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Prawer Plan: How the natives became invaders in their own homes

The attempt to forcibly resettle a native minority population justifies international interest. If it continues, international intervention will be justified as well.

A military-like operation: Police shots tear gas at protesters during protest against the Prawer-Begin Plan, near the town of Hura, Israel, (November 30, 2013.)

Members of the foreign press in Israel received an invitation this week for a tour in the south to “explore the topic” of the Bedouin population. The visit is intended to present the plan for the arrangement of Bedouin settlement in the Negev, which, according to the invitation, aims to promote “the economic development for the Negev’s Bedouin population [and] to resolve the conflict over land ownership.”

The tour, which will take place on December 10, is hosted by General (res.) Doron Almog, who heads the unit which will implement the (re)arrangement plan, commonly referred to as the Prawer Plan (named after another general, Udi Prawer, who drafted the initial document).

This military-like operation is meant to relocate tens of thousands of Bedouin – the native population of the Negev – from their homes in the unrecognized villages and into designated areas whose exact borders and locations have yet to be revealed.

There is something telling in the fact that Almog is talking to the foreign press while details of the plan are being kept secret from the Bedouin themselves. Almost 100,000 Bedouin live in the Negev’s unrecognized villages, but while Prawer Plan is set to become state law in a matter of weeks, not one of them knows whether his/her house will be destroyed or village displaced. Even the contractors that are hired to implement the plan must sign a special clause that ensures they maintain absolute secrecy on Prawer’s details; violating this clause is defined in the contract as a “national security offense.”

In fact, the only person to receive details of the designated areas for the Bedouin was Housing Minister Uri Ariel – the most extreme settler in the government – who demanded to view the maps before supporting lending his support to plan. Apparently, Ariel was satisfied with what he saw.

Click here for +972 Magazine’s full coverage of the Prawer Plan

The problem of the unrecognized villages was created due to Israel’s refusal to honor Bedouin claims to the land which were never registered by the British or Ottoman authorities (later, the state also erased all  land claims in cases where the owner was absent from his/her property, leading to the expropriation of land belonging to those Palestinians who fled or were expelled in 1947-49).

The Bedouin kept track of their land through their own traditional system. And while it never gained official status, it was recognized by the British authorities. Apparently, Jews who wanted to settle the Negev before the creation of the State of Israel knew that some areas of the desert were already populated and that the land was taken.

A document from 1920, prepared by the Zionist organization Hachsharat Hayishuv, shows that 2.6 million dunams (642,000 acres) of land around Be’er Sheva were already owned and that over 35 percent of this territory was being cultivated. The documents, discovered by Professor Oren Yiftachel of Ben-Gurion University and presented by Rabbis for Human Rights, are available in the Central Zionist Archives.

As late as 1952, after the Bedouin population in the western part of the Negev had already been deported to the east (where they currently reside), an Israeli government committee determined that, in practice, the British government recognized Bedouin land claims; based on this recognition, some Jewish organizations even paid for the lands which they sought to settle. However, the lands were not registered by the State of Israel, and as a result, Israeli courts continued rejecting Bedouin claims throughout the years. In the eyes of the state, the natives became invaders in their own homes and fields.

Since the problem was only partly dealt with – a good part of the population was pushed into seven Bedouin cities built by the Israeli government, while some land claims were noted in the 70s but not recognized – the more the Bedouin population grew, the worse things got. In the absence of zoning plans, the state kept destroying Bedouin homes and depriving Bedouin communities of basic infrastructure such as water and electricity. Today, the government makes a big deal out of the fact that some of the unrecognized Bedouin villages did not exist two decades ago – so-called proof of what is presented as a Bedouin attempt to take over the Negev, or what General Almog calls “a contiguous territory from Hebron to Gaza.” However, one must wonder what other options a population kept outside the law is left with.

The desire to finally settle the issue could have been a blessing, were it part of an honest attempt to honor the rights of a native population. But the government’s plan seems to be more about the classic “maximum land, minimum Arabs” formula than about the Bedouin population itself – especially since at least in some cases, Jewish settlements are planned to be built on the sites of evacuated Bedouin homes.

Since last week’s protests, Israeli officials and columnists have been complaining that the Arab leadership and left-wing activists are trying to turn Prawer into “a Palestinian issue” and internationalize what is essentially an internal Israeli dispute. The Bedouin are indeed Israeli citizens, but as history has taught us, the only way to defend the rights of an ethnic-native minority is through the mobilization of the international community (and even then, chances of success are slim). Even democracies tend to recognize the rights of natives only after dispossessing them of most of their assets and territories. Only then are books written about their tragic histories and museums built in their honor. The Bedouin are still here. They don’t need a museum, they need their rights.

Related:
Activists hold ‘day of rage’ protests against Prawer Plan
Decades of dispossession and discrimination: Umm al-Hiran
Beaten, arrested, threatened: A personal account from the anti-Prawer protest

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  • COMMENTS

    1. Tomer

      bedouin are the native population?
      How can this be?
      The Jews were living in the Northern Negev thousands of years before the beduin were invented.

      Reply to Comment
      • JG

        Dumby, bedouins existed even before the jewish religion were invented. Jews themselves were nothing but bedouins. Check your facts.

        Reply to Comment
      • rose

        Tomer… the ‘Naqab desert’ was mentioned in the Amarna Letters few centuries before than the fisrt Jew was born. The entire universe doesn’t have judaism has its starting point. I am sorry about that. Respect the other if you to be respected.

        Reply to Comment
        • Kolumn9

          Oh my. This is one of those “big lie” sort of situations isn’t it? The ‘naqab’ was mentioned in the Amarna letters? You are so full of s#*t. The ‘naqab’ is an arabized form of the hebrew ‘negev’. The Arabs didn’t distinguish between the Sinai and the Negev until the Jews came back.

          Reply to Comment
          • Joel

            Yeah Rose. My reading doesn’t show Negba.

            So your evidence please.

            Reply to Comment
    2. Average American

      How do you know that?

      Reply to Comment
      • Michael W.

        I thought you were a Talmudic expect. Shouldn’t you know?

        Reply to Comment
        • Average American

          You’re referring to a book you wrote yourselves to justify yourselves. Convenient.

          Tell me what part of it backs up what you said. I’d like to read all about it.

          Reply to Comment
    3. CigarButNoNice

      972Mag (and the anti-Zionist Islamoleftist alliance in general): How the natives (the Jews) become the invaders and the invaders (the Arab settler-colonist land-thieves) become natives.

      But only in propaganda. The reality stays the same as ever: the Jews and oy the Jews are the natives of the Land of Israel, no matter their immediate extraction (racialist theories about “Khazar” etc. belong on Stormfront, folks), and the falsely-called “Palestinians” are colonial, imperialist invaders. Sudeten Arabs out of the Land of Israel NOW! No peace without justice!

      Reply to Comment
      • Danny

        Bark on, looney, bark on.

        Reply to Comment
      • mark

        “the Jews and oy the Jews are the natives of the Land of Israel”. Cigar, you look a bit confused.

        As efforts to renew the Palestinian-Israeli peace process move ahead, the claim that Palestinians do not exist as a people has become increasingly common. Israeli Tourism Minister Uzi Landau recently asserted that Palestinians “never existed as a nation [but] suddenly everyone talks about a state.” During his last visit to Israel casino magnate Sheldon Adelson called Palestinians just “southern Syrians” or Egyptians until Yasir Arafat “came along with a pitcher of Kool-Aid and gave it to everybody to drink and sold them the idea of Palestinians.” Previously, Harvard Law professor Alan Dershowitz noted that the number “of Palestinians with deep roots in the area of Jewish settlement” constitutes “a tiny fraction,” while American scholar Berel Wein pointed out that pre-Zionist Palestine was almost a desert populated mainly by “Arab immigrants” that “came in great part because of the Jews.”

        The rationale behind such declarations is clear. If Palestinians do not exist, or are recent immigrants, why would there be a need to negotiate with them, much less permit them a state?

        Indeed, each of the above considerations, besides not bringing any real benefit to the interested parties, is vitiated by the transposition of values, uses and traditions which are as relevant in the West as they are negligible within the realities to which they refer.

        Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish used seven words to indirectly clarify most of the current “misunderstandings.” “Who are they,” he asked in his Une rime pour les Mu‘allaqāt (“A Rhyme for the Odes”) referring to he the native majority, “That’s someone else’s problem.” In many respects this was indeed a problem of “others,” of “outsiders.” What made the difference for the “insiders” was, besides religion, the provenance from a certain village, the belonging to a specific family clan, the use of a particular dialect, a way of dressing, a product of the earth, a religious festival (the Nabi Musa festival, for example, was a clear expression of a proto-national cohesion), a dance.

        Before the imposition of the nationalist ideologies and the emergence of exclusivist approaches, it was these factors, not primarily political identity, that defined “Palestinianness.” These characteristics form the “rudiments of a nation” in Anthony Smith’s sense of the concept—a set of identifiers so fundamental and so long-existing, so taken for granted, that virtually no one had any need to investigate. “The whole game of identity definition,” Meron Benvenisti noted, “reflects the immigrant’s lack of connection. Natives don’t question their identity.”

        In the context of this “game of identity definition” it is relevant to mention that some scholars have suggested that the use of the term Palestine was not an exclusive prerogative of the Arabs and that therefore a more precise distinction should refer to two distinct realities: the Arab Palestinians (or Arabs of Palestine) and the Palestinian Jews. In this sense it was noted that from 1932 to 1950 the Jewish newspaper Jerusalem Post was called The Palestine Post. The clarification is relevant, and in fact the Jews that over the centuries did remain on the spot can be defined Palestinian Jews.

        The charter of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) itself, a document certainly not very inclined to compromise, recognized that “the Jews who had normally resided in Palestine until the beginning of the Zionist invasion are considered Palestinians.” This means that before the emergence of insular and exclusivistic approaches, such as the avodah ivrit (“Hebrew labor,” i.e. only “Jewish hands” could work the “Jewish land”) logic, there was no urgency to define the different ethnicities in a clear-cut way. Moreover, even if we focus the attention on an “ethnocentric perspective” it is necessary to keep in mind that such an aspect does not alter the terms of the question in a substantial way. Referring to an overwhelming “Palestinian Arab majority,” or to an overwhelming “Palestinian majority,” as opposed to a possible “Jewish-Palestinian minority” or “Jewish minority,” is little more than a semantic disquisition.

        The reference to a “Palestinian Arab majority” is not a secondary one. The reference to a majority, and thus to numbers, is relevant in as much as it directly tackles the common thesis according to which that majority was indeed composed by “Arab immigrants” that “came because of the Jews.” In the context of our interest, numbers and “identity” are strictly related. In other words, answering to the question of how many the Palestinians were also helps to explain who these people were.

        The first official census was taken in Palestine in 1922, by the British mandated government. In that occasion a total population of 757,182 individuals was found, of whom 590,390 were Muslims, 83,694 Jews, and 73,024 Christians. The previous surveys presented obvious difficulties. The Ottoman authorities usually counted, for tax and military service purposes, almost exclusively adult males or heads of family. The various Christian denominations, like the Jewish millet and the consulates that were gradually created, kept their own records.

        The most reliable estimates of previous centuries reveal that in 1800 the total population of Palestine numbered 250,000 individuals, reaching 500,000 in 1890. Justin McCarthy, an acknowledged expert on the issue, indicated the number of residents in Palestine in 1860 as 411,000, the overwhelming majority of which (around 90 percent) Arabs.

        From a Eurocentric perspective these numbers might seem negligible. To get an idea, one has only to think that when Paris reached one million inhabitants in 1846, Jerusalem and Haifa numbered, respectively, little more than 18 thousand and a bit less than 3 thousand. It would, however, still be wrong to choose countries on the Old Continent instead of those in the Oriental Mediterranean area for a reliable comparison. It is more logical to compare Egypt at the start of the 1800s with Palestine in the same period. It is estimated that the first one had at the time a population of around three million inhabitants: today it numbers 77 million. The second, inhabited at that time by 250,000/300,000 people (therefore 225,000/270,000 Arabs), registers today little more than five million individuals. In comparison, these data demonstrate substantial “comparative convergence” between Palestine and the historically most important, as well as most populous Arabic country.

        Among the Arab majority of Palestine different senses of identity (connected to religious, local, transnational and family allegiances) coexisted without any contradiction between various loyalties being felt. In fact, they were identities as both distinguishable and overlapping. Not by chance, as Barnett and Telhami also noted, one of the ways in which the entire area differs from other regions “is that the national identity has had a transnational character.”

        It is in this “regional” context that it is worthy to explain the inconsistency of the “Arab immigrants” thesis mentioned above. The reference is to an assumption made popular by Joan Peters in her From time immemorial. In the latter, through an analysis of migratory processes registered throughout the course of the 1800s and in the period of the British mandate, the author depicted Palestinian Arabs as “foreigners” coming from “outside areas.” Following Peters’s approach, many later scholars tried to demonstrate that Palestine was a semi-desert and that the inhabitants the first Zionists encountered were nothing more than “travelers” attracted by the Jewish immigration.

        At least until the 1920s the growth of the Arab population — not an isolated case in the region (in Iraq, for example, between 1867 and 1905 the population went from 1 million 250 thousand to 2 million 250 thousand) — had, in reality, little to do with Jewish immigration. As Justin McCarthy noted, “the province that experienced the greatest Jewish population growth (about .035 annually), Jerusalem Sanjak, was the province with the lowest rate of growth of Muslim population (.009).” The increase in Palestine’s Arab population was mostly due to high demographic growth: a phenomenon which started already in the middle of the 1800s, thus prior both to the first wave of Zionist immigration and the first construction company founded in the 60s in Jerusalem by Yosef Rivlin.

        Such demographic growth was accompanied by a reduction in average mortality — placed well below the 40 years in the first decade of the XX century — prompted mostly by the innovations introduced by the Jewish component of the population. The latter, on the contrary, multiplied thanks to immigration, embodied mainly by worshipers, often persecuted, coming from other continents.

        This (immigration) is one of the main points which merits further clarification. Small groups did indeed immigrate in earlier years from outside Palestine. Among these was a group of Egyptians, which settled in Palestine during the years in which the region was subject to the rule of Muhammad Alì. Not long after, a small number of Bosnian, Algerian and Circassian immigrants arrived, who then settled primarily in the Galilee (their presence today is seen in the villages of Rehaniya and Kfar Kama) and at the “border” with Lebanon. Unlike the Jews who arrived in later decades during the Second and Third aliyot — the latters, through practices such as the above mentioned “Jewish Labor,” opted for exclusion and therefore the non-integration with the local Arab population — the aforementioned groups almost immediately integrated with the local majority.

        Most of the Arab Palestinians that Peters and many other “outsiders” defined as “foreigners,” or “former invaders,” were, in reality, people deeply rooted in what Khayr al-Dīn al-Ramli (1585-1671), an influential Islamic lawyer from Ramla, defined in the XVII century “Filastīn bilādunā” (“Palestine our country”); the fact that it was not a separate political and administrative entity did not make al-Ramli’s “Filastīn” less real.

        Maxime Rodinson explained the “former invaders’s myth” taking the English people as a term of reference. “It is ridiculous,” Rodinson clarified, “to call the English of today invaders and occupiers, on the grounds that England was conquered from Celtic peoples by the Angles, Saxons and Jutes in the fifth and sixth centuries. The population was ‘Anglicized’ and nobody suggests that the peoples which have more or less preserved the Celtic tongues — the Irish, the Welsh or the Bretons — should be regarded as the true natives of Kent or Suffolk, with greater titles to these territories than the English who live in those counties.”

        The “foreigners’ approach” is problematic on many other grounds; it is not necessary, in order to realize this, to go back to a far past. The minority whose origins were from other areas lived, in great percentage, in the context of Bilād al-Shām. “Filastīn,” in other words, was/is an integral part of the Arab world without erasing its peculiarities. Considering the movement within the region as a migratory process among reciprocally “foreign” populations, is a simplistic way to define a reality that was anything but simple. In Adel Manna’s words: “A Palestinian who moved to south Lebanon or a Lebanese who moved to Palestine — or a Syrian or a Jordanian, for that matter — is surely not a foreigner because he is part of the culture of the society of Bilad-al-Sham, or Greater Syria, where there were no borders between countries […] there is a big difference between them and foreigners who came from Europe, whether Christians or Jews.”

        Manichean temptations have always been harbingers of misrepresentations, as well as of great suffering. The “black or white” approach according to which Palestinians were/are a well defined nation, or were/are nothing more than “Arab immigrants” that “came because of the Jews,” and so people who would be relatively easy to dislocate to any other region in the Arab world, has for long been an inaccuracy diffused in the literature on the issue. An inaccuracy that, on the one hand, contributes to further radicalize the present day history of the region, and, on the other, continues to foster the long-established attempt of simplifying the local universe.

        As Haim Gerber once noted, “one basic claim is that the Palestinians lacked positive values in their nationalism, their ideology being confined to a fundamental hatred of Zionism […] Other historians (Zionist and other) claim that […] the people we today call ‘Palestinians’ saw themselves at the time as simply Arabs and nothing more specific […] I shall argue that not one of the historians who have dealt with these questions really got it right.”

        Reply to Comment
    4. Danny

      This issue could become the single most contentious issue to dog Israel in the last 20 years. A second Nakhba is happening before our very eyes, and it is my fond hope – as an Israeli and a Jew – that the world will finally wake up and punish Israel in a way it has never been punished before.

      Someone has to wake the Israelis up from their biblical fantasies and show them what they have become – citizens of a bona fide pariah.

      Truer now more than ever: Zionism = Racism

      Reply to Comment
      • CigarButNoNice

        “as an Israeli and a Jew”

        Traitor to your brothers and sisters, useful idiot to the Islamofascistic Arab imperialists who want to finish Hitler’s work. Vile, cowardly kapo.

        The Sages added a 19th request to the Prayer of Eighteen because of the likes of you. May HaShem bring you back to your senses. All will be forgiven then, but not before.

        Reply to Comment
        • Danny

          With brothers and sisters such as yourself, it’s better to be an only child.

          Reply to Comment
          • Philos

            Zing! Well done Danny. I hope to publish one day a book on how it came to pass that our country came to attract the most deranged racist fascists from all across the English speaking world

            Reply to Comment
          • Danny

            Religion is a form of mental illness. It causes otherwise sane people to do insane things and think insane thoughts.

            Unfortunately, our country has embraced religious and nationalistic insanity by choice. Hence its irresistible attraction to all these kooks and loonies.

            It’s time to fight back with some national-equivalent psychotherapy (or failing that, electroshock treatment).

            Reply to Comment
          • JohnW

            Yep. Just be nostalgic for the “good” old times, Danny.

            Me? I’d rather be hated than pitied. Especially pitied posthumously.

            Reply to Comment
        • carl

          CIGARBUT
          your comments are the most (ignorant) and racist on this blog, I hope you are aware of it.

          Reply to Comment
      • Samuel

        “as an Israeli and a Jew”

        So what exactly makes you a Jew, Danny?

        And what exactly makes you Israeli?

        You are not religious (tell me if I am wrong). You don’t identify with Jews Judaism and you certainly don’t identify with Israel or Israelis.

        I have been reading your posts quite a while now Danny. You ooze hatred towards Israel and you identify totally with Israel’s enemies. Now, the word HATRED is not too strong. You utterly hate Israel Danny. Why don’t you just come out of the closet and admit it?

        Philos, you too.

        Reply to Comment
        • Average American

          What is “Israel”? What is “The Land of Israel”? What are it’s final borders? Does it include Cyprus? Jordan? Syria? Half of Iraq (to the Euphrates)? The Sinai (to the River of Egypt)?

          Who does The Land of Israel belong to? A people? What people? Only one kind of people? Jews?

          Is the Land of Israel a long-term takeover project?

          Reply to Comment
          • Tzutzik

            Keep on barking doggie.

            Reply to Comment
          • Average American

            You’re dismissing me.

            In your arrogance, you are ignoring the central questions of the entire subject here: the legitimacy and intentions of your country.

            People asked the same kinds of questions when Germany began expanding by force for their pure-blooded people like you’re doing now.

            Chamberlain went over to find out and was lied to.

            Reply to Comment
          • Tzutzik

            Hey Average,

            What else have your Arab masters been teaching you at doggie school?

            Can you beg? Can you play dead?

            Reply to Comment
          • Average American

            Oh you’re speaking to me again! Then answer the questions. Anyone in the world could ask those questions. Many already have. Answer.

            Reply to Comment
          • Tzutzik

            Beg.

            Reply to Comment
    5. ‘Almost 100,000 Bedouin live in the Negev’s unrecognized villages, but while Prawer Plan is set to become state law in a matter of weeks, not one of them knows whether his/her house will be destroyed or village displaced. Even the contractors that are hired to implement the plan must sign a special clause that ensures they maintain absolute secrecy on Prawer’s details; violating this clause is defined in the contract as a “national security offense.”’ : This violates equal protection of due process. One cannot defend against the proposed usurpation of land without knowing if one is included; no documents can be presented, no witnesses gathered, no politics mobilized. Plan hearings must be part of most decisions impacting Jewish life in Israel; so masking those targeted here denies equal protection of due process on racial grounds (or ethnic grounds, if that is better). This violates the Israeli Declaration of Independence.

      ‘As late as 1952, after the Bedouin population in the western part of the Negev had already been deported to the east (where they currently reside), an Israeli government committee determined that, in practice, the British government recognized Bedouin land claims; based on this recognition, some Jewish organizations even paid for the lands which they sought to settle. However, the lands were not registered by the State of Israel, and as a result, Israeli courts continued rejecting Bedouin claims throughout the years…’ : Nonetheless, this constitutes evidence that the State recognized a kind of common law title early on, which can be argued to limit its present ability to declare this land State land. That the British in practice similarly recognized the claims strengthens a common law stance (not direct British common law, but similarly derived from prior use). Absent documents, common law practice would devolve to uninterrupted use, excluding forced interruption by the State.

      Even at best, this would not apply to villages formed in the 70s and thereafter, unless the State forced their formation through its acts. One cannot expect a country where much land become Israeli through the Independence War to recognize an unfettered right of prior use; but one can restrict usurpation based on use post Independence, military/State promise of final residence, and prior State acts recognizing land use. This would go some way to preventing a contemporary Nakba in the land of Israel proper, although some Bedouin would be relocated. But not all, with many shielded by now recognized rights and contractual claims against the State.

      However, given the secrecy of targeted removal, I think the State has voided the Plan itself by denying equal protection of prior established due process.

      A minority cannot expect a majority to honor its rights absent a constitution. The Plan is a failure of constitutional law.

      Reply to Comment
    6. Danny

      Is this the same Doron Almog who can’t set foot in the U.K. for fear of immediate arrest on war crimes charges? How fitting.

      Reply to Comment
      • Average American

        Yes. His real name is Avrotsky, his family is from Poland, not Israel. He changed his name to hide that. He is another foreigner invading by brute force for the use of other foreigners under some sort of fantasy religious justification.

        Reply to Comment
    7. Joel

      The Bedouin are not the noble savages the Left makes them out to be.

      They live in a rigid, hierarchy with Noble (True)Bedouin on top, Fellahin (peasant) Bedouin beneath them and African ex-slaves on the bottom.
      No intermarriage or cohabitation allowed, i.e. Apartheid reigns.

      BTW, it was the landless ‘peasants’ and black slaves who worked the farmland the Noble Bedouin now claim is theirs by right. Those farmlands, were not registered, by held by Bedouin commonlaw and were probably gained by force during the hundreds of years of Bedouin internecine warfare.

      Reply to Comment
      • Philos

        This is an interesting twist of the hasbaraists brain. It’s actually the Bedouin who practice apartheid. Not the government that wants to implement a plan that is secret and didn’t involve a single Bedouin in its formulation. Luckily for Israel nobody in the international press seems to care very much for the time being

        Reply to Comment
      • andrew r

        “No intermarriage or cohabitation allowed, i.e. Apartheid reigns.”

        Keeping outsiders away from your community is not apartheid; what is apartheid would be denying citizenship on a racial basis, as Israel did with all displaced persons not designated “Jewish” (Not only Arabs, also Armenians) after 1948.

        Reply to Comment
        • Joel

          @Andrew

          You can’t believe me so listen to what the ex-slave, Afro Bedouins have to say about the Bedouin apartheid system.

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RtGDAMNr4_U

          Reply to Comment
          • Average American

            Is this the same kind of hierarchy that I’m reading about Israeli culture, where Ashkenazi are at the top (and act like it), Sephardic under that, a few more layers, Arabs at the bottom?

            Reply to Comment
          • Joel

            @Americn

            Go fuck a goat, you Jew-baiting clown.

            Reply to Comment
          • Average American

            My question about social hierarchy was an honest one. But if you want to play hard, I can too.

            If I fuck the goat, does that mean I own the goat? Because under Jewish law, if I do something that acts like I own it (like if I turn the soil in someone’s field, or if I fence off someone’s field, or if I take the water of someone’s field) and no one objects in the proper manner in a rabbinical court, then I own it?

            Reply to Comment
          • Tzutzik

            “If I fuck the goat, does that mean I own the goat?”

            No Average, it means you committed bestiality which is against the law.

            Now wait for the usual suspects around here to accuse me of practicing apartheid against goats, LOL.

            Reply to Comment
          • Philos

            Yes – although it’s a little more nuanced than that. Sabra’s are at the top. They dominate the country. If you’re renting out some decrepit piece of shit flat in Tel Aviv chances are it belongs to an ancient Sabra or one of their offspring. You just have to check out the geneologies of the ruling class. Overwhelmingly Sabra. Underneath them come the Ashkenasim and Holocaust survivors who were blamed by the Zionists for the Holocaust but that’s a part of early Israeli history nobody is allowed to talk about (like the abducted Yemeni children). Under them come, in my view, the Iraqi and Persian middle-class and their descendants. Under them the Russian middle-class. Then come your organized working class sephardim and I am including Shas. Then all the Haradeim followed by the vast Israeli underclass of all kinds of ethnicities but mostly Sephardi and new Russian. Then you have your Druze. Then your Palestinian Israelis. And at the bottom of the heap; the Ethiopians.

            Reply to Comment
          • Average American

            Thank you Philos for your honest and straightforward answer. Interesting information.

            Reply to Comment
          • Tzutzik

            Hey Average,

            Kiss Philos’s ass. But be careful, he claims to be Joooooish too and he hates American Jooooooos too.

            Reply to Comment
          • JohnW

            Hey Philos

            ALL Ashkenazim are bad. All Mizrahim are poor victims of the Ashkenazim and they are all good, right? And you too are a poor Mizrahi who is a victim of the Ashkenazim. That is why you are so bitter and twisted right?

            Some people live in a simplistic world of white hats and black hats. And they are the ones who blame everyone else for their OWN incompetence and tend to be racists.

            You are a racist Philos!!!!

            Reply to Comment
          • Tzutzik

            “If I fuck the goat, does that mean I own the goat?”

            No, Average, if you fuck the goat, then you commit bestiality which is against the law, you hillbilly, LOL.

            Reply to Comment
          • Philos

            All Ashkenazim are bad and all Mizrachim are good isn’t a philosophy I subscribe to. That the people who have hegemony in the State of Israel are all Ashkenazim (although overwhelmingly Sabra in origin) and have tried their hardest to keep everyone else out, I think, is a fact that most Israelis would agree with. Although with the new wave of bourgeois American Jews waving their foreign currency we may have to include another strata in the dominate hegemony. I might be parochial but I think the country is effectively being taken over by the Jewish bourgeois of North American and Europe, and not the liberal sort; more like the right-wing fascist type. Ironic that Israelis will suffer a kind of colonial subjugation by people who only have mutilated genitalia in common.

            Reply to Comment
          • JohnW

            “All Ashkenazim are bad and all Mizrachim are good isn’t a philosophy I subscribe to”

            Talking about cognitive dissonance. Read what you say in your own words. Just because you then deny it when called on it … It does not mean anything. You are more racist than I am. And full of hypocrisy too.

            Reply to Comment
          • JohnW

            You know the difference between you and me Philos? Yes, I am tribal. I want what is best for our people. But I don’t stereotype people. Nor do I hate anyone. In fact I recognize that other groups of people are tribal too and they have the right to want what is good for THEIR people.

            You on the other hand Philos, stereotype people to the n-th degree. You talk about Sabras, Ashkenazi, Russians, Sephardim …

            To me, the sub division goes as far as Arabs and Jews. As it does to most Arabs and Jews. If that is racist, then the whole world is racist. And maybe it IS. But you? You are an ultra racist Philos!

            Reply to Comment
          • Philos

            JohnW, you seem to have a hard time understanding what stereotyping means. A stereotype would be, for example, all people called John are Christian. Or, all white Americans are rich. That’s a stereotype. A statement like, 99% of all American billionaires are white, is not a stereotype. Nor is stating that African-Americans are disproportionately incarcerated in prison than white Americans for similar offences. Do you see the difference?

            So the statement that Sabra’s dominate Israeli society in all spheres isn’t a stereotype. I’m not making a claim that there is something intrinsic to their personality. I’m saying they created a state that solidified and defends their position of hegemony. A bit like Afrikaners did once South Africa freed itself of British rule. That isn’t a stereotype then do some research on the genealogy of Shari Arison or Amos Schocken.

            And, no, I am not the only one in Israel that cares about Mizrachiness or preserving Jewish heterogeneity. Indeed, it seems Ashkenazi Jewish Home zealots are the ones that want to abolish the Sephardi Chief Rabbi and perpetuate the sad spectacle of Moroccans (and lately Ethiopians) wearing traditional Lithuanian Jewish dress. You can call me a racist all you want but that doesn’t detract from the fact that you’re a privileged, Ashkenazi, white, man from the dominant class who also happens to be a bit of a jackass. Here’s a link to Haokets where you can read a bit more about Mizrachiness and perhaps endeavour to be less insulting to people who take pride in their “Oriental” origins

            http://eng.haokets.org/category/mizrahiness/

            Reply to Comment
          • JohnW

            ” I’m saying they created a state that solidified and defends their position of hegemony.”

            Are you listening to yourself, Philos? Pure cognitive dissonance. You don’t believe in stereotypes? Then tell me: who are “THEY”?

            Reply to Comment
          • JohnW

            See Philos? That is the difference between YOU and ME. I believe in US, Israelis. Yes, even Arab Israelis, so long as they don’t act like traitors to the idea of Israel. If they DO, then they become “THEY” to me too.

            As for the rest of Israelis, yes, there are more successful Ashkenazim in Israel than successful Mizrahim/Sephardim. BUT, not all Ashkenaszim are successful and not all Mizrahim/Sephardim are failures. There are MANY very, highly successful Mizrahi/Sephardi Jews in Israel. And there are many Ashkenazi failures too.

            You see, Philos? To me it is not a balancing exercise. It isn’t a ledger book in which there must be exactly equal numbers of successes and failures in each group. And if there isn’t then it is because of “Protekzia” and cronyism. No, it is much more complicated than that. I could not even begin to discuss the multiple factors which can contribute to some inequality in any society. Let alone a complicated society like Israel which has so many migrants from so many different places. It is one of the most diverse societies on earth. And considering that, one can only be surprised how successful a melting pot it has become. Just look at the rate of intermarriage between the various groups.

            Anyway, I stop here. I know I won’t ever convince you Philos. You are a lost cause. You are driven by an ideology of hatred ( and envy) towards the “OTHER”. It is as old as human beings. But some of us have grown up. You, haven’t Philos. Wallow in your hatred! But pretend that we are the racists and you are not.

            Reply to Comment
          • Joel

            @Philos

            Ahh…So what you are essentially saying is that the Jews who’ve been in the country the longest are the most successful.

            That’s not so unusual,is it?

            Reply to Comment
          • Philos

            @ Joel, that would not be a remarkable observation if Israel was founded on some kind of capitalist immigrant ethos like Canada or Australia but given that Israel was founded supposedly as a socialist paradigm of Jewish equality it is a glaring failure of Labour Zionism that one’s socio-economic status is not only tied to the colour of your skin but also when your parents or grandparents immigrated to Israel.

            “The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which.” – G. Orwell, Animal Farm

            Reply to Comment
    8. עיניים לראותEYES2C

      The Land in the Naqeb (Negev) was not registered, (except in Bir-a-Saba, or Beer Sheva). The British registered it a “Belonging to the King” but added that it was to be used COLLECTIVELY by the Local Inhabitants. (Land set aside as METRUKEH (=common) for the benefit of the inhabitants).
      After Israel was established, it regarded the land as “State Land”, and omitted the clause giving rights to the locals from its law books.

      Reply to Comment
    9. Joel

      @Noam

      “A document from 1920, prepared by the Zionist organization Hachsharat Hayishuv, shows that 2.6 million dunams (642,000 acres) of land around Be’er Sheva were already owned..”

      Owned, as in one tribe slaughtered another tribe, and got a piece of paper from the Turks conferring title on a Sheik?

      Rough justice, my friend. Rough justice.

      Reply to Comment
      • Richard Lightbown

        Interesting link you gave to ‘Anthropoligical Research’ Joel. Did you happen to read it yourself? Like p261 where it says “In the 19th century (and earlier) the whole of the Negev was divided between various Bedouin groups.”

        On the same page, about the Ahaywat tribe “The tribe had a territory with well-defined (though not always undisputed) boundaries, and any negotiations or litigation about these boundaries would be carried on between the sheikh of the Ahaywat and the sheikh of whatever neighboring tribe was involved.” (i.e. Nothing there about the inter-Arab Nakba that you harp on about.)

        Reply to Comment
        • Joel

          @Richard

          Yeah. By the 1970′s the tribes had already stopped slaughtering each other.

          Reply to Comment
          • andrew r

            Yeah, Israel stopped that uncivilized slaughter over land by… slaughtering over land. :roll

            Reply to Comment
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