In media it could be said that brevity is the mother of deception. The Guardian-UK caption to this photo read, “Susya, West Bank: Palestinian girls head to school on the first day of the new year.” It’s a truly charming photo & of course media can’t give an entire history every time they post a photo. But since Susya is in the process of being dismantled by the Israeli military & all of the families imminently evicted, it seems like another sentence might be warranted.
Even a brief sentence should have mentioned that the Palestinian village of Susiya has been there a long time–long enough to have built a school for their kids. But the school these girls are returning to is run by UNRWA, the UN refugee agency for Palestinians. UNRWA announced just last week they were out of money & school for 703,000 Palestinian in refugee camps in five countries might not open. A last minute contribution saved the day. Something is so wrong with that picture.
So why are these little girls in a UN school? Are the residents of Susiya too poor to build one?
Israel has been trying since 1986 to evict the entire population of Susiya. They demolished the local mosque to excavate a Jewish synagogue dating back to the sixth century & turned the area into an archaeological & tourist site. They built an Israeli settlement & renamed the place Susya as part of their fraudulent claim to the village.
Since 1986, the people of Susiya have been evicted three times under orders of the Israeli Supreme Court. Their solid-frame homes were taken out by bulldozers & they are forced to live on their farmlands in makeshift dwellings like those in this photo. Israel is trying to drive them out of the area so it can link the archaeological & tourist site to the settlement.
You can’t tell that whole story in one caption but you can do better than make this look like a simple back-to-school story in the West Bank.
Build the economic, cultural, & economic boycott of Israel. Demand an end to military aid to Israel. And like & share this page as part of the campaign to support the people of Susiya against dispossession by Israeli settlers:https://www.facebook.com/StandWithSusiya?fref=ts
(Photo by Hazem Bader/AFP/Getty Images)