Help Sumarin Family Win in Israel's Supreme Court

by Rebuilding Alliance
Help Sumarin Family Win in Israel's Supreme Court
Help Sumarin Family Win in Israel's Supreme Court
Help Sumarin Family Win in Israel's Supreme Court
Help Sumarin Family Win in Israel's Supreme Court
Help Sumarin Family Win in Israel's Supreme Court
Help Sumarin Family Win in Israel's Supreme Court
Help Sumarin Family Win in Israel's Supreme Court
Help Sumarin Family Win in Israel's Supreme Court
Help Sumarin Family Win in Israel's Supreme Court
Help Sumarin Family Win in Israel's Supreme Court
Jerusalem Dist. Court no,waiting for Supreme Court
Jerusalem Dist. Court no,waiting for Supreme Court

Over the last few months, there has been challenging progress regarding the Sumarin family and their effort to remain in their East Jerusalem home. 

The unknown future of the Sumarin family's case makes your support incredibly important. We are so grateful to have you in our circle as we work to support the legal strategy that the family developed with their lawyers, Torah Tzedek, and the Sumarin Coalition, to navigate the challenge of keeping their family in their rightful home. 

You may recall that in June, the Israeli Supreme Court gave the Government of Israel an extension before the State is required to respond to the Sumarin family's appeal.

Fearing that the Supreme Court would only pursue the minutiae of details and leave out the big picture issues — including how the property was stolen in the first place —  the Sumarin's lawyers filed a second appeal before a different, Israel’s High Court, just a few months ago. This case would cover all aspects of the family home's 30 year history including the misuse of the Absentee Property law, and the secret agreement was discovered between the Jewish National Fund (JNF) and the Israeli settler group next door called Elad, who has been funding the JNF suits against the family. Elad’s ‘City of David’ was established in the Sumarin family’s orchard and per the secret agreement, Elad gets the Sumarin's house if the eviction proceeds.

A few weeks ago, the Israeli Government responded to the High Court appeal by claiming that there was no need for these new proceedings at all. Now it's up to the Sumarin family's lawyers to respond before the High Court will decide whether or not to take the new case.  

This Sumarin fund provides payment to the attorneys and consulting attorneys for new developments in the family's legal strategy and it also will serve as a safety net for the family if they lose their appeal of their 30 year case before the Supreme and/or High Court.  What a challenge.  

Thank you again for your continued support to keep the Sumarin family in their rightful home. May the family’s rights prevail. As we hear of news, we'll be sure to share our updates with you.

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Join us for "Jerusalem Children on Peace"
Join us for "Jerusalem Children on Peace"

On Wednesday, April 7th at 10am ET, we invite you to join us for "Jerusalem Children on Peace"; a Zoom teleconference call with children from the Madaa Creative Center, who will describe what peace means to them and show you the Pinwheels for Peace they created. We ask everyone to hear the children's' dreams of peace and to contact Congress to press them to save the children's homes in East Jerusalem. Joining us on the call tomorrow is Madaa Creative Center Director Jawad Siyam and Peace Now's Hagit Ofran. 

Register for the event here: https://actionnetwork.org/events/jerusalem-children-on-peace/

As you may know, 270 Palestinian families -including the Sumarins- are currently facing imminent eviction in East Jerusalem neighborhoods. So why hold a Pinwheels for Peace event? If we can only figure out how to get this problem to Congress in the virtual world, we hope this will have the same remarkable impact that the children's Pinwheels briefings have had these past few years.  

As for the Sumarin family, on April 5th the Israeli Supreme Court reviewed their appeal against eviction but did not take arguments. The title to their home was wrongfully taken using the discriminatory Absentee Property Law even though they were never absent, then was purchased by the Jewish National Fund. The Court requested that the parties submit statements to the Israeli Attorney General, who has 60 days to explain the Government of Israel's position. During this process, the eviction is temporarily frozen, and this is the time when the US Congress and the Administration must express concern. In light of this, we ask for your continued support. 

Our Sumarin fund serves as a safety net for the family in case they lose their appeal at the High Court. It also provides payment to the attorneys and consulting attorneys for new developments in the family's legal strategy. For instance, a secret agreement was discovered between the JNF and an Israeli settler group called Elad, who has been funding JNF suits against the family; Elad gets the Sumarin's land if the eviction proceeds. As a result, new legal strategy was required, so thanks to your support, Rebuilding Alliance transferred a grant to pay for the attorneys' fees to pursue this new direction. 

In a letter Congresswoman Jackie Speier led to the Israeli Prime Minister last year, she noted, "We believe that the eviction of the Sumarin family and expropriation of their property sets a dangerous precedent that is detrimental to the stability of Jerusalem and further undermines the opportunity for peace." Your support enables us to keep the Sumarin family in their home. We are starting small where it counts and hoping to extend the effort to help keep the other threatened families in their rightful homes as well. 

Amal Sumarin following the Court hearing on 04/05
Amal Sumarin following the Court hearing on 04/05
Protesting outside the Supreme Court on 04/05
Protesting outside the Supreme Court on 04/05
Madaa Creative Center children make pinwheels
Madaa Creative Center children make pinwheels
Preparing to create Pinwheels for Peace
Preparing to create Pinwheels for Peace

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Amal Sumarin projected onto the JNF building
Amal Sumarin projected onto the JNF building

Greetings Everyone,

When we last updated you in August on the Sumarin family, we brough forth exciting news: the Supreme Court of Israel agreed to hear the Sumarin case come April 2021, rather than evicting them from their home on the 16th of August. Because this case has been going on for 30 years, the Supreme Court hearing is significant.

Thanks to the generosity of our donors, this fund made it possible for the family to petition the Supreme Court. We were able to reach our $40,000 goal to help the Sumarins pay for lawyer fees and possible fines. If Israel's Supreme Court rules against them, the family must pay $23,000 in fines per the lower court that ruled on technicalities in favor of the Jewish National Fund and $40,000 in eviction fees for forcible removal from their home. Should they win, this project will seed a legal aid fund for other cases, managed by Torat Tzedek, the Israeli human rights NGO run by Rabbi Arik Ascherman. 

On a positive note, in response to the briefing teleconferences we held with 36 Congressional offices, Congresswoman Speier successfully lead 25 other Members of Congress in a letter to the Israeli Prime Minister. Thanks to those of you who sent letters to your Senators and Representatives about taking action on behalf of the Sumarin family.

Just as the Congresswoman was closing her letter, a BBC expose released news about a Russian oligarch's involvement with the Jewish National Fund (JNF) in the Sumarin eviction. A secret agreement between the Elad and the JNF was later revealed because of this expose- see the links below to learn more. When Secretary of State Pampeo last visited Israel, he visited a West Bank settlement. That morning, the Secretary ignored the allegations and visited the 'City of David', a tourist site constructed by Elad on the Sumarin family's land, immediately adjacent to the home we are all working to save. 

We are drawing upon everything we learned in our advocacy for the Sumarin Family to begin to mobilize American constituents to prevent other evictions in Jerusalem by engaging their members of Congress. We hope to extend this fund in the future to help other Jerusalem families hold on to their homes. 

Happy holidays, and stay safe!

Amal Sumarin with her lawyer
Amal Sumarin with her lawyer
Strategy meeting at the Sumarin residence
Strategy meeting at the Sumarin residence
Sumarin house with al-Aqsa in the background
Sumarin house with al-Aqsa in the background
Sumarin family at their residence in Jerusalem
Sumarin family at their residence in Jerusalem

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Amal Sumarin showing family pictures
Amal Sumarin showing family pictures

Hello Everyone, 

On August 5th, the Supreme Court of Israel agreed to hear the Sumarin family's case and issued an order delaying their eviction. This is welcome news to the Sumarin family and all who've worked with them as part of the Sumarin Coalition. Their previous eviction date was August 16th after which the Jewish National Fund could have applied to forcibly evict them. We're relieved to have the Sumarins safe at home for now, especially in the middle of a pandemic.

In the eleventh hour, the Palestinian National Authority stepped in to pay the Sumarins' court fees. However, this doesn't mean your generosity is going to waste. We are immediately transferring payment for their lawyers' fees, and in the event that they may lose, the Sumarin family would have to pay eviction fees, the JNF's local court fees, and the JNF's deposit to the Supreme Court. 

Here in the United States, Congresswoman Jackie Speier of California's 14th District is circulating a letter for signatures to press the Government of Israel to just stop the eviction.  Please ask your Representative to sign on to this letter, and your Senators to sponsor one like it. 

Write to your Representative and ask them to sign

We could not have gotten to this point without the support of constituents who helped bring the Sumarin Family’s case to Congresswoman Speier’s attention. This is not lobbying. If you are a constituent, Congress promises to assist with any urgent issue that involves a Federal Agency. If you were one of those who emailed Congress, thank you! Rebuilding Alliance followed up by holding Contact Congress briefings with 37 offices, House and Senate, Republican and Democratic.  

We hope you will follow up with your elected officials and urge them to be a signatory on this important letter.  Thank you.

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Organization Information

Rebuilding Alliance

Location: Redwood City, CA - USA
Website:
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Twitter: @RebuildAll
Project Leader:
Donna Baranski-walker
Executive Director
Redwood City, CA United States
$44,640 raised of $50,000 goal
 
540 donations
$5,360 to go
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