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Israel approves plan to uproot 30,000 Bedouins

The approval of the ‘Prawer Plan’ concerning Bedouins in the Negev desert demonstrates that Israel’s principle of divide and rule, which has been perfected in the West Bank and Gaza, also applies to citizens of Israel living inside 1948 boundaries.

A Bedouin in the village of Al Arakib after it was destroyed by Israeli forces. Photo by activestills.org

Bedouin resident in the village of Al Arakib after it was destroyed by Israeli forces (Photo: Activestills)

Perhaps the most violent component of Israel’s control over non-Jewish inhabitants since the founding of the state has been the (unequal) distribution and allocation of resources. In Area C of the West Bank, the area designated for full Israeli military and civilian control by the Oslo accords which makes up the majority of land in the occupied territories, Israel has demonstrated its ability to control the Palestinians of the West Bank through the allocation of resources such as water, electricity and building permits. In the West Bank village of Susya, for example, Palestinians are forced to purchase water at rates close to 10 times higher than an Israeli living in Tel Aviv. Their wells are destroyed by Israel’s civilian administration due to lack of permits which are almost impossible to obtain and many living structures are deemed illegally built and subject to demolition.

The deprivation of resources leaves Palestinians helpless in the face of bureaucratic measures which even Kafka could not have imagined. The point of this system is clear, make Palestinian life in area C villages so unbearable that they their only option is to move into cities in Area A, under Palestinian Authority control. The unclaimed land is then expropriated by Israel using out of date Ottoman laws. This amounts to an effective use of the classic colonial practice of divide and rule given the fragmented nature of Area A cities in the West Bank and the settlements which form almost natural barrier between them.

Interestingly, this is not just happening to West Bank Palestinians. Something similar is taking place to non-Jewish citizens inside Israeli territory. This morning, Israel authorized the controversial “Prawer Plan” concerning the resettlement of Bedouins in the Negev Desert.

Authored by Ehud Prawer, head of the Policy Planning Department at the Prime Minister’s Office, the report contradicts an earlier report on how to resolve settlement issues in the Negev desert. The first report, penned by former Justice Eliezer Goldberg, demanded that Israel make every attempt to respect Bedouins living in the Negev, noting in particular the need to allow them to remain in their villages and homes.

The Prawer report, which has been criticized by the Israeli civil liberties outfit, the  Association of Civil Rights in Israel, has proposed that as many as 30,000 Bedouins be removed from their homes and villages, against their will and for little reason. Removal has been approved by the government according to a report in today’s edition of Haaretz (Hebrew).

The decision to evacuate as many as 30,000 Bedouins and relocate them to large Bedouin towns such as Rahat, Khura and Ksayfe with some financial compensation  has been called by some a “declaration of war on the Bedouin.” It is actually a long time coming if the experience of the Bedouin village of al Arakib is any indication. The village has been destroyed almost 30 times by Israel in an effort to make way for a new Jewish National Fund forest in its place.

During the height of the hopeful J14 tent protests this summer, demands for better Bedouin rights could be heard filling conversations even in the heart of Tel Aviv’s Rothschild boulevard tent encampment. However, hope has taken a backseat in recent days as many of the tent protesters’ demands for Bedouin rights have been dropped, ignored or simply disappeared.

Israel policies of divide and rule, based on classical colonial principles, are not limited to its occupied populations. The adoption of the Prawer plan by the Israeli government has shown that Israel uses this mechanism of control to subjugate all non-Jewish inhabitants under its control from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea regardless of the status of their citizenship.

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  • COMMENTS

    1. “The decision to evacuate as many as 30,000 Bedouins and relocate them to large Bedouin towns such as Rahat has been called by some a “declaration of war on the Bedouin.”

      Reply to Comment
    2. MONSTROUS…MONSTROUS

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    3. Mitchell Cohen

      Sylvia, shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

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    4. Karen

      Way to miss the point, Sylvia. They are moving them to make more room for Jews. In case you need this spelled out or even drilled through your tiny brain, this is what we call ethnic cleansing and it is rooted in racism. But please ignore this reality and focus on the state’s “generous” offer to “help” the Bedouin’s move to “new settlements.”

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    5. Palestinian

      There must be something behind it ? in addition to relocating the largest number of natives on the smallest area of land ,closing the Negev file under “legal” procedures (I dunno whats legal/illegal in Israel), and taking over the land , there must be something they have in mind , Oil ? gas? another nuclear reactor ? …….what else

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    6. Holden

      Or Call it an urban renewal project. Rather than have large numbers of Bedouins living in substandard housing and facilities, arrangements are being made to upgrade their lives and control development.

      Times have changed and it’s no longer about a small number of Bedouins wandering the countryside with their flocks of animals, seasonally following grazing lands and water.

      As usual, the hate Israel, hate Jews gang (including self-haters) try to paint as black a scene as they can.

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    7. Sylvia

      No, YOU miss the point. Illegal squatters on prezoned land without a deed to their name are going to be rewarded for giving the birdie to the state, so now they will be offered a plot of land nearby PLUS hundreds of thousands of shekels. Not to mention the cherry on the cake which is a legal deed and free title (they can now sell the land if they want to), plus a free gift of government-built infrastructures on tax-payer’s money.
      Those of us trapped in these rocket-battered strangleholds called development towns wouldn’t mind being ethnically cleansed in just the same manner – as opposed to the manner we have already been ethnically cleansed in our Arab countries of origin.

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    8. I’m a jewish, new immigrant, living in the Negev, and I spend a reasonable amount of time with my dear friends in Tel Sheva. My basic understanding of a complex situation is that, Yes, absolutely, Israel’s government wants to relocate Bedouin because they see Bedouin (and all Arabs, though Bedouin are more sprawling) through a lens of land, and want the great majority of the Negev to be inhabited by Jews. Though this is wrong and problematic enough on its own, what I find most heartbreaking is the ways in which the entire self-sustaining, generous, proud Bedouin way of life is being devastated as families are relocated from a life where they can keep and graze their animals into towns where there is no room for either. Bedouin are not even consulted in the urban planning of their own towns, and though I’m not sure what could work, Israel is not coming close. Living in towns of concrete and conventional lots of land goes against the entire Bedouin way of life: spiritually, emotionally, economically, and then Israelis have the nerve to see them simply as a people who don’t pay taxes. It’s depressing, and not only bad for the livelihood and well-being of some of the most indigenous people on this land, but also devastating environmentally. I can’t do justice to this subject, or my own feelings about it, here. If I manage to write about it at measuringrain.blogspot.com (I’m writing a novel that covers this territory), then I’ll share it here. Meanwhile, thank you, as always, Joseph Dana and 972 magazine. By immigrating, I’ve made a controversial choice; you make it easier.

      Reply to Comment
    9. Palestinian

      Ayla ,I have a question , why did you leave your country and moved to the Negev ?

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    10. Deïr Yassin

      Ayla says “by immigrating, I’ve made a controversial choice”.
      She tells us that she actually lives in the Negev all while describing her opposition to governement politics.
      Hypocrisy taken to a degree that I’ve rarely seen before.
      @ Sylvia
      I think you come from Morocco or maybe Tunisia. You can’t hardly call the Jewish departure from there ‘ethnic cleansing’. But then we’re getting used to your Likudnik vocabulary: ‘disputed territories’ about the OT is just the latest exemple.

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    11. Palestinian

      Deir Yaseen , I am really curious to know more about you , how old are you ? As for Ayla , dont you think immigrants like her are much better than immigrants like Liberman ?

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    12. SAM

      @Sylvia
      I guess that’s the difference between indigenous people and immigrants.
      John Steinback described this beautifully in Grapes of Wrath:
      “…for the tractor is dead. And this is easy and efficient. So easy that the wonder goes out of work, so efficient that the wonder goes out of land and the working of it, and with the wonder the deep understanding and the relation. And in the tractor man there grows the contempt that comes only to a stranger who has little understanding and no relation. For nitrates are not the land, nor phosphates and the length of fiber in the cotton is not the land. Carbon is not a man, nor salt nor water nor calcium. He is all these, but he is much more, much more; and the land is so much more than its analysis. That man who is more than his chemistry, walking on earth, turning his plow point for a stone, dropping his handles to slide over an outcropping, kneeling in the earth to eat his lunch; that man who is more than his elements knows the land is more than its analysis. But the machine man, driving a dead tractor on land he does not know and love, understands only chemistry; and he is contemptuous of the land and of himself. When the corrugated iron doors are shut, he goes home, and his home is not the land.”

      Showing some respect to the indigenous people of this land is the least you can do. ‘Illegal squatters’… disgusting

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    13. Danny

      ZIONISM = RACISM
      ‘Nuff said.

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    14. Sylvia

      Evidently, Sam, you wouldn’t know from Joseph Dana’s post that they have another place and that they moved there – and squatted – relatively recently. So pack your righteousness please. Or go set up a tent in an empty field near you and come tell us what happens.
      I am sure you want school and electricity and all amenities for your children. But you’ll be content for Bedouin children to spend their entire lives as shepherds, without electricity, without sewage, without computers in the 21st century. The thought of those sheep grazing in the desert hills is so romantic!

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    15. I’m curious. Do the defenders of this decision require that the Israeli government give any justification for the land on which the Bedouin have lived for centuries, if not millenniums, be taken from them? What is going to be done with that land that has a higher moral or practical use than the Bedouins using it? I have a major problem with someone defending an eviction and no evidence is provided as to why allowing the Bedouins to remain there threatens the greater Israel population’s health and well-being.

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    16. AYLA

      Palestinian (I wish you also had an additional name, here!): Thank you for your respectful, sincere question. The answer is long, complex, and mysterious even to me, but I’ll try to answer it in this limited forum: I was drawn to this particular desert in a very deep way that, as I’ve said, I myself don’t fully understand. This part of this land called me to write a novel, and kept calling me to return, and finally called me to stay, for how long, I don’t know. I can’t ignore a personal calling and/or an unwritten novel because of politics, but I can try to be a part of the greater good, here, and maybe that’s one reason I’m here, and one reason I’m writing this book. I’m lucky to have a number of Palestinian friends (not only Arab Israelis from Jaffa and Haifa, but friends from Ramallah, Bet Jalla, as well as East Jerusalem, all studying in the Negev), and through their personal stories I learn a lot. I also learn a lot from my open-hearted jewish Israeli friends. People are people. I tend to empathize with anyone open-hearted who is drawn more to questions than answers, optimism than pessimism, love than fear, and I do my best to understand those who aren’t. DEIR–I’ve been reading your comments long enough to say that I find your way of thinking to be grossly over-simplified, which may be a comfortable way to understand things, but it is not how I experience this beautiful, wondrous, complex world, nor my own beautiful, wondrous, complex life.

      Reply to Comment
    17. Shanzdah-e Shirin

      @Warren Metzler:

      What do you mean “the land on which the Bedouin have lived for centuries, if not millenniums”? By definition this is impossable, Bedouins are nomads!

      @Palestinian:

      Israel is our country, the Jews’ country, always been. It’s the land we lived on for centuries, if not millenniums.

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    18. AYLA

      SYLVIA–SAM responded more eloquently than I ever could by calling in Steinbeck so brilliantly (thank you, Sam!). By calling Bedouin, “Illegal squatters on prezoned land without a deed to their name”, you’re demonstrating no understanding of their history or their relationship to the land, including the ways in which territories were very clearly defined between them in the negev before 1948. Especially if your family was exiled from another Arab country, maybe you could use that experience to empathize, rather than harden? SHANZDAH-E SHIRIN: wow. Why even read a magazine like 972 if you believe what you said to PALESTINIAN? Also, being nomadic doesn’t mean that you have no defined territories or place. Not at all. Nomadic shepherds know exactly where and when their animals are permitted to graze. This is why drought can lead to civil wars; people are forced to leave their designated territory to graze their animals (see Darfur).

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    19. Shanzdah-e Shirin

      @Ayla:

      972 is supposed to be an echo chamber? No opposing views?

      Territories for grazing, but no permenent settlements. Bedouins have tents. Talking of Bedouin permanent settlements is unheard of in any context accept this context of bashing Israel.

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    20. Deïr Yassin

      @ Ayla writes “I find your way of thinking to be grossly over-simplified, which may be a confortable way to understand things”.
      My way of thinking is over-simplified ? You mean that I don’t agree with the ethnic cleasing of the native Palestinians to permit the Jews of the world to ‘return to their ancestral homeland’ ?
      Your “people are people”: Well, in the ethnocracy called Israel, some people are more people than others, and if you don’t see the utter hypocrisy in your own statements: being aware of the ethnic cleansing of the Beduins all while being yourself part of the Judaization of the Negev, I can’t help you.
      Reminds me of that American president who wrote about the abolition of slavery all while having a bunch of slaves himself….
      Why don’t you go experience the ‘beautiful, wondrous, complex (particularly complex) life of some of the Palestinians living in refugee camps so you can live YOUR ‘beautiful, wondrous, complex life’ on their land ?
      And you have ‘friends’ from Ramallah studying in the Negev ? Interesting …
      @ Shirin
      “Israel is our country, the Jews’ country”.
      Yeah, nobody ever lived there before nor after the Jews. It’s funny (well, in fact it’s rather tragic): to Jewish supremacists, once they’ve lived somewhere, the land becomes theirs for all eternity. When are you going to claim Iraq from where your ancestor came, according to your own ethnogenese ?
      http://www.mapsofwar.com/images/EMPIRE17.swf

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    21. Shanzdah-e Shirin

      @Deïr Yassin:

      Iraq isnt our country. It’s yours to take if you want to, we won’t stop you. An Arab is just as logically an Iraqi as an Israeli. Israel is ours. We dont say Next year in Baghdad or Tehran or Cazablanca or London or Brooklyn, that should give you an idea what land Jews really belong to. Unless you are one of those denialists who keep talking of Jews came as colonists from Europe Europe Europe Russia Russia Russia everywhere all the time.

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    22. Piotr Berman

      “By definition this is impossible, Beduins are nomads”

      It may come to some as a surprise, but nomads live SOMEWHERE. Would it be OK to boot Mongols out of Mongolia?

      “… always been. It’s the land we lived on for centuries, if not millennia.”

      You should choose: always, centuries, “milleniums”. For example, according to Numbers 34, Israel got land to the north of Wilderness of Zin which is conjectured to be in the northern Negev.

      Reply to Comment
    23. weinstein henry

      @ Joseph Dana
      You would be a lot more convincing if you could managed to get the intellectual discipline of being FACTUAL. Here, as if the planned deportation of 30.000 nomads – 30.000 persons deported for what reasons, we dunno – was not enough to denounce and a call to INVESTIGATE, you couldn’t help to put this – as if every thing was clear now, ladies and gentlemen, in the Occupation Box.
      What “Israel policies of divide and rule, based on classical colonial principles” have to do with the deportation of 30.000 Bedouins from the Neguev Desert? The political question is why the Israeli government want absolutely to deport all the nomads from the Neguev Desert. I mean, even if they want to found a New Las Vegas here, why they have to deport all the people living here and there?
      @ Aya & Palestinian
      Thank you.
      Merci beaucoup.

      Reply to Comment
    24. AntiPalinAlaskan

      Sylvia…if the issue was giving the Bedouins a better life, then why couldn’t the government have upgraded their services WHERE THEY WERE.

      Which is where they’d been for years…as part of the patterns of their existence.

      It’s not as if Israel HAS to move these people to survive. The Bedouins have nothing to do with terrorism…they harm no one…all they’re guilty of is being the wrong ethnicity…for that, they should be forced to move?

      This can’t be what Zionism was supposed to be about. Persecution of one people on one continent does not mean that a state operating(in theory)in the name of those who were persecuted in the past gets to impose suffering now on a people who had nothing to do with the suffering its constituents suffered ON ANOTHER CONTINENT.

      It was the Europeans who tried to create a Judenrein world…not the Arabs, and not the Bedouins. The fact that the Mizrahi survived the Second World War unscathed is proof of this.

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    25. Absurd pro-Israel arguments. It’s really shameless now.

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    26. Israel is not moving them because they HAVE to, they are doing it because they WANT to. Zionism is an ideology that calls for such acts of ethnic cleansing. It’s the Jewish State that is causing the dispossession of the people who have lived there for generations…all because some Zionists say “Thousands of years ago people who had the same religion as me lived here, therefore I have more of a right here than they do.” It’s absolutely absurd and indefensible at this point in time. Stop trying.

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    27. ARTH

      The best parallel to this is the displacement of the American Indians from their land. Even though the Negev is entirely under uncontested Israeli sovereignty, the Israeli government does not really control all of the territory of the Negev Desert and then it has these Bedouin people around who will always know those lands in a more sophisticated manner than any Isreali Jew.
      Where ever these unrecognized villages are located, they are, obviously, prime locations. The Bedouin settled there because of that and they knew where to go because they are very well versed in the Negev lands and their various geographical crevices.
      To acquire actual true control of these areas, they need to be populated under the auspices of the Israeli state, Hence the plan.
      Unlike most other actions by Israeli which are controversial, there can be no justifiable rationale by Israel based on the exegesis of security. There is no active security issue present in this at all and “period.
      It is about, however, the removal of people from the land on which they have traditionally lived and existed to the Tel Sheva and Rahat Reservations, into crowded and environs which are barely suited for the people who already live there, and away from the wide open spaces of the desert. It is about craving land on which towns could be build, on which Bedouin would be forbidden to live, merely because they are not immmigrant, Jewish, or pioneering. There is no justification at all.

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    28. Yes, Arth, Native Americans. As President, Thomas Jefferson ordered his Interior Secretary to “westernize” Native Americans east of the Mississippi: if they agreed to standard farming on individual households they could stay; if they refused, ever effort was to be made to force their transfer across the Mississippi. Basically, they were to give up their culture or be expunged. And, as someone else on this thread implied, Jefferson want the eveutal abolition of slavery, but he owned slaves. Israel is here not being very inovative.

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    29. Ester Stewart

      In the future. Maybe 50, maybe 100 years from now, future generations will look back, and be ashamed of this dark period, in the history of Israel.

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    30. an immigrant to Israel

      @AntiPalinAlaskan
      It is much more complicated than you think.
      “The Bedouins have nothing to do with terrorism…they harm no one…all they’re guilty of is being the wrong ethnicity…for that, they should be forced to move?” Actually some of them do have something with the terrorism. Moreover, they live in Israel, they want and get Israeli citizenship but they don’t behave like Israeli citizens. They steal, trade drugs, connect illegally to water supply lines, they seduce, steal and imprison young jewish girls, they don’t pay taxes but do study in universities and get Israeli scholarships. Actually jews pay taxes to maintain “nimand” Deduins that actually do want to permanently settle in a developing country but under their own terms. Sorry for my English :-)

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    31. AYLA

      ARTH–thank you for everything you said. I could only add that Bedouin had been friends to Israel, many of them even voluntarily serving in the Israeli army, until Israel began to demolish their homes and remove them from their land. This turning is tragic on every level. PALESTINIAN–I don’t imagine that you would ever read my previous response the way that others did… but just in case, I find wonder and beauty in life, and my life, in ways that have nothing to do with government-given freedoms or privileges. I say this because that could have sounded callous in the context of this discussion. But like I said, my friends, from many different backgrounds and circumstances, are people who are inclined to find wonder and beauty in life, and in their own life/journey, and to use difficult circumstances to dig deeper.

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    32. AYLA

      p.s. when I say Bedouin had been ‘friends to Israel’, I mean that they had considered themselves included within this country, and at the time it was true. Very, very few Bedouin feel that way today.

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    33. Mitchell Cohen

      “ZIONISM = RACISM
      ‘Nuff said.” [End of Danny]

      Danny, I remember you saying you are an immigrant yourself. Why did you come under the Law of Return if you are an anti-zionist?

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    34. Sylvia

      Greg Pollack it is by no stretch of the imagination like the Indians.
      .
      Not only do they get to remain on the lands they were living on in 1948 but they also get to keep and be recognized on lands they squatted on illegally between 1948 and 1979. Understandably, many oppose the legalization of those settlements because they will have to start paying local taxes, water and electricity for the first time ever. the advantage is that jobs could be created in the form of industrial parks or the like.
      .
      The relocation plan applies only to lands they squatted on illegaly since 1979, that lack basic infrastructures, basic services, where the buildings are unsafe and where there are no jobs of course.
      .
      Bedouins who pursued academic studies have shown to be unusually bright and successful, but supporters like Joseph Dana and Ayla would like to see them continue to live in misery, for their own, selfish reasons or agendas.
      .
      The irony is that the fiercest opponents to the plan are not the left, but the Israeli right. They also want the same arrangement for their own illegal unrecognized settlements since 1979.
      .
      It still must be approved by the Knesset and I foresee a lot of opposition.

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    35. Deïr Yassin

      “An immigrant to Israel” says:
      “THEY don’t behave like Israeli citizens. THEY steal, trade drugs, connect illegally to water supplies, THEY seduce, steal and imprison young jewish girls blahblahblah”.
      Wow, what can I say ? Brainwashed racist, maybe. I wonder: did you learn all that in your ulpan ?
      Concerning stealing water, this is not a Beduin speciality. Israel and the settler thugs in the West Bank steal 83% of the water there. Ask Mitchell Cohen, another immigrant: he lives in one of those nice settlements with a lawn and a swimming pool while the surrounding native Palestinians are lacking water.

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    36. Sylvia

      Antioalinalaskan
      “if the issue was giving the Bedouins a better life, then why couldn’t the government have upgraded their services WHERE THEY WERE.”
      .
      The State – or any legal entity for that matter – can’t fund that which is illegal. It’s just common sense. Funds are approved only for legally recognized programs.
      .
      If you’re referring to the Bedouin towns, then yes, the State should invest a lot more than it has been doing. They should expand those areas to create more jobs and attract investors. The problem also exists at municipal level: the localities are poor because many people don’t believe in paying local taxes.
      .
      A major problem as I see it that is causing people to get up and settle somewhere else illegally is that Bedouin society is a tribal society and there are feuds, bad blood between some families and vendettas. This should be addressed by the Bedouins themselves. No one can do it for them. I see a role here for their intellectuals.

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    37. Philos

      Well, I’m not going to step into this debate this time but I will point out two VERY important facts (I’ll call them A and B) that were left out of the report.
      A. The Goldberg Report
      1) advocated “settling”, in the sense of the spatial, ancestral and cultural idea, the Bedouin in their current habitations without moving any of them;
      2) It criticized the government for not including or taking interest in the requirements of Bedouin culture in its urban planning (think of Harish and “Haradei urban planning)
      3)The report severely criticized the historic discrimination faced by the Bedouin who have been DENIED access to water, electricity and sewage infrastructure
      B. Yaacov Amridor, the Nation Security Adviser
      1) He was tasked by the PMO to review the Prawer Report (he is a general and “bitchonist”), which shows how the government views the Bedouin because this is surely outside his competence
      2) The Prawer Report was’t very kind to the Bedouin (forced relocation, only 180,000 dunaams out of the 600,000 (5% of the Negev) claimed by the Bedouin, and so on
      3) Amridor was worse than Prawer: he recommended instead 100,000 dunaams and that compensation will only be paid to people who have land documents prior to 1979, which is a vicious trick if anyone knows anything about Al Akrib where the residents have documents frmo the Ottoman and British Mandate but these are not recognized by the courts

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    38. Philos

      Actually, I will wage into the debate. I hope the Bedouin find peaceful ways to resist this persecution and attack on their existential right to live freely that will inspire the dumbfounded Israeli masses and global support. If they are unable to do so and resort to violence: well, if the US Declaration of Independence and its Constitution are any precedent then they are merely exercising their inalienable rights to freedom and self-rule.

      It’s time to end the “Jewish” government and aim for the emancipation of a new people: the Israeli people. Jews can be Jewish anywhere they want but Israelis can only be Israeli in Israel. It is time to fight for our Israeliness and to build a national character that is inclusive. Zionism has run its course and Jewish religious supremacy is undermining our rights to live as free people. It’s time for The Second Republic of Israel. A country by the Israelis, for the Israelis and of the Israelis. Zionism is now redundant and morally bankrupt: look at the Negev, look at Triangle and look at the West Bank & Gaza. Furthermore, look at Sderot, Afula and Yahud; it’s time to invest in Israelis. If the Jews want to live in “Judea and Samaria” let them. But they’ll have to find a way to get the forgiveness of their neighbors

      Reply to Comment
    39. Mitchell Cohen

      Philo, your last post is taking this thread a bit off subject (it is a more fitting post in the thread that Akiva Orr started not too far back and is still one of the four most commented threads if you want to find it), but I’ll bite: 1) You say “Jews can be Jewish anywhere they want but Israelis can only be Israeli in Israel.” Does this mean Jews will not be allowed to express themselves as Jews (whether culturally or religiously)? Will any religion be allowed? Are you advocating an Israeli version of the Former Soviet Union?

      2)You also say: “Zionism is now redundant and morally bankrupt: look at the Negev, look at Triangle and look at the West Bank & Gaza. Furthermore, look at Sderot, Afula and Yahud; it’s time to invest in Israelis. If the Jews want to live in “Judea and Samaria” let them. But they’ll have to find a way to get the forgiveness of their neighbors” Let’s look at Sderot, Afula, Yahud, etc. Didn’t you know that Jews living in these areas, who are descendents of those who care here fairly recently are considered no less “foreigners” than those who came off the plane yesterday and ran to live in Bet-El? Ask your friend Deir Yassin. Do you think by being “Israeli”, rather than a “Jew” and living in Tel-Aviv, rather than Gush-Etzion you will be considered any less of a “foreigner”? The bottom line is you will be asked for “forgiveness” no less than any other “recent” arrivals “Israeli” or “Jew”, Zionist or not….

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    40. an immigrant to Israel

      @Deïr Yassin
      I’m sorry but I’m not brain washed I actually know families that where robbed by Bedouins and I know families that fight fot their girls that are captured in Bedouinian villages and are not allowed to see the day of light. Of course not all Bedouins are violent and most of them want to leave in peace but it is logical to make their settlements legal as Sylvia explaind. Except of the radical Jews that build settlements were they should not (and eventually they will be evacuated), Jews living in Israel live in legal towns and cities, pay taxes and that is how they develop the city they live in.Do you think I could put a tent in the middle of Tel-Aviv, illigaly use water from a nearby building and not be evacuated? Why should it work for Bedouins? Of course I agree that Bedouins should keep and should be recognized on lands they squatted on before 1948 and Israeli government should help them to develop their infrastructures. But Israeli Bedouins should pay taxes to make it happen because the burden cannot fall onto the citizens that do pay them.
      @Sylvia
      thank you for your clear point of view, I coudn’t explain it so clearly

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    41. Deïr Yassin

      @ an immigrant to Israel
      Okay, I’ll withdraw the ‘brainwashed’: after all one has to have a brain in the first place to be brainwashed. You’re still a racist though.
      Even if you know people who have been robbed by Bedouins, it doesn’t make it more right to talk about ‘they’ in generalizing terms. Madoff is a Jew: does it make ALL Jews crooks ? Katsav and Strauss-Kahn are both Jewish: does that make all Jewish men potential rapist ?
      Nobody is asking you to ‘work for the Bedouins’. You should have left them freely on their land in the first place. They lived there thousands of years before you arrived ! And again: the water that the Bedouins are ‘stealing’ is nothing compared to the settlers in the West Bank but then they are Jewish, of course ….

      Reply to Comment
    42. Silkroad

      Dear Sylvia,

      Illegal squatters? Don’t make me laugh. The Bedouin were there before you were. “Relocation” is a euphemism for ethnic cleansing.

      Reply to Comment
    43. AYLA

      @Sylvia, @Immigrant, @Shanzdah… and actually, everyone here, myself included, can benefit from reading Yossi Gurvitz’s most recent post on this subject. See you there? ;)

      Reply to Comment
    44. Philos

      Mitchell, I’m advocating a Republic in the model of USA not the USSR! Separation of powers, separation of religion and institutions of state and constitutionally guaranteed equality before the law. So like in the USA if you want to be Jewish be Jewish, if you want to be Buddhist be Buddhist but no citizen will be forced to fly overseas in order to get married because their district rabbi doesn’t approve.
      I don’t care how foreign some Palestinians might consider Israelis because Israelis exist. We don’t need Zionism anymore to justify our existence; if anything Zionism is undermining our right to self-rule. I see no purpose in the Law of Return; it should be abolished and a proper immigration policy put in its place where citizenship must be EARNED instead of granted because someone’s weiner got snipped. The Jews in Europe and America don’t needs us; they’re richer and more powerful than the average Israeli. Sure if some kind of Hitler were to reemerge then, yalla, come aboard as REFUGEES but otherwise I see no reason for aliya. Apart from the Russians and Ethiopians the only Western immigrants that stay here for good become total wingnuts; the ethnocracy really goes to their head

      Reply to Comment
    45. Sylvia

      Silkroad
      I expanded on it in another post further down.
      .

      Ayla
      Not me. I am still boycotting Yossi Gurvitz.

      Reply to Comment
    46. AYLA

      @Sylvia. I see. Well. The thing is, Gurwitz quotes from official Israeli government documents about the history and legality of Bedouin land ownership in the Negev, so maybe you could boycott his analysis and just read the legal documents he excerpts?

      Reply to Comment
    47. Ben Israel

      Actually, the Beduin “problem” is not limited to Israel. Look at what is happening to relations between the Beduin of the Sinai and the Egyptian governemnt. There is a LOT of tension between the Beduin and the settled population of the Arab countries. The lifestyle of the Beduin was traditionally nomadic and “land ownership” was viewed differently by them than by settled populations. There recently was a newspaper article that mentioned that Palestinian state television had a discussion program dealing with the question “are the Beduin Palestinians?”.

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