Analysis News
Visit our Hebrew site, "Local Call" , in partnership with Just Vision.

When criticism of occupation becomes 'subversion'

The political arrests of anti-occupation activists is just the latest step in the Right’s war against political dissidents. The next stage is anybody’s guess.

By Itay Mack

The arrest of three anti-occupation activists, Ezra Nawi, Guy Butavia, and Nasser Nawajah, and the refusal to let them meet with their attorneys, did not take place as a result of them committing criminal offenses. The arrests were the result of the state’s security authorities belief that the activists were participating in the subversion of the existing order — one whose entire purpose is to entrench an irreversible occupation. The remnants of the Left in Israel cannot see the bigger picture, but rather are busy mourning over their tarnished image.

These latest events are not part of the Right’s struggle to replace the “elites” — that happened long ago in the army, the courts, and the political establishment. The goal of the Right is the destruction of all left-wing remnants. Anyone who watches videos put out by anti-occupation group Ta’ayush — of which Nawi and Butavia are members — will be convinced of the hatred that some members of Israel’s security forces harbor toward so-called “Israel haters.” Those who read the Facebook pages of leaders of the extreme right will understand that the incitement and hatred toward human rights activists could potentially lead to their death.

The elimination of the Left is being led by current and former top-ranking officials, in the political echelon, the security establishment, and the legal system. They are taking a double-pronged approach: public delegitimization and criminalization of human rights activists. Public delegitimization allows to mold public opinion against the Left and human rights activists, so that the majority will support outlawing both left-wing organizations and any activity that promotes human rights. This majority is crucial for providing democratic cover for an undemocratic move.

For dozens of years, Palestinians have been arrested, tortured, accused, and imprisoned under the pretext of breaking the law, although the subtext has always been an accusation of subversion against an oppressive regime of occupation. What we have seen over the past year has been the use of very similar tools against Jewish citizens.

We must remember that these tools were already used against members of the extreme right. Israel’s legal establishment gave the green light to torture them, prevent them from meeting with their attorneys, and keeping them in administrative...

Read More
View article: AAA
Share article

No room for occupation in Israel's civics curriculum

Students who open up the Education Ministry’s new civics textbook won’t find a word about military rule or discrimination against 20 percent of the population. There’s a reason for that.

By Gil Gertel

Education Minister Naftali Bennett has managed to make some changes in Israel’s civic education curriculum: it is now more religious and less humanistic. The problem is not with civic education, but rather with the state; civic education reflects reality, not those who mold it. The responsibility for reality does not fall on teachers, but on our elected leadership.

Bennett is pushing education to the right

It is true that Bennett recently fired the chairperson of the Pedagogic Secretariat, appointing Dalia Fenig in his stead. Who is Fenig? She is the one who decided that Israeli students would not be able to read a book about a relationship between a Jewish woman and a Palestinian man, because those idiots might just end up having their own relationships with non-Jews.

It is true that Bennett appointed Assaf Malach to head the professional advisory committee on civics. Malach is a settler from Ofra, a doctor who researched the legitimacy of the Jewish nation-state. He knows how to explain just why Palestinians — even if they are defined as a nation — are not entitled to a state of their own. The Jews, of course, are. Those who are not convinced by his argument are labeled “refugees of the Jewish tradition searching for a way toward global culture.” He also claimed that the Nakba is a “position taken by the enemy” and not a historical event.

It is true that Bennett himself, without the assistance of his two wonderful helpers, hold positions that belong to Ancient Greece: equal rights for those who are like me.

It is true that the Jewish Home party rewrote the civics book. And although the book has yet to be published, it has already been the subject of a hearing in the Knesset Education, Culture, and Sports Committee. The irony? Assaf Malach told the ministers, members of Knesset and others at the hearing that they “cannot interfere in the curriculum.” As if this isn’t what Bennett has been doing. He also promised that changes were not made in he curriculum (so why do we need a new book?). This argument did not confuse Committee Chairman Yaakov Margi, who summarized it nicely: “The committee cannot ignore the criticism...

Read More
View article: AAA
Share article

Israelis, Palestinians march together against the occupation

The new monthly march is held along a major settler highway, ensuring that Israeli settlers see Jews and Palestinians working together to nonviolently end the occupation.

Text by Yael Marom
Photos by Oren Ziv/

Hundreds of Palestinian and Israeli activists marched from the Palestinian village of Hussan to the main settler checkpoint in the southern West Bank Friday afternoon, protesting against Israel’s settlements and demanding an end to the 47-year military occupation.

The protest, which took place in an area of the West Bank under full Israeli control and where settlements are situated directly adjacent to Palestinian villages, was accompanied by Israeli army and Border Police forces the whole way. The march followed the southern West Bank’s main north-south highway, which meant it was in plain view of both Israeli settler and Palestinian traffic.

At the start of the demonstration, Israeli police arrested one of the Palestinian organizers, a member of Combatants for Peace, for reasons that were not apparent.

The 200-plus marchers, among them members of Knesset from the Joint List Dov Khenin and Abdullah Abu Ma’aruf, as well as Meretz secretary general Mossi Raz, held signs demanding an end to the occupation, and promoting peace and dialogue. Some of the signs declared that peace is not just a dream, and, “it won’t end until we talk.”

Some of the activists also carried signs in solidarity with a left-wing Israeli activist who was arrested last week as a result of a right-wing hidden-camera ‘sting operation.’ A court gag order forbids the publication of the man’s name.

Israeli settlers are not used to seeing Jews and Palestinians demonstrating together in what is normally an Israeli-army dominated space. That the protest took place in plain view of passersby, mostly setters, was intended to challenge their absolute control over the area.

No small number of Israeli passersby reacted angrily, cursing and even physically threatening the demonstrators.

“This occupation is an ongoing injustice for both nations,” MK Abdullah Abu Ma’aruf (Hadash) said. “This protest demonstrates that there is another way, a path of peace and hope and not despair. You can’t find another occupation like this in the 21st century. We need to end the occupation and create a Palestinian state along ’67 borders — two states for two peoples.”

Combatants for Peace co-director Sulaiman Khatib called on both Palestinian and Israeli activists to join the monthly protests marching on...

Read More
View article: AAA
Share article

I’m Palestinian and I’ve been incited

Israeli government ministers, ‘Arab affairs’ analysts, and regular citizens incite against us — but they’re also inciting us. And yet, despite it all, we restrain ourselves.

By Umar al-Ghubari (translated by Richard Flantz)

Yes, you read the headline correctly: I’m an incited Palestinian. Every day they incite me. My most prominent and significant inciters are the leaders, the commentators and most of the journalists of the State of Israel, and ordinary Israelis too. Social networks and the masses of online commenters in Israel comprise a volcano of incitement. It’s clear to me that they actually want to incite against Palestinians, but their words come back like a boomerang and incite the Palestinians, too.

A newscast on any given Israeli television channel is a proven recipe for angering and inciting Palestinian viewers. Analyses and predictions by Zionist commentators constitute aggression and provocations to Palestinians. The despicable verbiage of people who call themselves “experts on Arab affairs” is laden with slander and manipulations that arouse disgust toward Arabs, and when Arabs hear them they mainly feel dread and explode in anger.

Yes, it’s they who incite me and make me fume. Every time Israeli leaders talk about Arabs, Palestinians, or any other formulation drawn from these words, they express hostile, racist, patronizing, threatening and humiliating attitudes with alarming ease. There is no doubt that the current prime minister is a star in this context, but he hasn’t invented a thing. He may have improved the method and embellished the formulations, but he has no exclusivity over racism. We’re talking about his words and his actions these days only because he is the apex of the pyramid of the regime, not because he is exceptional or any more extreme than the prime ministers who preceded him.

This attitude toward Arabs in general and the Palestinians in particular is deeply rooted in Zionist thought. Although it is expressed in different ways, in diverse formulations and in various doses, at its base this is a consistent line that stems from a racist world view, whose seeds were planted with the crystallization of the idea of establishing a Jewish state in Palestine. In his book The Jewish State (1896), Herzl wrote: “We should there [in Palestine] form a portion of a rampart of Europe against Asia, an outpost of civilization as opposed to barbarism.” Which Israeli leader has not believed,...

Read More
View article: AAA
Share article

Israel looks to alter gun policy, and women are most at risk

In response to the recent wave of violence Israel’s public security minister wants to put more guns in more (men’s) hands and in more homes. The only guaranteed result, however, is that more women will be killed inside their own homes.

By Rela Mazali

Israel’s gun policy is changing as you read this. The country’s gun policy was already dubious at best, but now moving toward catastrophic. The catastrophe will play out over time in multiple “small” tragedies, wrecking multiple “small” lives. In hindsight, once they’ve occurred, all of them will have been predictable and preventable. But, preventable or not, they are being chosen knowingly, adopted as policy.

Israel’s small arms policy in the occupied territories has been catastrophic for years. In the West Bank, security forces and settlers fire at Palestinians and demonstrators as a matter of course, with impunity. This has been the reality for many years and it is doubly so now, in the face of individual attacks by Palestinians and Israel’s stepped-up violence. While still working hard to piece together a fuller account, the activists of Gun Free Kitchen Tables can offer an estimate of the shooting incidents reported by media and human rights groups during October-November 2015. Out of 107 reported incidents, 64 were in the occupied territories. As numerous incidents go unreported, this represents only part of the use of firearms, mostly by soldiers, beyond the Green Line.

Israel’s changing small arms policy both within and beyond the Green Line is hurtling, fast, in the same direction. Before we know it, the Israel inside the line will look like the U.S. Even 43 shooting incidents in two months are a lot (out of a total of 107 reported in October-November). Over three analogous months in 2013 (October-December) police reports cited about 45 such incidents both in Israel and in the occupied territories. In other words, three months at the end of 2013 saw under half the number (just over 40 percent) of shootings reported in two months near the end of 2015.

Small arms policy is a policy of life and death. It determines who is authorized to purchase, hold and operate a tool that unleashes lethal force at the pull of a trigger. It determines where, when and under what circumstances the trigger finger is to be used and what type of oversight gun owners and shooters are subject to. Here, as elsewhere,...

Read More
View article: AAA
Share article

The other occupation

While Israel suppresses Palestinians from the outside, the Palestinian Authority is tightening its grip and control of political expression in the media, the streets, and even in mosques — all of which is a gift to the occupation.

By Furat Awadallah

In August 2015, Palestinian security forces arrested, and in some cases detained without charge, 194 Palestinian civilians, including lawyers, university students and lecturers, largely on grounds of political affiliation or opinion, or for criticizing PA officials on social media. Later in 2015, PA security forces oppressed Palestinian civil society, including journalists,  to rein in political and media freedoms.

These events follow ongoing arrests and detentions, by the PA and its president  against young voices that are critical of the Palestinian government or supportive of Hamas, as documented by Human Rights Watch.

The bill for these security forces reached $1 billion of of the Fatah-led government’s $3.8 billion budget in 2014, or an estimated 28-37 percent of the national budget, based on even higher estimates from other sources, according to Al-Monitor. By contrast, just .01 percent of the budget went to the Ministry of Culture.

So much of the Palestinian political effort is directed against the Israeli military occupation that we often neglect urgent problems of Palestinian governance. Like the Israeli occupation, governance in Palestine, and increasingly in the West Bank, is characterized by authoritarianism in the name of the national liberation struggle.

The main features of this tendency include the PA’s governmental corruption, political arrests and detentions, and consequently, political silencing. These deepen public mistrust and advance perceptions among Palestinians that the PA is an obstacle to liberty and independence, which in turn increases the popularity of Islamic organizations; recent polls showed Hamas gaining ground in the West Bank.

The attraction to Hamas as the representative of political Islam has always been largely due to political mistrust or even disgust with the Palestinian leadership. It’s clear why: the Palestinian government does not rise to the minimum standards of good governance, due to corruption, misuse of foreign aid for political interests and poor distribution of resources.

The growing despair among Palestinians that a stable political resolution to the conflict is possible, combined with turmoil over political and religious identities in the Arab world , has expanded the audience and attraction of Palestinian Islamic factions such as Hamas and Hizb at-Tahrir...

Read More
View article: AAA
Share article

I, too, was undercover when I met Ezra Nawi. Here's what I saw

I have plenty of criticism for Ezra Nawi. I also have lots of love for him. Part of being a leftist is using language that transcends black and white.

By Mijal Simonet Corech

The radio is on; it’s always on. We’re cooking. Suddenly, I hear the words, “a left-wing activist was arrested at the airport.” My eyes tear up. I’m holding my son, Meor. With all of his 10-and-a-half months of wisdom, he moves the hair from my eyes to console me and brings his face closer to mine. He understands something has happened. I hug him and promise him it’s going to be alright. I don’t know if I can keep that promise. But one thing is clear: I need to speak the truth, and fearlessly.

And if that’s what I need to do, then I need to write about Ezra Nawi. I met Ezra in 2005 when I was undercover for a journalism assignment. It was after I had worked for three weeks as a supermarket cashier, and written about what it’s like to work standing on one’s feet all day. After that, the next assignment that I undertook was to live in a Palestinian Bedouin village in the South Hebron Hills, to document from that perspective settler attacks against the village of a-Tawane, primarily against the children on their way to school in the morning. A week before I got there, poison had been sprayed on their land in an attempt to kill their goat herds. I dressed up like a Palestinian woman and lived with a family in the village. I slept with the women and I cooked with them. For a week. The person who brought me there was Ezra Nawi. He would show up in the village every day to deal with any and every problem the villagers were having, he would bring them medical equipment and anything else they needed..

That week was full of new insights for me, some of them critical of the Left, of which I am a part. One of my insights took the form of great anger toward the left-wing foreign activists, whom I suddenly saw from the perspective of a Palestinian woman. When the foreigners sat with the men and planned political actions, the Palestinian women served them food. The pain I felt with them in those moments didn’t stop me from making the same mistake years later....

Read More
View article: AAA
Share article

Palestinian journalist's health deteriorates as hunger strike enters 46th day

As his health steadily deteriorates, Palestinian journalist Muhammad Al-Qeeq has lost his ability to speak or walk.

By Noam Rotem

Forty-six days after he began his hunger strike, Palestinian journalist Muhammad Al-Qeeq has lost the ability to speak or walk, and has begun to vomit and urinate blood. According to his lawyer, Ashraf Abu Snena, Al-Qeeq can barely communicate using signals.

He is currently being treated at Emek Medical Center in the northern city of Afula, where is both his legs and one arm are handcuffed to his bed at all times.

One of the symptoms of a full hunger strike is the danger of sudden death after seven weeks of refusing food. As his health deteriorates, Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein may be forced to weigh force feeding Al-Qeeq.

Emek Medical Center has refused to respond to questions over whether it has assembled a committee to determine the necessity force feeding, claiming that it is prevented from providing information on detainee patients under the auspices of the Israel Prison Service (IPS). The IPS stated that the detainee is currently being held under medical surveillance at the hospital, and that it cannot provide information on his current state. It added that Al-Qeeq was handcuffed “according to regulations and in coordination with evaluations of the danger he poses, and in accordance with hospital conditions.”

Al-Qeeq, from the West Bank village of Dura near Hebron, works as a reporter for the Saudi news channel “Almajd.” He was arrested on the night of November 21, 2015 when Israeli soldiers blew up the front door of his house and took him in for interrogation at Israel’s Kishon (Jalame) detention center. He was not allowed to make contact with either his wife or his attorney for many days.

According to Abu Snena, Al-Qeeq began his hunger strike four days after the beginning of his interrogation, when the latter understood that his interrogation was politically-motivated. Sources close to Al-Qeeq state that he was interrogated for “journalistic incitement,” and when he refused to cooperate, he was put in administrative detention for a period of six months, which can be renewed indefinitely.

Al-Qeeq’s hunger strike has thus far been answered with silence from all sides. The Israeli media is silent, while the Palestinian Authority’s prisoner organizations are not going out of their way to cover the strike as they did with previous detainees — possibly because Al-Qeeq is a...

Read More
View article: AAA
Share article

Cop won't stand trial for killing Bedouin Israeli

Despite DNA evidence and a failed lie detector test, the police officer who allegedly shot and killed Sami al-Jaar will most likely not face criminal charges.

By John Brown* (translated from Hebrew by Ofer Neiman)

New and disturbing details on the deadly shooting of a Bedouin man by an Israeli police officer have come to light, after +972′s Hebrew site Local Call reported that the Police Investigations Department (PID) intends to close the case on grounds of “insufficient evidence.” According to the findings, the officer in question was found to be lying in a polygraph test, and a DNA test concluded he fired the deadly shots.

Some background: on January 14, 2014 during a police raid on a school where drugs were allegedly being sold in “Neighborhood 26″ of the southern Bedouin township of Rahat, 22-year-old Sami al-Jaar was shot dead as he returned home from work. The man’s father, who was the one to call the police over the suspicious activity in the neighborhood in the first place, saw an officer beating his son before he heard numerous shots being fired.

Following the incident, two of the family’s relatives testified that one of the officers aimed his weapon directly at Sami, contrary to the police version of events at the time, according to which the shots were fired into the air with the objective of dispersing the crowd that had gathered.

One of the officers who took part in the raid was arrested a month after admitting to being involved in the shooting, but was released to house arrest after just one day. He has not been arrested again, and his interrogation by the Police Investigations Department was conducted entirely in his home.

Following 11 months of investigation, the head of the Police Investigations Department, Uri Carmel, notified the al-Jaar family on December 22 that there was insufficient evidence to indict the officer, although Carmel made it clear he knew the officer had lied during his testimony. Carmel had reportedly told the police that he could not convince State Attorney Shai Nitzan that there was sufficient evidence to indict the officer in question.

It is hard to accept this position, since Carmel himself said the officer undergone a polygraph test. At first, the officer was asked whether he had shot in the direction of anyone: he responded that he had not, in line with his narrative...

Read More
View article: AAA
Share article

When an Israeli assaults a Palestinian, justice is hard to come by

A story of assault in Hebron perfectly exemplifies how police investigations fail when the victim is Palestinian.

By Yesh Din, written by Yossi Gurvitz

More than five years ago, on July 16, 2010, a young Hebronite by the name of Muhammad Abd Al-Raouf Abdrazeq was attacked by two Israeli civilians without any reason. In his police statement, which was backed by the testimony of a Border Police officer as well as by security cameras, Abdrazeq described how a group of Israeli civilians came from the direction of the Cave of the Patriarchs, when suddenly two men split off from the group. One of them grabbed him by his shoulders and prevented him from escaping, while the other one beat him severely.

An Israeli soldier standing idly by decided it was none of his business. A Border Policeman who noticed the attack came running, and according to his testimony called out to the soldier, yet the latter refused to budge. The assaulters escaped, saying “Good Shabbos” to the soldier, and vanished without him trying to stop them.

The incident led to two parallel investigative paths: Abdrazeq lodged a complaint with local Hebron Police, and, aided by Yesh Din, with the Military Police Criminal Investigations Division (MPCID). This post will track the two paths.

The police track is relatively simple. The police undertook a rather effective investigation: they took a statement from the victim, who immediately identified his attacker as Y.H. They then took a statement from the victim’s father who came running to the scene, from the apathetic soldier, and from the police officers who arrived on the scene. It examined the local security cameras and reached the conclusion that the incident happened as Abdrazrq and the policeman described it.

The police then interrogated Y.H. several times. The suspect obstinately denied any involvement, even when he was presented with the security camera footage. In his first statement, Y.H. claimed he wasn’t even in the area of the Cave of the Patriarchs at the time of the attack. Instead, he claimed that he was innocently walking down the street with a friend, accompanied by a group of boys he did not know personally. In his second statement, he managed to remember the full name of the man who was supposed to supply an alibi; however, when the police summoned the friend for testimony, he declined to confirm Y. H.’s alibi.

So, let’s summarize...

Read More
View article: AAA
Share article

This is how settlers take over Palestinian land

From audacious fraud and forgery to military seizures for ‘security needs’ and the ‘public good’ to dusting off antiquated Ottoman laws, the Israeli settlement enterprise has no shortage of tools for taking over Palestinian land in the West Bank.

By Dror Etkes

On February 9, 2004, Abdelatif Hassan Samarin, a resident of the West Bank village of Burqa, just a few miles east of Ramallah, woke up before dawn. After his morning prayers, Samarin drank two cups of sweet tea with mint, meant to combat the morning chill of winter, packed some clothing into a suitcase that his son — who was 78 at the time — bought him the day before at a nearby village.

The drive to Ramallah, and from there to Allenby Bridge border crossing with Jordan, left him exhausted. So exhausted, in fact, that he slept the entire hour-and-a-half drive to Queen Alia International Airport. He woke up only after the driver, whom he recognized from his accent, nudged his shoulder to announce that he had arrived, and that Samarin owed him 10 dinar.

But despite the exhaustion and the thousands of miles ahead of him, Samarin did not think even for a second of backing out of his journey. Not someone like him, someone who had seen it all. He was a spry 37 or 38 (who knows exactly? birth certificates, after all, were not issued to his mother who gave birth to Samarin in a cave) when the British kicked out the Turks at the end of 1917. He was 67 when the British left and the soldiers of the Arab Legion arrived toward the middle of 1948. And he was 86 when he saw those same Jordanians defeated by the Israelis in 1967.

He became accustomed to Israeli rule after living nearly a third of his life under Israeli military occupation. Deep down he even appreciated the Israeli settlers’ own version of ‘sumud’ — an Arabic term that has become synonymous with Palestinian steadfastness. He even got used to his new neighbors, who just 18 months earlier had set up what looked like plastic, white blocks on a nearby hill. This, despite the fact that the name they gave their settlement — Migron — sounded strange to him, and despite the fact that his new neighbors’ trucks unloaded and built some of those strange plastic blocks on a plot of land Samarin had...

Read More
View article: AAA
Share article

Airbnb lets you vacation in illegal West Bank settlements

Fancy a vacation with breathtaking views of the Holy Land? Airbnb will let you rent out luxurious cottages atop barren hilltops, making no mention of the fact that they are in settlements on occupied land.

By John Brown*

Airbnb, it has come to our attention, enables anyone to rent rooms and vacation homes in Israeli settlements in the West Bank. Anyone who is not of Palestinian descent, of course.

Without exception, the listings, some which appear to be luxurious cottages and others that are caravans sitting on barren hilltops, make no mention of the fact that they are in settlements on occupied land. Almost all claim to be in Israel, despite the fact that they lie beyond the country’s borders.

Exploring the Airbnb website turns up dozens of cheap rooms and homes with pastoral views and many just a short drive from Jerusalem — all pretty enticing. Especially if nobody tells you that you’re paying to be a settler few days.

Fifteen minutes from Jerusalem

Many of the listings we found appeared similar to the type of rural weekend getaway cabins — “tzimmerim” — one can find throughout northern and southern Israel. But we also found far more troubling listings.

For instance there was the caravan listed in Havat Gilad — “[a] small village really in the nature. It is very private place with a very fresh air and gorgeous view.” The price for one night: NIS 325 ($83).

What the listing fails to mention is that Havat Gilad is actually a settlement outpost, illegal even according to Israeli law. Someone making a reservation on Airbnb has no way of knowing that the outpost was — at least partially — illegally built on Palestinian land. There is no mention of the fact that more than one resident of Havat Gilad have been convicted of violent “price tag” attacks against Palestinians and their property.

Similarly, one can rent a room in the “Ma’ale Rehavam” outpost, which was also illegally built on private Palestinian land. The settlement outpost was named after Rehavam Ze’evi, one of Israel’s most famous proponents of population transfer. The “nice place in the Judean desert … about 15 minutes driving from Jerusalem” can be had for just NIS 239 ($60) a night. When we enquired about renting the room, however, the lister declined, citing the fact that “the government has yet to connect it to electricity.”

It is...

Read More
View article: AAA
Share article

Israeli authorities demolish mosque in unrecognized Bedouin village

‘It is infuriating to see a mosque destroyed. Those who destroy a mosque won’t have a problem destroying my children’s home.’

By Michal Rotem

Israeli Police officers accompanied by bulldozers destroyed a mosque Wednesday morning in the unrecognized Bedouin village of Rakhamah in the Negev Desert.

Salima Azazma, one of the residents of the village, told +972′s Hebrew sister site, Local Call, that “It is infuriating to see a mosque be destroyed. Those who destroy a mosque won’t have a problem destroying my children’s home.”

“I am sure that these kinds of things happening in unrecognized villages will turn their residents into big supporters of Israel,” Azazma added sarcastically.

The village of Rakhama, located near the development town of Yeruham, is comprised of 1,500 residents. Some of them have lived on the land for generation, while others were moved there by the state in 1956. The village has no educational or health facilities, nor is it connected to electricity. The state has not paved any roads, nor built sewage infrastructure. The residents of the village get their water from the main pipeline that connects the development towns of Yeruham and Dimona.

On December 24, 2015, Israeli authorities destroyed the unrecognized Bedouin village of Al-Araqib for the 92nd time. The state does not recognize the legality of Al-Araqib and dozens of other villages, demolishing them for the purpose of reclaiming what it deems “state land.” Like Rakhama, many of these villages were established by Bedouin who were re-settled in the 1950s by Israel’s military government after being expelled from their land during the 1948 war.

While demolitions in unrecognized villages have become commonplace over the past few years, a recent report by the Negev Coexistence Forum for Civil Equality revealed that 78 percent of demolitions in the Negev are actually carried out by the homeowners themselves, rather than the state. The report shows how the authorities invest resources and put immense pressure in order to increase the number of self-demolitions.

Over the past decade, the Israeli government has recognized 13 previously-unrecognized Bedouin villages in the Negev. However, despite the change in policy, not much has changed much on the ground. In practice, in the vast majority of these villages still lack infrastructure; the services are poor and inadequate for the large number of residents; and the policy of house demolitions as well preventing Bedouin from receiving...

Read More
View article: AAA
Share article
© 2010 - 2016 +972 Magazine
Follow Us

+972 is an independent, blog-based web magazine. It was launched in August 2010, resulting from a merger of a number of popular English-language blogs dealing with life and politics in Israel and Palestine.

Website powered by RSVP

Illustrations: Eran Mendel