Pidion Shvuim Alert:
Whereabouts: in Neve Tirza prison for three months
Charge: refusing to cooperate with police
Tzvia Sariel has been in prison for three months without formal charges.
Her crime: She refuses to cooperate with police who arrested her at a
protest in her community of Elon Moreh in northern Samaria.
The facts are quite simple. In December 2007, the army and police forced
Elon Moreh to allow Arabs to pick olives in the Jewish community. Tzvia and
two of her friends tried to stop the Arabs, and the girls were immediately
arrested. None of the Arabs were injured.
Tzvia, disenchanted with the lack of civil rights to Jews who live in
Judea and Samaria, refused to identify herself. Still, she was forced to
give her fingerprints. Then, she was thrown into solitary confinement in a
cell without heat in the middle of the winter. She was also denied full
visitation rights and until recently, telephone rights. Authorities said she
would stay in prison indefinitely. Despite all this, she still refuses to
On Feb. 27, Tzvia was brought to court where witnesses failed to
identify her as the girl accused of pushing three Arabs. Still, Kfar
Saba Magistrate Navah Bechor sent Tzvia back to jail until the next hearing
on March 5.
The treatment of Tzvia is not exceptional. Since 2005, when the Israeli
government planned the expulsion of the nearly 10,000 Jews from the Gaza
Strip and northern Samaria, authorities drafted regulations that reserved
special penalties for Jewish protesters. More than 800 indictments, many of
them involving minors, were issued against those who protested the
government destruction of Jewish communities in Judea, Samaria and the Gaza
When residents of Sderot blocked the Tel Aviv highway in February in
anger over the government's refusal to stop Hamas missile gunners, police
stood by respectfully. When Jewish residents of Judea and Samaria,
protesting the government's expulsion policy, tried to do the same, they
were beaten and thrown into prison.
It is clear that Tzvia has been denied her civil rights, and we ask you
to help free her immediately. As a first step, we request that you
telephone -- rather than e-mail -- the Israeli Embassy at 202-364-5500 or the Israeli
consulate nearest you and demand to know why Tzvia is still in prison.
Do not argue with the embassy or consulate staffers.. Instead, say that
as a devout supporter of Israel, you have been defending the Jewish state
from criticism by pro-Arabs who accuse Israel of violating human rights.
Therefore, you are shocked to hear about Tzvia's ordeal. You do not
understand why she is in prison and demand that she be released immediately.
Stress, that as an American citizen, you realize that you cannot expect
any response or explanation from the Israeli government. But as an American
citizen, you can ask the State Department to investigate what you feel is
clearly a human rights violation. Stay calm, but be very clear in your
Believe me, our message to the Israeli government is
something that we draft with great reluctance. Unfortunately, the Olmert
government, with an approval rating of near zero, has refused any
accountability to the Israeli people and fears only the Bush administration.
The mere threat that we will ask the administration or Congress for answers
regarding Tzvia or any other Jew imprisoned for protesting Olmert's drive to
destroy Jewish life in Judea and Samaria could bring swift results.
If you agree with this, please act quickly. What could be more important
than winning the release of a Jewish child imprisoned for loving her country
With Love of Israel,
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