On June 30th, 2020, Israeli courts are scheduled to hear the final appeal of a case in which JNF-Israel through its subsidiary organization Himanuta that will seek to evict the Palestinian Sumarin family from its long-time home in Silwan, East Jerusalem.
The details of this case are complicated (see articles below), but the essence is this – JNF-Israel is an organization known throughout the world for its efforts to plant trees in Israel, help build vital infrastructure projects within Israel’s Green Line, and offer international donors an opportunity to give voice to their Jewish values and support of Israel as a democratic and Jewish state. However, JNF-Israel’s Himanuta is also effectively advancing in this case the radical right-wing agenda of parts of the Israeli government and extremist settler organizations (e.g. ELAD) to evict a Palestinian family from its long-time home in Silwan, East Jerusalem, just walking steps south of the Old City walls.
This JNF-Israel-Himanuta’s threatening action is contrary to Judaism’s time-honored values of compassion and justice, and violates Israel’s claim as articulated in the Declaration of Independence to grant full and equal rights to Israel’s minority Arab population. As a progressive Reform American Zionist, I protest, and I ask you to join me in sending the suggested text below as an email to all the individuals listed at this site https://bit.ly/Sumarin.
A group called the “Sumarin Coalition” supports the family’s rights its home. (See below a partial list of international and Israeli coalition members).
Here is a suggested text of protest to leaders of the JNF-Israel-Himanuta:
“To the JNF-Israel and its Affiliates,
I call on the JNF-Israel-Himanuta to refrain from uprooting the Sumarin family, a Palestinian family of 18, from its East Jerusalem home of many years. The eviction efforts are based on a draconian application of Israel’s ‘Absentee Property Law,’ although family members always lived there. Israel later committed not to use the law to evict this family, but the injustice towards the Sumarin family has continued.
Evicting this family would be a cruel act that is contrary to Judaism’s values of compassion, justice and peace.
I call on the KKL-JNF-Himanuta to renounce all claims to the property, to cease legal proceedings against the Sumarin family, and to let the family live in peace and safety in its home.
Here are a number of background articles explaining this situation more fully:
KKL-JNF and its Role in Settlement Expansion. (Peace Now)
The Jewish National Fund Should Stop Trying to Kick a Palestinian Family Out of Their Home (by Rabbi Michael Marmur, President of Rabbis for Human Rights, Israel)
The following are among the many international organizations in the “Sumarin Family Coalition” that have united to defend the Sumarin family against eviction:
Center for Jewish Nonviolence (CJNV) – IfNotNow – Ir Amim – J Street, J Street U, and J Street Rabbinic and Cantorial Cabinet – Oz ve-Shalom-Netivot Shalom – Peace Now and Americans for Peace Now – Rabbis for Human Rights – Israel (RHR) – Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association – Torat Tzedek – T’ruah – the Rabbinic Call for Human Rights – Yachad – Ameinu – Women’s Coalition for Peace