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At-Home with Gila Svirsky

21 March 2001
Subject: Friday’s Action – Don’t Forget Your Shovel


The Coalition of Women for a Just Peace
in conjunction with
Gush Shalom
Rabbis for Human Rights
The Committee Against Home Demolitions
14 other peace organizations

invite you to join us
this Friday, March 23rd,
for an act of resistance
in the Occupied Territories.

Rabbi Arik Ascherman describes the action and its rationale:

Dear Friends and Supporters,

Friday is approaching and the time has come to move from protest to resistance. Some of us feel that we have been doing as much as we can for six months and may be asking what more can we do. We must find the inner strength to match the escalation on the part of the government with an escalation of our own. Others of us have been confused or have even blamed the Palestinians for the current crisis. We must realize that even in times of warfare there are lines that can not be crossed. The siege is not saving lives, it is threatening lives. [This will be made clear at Physicians For Human Rights’ High Court Appeal tomorrow (Wednesday) at 11:00. – Please Come]

Furthermore, our Jewish tradition is clear, we cannot endanger the lives of entire innocent populations through starvation, denial of medical care, etc., even in the name of our security. In the words of the Talmud, is our blood redder than theirs? If trenches are being dug, we must fill them in. If roadblocks are being put up, we must tear them down. We can not stand idly by while our neighbor bleeds.

After consultation with our Palestinian contacts, it appears that our break the siege activity on Friday will focus on a village called Ranatis northwest of Ramallah, just over the Green Line. Ranatis is under total siege. Nobody can get in or out. Israel wishes to annex it. On the road to Ranatis, we will attack one of the roadblocks with whatever equipment we can muster. If we cannot break through, we will begin a road around. We will send a clear message: From here on in we will not merely protest violations of human rights – we will resist. This will not be a one-time media event – it will be part of ongoing activity which will take place side by side with the struggle for the hearts and minds of those who are not yet with us.

Transportation will leave from the Gan HaPaamon parking lot at 10:00. We will leave from the North TA train station at 10:30. Please notify us if you are planning to attend so that we can plan transportation and notify you if there are any changes in plans. Bring any digging equipment that you can.

We are in touch with Palestinian leadership in the area and have chosen a location which requires a minimum of travel through Palestinian territory. We believe that this action is as safe as we can make it, As always, we must nevertheless state that there are risks involved.

Rabbi Arik Ascherman
Executive Director
Rabbis For Human Rights
Tel: 972 2 563-7731
Fax: 972 2 566-2815
Mobile: 972 50 607034

At-Home with Gila Svirsky

Letters from Jerusalem, 2001
Letters from Jerusalem, 2002
Letters from Jerusalem, 2003
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© 2001 Gila Svirsky, Arik Ascherman.

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