| Aug 1, 2023
Sumarin Family gets to live in their house!
Amal happy to share her feelings
On April 3rd, the Sumreen Family WON in Israel’s Supreme Court!
After 32 years of legal wrangling, Israel’s Supreme Court recognized the Sumreen Family’s right to live in their house for two more generations. Thank you for helping the Sumreen family win their Supreme Court case.
In their decision, the Justices stated that the Sumreen Family has the right to live in the house and rejected the eviction claim. “After many legal proceedings involving the property in all courts, it can be hoped that this ruling will make it possible to put an end to it, while providing a sufficient degree of legal certainty to the parties.”
According to Rabbi Arik Ascherman, the founder of the Sumreen Coalition, “This is a winning card.”
The family lawyer, Advocate Wassim Dequar agrees and said that “This decision blocks any possible eviction effort.” In his opinion, the house stays with the family for the foreseeable future, another 70-80 years with a very clear ruling that addresses the underlying issues.
Hagit Orfan of PeaceNow said, “The judges gave the ruling according to a ‘technicality’--you cannot reopen a ruling issued in 1999 that granted the family the right to continue living in their home.” She believes that “had it not been for all the efforts made by so many people in Jerusalem and internationally, it would be just another case for the judges– and they wouldn’t have gone all the way to deliver justice.”
Describing the unexpected Supreme Court decision, Rabbi Arik says, “This decision gave everybody a boost. It shows determination can sometimes win.”
When Amal, the head of the family and wife of the late Muhammad, heard the news, she said, “We won after 32 years of hardship and fighting for our home. My home is safe for me and my children. I sleep so relaxed now — before I couldn’t sleep, I would stay up thinking about how they will one day barge in and take us out of our home. And this is wrong. I don't understand how they can take people’s homes and say they are theirs. We have been living in these homes forever.
I want to thank all of the lawyers who helped in defending my home. I want to thank … everyone who helped us. Everyone worked so hard. I thank you from the bottom of my heart. And I thank all the people who visited our home and stood with us.
I want to advise the families of Silwan and anyone who is affected [by the threat of home evictions] not to leave their homes and not to be afraid of their threats. Stay in your home and defend your home to the very end. These are homes that were inherited from our grandfathers, do not leave your homes. May God protect us.”
Rebuilding Alliance is honored to be part of the Sumarin Coalition. We joined in 2020 at the invitation of Rabbi Arik. Since then, with your support, we were able to do amazing things at the request of the family:
- Rebuilding Alliance mobilized many of the Sumarin Coalition members to speak in 35-some Zoom Briefings with Congress. As a result, Congresswoman Jackie Speier led a letter to the Prime Minister of Israel, signed by twenty-five Representatives. Publication of this letter occurred just as the Supreme Court was weighing whether or not to hear the Sumarin Family’s appeal — at the time, we gave the Court only 20% chance of even accepting the case. The Congresswoman’s letter made all the difference.
- Rebuilding Alliance has brought several Congress and Senate staff delegations to meet with the Sumarin family and the Sumarin Coalition.
- Through your donations, we partnered with Torat Tzedek and raised the funds required to provide a safety net if the Supreme Court ruled against the family. Thankfully that safety net was not required.
We had hoped and still hope that the fund will become a legal aid fund to assist other E. Jerusalem families — but the Sumreen's are not out of the woods yet. The family was notified that the fees that accrued with interest are due for a case they lost long ago when they sued for redress for their lost orchard, taken for the ‘City of David’. Lawyers are being interviewed by the family — we’re waiting for more details and will update you as soon as we know more.
Thank you for standing by the Sumarin Family in their quest for justice.
Sumreen Family with Rabbi Arik
Sumreen Family home
Al Aqsa via rafters of City of David next door
On the patio, Al Aqsa in the background
Amal is thankful to Allah and all the supporters