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
Israeli coalition leader Yariv Levin predicted that the cabinet will likely throw out the current version of the Prawer Plan, hours after former minister and co-architect of the plan Benny Begin clarified that he never said Bedouin supported the plan, as some Knesset members originally perceived. “I wish to again make clear that contrary to what has been claimed in recent weeks, I didn’t tell anyone that the Bedouin agreed to my plan,” Begin was quoted as saying in Israeli media. “I couldn’t say that because I didn’t show them the plan. I didn’t present the bill that I revised to…Read More... | 8 Comments
Former minister Benny Begin, who helped draft the Prawer Plan, denies saying Israel's Bedouin support the plan: How could they if they never even saw it? (Click the map to enlarge.) Until now, nobody knew the extent of the Prawer-Begin Plan. No government official or statement has detailed how many Bedouin citizens will be displaced, how many unrecognized villages razed and how much land will be expropriated by the state. MK Dov Khenin (Hadash) on Monday published a copy of a map distributed to members of the Knesset Interior Affairs Committee. The map was prepared by the Prime Minister’s Office…Read More... | 10 Comments
The latest revision to the Prawer Plan, which will eventually displace tens of thousands of Arab Bedouin from their ancestral land in the Negev (Naqab), in some ways improves its tone toward the Bedouin. But the Arab Bedouin community has resolutely rejected the Prawer Plan, and Benny Begin's latest report reminds us succinctly that the law was never intended to be a friend to the oppressed. By Nadia Ben-Youssef On the day after the Israeli elections, outgoing MK Benny Begin finished writing his recommended revisions to the Prawer Plan. The Minister without portfolio had been charged with responding to public grievances about the government-approved…Read More... | 12 Comments
What does the appointment of Home Front Defense Minister Matan Vilna’i to ambassador of China really mean? Why is Yair Lapid whining? Which is the most interesting political teaming-up so far? What is one of the main goals of the war on Iran campaign? And what do we know of Netanyahu’s crime solving abilities? Ni Hao Home Front Defense Minister Matan Vilna’i resigned from his post today so that the cabinet could approve his appointment to be ambassador to China. Thanks to a few Facebook friends*, I compiled a short list of questions that some of us had due to…Read More... | 6 Comments
As Izzie watches events unfold in Cairo, it begins to dawn on her just how precarious this new situation is Bzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz! Ruth: Yes, Ms. HolyLand? Izzie: Ruth, get me all seven kitchen cabinet ministers in here. Pronto! Ruth: Yes, Ms. HolyLand, right away. In walk Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Ehud Barak, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, Minister of Strategic Affairs Moshe (Bogie) Ya’alon, Interior Minister Eli Yishai, Intelligence Minister Dan Meridor and Minister of Nothing Benny Begin. Izzie: I want to thank you all for coming on such short notice. But I’d like to talk to you about something…Read More... | 2 Comments
Some members of the hard right have harshly criticized the Knesset inquiry into human rights NGOs. They seem to believe that Israel can continue to rule the Palestinians while respecting their rights. This contradiction is enabled through sophisticated mechanisms of privatization, which may be a greater danger for Israel than fascism Benny Begin, the son of late Likud Prime Minister Menachem Begin, is a minister without portfolio in Netanyahu's government. He is a member in good standing of Israel's hard right, and has spent the last two decades strongly opposing any concession to the Palestinians. Remarkably, he is also one of the…Read More...
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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