As far as the state was concerned, not only do the indigenous people of the Negev have no right to land, they didn't even have the right to argue in court that they do. The Supreme Court rejects that position. By Michal Rotem For years, the battleground of the Negev Bedouin in Israel has existed on multiple fronts. The legal front, which is mostly hidden from the public, is one of the more important but most difficult fronts. Due to a complex web of laws designed to declare Bedouin land as state land, there have been far more losses than…Read More... | 32 Comments
Arab leaders begin four-day march across Negev to pressure Israeli government to recognize dozens of villages that lack electricity and running water. Photos: Oren Ziv, text: Yael Maron Dozens of members of the Joint List — including chairman Ayman Odeh, Dov Khenin and other future members of Knesset — marched alongside other Arab leaders Thursday on a four-day trip through the Negev/Naqab's unrecognized Bedouin villages. They were joined by representatives of the Arab Higher Monitoring Committee and the Regional Council of Unrecognized Villages. The march is set to end at the President's Residence in Jerusalem on Sunday. Odeh, who opened…Read More... | 3 Comments
While the majority of Jewish Israelis will have no problem voting on election day, some Bedouin will be forced to travel up to 40 kilometers simply to participate in Israel's democracy. By Khalil Alamour and Amjad Iraqi In the run-up to every election day in Israel, polling stations are set up in various locations in every city and town to ensure that residents have easy access to cast their votes. Most towns also have public transportation that takes residents to the stations, or to their original hometowns in other parts of the country where they are registered to vote. This…Read More... | 6 Comments
When Khaled al-Ja’ar called the police to report drug dealers in his neighborhood, he never thought they would kill his son. Now he is turning to Israel’s top court to demand that his son’s killer, who has since been released and put back on the job, be arrested and prosecuted. By Michal Rotem (translated from Hebrew by Ofer Neiman) When Khaled al-Ja’ar alerted the police to drug activity taking place in the Negev city of Rahat, he never imagined the night would end with him being severely beaten, handcuffed and humiliated at a police station, several minutes after watching his…Read More... | 3 Comments
Following the recent killing of two Bedouin men in the southern city of Rahat at the hands of Israeli police — along with years of discrimination in nearly every realm, dispossession and home demolitions — the younger generation of Bedouin are more reluctant to vote in the upcoming elections. Jews and Bedouin met in the Negev town Lakiya to discuss the difficulties currently facing the Bedouin community, and whether or not boycotting the elections will really bring about any significant change. Related: PHOTOS: Bedouin protest deadly police shootings in Israel Negev Bedouin are now demolishing their own homes out of despairRead More... | 9 Comments
The killing of a young Bedouin man from Rahat and the death of another during the funeral have deepened the city's lack of faith in the authorities. Only anti-racism education for police and young people alike can stop the landslide. By Kher Albaz The Or Commission, which investigated the shooting deaths of 13 Arab demonstrators in October 2000, found serious flaws in the Israeli police's actions against Arab citizens. The atmosphere within the Israeli police, then and apparently now, can be summed up by one sentence from the committee’s recommendations: “The police must implemented an approach that views Israeli Arabs…Read More... | 7 Comments
Police shoot and kill a Bedouin man during an arrest raid, later killing another man at his funeral. A general strike is called and protests take place across Israel. Text by Yael Marom and Michael Schaeffer Omer-Man Photos and reporting by Activestills.org Protests took place across Israel on Tuesday following the police shooting death of Bedouin citizen of Israel Sami Ja’ar last week and the death of another man, Sami Ziadna, during clashes that took place at his funeral in the desert city of Rahat. The Arab Higher Monitoring Committee declared a general strike on Tuesday and protests were held…Read More...
Israeli police clash with Bedouin protesters during the funeral of Sami Ja'ar, who was shot by officers last week during a police operation in the southern city of Rahat. Text by Michal Rotem Photos by Oren Ziv/Activestills.org Israeli police shot and killed 43-year-old Sami Ziadna and wounded a 50-year-old man, along with dozens of others Sunday night during clashes that erupted at a funeral in the southern city of Rahat. Police fired live bullets, tear gas and sound grenades during the funeral of Sami Ja'ar, who was shot to death in the early hours of Thursday morning during a police…Read More... | 27 Comments
After losing a lengthy legal battle against the state, residents of the unrecognized Bedouin village Sawa decided that demolishing their own homes is preferable to seeing the authorities do it. By Michal Rotem On Tuesday of last week, the residents of Sawa, an unrecognized Bedouin village in the Negev Desert, used their own money to rent a bulldozer that would destroy seven of their own homes. For hours, one could hear the sounds of pounding hammers and a bulldozer driving back and forth, its blade full of pieces of what moments ago was someone's home. The residents of Sawa decided…Read More... | 13 Comments
Tel Aviv isn't a single bubble, but rather a bubble made up of myriad sexual, political and social identities. But between the sex, drugs and rock n' roll lies a city whose nightlife is also full of homegrown segregation. Part 12 of Yuval Ben-Ami’s journey through the Holy Land’s most popular tourist sites. It was American-Jewish thinker Abraham Joshua Heschel who proposed, in his essay dedicated to the holy Seventh Day, that the Sabbath is "a palace in time." “Judaism," he wrote, "teaches us to be attached to holiness in time, to be attached to sacred events, to learn how to consecrate…Read More... | 1 Comment
An informal 'Public Truth Commission' set out to find exactly what happened to the Negev Bedouin between 1948 and 1960. While Bedouin witnesses told stories of massacres, rape and expulsions, former Israeli soldiers said they were just following orders. By Tom Pessah I identify as straight, so I cannot claim to know how it feels to be in the closet. But I do have friends who identify as LGBTQ, and they have taught me a little about what it is like: to constantly evade the subject is exhausting. If you demand that people hide such central parts of their identities,…Read More... | 24 Comments
Palestinians in Ramallah protest the Assia architectural firm's collaboration with the Israeli Civil Administration in a project to forcibly relocate Bedouin in the West Bank. Israel's Civil Administration, the military government that rules over Palestinians in the West Bank, is pushing forward with a plan to remove thousands of Palestinian Bedouin from lands in the occupied West Bank, including an especially contentious area east of Jerusalem known as 'E1.' The plan calls for the forcible relocation of as many as 12,500 Bedouin to a new town in the Jordan Valley. Activists recently discovered that the latest plan was commissioned to a Palestinian architectural firm called…Read More...
Hundreds of Arab citizens of Israel have been detained in recent weeks, including dozens of minors. Abusive interrogations and preemptive arrests suggest that many of the tactics of occupation have crossed the Green Line. By Hagar Sheizaf (Translated by Ofer Neiman) The murder of Muhammed Abu Khdeir and the military onslaught in Gaza have brought about a wave of protest among Arab citizens of Israel. Reports on that wave should be supplemented by unprecedented data: more than 410 Arab citizens of Israel have been arrested on various grounds related to their participation in demonstrations since July 5, according to data provided…Read More... | 16 Comments
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