In appointing itself the gatekeeper of historical memory, Israel has shackled the promotion of its own narrative to the suppression of the Palestinian narrative. A few years ago I took part in a class about the Armenian genocide at Toronto University with students from around the world, including several Armenian and Turkish participants. Three of the Armenian students were sitting opposite me during the seminar. Within about 15 minutes of the lecturer beginning to speak, they broke down crying, one by one. Seeing their distress, one of our Turkish classmates, A., also began to weep. It was a stark visual…Read More... | 5 Comments
The Negev comprises two thirds of Israel's territory, but only 10 percent of citizens lives there. It is thus no coincidence that the Jewish settlement of Hiran is being planned directly atop the ruins of the Bedouin village Umm al-Hiran. This is a test for all Israelis, and I really hope we do not fail. By Michal Rotem On January 17, Israel’s Supreme Court judges decided not to hold an additional hearing on the future of the Bedouin villages Atir and Umm al-Hiran. Legally speaking, this means that the court’s May decision, according to which there is no barrier to…Read More... | 9 Comments
The Israeli government approves a plan for five new settlements in the Negev/Naqab. Rights group says the plan, like Israel's overall policy regarding its Bedouin citizens, is discriminatory. The Israeli government on Sunday approved a plan for five new Jewish settlements to be built in the Negev (Naqab) in the south of Israel. The plan, which was submitted by Housing Minister Yoav Galant of Kulanu, threatens to displace thousands of Bedouin from their homes. [tmwinpost] Two of the settlements are due to be built where Bedouin villages already exist, according to the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI). The…Read More... | 36 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
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
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
Following a series of high-profile protests that seemingly ended one iteration of the Prawer Plan, nobody — especially those who would be most affected — knows where the plan to displace tens of thousands of Bedouin Israelis stands today. Social TV visits two unrecognized Bedouin villages in the Negev, Al-Araqib and Alsira, to see how people live under the threat of displacement. Read +972's full coverage of the Prawer Plan to displace Bedouin Read +972's full coverage of the Prawer Plan to displace BedouinRead More...
Sheikh Sayah Aturi returned to his home village of Al Araqib today (Tuesday) for the first time since his arrest on November 20. On that day, Al Araqib was demolished for the 62nd time while most of its residents were busy protesting in Jerusalem outside of the Knesset during committee debates on the Prawer Plan. This plan threatens to displace some 40,000 Bedouin citizens of Israel living in "unrecognized" villages in the Negev. As Haggai Matar reported: Village head Sheikh Sayakh was one of the few residents to stay behind, which led Israeli authorities to arrest him for “trespassing” on “state-owned land”…Read More...
While the Prawer Plan has made international headlines, Israel's Bedouin have suffered from dispossession and discrimination since the state was established. Such is the story of Umm al-Hiran, which will be destroyed so a Jewish town of Hiran can be built in its place. In the unrecognized Bedouin village Umm al-Hiran, 600 people are waiting for the Israeli High Court of Justice to decide their fate. Abed Abu Al-Qia'an is a 49-year-old resident of Umm al-Hiran, which Israel plans to empty and destroy in order to make way for a new Jewish town, Hiran. “The children are panicking. All the…Read More... | 14 Comments
Adalah attorney witnesses the child being beaten inside police car, says the 14-year-old minor is accused of holding - and not throwing - a stone. Protests against the Prawer Plan, especially the central protest in the southern town of Hura, made it to top headlines on all Israel media sites last night, showing mostly the violent end of what began as peaceful protests. What wasn't reported was the violent arrest of a minor, a 14-year-old Bedouin child, who can be seen in the photo below being dragged with a gun pointed at him, and in the video below (released by…Read More... | 10 Comments
As nearly 40,000 Bedouins face displacement from their homes as a result of the Begin-Prawer plan, when propagandists on behalf of the state are circulating lies about the 'Bedouin invasion of national land,' it is important to hear the historical facts from an expert who has been living in the region for many years. Guest-post by Dan Gazit, from Idan Landau’s blog (translated by Ofer Neiman) Dan Gazit, 76 years old, is an archaeologist from Kibbutz Gvulot, who has done a lot to discover and preserve the ancient history of the Bsor region. He regularly writes about his archaeological findings…Read More... | 2 Comments
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