Dear Friends of Rebuilding Homes,
I am forwarding this important message from Israeli activist, Gila Svirsky, and asking you to set aside 15 minues of time on Monday to call the State Dept., your congressperson, and Israeli ministry offices to express your concern. If possible, please also send a short letter to the editor of your local paper.

Today's raid of the International Solidarity Movement's offices touch all who choose nonviolence as their path to peace and justice. The surest way to protect our values is to raise our voices.

Sincerely,
Donna Baranski-Walker
Date: Fri, 09 May 2003 19:51:11 +0200
From: Gila Svirsky

Support for Human Rights Activists

Friends,

In order to maintain its occupation of Palestinian territory, the Israeli government must constantly engage on two fronts -- Palestinian resistance and world opinion. Today's raid on the offices of human rights activists will turn out to be another battle lost in the arena of world opinion. And deservedly so.

In today's action, the Israeli army broke into offices in Beit Sahur (a suburb of Bethlehem), and arrested three women -- a Palestinian and two foreign nationals. All three are human rights activists committed to nonviolence -- two are members of the International Solidarity Movement (ISM) and one, a member of Human Rights Watch. All their office equipment -- computers, laptops, and cell phones -- were also confiscated.

Is it any wonder that the Israeli army does not want these people in the territories? They try to interfere with army actions that violate human rights laws and -- even when they cannot prevent them -- they are witnesses to the crime. Arresting and expelling them is an effort at covering up what the army does not want to be seen.

Here in Israel, efforts are being made to provide legal support. We ask that you tell elected leaders that world opinion will not tolerate the silencing of witnesses or the deportation of human rights workers.

Not everyone can defy a bulldozer. But everyone can raise a voice to protect those who do. Please fax or e-mail the officials below.

Gila Svirsky
Jerusalem


Please write a brief letter that protests the arrest and threatened deportation by Israel of ISM and other human rights activists from the region. One sentence letters are sufficient!

Send by e-mail to:

Interior Minister Avraham Poraz --- sar@moin.gov.il
Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom --- sar@mofa.gov.il
UN Secretary General Kofi Annan --- ecu@un.org
UN Special Emissary Terje Larsen --- unsco@palnet.com

Send by fax to:

George W. Bush, (202) 456-2461
Colin Powell (202) 261-8577