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Israel, Don't Level My Village

Society & Culture  (tags: world, Israel Palestine, Susiya, Human Rights, illegal settlements, family, ethics, dishonesty, freedoms, society, culture, abuse, crime, humans, news, rights, sadness, safety, law, government )

- 1399 days ago -
IN 1948, as Israeli forces closed in on his village of Qaryatayn, my grandfather carried my father in his arms to Susiya, about five miles north, in the South Hebron Hills area."We will go back home soon," my grandfather told my father.They did not.


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Carrie B (306)
Thursday July 23, 2015, 1:38 pm

SUSIYA, West Bank — IN 1948, as Israeli forces closed in on his village of Qaryatayn, my grandfather carried my father in his arms to Susiya, about five miles north, in the South Hebron Hills area.

“We will go back home soon,” my grandfather told my father.

They did not. Qaryatayn was destroyed, along with about 400 other Palestinian villages that were razed between 1948 and the mid-1950s. My family rebuilt their lives in Susiya, across the 1949 armistice line in the West Bank.

In 1986, my family was expelled from our home once again — not because of war, but because the occupying Israeli authorities decided to create an archaeological and tourist site around the remains of an ancient synagogue in Susiya. (A structure next to the abandoned temple was used as a mosque from about the 10th century.) This time, it was my father who took me in his arms as the soldiers drew near.

“We will return soon,” he said.

We did not. Without compensation, we were forced to rebuild Susiya nearby on what was left of our agricultural lands.

If, in the coming weeks, the Israeli government carries out demolition orders served on some 340 residents of Susiya, I will be forced to take my children in my arms as our home is destroyed and the village razed once again. I do not know if I will have the heart to tell them that we will soon go home; history has taught me that it may be a very long time until we are able to return.

In 2012, the Civil Administration branch of Israel’s Defense Ministry issued demolition orders against more than 50 structures in Susiya, including living quarters, a clinic, shop and solar panels. The reason given in these orders was that our village was built without permits from the Israeli military authorities.

The new Susiya was built on Palestinian villagers’ private agricultural land, but that is no safeguard. In practice, it is virtually impossible for a Palestinian living in what is known as Area C — the 60 percent of the West Bank under both civil and security control of the Israeli military — to receive a building permit. According to Bimkom, an Israeli nonprofit focused on planning rights, more than 98 percent of Palestinian requests for building permits in Area C from 2010 to 2014 were rejected.

The threat has now become immediate. Following the initial distribution of demolition orders, there was a political and legal campaign spearheaded by the residents of Susiya that had support from Palestinian, Israeli and international activists and rights groups. The village was not demolished, our case returned to the courts and the pressure let up.

But this past May, a few months after the re-election of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli Supreme Court justice Noam Sohlberg, who himself lives in an Israeli settlement that is considered illegal under international law, caved in to pressure from right-wing and settler organizations and ruled in the High Court that the Israeli military could go ahead with demolitions in the village — despite the fact that the higher-ranking Supreme Court had scheduled a hearing for our case on Aug. 3.

Earlier this month, I learned from lawyers working against the demolition of Susiya that representatives of the Israeli military had stated their intent to demolish parts of our village before the Aug. 3 hearing. Since the May ruling, we in Susiya have been grateful for an outpouring of support and solidarity. Last week, the State Department’s spokesman, John Kirby, made a strong statement on the issue.

“We’re closely following developments in the village of Susiya, in the West Bank,” he said, “and we strongly urge the Israeli authorities to refrain from carrying out any demolitions in the village. Demolition of this Palestinian village or parts of it, and evictions of Palestinians from their homes, would be harmful and provocative.”

That was a step in the right direction, but we need more than mere declarations now. If the Israeli government demolishes all or part of Susiya once again, it will be for no other reason than that we are Palestinians who refused to leave, despite immense pressure and great hardships of daily life under occupation.

The situation in Susiya is only one of many such situations in Area C of the West Bank. Several villages near ours have pending demolition orders as well. If Susiya is destroyed and its residents expelled, it will serve as a precedent for further demolitions and expulsions through the South Hebron Hills and Area C of the West Bank. This must not be allowed to happen.

This story is not a story of Jews against Muslims, or even a story of Israelis against Palestinians. We’re grateful for the many messages of support our village has received from Jewish communities around the world, and the groups and activists working by our side include many Israelis. This is simply a story of justice and equality against dispossession and oppression.


jan b (5)
Thursday July 23, 2015, 1:40 pm
People use the angel wings as icons to make other's believe they are all out for 'good' in the world but the opposite proves to be true. Some angels are bad (although the Bible usually refers to them as demons, not angels). They promote hate because that's what they seem to exist for the opportunity for. Generally, they are obsessed with a culture. Some are members of the KKK who hate jews---blacks and Catholics....and this kind of hate has been handed down for generations. SAD

Carrie B (306)
Thursday July 23, 2015, 1:47 pm
Very sad indeed Jan, but what does that have to do with Susiya?

Hugh Smith (112)
Thursday July 23, 2015, 2:20 pm
SUSIYA, West Bank (Reuters) 20 July by Luke Baker — Sitting under a fig tree to escape the searing sun, Jihad Nuwaja looks out on the only land he knows – the dry expanse of the Hebron hills in the southern West Bank. Within days, his home is set to be demolished and he, his wife and 10 children expelled. “It feels like the end,” says the 47-year-old, pulling a fig from the laden tree and testing its ripeness. “They will come and demolish our homes and we will have nowhere to go. In the coming days, I will see one hundred children made homeless.” Nuwaja’s family is one of handful living in tents and prefabricated structures at Susiya, a Palestinian village spread across several rocky hillsides between a Jewish settlement to the south and a Jewish archaeological site to the north – land Israel has occupied since the 1967 Middle East war. The saga over Susiya has been drawn out over decades, but it reached a culmination in May when Israel’s high court rejected an injunction seeking to halt the planned demolition of the village. With appeals exhausted and Ramadan over, the bulldozing is expected any day. The Israeli general responsible for carrying it out came to tell the villagers as much last week. Israel’s 48-year occupation of the West Bank, where Jewish settlements, which most world powers regard as illegal, have expanded rapidly, has thrown up many such disputes. But Susiya stands out for the depth of its perceived injustice. Many Israelis, from former defense ministry officials to settlement activists and the group Rabbis for Human Rights, believe the Israeli government is making a mistake, pointing to documents that show the Palestinians own the land and have inhabited and farmed the area since the 1830s….

Eleonora Oldani (37)
Thursday July 23, 2015, 2:27 pm

I got this answer today in response to one of the many petitions I signed - thought I'd share it with you. Please NOTE that he is "concerned" ... and asked for an up-date by the IL government ...!!!

Attachments4:44 PM (5 hours ago)

Dear Eleonora,

Thank you for writing to me regarding the situation in Susiya. I have been following this case closely, and note that both Canadian and Israeli human rights and religious organizations have expressed concern about the imminent demolition and displacement.

I wrote last month to the Minister of Foreign Affairs seeking an update on the government’s position with respect to the planned demolitions at Susiya and any Canadian engagement with Israeli authorities. My letter is attached.

The NDP is committed to working with partners for peace in Israel and Palestine, respecting UN resolutions and international law, supporting peaceful co-existence in viable, independent states with agreed-upon borders.

Thank you again for taking the time to write to me.


Paul Dewar, M.P.
NDP Foreign Affairs Critic"

and this was his letter to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Canada:

"Dear Minister Nicholson,

I am writing to you regarding the village Khirbet Susiya in Area C of the West Bank.

As you know, Israel maintains administrative responsibility over Area C under the Oslo Accords. Last month the Israeli High Court of Justice rejected a request by residents of Khirbet Susiya for an interim injunction freezing planned demolitions in the village. The demolition of Khirbet Susiya and forcible transfer of its residents is reportedly imminent. Canadian and Israeli human rights and religious groups have raised concerns about the impact of this displacement on the inhabitants.

What is the Government of Canada’s position on this situation? Have you or any other Canadian representative communicated with Israeli authorities regarding this case?

Thank you for your attention. I look forward to your reply."


Anyone who wants to right to this gentlemen to can do so at:

Eleonora Oldani (37)
Thursday July 23, 2015, 2:39 pm

Carrie - if you want to see how the official Zionist hasbara camp is hard at work to "prove" that Susiya never existed before the Jews set foot there in 1983 have a look at this:

The Saga of Ancient ‘Palestinian Susiya’ – The Town That Never Was

"Yigal Dilmoni, deputy director-general of the Yesha Council, told Tazpit, “Fifteen-year-old aerial photos clearly show that there was no Arab village at this site… "

"... where they [Palestinians] never lived until Jews came to the area in 1983."

Also don't miss to read from here onward: "When Jews came to Beit Yatir, the Arabs followed. Three families from Yatta, a city adjacent to Hevron, fled because of family crimes, such as rape, and set up camp on a hill adjacent to Yatir, Their village quickly became known as the “Thieves’ Village,” for obvious reasons. They claim, of course, that they have been living there from time immemorial." On top of it they claim that the police did nothing - LOL.

Have you ever heard of that the Israeli police does nothing if Jewish Israelis complain about Palestinians?!

Just another miserable chapter of these unspeakable "history" of theirs.


Darren Woolsey (218)
Thursday July 23, 2015, 2:42 pm
The following petitions found:

Signed both and shared on facebook and twittersphere

Kathleen M (208)
Thursday July 23, 2015, 3:17 pm
Shared and noted with complete disgust! Israeli treatment of the Palestinian people is beyond criminal, the international community's non-response is equally revolting, and the USA has blood on its' hands up to the elbows! A pox on all who're complicit in these crimes against humanity! Thanks for posting, Carrie.


Carrie B (306)
Thursday July 23, 2015, 3:24 pm
Thank you for extra petition links, Darren.

Freya H (345)
Thursday July 23, 2015, 3:31 pm
Israel is totally out of control, like a spoiled brat who is allowed to do anything she damned well pleases. It is time to take away this sacred cow's halo (am I mixing my metaphors?) and make Israel accountable for the atrocities it is committing. Plenty of Jews have turned against Israel!

Barb Knight (1685)
Thursday July 23, 2015, 3:57 pm
Signed put on FB Thanks Carrie and Darren!!

Eleonora Oldani (37)
Thursday July 23, 2015, 4:33 pm

I got this alert from Gush Shalom re a joint demonstration for tomorrow, Friday, the 24th of July:

“Both the European Union and the US State Department have called upon the Netanyahu Government not to implement the planned destruction of the tiny Palestinian village of Susya. So far, however, government officials made clear that the bulldozers are still on their way.”

Combatants for Peace supports the fight against the demolition of Susiya!

Demonstration in support of Susiya residents – Friday, 24.7.15, South Hebron Hills

The Civil Administration informed the residents of Sussia that it intends to demolish nearly half of the buildings in the village, even before the hearing in the High Court on 3.8.15.

Listen to Nasser Nawaj'ah resident of Sussia and leader of the struggle urging us to support their effort:
Transportation will leave Tel Aviv at 11:30
Transportation will leave Jerusalem 12:00
We will be back in Jerusalem till 16:30, in Tel Aviv till 17:00.
Register for transportation:
Background on the struggle for Sussia:
Additional information on Facebook:

On May 5 2015, Israel’s High Court of Justice ruled to allow the army to demolish the entire village of Susiya and expel its residents, numbering around 340 men, women and children. Considered a highly unusual move, the court refused to grant an interim order freezing the implementation of the demolition until the court hears the discussion on the appeal to authorise the village. representatives of the Israeli Military's "Civil Administration" informed residents of Susiya of their intent to demolish at least part of the village before an appeal of Susiya's case in the High Court, to be heard on August 3rd.


Rose Becke (141)
Thursday July 23, 2015, 5:06 pm

Carol R (11)
Thursday July 23, 2015, 6:16 pm
Thanks Carrie and thanks Darren for the petitions. Both signed. This is from the second petition:

Dear Foreign Minister Carr,
Please make urgent representations to Israel’s Ambassador in Australia regarding the need to lift these demolition orders and end the inhumane practice of demolishing homes and community infrastructure in the Occupied Palestinian Territories while continuing the "unhelpful" and "counter-productive” expansion of Israeli settlements which are regarded illegal by the international community.

Why is this important?

The Israeli Civil Administration in the Occupied West Bank of Palestine has distributed maps of locations /areas in Susiya, near Hebron in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, Fifty one (51) structures are included indicating that demolition is likely to occur in the very near future, the exact date to depend on the result of an appeal to the courts. If demolition takes place, not only it will more than 100 people be displaced and made homeless, but community buildings funded through international aid programmes, may be demolished. These include a clinic funded by Action Aid Australia, as well as solar panels, shop, a community center, a structure used to store sheep’s milk prior to sale, granaries and shelters for sheep and chickens.
More detail:

This is another disgusting display of impunity by Israel. Time for the international community to get some "b*lls and put a stop to Israel's blatant disregard of human rights and international law.....

Judy C (91)
Thursday July 23, 2015, 7:00 pm
Thanks Carrie and the commenters for getting this information out. I had never heard of this town, and its despicable treatment by this faction of Israel. Signed and tweeted the petitions. Thanks Darren, also.

Eleonora Oldani (37)
Friday July 24, 2015, 1:29 am

Thanks Carol for yet another attempt to stop the "schoolyard bully"! I also read this morning this article:

A Palestinian village braces for Israeli demolition

and can't help but wonder ... how come the Australian government, the EU and so many other donors stand by and watch how their donations are willfully destroyed (like the solar panels for instance) and don't raise hell with Israel?

How long does the International Community stand by and watch how their hard and sour earned tax money is literally plundered by Israel?

Equally I wonder what's going to happen to this lady who is mentioned in the article linked above: ""I think if they do this (demolition) here, it will be absurd," said Margrete Auken, a former member of the Danish parliament. She added, "We will make it very clear that if they (Israeli lawmakers) should care for their friends in Europe and their own future, then we have to have real action to turn Israel into the democracy they want to be, a decent democracy, and that means end the occupation.""

I know this is talk - no serious actions will follow ... not even a slap on the hand. Israel can go ahead and extend the settlements (this is what it's all about!!) as they wish till there's no land left which is not occupied and colonized by the Zionists and their crazy extremist settlers.

And everyone who doesn't stand up against this is a culprit - but first and foremost the politicians who have (almost) all sold out to the highest bidder = USrael! Whether it's out of fear for their own ars or whatever the excuse they come up with ...


Eleonora Oldani (37)
Friday July 24, 2015, 1:35 am

It just struck me after I posted my comment ... how does this euphemism sit with everybody here: ""a decent democracy" and that means end the occupation" (above)???

How come others are called "rogue state" or "pariah" and are bombed to smithereens because they occupy foreign land (Iraq) or are in in less severe violation of international laws and UN Sec Res than Israel (Iran) ... but Israel is just labeled "an indecent democracy" ...

Darren Woolsey (218)
Friday July 24, 2015, 3:45 am
There are some "regimes" where democracy doesn't exist as we understand it in the US or UK. . . China, Russia, Korea, etc.

Perhaps "rogue state" or "pariah" is applies as a "political putdown"

I think a "decent democracy" exists where its leaders listen to its people and make changes based on what those people wish.

Eleonora Oldani (37)
Friday July 24, 2015, 12:43 pm

And the conclusion is, Darren? ... there is no "decent" democracy; except maybe to a certain degree in Switzerland where we know and use "people's referendum" and politician have a high degree of respect for this democratic tool which is very often used if they think they can do what they want. That leaves us where?

Gloria picchetti (304)
Friday July 24, 2015, 2:19 pm
It's shameful.

fly bird (26)
Friday July 24, 2015, 9:40 pm
Thanks for posting, and the links, too.

Arild Warud (174)
Saturday July 25, 2015, 2:22 am
Stay away Zionists - this is Palestinians land.

I don't give a rat's ass about what this Canadian politician talk about.The Oslo Agreement is dead and burried many years ago so writing about Area C makes no sense,the agreement is null and void.

Past Member (0)
Saturday July 25, 2015, 5:59 am
Allow everyone their home

Past Member (0)
Saturday July 25, 2015, 8:51 am
With the "encouragement" of War Monger, Benny Netanyahu, Palestine's village will most assuredly be leveled--again!!!

Janet B (0)
Saturday July 25, 2015, 12:27 pm

Cheryl Aaron (18)
Saturday July 25, 2015, 3:55 pm
It Is my understanding that Israelis are complaining that Palestinians give them no peace. If demolishing Palestinian homes is the peace they are looking for than they deserve no peace...peace

Eleonora Oldani (37)
Saturday July 25, 2015, 4:44 pm

Cheryl - right you are! But we just don't understand: polit-Israel will destroy the village again and then ... then ... they can start "building" peace on the ruins ... doesn't it work that way? I just hope that such despicable actions help opening "the eyes of the world"!

Past Member (0)
Sunday July 26, 2015, 1:13 pm
I will not defend land thieves and squatters, just because they happened to be Arab thieves stealing Israeli lands.

Hamas kicked out and punished Arab land thieves after these thieves decided to play the same trick with Hamas as they used to play with Israel.

Nasser Nawaja is a member of the Arab PR lobby B’Tselem.


Carrie B (306)
Sunday July 26, 2015, 1:16 pm
Bob and his reading comprehension problem again. It's the Israelis who are stealing Palestinian land.

Eleonora Oldani (37)
Sunday July 26, 2015, 1:36 pm

As Rabbi Arik said yesterday:

Susiya - A traffic jam in the middle of the desert

"Though shalt not rob thy fellow" read the big sign carried by Rabbi Arik Asherman, who already for many years did not miss any demonstration, "Rabbis for Human Rights" being another of the protest initiators.


Jonathan Harper (0)
Tuesday July 28, 2015, 12:21 am

Past Member (0)
Tuesday July 28, 2015, 11:30 am
Israelis cannot steal Palestinian land - they are themselves the real Palestinians, not those Arab migrant workers who used to immigrate to Zionists (and still do), and now to Europe and UK.

Eleonora Oldani (37)
Tuesday July 28, 2015, 4:00 pm

Wrong again Bob - the "Israelis of those days" were themselves invaders who "plopped themselves" (copyright Barbara) into the living room of the indigenous people, drove them into the hills of Jerusalem (which they built) and/or massacred them. Those who survived where oppressed and occupied - very much like what we see today. History is a b***ch and he who doesn't know ... should learn ...
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