Help Save The “Tent Of Nations”
Daoud and Jihan Nassar, and the Nassar family are our dear friends
and Tent of Nations is one of ICMEP’s Mission Partners
FROM FRIENDS OF TENT OF NATIONS – NORTH AMERICA
Dear Friend and Supporter of Tent of Nations,
You have been a supporter of Tent of Nations or are receiving this email from a friend or colleague who wishes to inform you about this urgent situation. As you know, Tent of Nations is a peace project located on a farm owned for over 100 years by the Nassar family, located 6 miles southwest of Bethlehem in the occupied Palestinian territories. Since 2001, Tent of Nations has been a place where “people from many different countries come together to learn, to share, and to build bridges of understanding and hope.” The Nassar family runs empowerment programs for women and children in the local area and welcomes thousands of international visitors every year, inspired by the courageous and steadfast stand of this family for justice and peace.
Recent events have raised the concern that the farm is at increased risk of destruction or confiscation. On May 21, 2021, more than 1,000 fruit trees were destroyed by arson. On June 9, 2021, the Israeli military entered the farm with vehicles and a bulldozer, destroying over 50 trees and damaging the terraced land. In the last few months, the Nassar family have been under increased pressure as the pace of settlement expansion, construction of roads for settlers that restrict the movement of Palestinians, and the use of checkpoints has accelerated. Taken together, these acts are intended to pressure the family to leave their home so that the land can be taken and incorporated into the adjacent Israeli settlement.
Of greatest concern at this time is the delay in the re-registration of the property. Since 1991, the Nassar family has been in the Israeli Military and Supreme Courts defending their land from demolition and confiscation. The process has been subject to continued delays on the part of Israel, requiring that the Nassars re-initiate the process multiple times. Finally, in 2019, the Nassars received confirmation that their re-registration application to establish ownership was complete. After two more years of additional delays, a meeting was held in February 2021 by the Israeli Registration Committee, the purpose of which was to determine and inform the family about next steps for re-registration. Despite repeated inquiries, the Nassars continue to await notification of the results of that meeting.
Given recent events, the delay in the land re-registration process exposes the Nassar’s farm to severe risk. It is critical that the re-registration process of the Nassar land be concluded without further delay and that no demolition or eviction orders are issued. Completion of the land re-registration constitutes Israeli authorities’ recognition of the Nassars as the private owners of this land and ends their legal struggle.
Your help is needed to exert pressure on Israel to stop issuing demolition and eviction orders and to complete the re-registration of the land.
Here is what you can do:
1. Sign this petition, which will be delivered to the U.S. Secretary of State and the U.S. Embassy in Israel.
2. Contact your senators and representatives. Urge them to ask the State Department to question the Israeli government about the Israeli Military’s recent acts of destruction of Nassar property and the delays of the re-registration.
Click here for scripts to guide your phone calls and emails.
Click here to download a one-page backgrounder on Tent of Nations that you can send on to your representatives and to others.
Use these links to obtain the contact information for your elected representatives:
House of Representatives:
Thank you for your longtime support for the work of the Nassar family. You may share this with trusted others.
Navigating The New Reality, By Salim Munayer
We used to say life in Jerusalem is not boring; every day something is happening. But recent events have shaken a city even as unpredictable as this one, with major implications for multiple areas of our lives. I would like to highlight some of these changes which will affect the work of reconciliation.
- In the last few years, many thought that Israel had successfully marginalized the Palestinian “problem” domestically and internationally. However, now it is again at the forefront of the political agenda and media. This is a major blow to Israel’s strategic plan as pursued by former Prime Minister Netanyahu, who had been in power for twelve years. The new government will have to choose different strategies in order to address the conflict.
- The dominant local voices in recent events are that of Palestinian young adults in East Jerusalem. Young Palestinian men and women are refusing to accept either the occupation or the passivity of the Palestinian leadership in Ramallah. They are taking the lead by organizing mostly nonviolent protests and activism, which is often met with police brutality. These young adults wish to change the dynamic inside Palestinian society and the balance of power within the conflict.
- The Palestinian citizens of Israel, especially those living in mixed cities, such as Jaffa, Haifa, Lod, Ramle, among many others, have suffered from discrimination in virtually every aspect of their lives. The events in Jerusalem sparked violence between the Jewish and Palestinian residents of these cities and further complicated the relationship between them.
- After four elections in two years, major shifts are happening in the country. Palestinian citizens of Israel have voted mostly for the Joint List of Arab parties. In his quest to stay in office, Netanyahu made “kosher” an Arab lawmaker to be part of the government – Arab parties are now a force to be reckoned with. As such, for the first time in history, a Palestinian-Arab party will be in the coalition. Moreover, a radical right-wing Jewish party has gained enough votes to sit in the parliament, which has illuminated the increase of far-right voters.
- The violence, especially in mixed cities, has further divided Palestinian and Jewish citizens. At the same time, large segments of society are attempting to build bridges and counter hatred. There have been a number of protests and joint initiatives in the spirit of cooperation and dialogue.
- The division in Israeli society between religious and secular is evident and growing. As a result, it is escalating the division and fragmentation of society.
On the one hand, the fragmentation of society can lead to further violence and hatred. On the other hand, it can be an opportunity for new engagement between different segments of society. Some people may meet challenges to their worldview with denial; others might attempt to restore the old framework and resist any change. But still, others will seek to understand their new reality by questioning previously held assumptions. This last approach requires a great deal of courage as the path of self-reflection is never easy. In order for society to deal with these changes productively, there needs to be an intervention.
We at Musalaha see this fracture as an opportunity. Many organizations are joining us in this quest for change, as evident in the many joint initiatives we have undertaken since the dramatic events of last month. In order for these initiatives to have a real impact, we provide the platform for more permanent, fundamental change. It is precisely the work of reconciliation that turns good intentions into long-lasting transformation and healing.
– Dr. Salim J. Munayer
Musalaha Executive Director
(From the Musalaha newsletter)