Palestinians confront forced Israeli evictions in Sheikh Jarrah. Photo: Activestills
Palestinian Jerusalemite families are facing imminent forced eviction from their homes by illegal Israeli settlers, backed by the Israeli state. The attack on Sheikh Jarrah is part and parcel of the ongoing and systematic ethnic cleansing targeting Palestinians in Jerusalem and is part of the ongoing Nakba. Join Al-Awda, the Palestine Right to Return Coalition, to call on members of Congress to save Sheikh Jarrah.
Four Palestinian families have been ordered by an Israeli district court to leave their homes by May 2 or face forced eviction, while three more families have been ordered evicted by August. We need to receive as many signatures and letters as possible in April to make it clear that this eviction must not be allowed to take place!
Take action — send a letter to your members of Congress today! Use our action below or visit our direct letter-writing link: https://actionnetwork.org/letters/savesheikhjarrah
The U.S. provides Israel with over $3.8 billion annually in military assistance, directly implicating the United States in Israeli crimes throughout occupied Palestine, including the assault on Palestinian existence and identity in Jerusalem.
Since 1972, the residents of the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood, north of the Old City of Jerusalem, have been facing an Israeli plan to displace them and build a settlement on the rubble of their homes. Today the people of Sheikh Jarrah are being threatened by intensified Israeli measures to implement this plan, with the issuance of successive Israeli court orders in favor of the settler organizations leading this expansionist scheme.
The attack on Sheikh Jarrah is specifically an attack on Palestinian refugees displaced from their original homes and lands in 1948. Four Palestinian families have been ordered by an Israeli district court to leave their homes by May 2 or face forced eviction, while three more families have been ordered evicted by August. Members of Congress must speak out to stop this U.S.-funded and U.S.-supported ethnic cleansing of Palestinians from Jerusalem.
When you take action, the following sample letter is included — directed and personalized to your local Member of Congress. You can edit the letter to add your own personal reflections, thoughts and connections to the issue — all of which can be extremely powerful!
I urge you to take action and speak out today in support of the Palestinian Jerusalemite families in Sheikh Jarrah at imminent risk of forced eviction from their homes. This is part of Israel’s ongoing plan to ethnically cleanse Palestinians from Jerusalem. As the United States provides Israel with $3.8 billion annually in military aid while blocking efforts to support Palestinian rights at the United Nations and other international bodies, our government is implicated in the crimes taking place in Jerusalem.
It is imperative that members of Congress take action, including urging the Biden administration to seriously pressure Israel and ending U.S. aid to Israel, to stop these ongoing and severe human rights violations and protect Sheikh Jarrah from violent ethnic cleansing.
In 1948, the El-Kurd family – like thousands of other Palestinians – were forced from their homes and lands by militias seeking to create an exclusively Jewish state, Israel, in occupied Palestine. Over 750,000 Palestinians were made refugees during the Nakba, and millions of Palestinian refugees have been denied their fundamental right to return home for the past 73 years.
The Nakba did not end in 1948, however. For Palestinians, it continues on a daily basis. Palestinians in Jerusalem are subjected to a series of unlawful measures designed to erase Palestinian existence and identity in the city, as part of a systematic process of ethnic cleansing. The forced evictions in Sheikh Jarrah are part of this process, intended to ensure an exclusively Israeli Jewish Jerusalem, at the expense of indigenous Palestinians.
The El-Kurd family was moved into the Sheikh Jarrah district of East Jerusalem under an agreement between Jordan and the United Nations to house 28 families. In exchange for relinquishing their status as refugees, they were housed in Sheikh Jarrah, with the provision that the property titles would be transferred to those families after 3 years.
In 1967 Israel illegally annexed East Jerusalem, and Sheikh Jarrah has remained under occupation since then. Working hand in hand with the state and military, Israeli illegal settler organizations have attempted to uproot these Palestinian families – already once displaced by Israeli violence and colonization – from the homes where they have lived for decades, and who are entitled to their land as property owners under the agreement between Jordan and the United Nations.
To cement Palestinian dispossession and displacement in Jerusalem, Israel enacted the racist Legal and Administrative Matters Law in 1970, which – like the Absentee Property Law used to confiscate the property of Palestinians forced from their homes and lands in 1948 – facilitates the transfer of property from Palestinians to Israeli Jews.
The situation has reached an emergency status. Far-right racist settler groups have claimed ownership of Sheikh Jarrah and have been taking over Palestinian homes, evicting their rightful owners with the backing of Israeli courts. Adding insult to injury, displaced Palestinian families are then ordered to pay money to the courts to cover the legal costs of the settler organizations.
Four Palestinian families, including the El-Kurd family, have been ordered to leave their homes by May 2 or face forced eviction, while three more families have been ordered to leave their homes by August or be forced from them.
I remind you that as a funder of Israel’s military and a defender of its war crimes and crimes against humanity in international fora, the United States government is complicit in the crimes taking place in Sheikh Jarrah.
Please take action, including calling upon the State Department to place serious pressure on Israel to end its policies of ethnic cleansing in Jerusalem and introducing legislation to end U.S. aid to Israel. We urge action to:
1. Recognize and declare that the laws and policies Israel have created, and continue to maintain, as an institutionalized regime of racial domination and oppression over the Palestinian people as a whole, which amounts to the crime of apartheid;
2. Call on Israel to cease the unlawful application of its domestic laws and policies to illegally annexed East Jerusalem;
3. Call on Israel to immediately cease the court proceedings against the Palestinian families who are under imminent threat of forced eviction, as well as the eviction orders placing the Palestinian Jerusalemites at risk of forced displacement, and to ensure the return of Palestinians evicted to their properties in addition to compensation for their years of damages as a result of Israeli evictions and dispossession;
4. Call on Israel to immediately repeal all laws it has enacted to further the Israeli policy of population transfer and achieve demographic goals in Jerusalem in violation of Palestinians’ fundamental rights, including their right to self-determination and right to return and reclaim their properties, including 1950 Absentees’ Property Law and the 1970 Legal and Administrative Matters Law;
5. Call on Israel to abide by the legal test set by the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights if the eviction is exceptionally required;
6. Take serious action to hold Israel accountable for its ongoing war crimes and crimes against humanity, including by imposing a military embargo and ending U.S. aid to Israel, as well as taking a clear position in the United Nations for international action against Israel to put an end to its occupation, colonization, and apartheid regime in Palestine, as well as the prolonged denial of the right to self-determination of the Palestinian people, and the right of return of Palestinian refugees to their homes, lands, and property, as mandated by international law;
7. End the ongoing interference of the United States with international justice and accountability, particularly at the International Criminal Court. The United States must support a full, thorough, and comprehensive investigation into the Situation in Palestine by the International Criminal Court; and
8. Change United States policy at the United Nations to support and end its efforts to veto or otherwise obstruct UN resolutions in relation to the inalienable right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and to restitution and compensation of their properties, as well as resolutions directed at altering the composition and character of Jerusalem.