An Appeal on Israeli House Demolitions

From Gush Shalom - Israeli Peace Bloc

"Sharansky said he and other members of the government are concerned about a situation in which any demolition became an international political issue (Jerusalem Post, Nov.3)"

Dear all.

To some of you - who corresponded with us at the time - we sent already the article in which the above quote appears.

Now is the time to remind Sharansky e.a. that the next demolition will be even a bigger scandal. After the theatrical removal of one (out of 42) new settler hilltop conquests the Labor/Meretz/Mafdal government is under big pressure from the right - to "counterbalance" this with more demolitions of Palestinian homes. And, the plans were there anyhow. Two weeks ago, we ("we" including you, who sent your email protests!) may together have achieved the postponement of one or a few demolitions (after two days of demolition, on the third day a bulldozer crew was recalled on the last moment), but in order to prevent them altogether more is needed.

Let's do our utmost this time to shout before it's too late.

ICAHD activists spending nights at threatened houses sitting ready with a video camera - that is one thing. What you can do is sending NOW a letter more or less according to following example:

Dear Minister

I am writing to you out of concern about the calls coming from settler circles - as reported on the pirate Arutz-7 radio station - that the Israeli government demolish houses built by Palestinians without a permit.

It was encouraging that with the new government there was shown some understanding on the ministerial level for the need to produce zoning plans also for the Jerusalemite Arabs who live under Israeli rule for more than 30 years. The housing needs of a whole generation never being dealt with, it was a most sensible proposal to retroactively give permits to thousands of houses built without.

The two houses demolished in East Jerusalem at the end of October were a deep shock for whoever is interested in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. This seemed a return to the policy of inviting violence which we understood the Israeli electorate had decided should end. I hereby express hope that your government realized the grave mistake and now will stand strong against pressures from extremists whose sole purpose is to destroy all chances for peace process and, for that matter, to bring down your government.

Sincerely ....

----- Addresses to which to send your letter:

Prime Minister Ehud Barak,

Minister  of Interiors, Nathan Sharansky

Minister of Public Safety (Police) Shlomo Ben Ami: 
Fax: 02-5811832, e-mail,, 

Minister of Justice Yossi Beilin, 

Minister of Foreign Affairs, David Levy

NB: Send copies to: 

Secretary of State Madeline Albright
Fax: (202) 736-4461, Email:

and also bcc to

Thank you!