Posted on May 30, 2020, by & filed under Lobbying, News, Protest Actions.

Write to your MP in support of the Sumarin Family

Please use our sample letter below or adapt it. You can find your MP here

Dear    (MP),

During the Covid-19 pandemic, home should be our place of safety and security. Sadly, for Palestinians this is not the case because of the Israeli government’s ongoing policy of home demolitions, evictions, and displacement.

I am writing to you now because I seek to gain your support to help stop the Jewish National Fund (JNF) from pursuing its case to evict the 18 members of the Sumarin family from their home.

Both Palestinians and Israeli Jews have come together to try to prevent a radical right-wing agenda of the JNF from taking over this home on the basis that the JNF’s proposed action is wrong and directly against the human values of what is just and fair. Rabbi Arik Ascherman of Torat Tzedek (Torah of Justice) explains that the Sumarin family literally lives in the shadow of the Temple Mount/Haram Al Sharif/Al Aqsa mosque, in the neighbourhood of Silwan. There, several settler groups, most prominently “Elad” are dedicated to “Judaizing” the neighbourhood. Exploiting the intoxicating idea that Silwan may have been the Biblical “City of David,” they have sponsored archaeological digs literally under people’s homes, causing floors to buckle and walls and ceilings to crack.  They have used various unethical means, such as the “Absentee Property Law,” to take over homes in the neighbourhood…. There is no home they covet more than the Sumarin family home, literally next to the entrance to the archaeological visitor’s centre Elad has created. They have already taken over most of the family’s yard, but they want the home.

Rabbi Michael Marmur, Director, Rabbis for Human Rights – Israel, reported in an article printed in Haaretz that the Sumarins have been involved in a legal struggle with the JNF since 1991. The JNF has argued that some members of the family were “absentees”, so their property was confiscated by the state, which then sold it to the JNF. This claim is centred on an aggressive and controversial interpretation of the Absentees’ Property Law of 1950.

On 21st September, the BBC exposed the coordination between the JNF and Elad in using tourism to further political efforts in East Jerusalem. This thirty-minute BBC report covers the fact that there is a written agreement between Elad and the JNF subsidiary Himanuta in which Elad commits to taking upon itself the legal work and expenses to evict the Sumarins – see it at 12.25.

The Sumarin family has appealed to the Israeli Supreme Court. In previous cases, Israeli courts, including the Israeli Supreme Court, have ruled against Palestinians, thus it does not respect the Fourth Geneva Convention which states that Israel is obliged not to displace the indigenous population (the Palestinians) unless for security reasons. The displacement of the Sumarin family cannot be argued as a security reason but is yet another land-grab and part of Israel’s Judaization policy in Jerusalem.

Would you please inform me of your views on this issue. Will you endorse the statement below and then add your signature to EDM 529 in support of the Sumarin family?

I endorse the international call urging the Jewish National Fund and the Israeli Government to halt the Sumarin family's eviction.  I urge the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to make urgent representations to the Israeli government and the JNF to the same end.

Thank you.

Yours sincerely,