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At-Home with Gila Svirsky

4 April 2001
Subject: Chapter 2: The Olive Trees


For those of us who are joining us late, the story began two days ago, when two massive bulldozers arrived at the Palestinian village of Dir Istya to knock down 1500 olive trees that provide a livelihood for many of these villagers. Through the brave efforts of three young women and the villagers themselves, who sat down in front of the bulldozers, the Israeli army was able to destroy “only” 150 trees before a Quaker legal center managed to get a court order to temporarily halt the destruction.

Tomorrow, Thursday, April 5th, the Supreme Court will hear the case. Chances are that the Court will deny the appeal of the villagers, and sanction the destruction of the trees, under the pretext of “security.”

We need four kinds of help:

  1. If you cannot go to the village of Dir Istya, then try to get to the Supreme Court in Jerusalem at 9:00 for the hearing (Thursday, April 5).
  2. If you are up to it, join Neta Golan and others at Dir Istya, who will be chaining themselves to the trees. For information about how to get there, call Neta at (050) 607-034 or (052) 481-261. Go even if you are just willing to protest, and not face the bulldozers.
  3. Send a check to support all these efforts. Email me to find out how.
  4. FAX or CALL your government leaders and tell them what you think. We have been told that emails are no longer counted, because of the spamming of government email addresses, but do not yet have the relevant numbers. Can someone fill in the blanks here?
President Bush
Vice President Cheney
Secretary of State Powell(202) 736-4461
Prime Minister Sharon(+972-2) 566-4838
Defense Minister Ben-Eliezer(+972-3) 697-6990
(+972-3) 608-0338
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights+(41-22) 917-9016

P.S. Yes, activists in Israel will have to choose from a menu of activities tomorrow – rebuilding the Shawamreh home, going to court, or chaining themselves to a tree. Do you think you could take the time to print out a letter and fax it out? Many thanks.

Gila Svirsky
Coalition of Women for a Just Peace

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© 2001 Gila Svirsky.

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