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Campaign to Stop Home Demolitions

The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) and the American

Friends Service Committee (AFSC) are sponsoring a US tour by 2 grassroots

Palestinian activists on the subject of the demolition of Palestinian

homes by Israeli occupation authorities as part of a Campaign to Stop Home

Demolitions.

BACKGROUND:

The destruction of Palestinian homes has been a major element of Israeli

policy in the Occupied Territories since the beginning of the occupation

in 1967. The systematic destruction of Palestinian homes, along with

other abusive policies such as the expulsion of civilians, settlement

activity, land expropriation, restrictions of movement, thwarting of

education and trade, and the prevention of Palestinian building

construction, is designed to undermine the foundations of Palestinian

society and tighten Israel's grip on the territories. Recent months have

seen a dramatic increase in the number of Palestinian homes being

demolished by the Israeli occupation authorities. In the first 6 months

of 1998 alone, over 100 Palestinian homes were demolished, which

constitutes a doubling of the pace under which homes were being demolished

during the previous 7 years. Last spring the Israeli occupation

authorities announced plans for the demolition of a further 700 homes in

the West Bank.

Much of this increased demolition has been focused in and around the

Jerusalem area, which Israel is particularly determined to control.

Through increased home demolitions, as well as other policies such as the

confiscation of Jerusalem identity cards from Palestinians, land and

building confiscations, the expansion of municipal boundaries, and

increased settlement, the Israeli authorities are attempting to obliterate

the demographic and cultural presence of Palestinians in Jerusalem. To

draw attention to these issues, and the behavior of the Israeli occupation

authorities in Jerusalem and the Occupied Territories in general, we are

focusing on the demolition of Palestinian homes in and around Jerusalem.

As part of the Campaign to Stop Home Demolitions, ADC and ASFC have

organized a speaking tour by two grassroots Palestinian activists - one

person, Salim Hassan al-Shawarmeh, whose home has been demolished by the

Israeli occupation authorities, and a human rights worker from the

Palestine Human Rights Information Center, Yacoub Odeh, who has been

following the issue of house demolitions in Jerusalem and works with

persons whose homes have been demolished. The two will speak in 16 cities

in the United States from October 20 to November 14, 1998.

GOALS OF THE CAMPAIGN:

1. To educate the US public and media about the plight of the Palestinian

people living under occupation through an expose of the abusive and

provocative practice of house demolitions, so that they can use their

influence to help construct a just US policy towards Israel and the

Palestinians.

2. To educate US policy makers about the increasing pace of the

demolition of Palestinian homes by the Israeli authorities and the number

of homes currently slated for demolition, so that they can use their

influence to stop this provocative, inhumane and illegal practice.



WHAT YOU CAN DO TO HELP:

The Tour is coming to 17 cities around the United States. Please help us

ensure a great attendance for every event. Please feel free to contact an

ADC or ASFC chapter near you or in any place where the tour will stop to

coordinate your efforts with them. Anything you can do to help publicize

the event or get the public and press to attend will be a great

contribution.

There are a number of elements to the Campaign to Stop House Demolitions

with which we need you all to get involved in order for it to be truly

successful. No matter where you are, you can at least help us in 2 ways:

1) The Petition: We will be circulating a petition to stop the demolition

of Palestinian homes by the Israeli occupation authorities both with the

speakers and separately around the country. Please help us get as many

signatures as possible - power is in numbers. There needs to be a

powerful outcry from people in this country about this appalling policy.

2) Postcards: We will be providing event participants with postcards

calling on the Secretary of State, Madeline Albright, to intervene to

prevent the further demolition of Palestinian homes. Please help us send

a direct message to the US government that you are aware of the Israeli

policy of home demolitions and demand that the US government does all it

can to put a halt to them at once.

Home Demolition Campaign: October 20 - November 15, 1998

October 21 Washington, DC

October 22 Boston

October 23 Hartford

October 25 Central PA

October 26 Detroit, MI

October 28 Chicago, IL

October 29 Portland, OR

October 31 Phoenix, AZ

November 1 Pasadena, CA

November 2 Sacramento

November 4 San Francisco, CA

November 5 Albuquerque, NM

November 7 New Orleans, LA

November 8 Austin, TX

November 9 Dallas

November 11 North Carolina

November 12 Washington, DC

November 13 Philadelphia

Locations and times for each of these events will be fixed and publicized

shortly. For further information or details, please call your local ADC

or ASFC chapter or call the ADC national office in Washington, DC at (202)

244-2990 or email to: adc@adc.org. Any help to defray the cost of this

campaign will be greatly appreciated.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee

4201 Connecticut Ave., N.W., Suite 300

Washington, D.C. 20008, U.S.A.

Tel: (202) 244-2990, Fax: (202) 244-3196

Email: adc@adc.org

Web: http://www.adc.org

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ADC is the largest Arab-American grassroots organization in the United

States. It was founded in 1980 by former Senator James Abourezk. To

receive membership information, please send us your name and mailing

address.

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