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At-Home with Gila Svirsky

4 April 2001
Subject: Rebuilding the Shawamreh “House of Peace”


I didn’t see the TV news this evening, but according to Israel radio news, no fewer than 17 Palestinian homes were destroyed today. No fewer than 17 families were invited to hate Israel even more than they already do. In allusion to the beautiful Shawamreh home, the newscaster said, “Among the buildings destroyed were four shacks [tzrifonim] in the town of Anata.” Is this a deliberate lie to minimize the evil? Or is “shack” the arrogant, disdainful word for any home owned by a Palestinian? Or perhaps this was merely the carelessness of a journalist when reporting damage done to “the enemy”...

We, all of us, with the help of many friends abroad, had practically brought home demolitions to an end under the Barak administration. Now, under Sharon, the demolitions have returned with a vengeance, though the sound of a beautiful home being turned into rubble is barely audible under the thunder of cannons, gunships, tanks, and stun grenades.

But we do hear it, we do care, and we will not stand by passively.

Tomorrow, together with the courageous and determined Shawamreh family, we shall begin the rebuilding of their home. No amount of bulldozers will prevent this home from being rededicated as the House of Peace someday, just as no amount of brutality will prevent this occupation from ultimately coming to an end. Tyranny inevitably loses. It’s just a matter of time.

Please come tomorrow, if you can, to help clear away the rubble.
If you can’t, there will be other opportunities.

Thursday, 5 April, 10:00 a.m. - meet at Gan HaPa’amon.
Bring work gloves, if you have.

Gila Svirsky
The Coalition of Women for a Just Peace

in alliance with:
The Committee Against Home Demolitions
Rabbis for Human Rights (Arik is out of jail, and safe & sound)
Gush Shalom

10 July 1998Lena Doesn’t Live Here Anymore
2 August 1998Lena’s New Home...Destroyed
9 July 1999A Housewarming for Peace
4 April 2001Again, until she learns: Lena Doesn’t Live Here Anymore

At-Home with Gila Svirsky

Letters from Jerusalem, 2001
Letters from Jerusalem, 2002
Letters from Jerusalem, 2003
New & recent letters from Jerusalem (2004)
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© 2001 Gila Svirsky.

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