court, ordered that the illegal structures be removed from those countries’ holy places.   Would the U.S. State Department dare threaten England, the Vatican or Saudi Arabia that they cannot follow their own courts’ decisions to remove the illegal structures?

Yet, the U.S. administration is threatening Israel if Israel abides by the fairly and fully considered orders of the Israeli courts (including its Israel’s high court) to remove the illegal tents and tin and canvas huts that anti-Jewish Arabs (who live elsewhere) erected on Susiya (also spelled Sussiya). 

Susiya is an important Jewish religious site, a designated archaeological site of an ancient synagogue in the Hebron Hills of Judea.  The synagogue has a beautiful mosaic floor and other structures that can be seen today.   The Jewish town of Susiya is nearby.

Photographic and other evidence show that the temporary Arab huts and tents on Susiya were only erected recently, and did not exist in 2000 or previously; and that the Arabs claiming to live in so-called “Arab Susiya” actually live in another village.  When (left-wing) journalists stop by, the Arabs temporarily move into “Arab Susiya” to make the tents and huts appear occupied.  The Arabs promptly move out of “Arab Susiya” and return to their real homes elsewhere when the journalists leave. 

Arlene Kushner, of Regavim (a wonderful Israeli organization that reports on illegal land grabs by Arabs), has been reporting on this illegal attempted Arab land grab of Susiya’s Jewish land.  When Ms. Kushner visited so-called “Arab Susiya” recently (at a time when journalists were not there), “Arab Susiya” was empty.  See Arlene Kushner’s August 12, 2016 informative post about Susiya here – which includes pictures of the Sussiiya ancient synagogue’s beautiful mosaic floor.  http://arlenefromisrael.squarespace.com/current-postings/

Also see Ari Briggs, The Invention of the Village of Susiya, Jerusalem Post, July 22, 2016)  http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/Comment-The-invention-of-the-village-of-Susiya-409861 which noted that the “demolition orders had been confirmed by Israel’s High Court in May 2015 after decades of appeals. . . . The High Court found that the assertions (that Arab Susiya existed) were demonstrably false, based on comprehensive objective historical and geographical accounts.  Historical aerial photography, detailed mandatory maps, travelogues from the 18th and 19th centuries, and the population registry all established that [the Arab] assertions were a fabrication.  Fact: no such village ever existed.  The High Court has ruled repeatedly against these false [Arab] assertions [that Arab Susiya existed] (HC 7530/01, 430/12, 1556/12, 1420/14).”

Outrageously, during a July 16, 2016 U.S. State Department press briefing, U.S. State Department spokesman John Kirby misstated the facts, ignored the fact that the Arab tents and hunts are recent, unoccupied and were adjudged illegal in full and fair court proceedings, falsely characterized Susiya as a West Bank village; falsely characterized the removal of these illegal unoccupied structures as “evictions,” and had the gall to condemn Israel if Israel removes these unlawful structures, stating: http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/dpb/2015/07/244998.htm

MR KIRBY:  “We’re closely following developments in the village of Susiya in the West Bank, and we strongly urge the Israeli authorities to refrain from carrying out any demolitions in the village. Demolition of this Palestinian village or of parts of it, and evictions of Palestinians from their homes would be harmful and provocative. Such actions have an impact beyond those individuals and families who are evicted. We are concerned that the demolition of this village may worsen the atmosphere for a peaceful resolution and would set a damaging standard for displacement and land confiscation, particularly given settlement-related activity in the area. We urge Israeli authorities to work with the residents of the village to finalize a plan for the village that addresses the residents’ humanitarian needs.”

It is disgraceful that our U.S. State Department mischaracterizes and interferes with Israel’s fair and thorough court proceedings.   The Jerusalem Post noted that Israelis were astonished by the State Department’s statement because it was so misinformed regarding the basic facts, and “the statement appears to be an arrogant attempt to undermine the Israeli legal system, including its universally respected High Court.”

We urge ZOA friends and activists to do the following:

  1. URGENT:  Email Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu – bnetanyahu@knesset.gov.il

and Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman at alieberman@knesset,gov.il and ask them to proceed with the demolitions of illegal tents and huts in “Arab Susiya” and stand strong against the U.S. government’s attempts to interfere with Israel’s legal system and internal affairs. 

  1. Email and Members of Knesset (MKs) who may be helpful, and ask them to support proceeding with the demolitions of illegal tents and huts in “Arab Susiya” and stand strong against the U.S. government’s attempts to interfere with Israel’s legal system and internal affairs.   See addresses below.
  1. Complain to the U.S. State Department about its misinformed Susiya statement and interference with Israel’s respected legal system.  The State Department may be contacted here: https://register.state.gov/contactus/contactusform
  1. Contact your Senator and Congressperson to complain about the U.S. State Department statement.   Contact info:  https://www.usa.gov/elected-officials
  1. Ask your friends to help.
  1. Please copy ZOA on your correspondence and any responses – liz@zoa.org

Thank you to all our wonderful activists!!!

Here are the email addresses of Israeli Members of Knesset and ministers:

PM Benjamin Netanyahu: pm_eng@pmo.gov.il or bnetanyahu@knesset.gov.il

MK and Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman aliberman@knessset.gov.il

MK Gilad Erdan: gerdan@knesset.gov.il

MK Shuli Moalem Refaeli: smoalemr@knesset.gov.il

MK Uri Ariel: uria@knesset.gov.il

MK Bezalel Smotrich: bezalels@knesset.gov.il

MK Naftali Bennett: nbennett@knesset.gov.il or naftalibennett@gmail.com

MK Yuli Edelstein: yedelstein@knesset.gov.il

MK Oren Hazan: ohazan@knesset.gov.il

MK Ayelet Shaked: ashaked@knesset.gov.il

MK Anat Berko: anatb@knesset.gov.il 

MK Avi Dichter: Davraham@knesset.gov.il 

MK Avraham Naguisa: anagosa@knesset.gov.il 

MK Ayoob Kara: akara@knesset.gov.il 

MK Danny Danon: ddanon@knesset.gov.il 

MK David Amsalem: davidam@knesset.gov.il 

MK David Bitan: dbitan@knesset.gov.il 

MK Gila Gamliel: ggamliel@knesset.gov.il 

MK Gilad Erdan: gerdan@knesset.gov.il 

MK Haim Katz: hkatz@knesset.gov.il 

MK Jackie Levy: Zakil@knesset.gov.il 

MK Miki Zohar: mahlufz@knesset.gov.il 

MK Miri Regev: mregev@knesset.gov.il 

MK Moshe (Bogy) Yaalon: myaalon@knesset.gov.il 

MK Nava Boker: nboker@knesset.gov.il 

MK Nurit Koren: nkoren@knesset.gov.il 

MK Ofir Akunis: oakunis@knesset.gov.il 

MK Oren Asaf Hazan: ohazan@knesset.gov.il 

MK Reuven Rivlin: rrivlin@knesset.gov.il 

MK Silvan Shalom: sshalom@knesset.gov.il 

MK Tzachi Hanegbi: tzhanegbi@knesset.gov.il 

MK Yariv Levin: ylevin@knesset.gov.il 

MK Yaron Mazuz: ymazuz@knesset.gov.il 

MK Yisrael Katz: yiskatz@knesset.gov.il 

MK Yoav Kisch: yoavk@knesset.gov.il 

MK Yuli Edelstein: yedelstein@knesset.gov.il 

MK Yuval Steinitz: ysteinitz@knesset.gov.il 

MK Zeev Binyamin Begin: bbeni@knesset.gov.il 

MK Zeev Elkin: Zelkin@knesset.gov.il 

MK Zippy Hatoveli: zhotovely@knesset.gov.il 

MK Bezalel Smotrich: bezalels@knesset.gov.il 

MK Eli Ben Dahan: ebendehan@knesset.gov.il 

Mk Mordhay Yogev: myogev@knesset.gov.il 

MK Nissan Slomiansky: nissan@knesset.gov.il 

MK Uri Ariel: uria@knesset.gov.il 

MK Yinon Magal: ymagel@knesset.gov.il 

MK Israel Eichler: ieichler@knesset.gov.il 

MK Meir Porush: mporush@knesset.gov.il 

MK Menachem Eliezer Mozes: mmozes@knesset.gov.il 

MK Moshe Gafni: mgafni@knesset.gov.il 

MK Uri Maklev: umaklev@knesset.gov.il 

MK Yakov Litzman: ylitzman@knesset.gov.il 

MK Aryeh Machluf Deri: aderey@knesset.gov.il 

MK David Azoulay: dazulay@knesset.gov.il 

MK Meshulam Nahari: mnahari@knesset.gov.il 

MK Yaakov Margi: ymargi@knesset.gov.il 

MK Yitzhak Vaknin: yvaknin@knesset.gov.il 

MK Yizhak Cohen: izchakec@knesset.gov.il 

MK Yoav Ben Tzur: ybentzur@knesset.gov.il 

MK Eli Cohen: elic@knesset.gov.il 

MK Elie Elalouf: elalouf@knesset.gov.il 

MK Merav Ben Ari: bmerav@knesset.gov.il 

MK MIchael Oren: michaels@knesset.gov.il 

MK Moshe Kachlon: mcachlon@knesset.gov.il 

MK Moshe Kahlon: cmoshe@knesset.gov.il 

MK Rachel Azaria: rachela@knesset.gov.il 

MK Roy Folkman: royf@knesset.gov.il 

MK Tali Ploskov: talip@knesset.gov.il 

MK Yifat Shasha Biton: yifatsh@knesset.gov.il 

MK Yoav Gallant: yoavg@knesset.gov.il 

MK Avigdor Lieberman: aliberman@knesset.gov.il 

MK Hamad Amar: amarh@knesset.gov.il 

MK Orly Levy-Abekasis: olevy@knesset.gov.il 

MK Robert Ilatov: rilatov@knesset.gov.il 

MK Sharon Gal: sharonga@knesset.gov.il 

MK Sopha Landver: slandver@knesset.gov.il 

MK Yaakov Katzeleh Katz: yakatz@knesset.gov.il 

Prof. MK Arieh Eldad: aeldad@knesset.gov.il 

MK Eli Yishai: eyishay@knesset.gov.il 

MK Gidon Saar: gsaar@knesset.gov.il 

MK Uzi Landau: ulandau@knesset.gov.il