As the Bedouin village of Umm al-Hiran prepares to be replaced by a Jewish town with a near-identical name, its residents are offering solutions based on real co-existence. By Ariel Dloomy In July 2007 I witnessed one of the saddest events of my life. Hundreds of security force personnel descended upon the Bedouin village of Umm al-Hiran in order to evict the residents and demolish their homes. The police removed cradles together with the infants while bulldozers razed the homes and uprooted olive trees from the yards. Dozens of Jewish youth hired by the demolition contractor loaded residents’ personal belongings…Read More... | 10 Comments
The impulses that drove the dispossession of the 1948 war are still acted on today, on both sides of the borders it forged. “Did you know I’m afraid of sleeping? … I’m scared of sleeping and waking to find myself in a strange land whose language I can’t speak. I’m scared I won’t wake up.” —Elias Khoury, Gate of the Sun There is an old Palestinian house on Ba’al HaTurim Street in Jaffa that sits quietly behind the trees. It is the kind of building that one could walk past every day and not see. I failed to notice it until…Read More... | 1 Comment
Atir is hardly the first case in which forestation has been used by the Israeli government and the JNF as a method of displacement and land grabbing against Palestinians — on both sides of the Green Line. “Apparently in Israeli democracy, the state is permitted to uproot Arabs from their homes and plant trees in their place.” At first glance, Ali Abu Al-Qi’an’s comment would appear to be a joke or an exaggerated statement – but it is neither. In one sentence, Ali, an Arab Bedouin citizen of Israel, summarized the grim fate of his village of Atir, located in the…Read More... | 4 Comments
Officials from the EU and the UN joined the Palestinian prime minister in the West Bank village of Susya, where 340 Palestinians are at risk of being pushed out of their homes. Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah and the head of every European Union member-state mission to Palestine visited on Sunday the south Hebron Hills village of Susya, which is facing an imminent threat of destruction. [tmwinpost] The diplomatic show followed an Israeli High Court decision not to issue an injunction against the demolition of the village and the transfer of its residents. An appeal on Susya residents’ right to remain on…Read More... | 11 Comments
A recent Supreme Court ruling refusing to recognize Bedouin land rights sets a legal precedent for the state to endlessly appropriate Palestinian lands. Israel's Supreme Court made a significant ruling this week, setting a precedent for the state to approve the expropriation of Palestinian land in future cases, specifically inside Israel. The court rejected a five-year old petition filed by the Al Uqbi family to recognize its ownership over a large plot of land in Israel's Negev/Naqab Desert. The land also includes the unrecognized village Al Arakib, which is still in its own legal battle for recognition from the stae. [tmwinpost] According to Attorney Michael…Read More... | 26 Comments
In 2013, when the government shelved a plan to displace thousands of Bedouin from their villages, we rejoiced. Now, less than two years on, it's back on the table. And so is our struggle. By Huda Abu Obeid The following is what I wrote in December 2013, when then Minister Benny Begin suspended the Prawer Plan, a government-sponsored proposal to displace thousands of Bedouin citizens who live in "unrecognized" villages: [tmwinpost] "Our feeling today is of great relief. It's a victory nobody expected when we, a group of weak and disenfranchised people, faced up to one of the strongest countries in…Read More... | 3 Comments
By upholding the state's explicitly racist plan for Umm el-Hiran, the court shows again that it cares more about Israel's Jewish character than about democracy and justice. One year ago, the unrecognized Bedouin village of Alsira won a major victory when the Be’er Sheva District Court refused to reinstate demolition orders against the entire village. The case set a legal precedent for defending other unrecognized villages threatened by the discriminatory Prawer Plan, which could forcibly displace up to 70,000 Bedouin citizens of Israel living in the Naqab (Negev). That cautious hope was dashed last week, however, when, in a 2-1 ruling,…Read More... | 27 Comments
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
OUR WEEKLY NEWSLETTERSubmit
Full coverage of the BDS movement, international pressure on Israel to end the occupation.
The Beaten Path
Travel writer and tour guide Yuval Ben-Ami deconstructs the Holy Land's tourist trail.
On the challenges facing a growing population of asylum seekers and refugees in Israel.
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