To the trustees of the JNF,
We are writing to ask you to halt the eviction of the Sumarin family in Silwan, East Jerusalem, scheduled for Monday 28th November.
Himnuta, a company registered in Israel, in which the JNF has a 99% shareholding, and whose Chief Executive David Lazarus, is the Chief Financial Officer of the JNF in Israel, are pursing an eviction order against the 12 person Sumarin family which has been living in the house since before 1967.
As Jews who care passionately about Israel's survival as the democratic homeland of the Jewish people, we believe the eviction is both morally and politically problematic for three reasons:
1) Despite the fact that, under Israeli law, it has been ruled by the courts that the house belongs to Himnuta, the family have been living in the property since before 1967 and if the eviction goes ahead there is a very high moral cost involved, making a 12 person family (including 5 children) homeless. Furthermore the eviction will be considered illegal under international law.
2) The eviction has the ability to inflame an already volatile neighbourhood, and the transfer of a property into the hands of Himnuta for the purposes of replacing a Palestinian family with a Jewish family within a Palestinian neighbourhood is likely to exacerbate tensions and spark a new round of violence.
3) The policy of 'Judaising' Arab neighbourhoods in East Jerusalem makes the possibility of sharing Jerusalem in a final status agreement a harder goal to achieve. Without a shared Jerusalem there will not be a two-state solution, which threatens the character of Israel as the democratic homeland of the Jewish people.
Many people within the British Jewish community, across the generations, donate money to the JNF, often in memory of a loved one, or on the occasion of a family celebration. We, the undersigned, who are active members of the Jewish community in the UK, join with partners in Israel and Jews in other diaspora communities, in asking you as trustees of the JNF in the UK, to do everything in your power to ensure this eviction does not place.