02 Aug 2015

Dear Giorgio,  

Exciting news!  

We've just heard from our allies on the ground that tens of thousands of us from around the world have succeeded in delaying the demolition of the West Bank village of Susiya. Rabbis for Human Rights and Free Jerusalem write:  

"Thanks to the determined struggle led by the residents of Susiya, and the public pressure in which we all took part, we have come to believe that in the coming two weeks, there will not be demolitions in the village. At the same time, we will wait to hear about developments, and when the timing for a decision regarding the village's future grows nearer, we will renew the public struggle."  

RHR's Arik Ascherman continued in a separate statement:  

"There is a postponement of the High Court hearing scheduled for August 3rd in which the residents in Susya are appealing against the rejection of the master building plan submitted to the  Civil Administration planning committee.  The postponement is because the State has been exploring whether there is a basis for discussing legalizing the status of the village. In the meantime, thanks to your help and the public pressure that you created, we believe that there will not be demolitions before the meeting of the sides in another two weeks."  

In other words, for now the people of Susiya can take a deep breath-but we'll have to stay vigilant and prepared to raise our voices again.  

*Even though it's a delay, I have to admit- it has been exhilarating to see the unprecedented impact of this joint global uprising, inspired by the leadership of the 340 residents and 55 families of Susiya. *  

*"You literally helped make this an international issue:"*   

* Nearly 30,000 of you signed the petition to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, which we delivered to the State Department, and additionally to key Members of Congress.   

* Thousands of you additionally called your Members of Congress and have been joining calls with Congress led by the Rebuilding Alliance, a leader in the movement to save Susiya.   

* Others of you are raising the issue in direct meetings with Congress.   

* We've been working tirelessly to push the story and your actions to the mainstream media, as well as on social media.   

*"And it has been working. Remarkably so."*   

* U.S. Senator Diane Feinstein wrote a powerful letter to Netanyahu opposing the demolition.   

* U.S. Representative Anna Eshoo sent a letter to Kerry signed by 10 other Members of Congress.   

* The State Department issued an equally strong statement opposing the demolition.   

* Our media advocacy combined with your actions resulted in important stories about the campaign in "Reuters", the "New York Times", and the "Huffington Post".   

* And with the leak of information proving what we've known all along-that the residents of Susiya own their land- many believe the Israeli government's resolve to demolish the village is starting to buckle.    

*More you can do

*Rebuilding Alliance is still scheduling conference calls with key Members of Congress to ramp up the pressure. To register for a call with your Rep, check out their calendar here [ http://www.rebuildingalliance.org/join-a-call-with-your-senator/ ].   As Susiya resident Nasser Nawaja wrote recently in the "New York Time"s, "If Susiya is destroyed and its residents expelled, it will serve as a precedent for further demolitions and expulsions through the South Hebron Hills and Area C of the West Bank. This must not be allowed to happen."   I promise, we will keep you updated. In the meantime, I can't thank you enough for joining this campaign. This movement for justice is truly getting stronger every day.  

Onward,    Cecilie Surasky