Urgent Action Needed to Prevent Home Demolitions in Umm Al-Khayr
Your call to congress can make a difference.
On February 19, 2015, Rebuilding Alliance wrote to our network to urge immediate action to contact congress and prevent the dmeolition of two homes and soccer field in our January Say Human Conference Call feature, the village of Umm al-Khayr. Please see the letter below, and take action as soon as possilbe.
Please help save two homes and a soccer field in the West Bank Palestinian Village of Um Al Kheir — I am confident you'll get through. Every Senator and Representative promises to help their constituents when you have an urgent problem that involves a Federal Agency. You are their constituent, this is urgent, and you need their help to reach the State Department.
Please use this Step-by-Step Guide to call their office in Washington and ask to speak to their Senior Staffer for Foreign Policy.
Get that staffer's email - or any email for their office - and email the letter below. Questions? Please call me at 650 325-4663. If the download didn't work, try this link, or email back and we'll send you a pdf file. Let me know what happens when you call -- I'll keep you posted too.
Executive Director, Rebuilding Alliance
P.S. It is more important to make the call than to get it perfect. Try calling. Ask them to intervene on your behalf.
Template Letter to Your 2 Senators and Representative
February 19, 2015
Name of Senator or Representative
Honorable Senator _________ or Honorable Representative ________,
I am writing as your constituent to ask your URGENT assistance in contacting a federal agency, specifically the U.S. State Department. I NEED YOUR HELP TO KEEP TWO HOMES AND A SOCCER FIELD SAFE in the Palestinian Village of Umm Al Khair, a West Bank Palestinian Bedouin village visited by US Consulate staff this past December. Americans are invested in this village, providing scholarships and helping rebuild.
The houses, built on land owned by the villagers with clear and uncontested title, provide shelter for 15 Palestinians including 11 children. This request is URGENT because the community fears that demolitions can take place as early as Sunday, before an objection can be filed.
Please ask the State Department to call the Israeli government to request their full and immediate assurance that demolition orders are frozen to allow the Village of Umm Al Khair time to petition the Israeli High court.
Please also call the Israeli Embassy to get their assurance directly. Express your concern regarding the lack of Palestinian representation on the Objections Committee of the IDF, the group that rejected their plea not to demolish the homes and soccer field.
Please publically state the U.S. position opposing the expansion of Israeli settlements, and specifically state your opposition to the expansion of the nearby settlement of Karmel, illegal under international law.
Please press both groups to provide Israel’s acknowledgement of the right of this village and all Palestinian villages to plan, build on, herd on, and cultivate the land they own.
Your intervention is urgently requested because there is a pattern of demolitions occurring in this village. Starting on October 31st, 2008, the Israeli Army demolished family homes near the settlement of Karmel. Demolitions continued in 2010, 2011, and 2013, and most recently three demolitions on October 27th and 28, 2014, followed by the confiscation on November 1st of tents provided by the International Committee of the Red Cross and a Palestinian Ministry. Tents were the only shelters for families made homeless in a very cold winter – and today another snow storm is on its way.
Please note that Americans have been established a scholarship fund for the village children and have been helping to rebuild. Many NGO’s including the Israeli Palestinian Organization, Villages Group, and the Israeli NGO, Comet ME have been working with Um Al Kheir for many years. There is a talented artist in the village whose work could provide jobs and USAID investment could expand agriculture and provide infrastructure. Please make your calls today on my behalf to keep the village standing. I look forward to your reply.
Your affiliation (if any)
Your home address including street, city, state and zip code (so they can see you are a constituent)