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
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
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
Menachem 'Meni' Mazuz’s recent appointment to the Supreme Court reveals, yet again, that the borders of the rule of law lie only with those who are considered part of the 'Jewish nation,' not all of Israel’s citizens. By Salah Mohsen The appointment of Menachem “Meni” Mazuz to the Israeli Supreme Court did not raise any debate within the Israeli public. If this was a truly democratic society, which emphasizes the importance of respecting the opinions and status of its national minority, this appointment would never have been made at all. There are many reasons why Meni Mazuz should not have been…Read More... | 14 Comments
The Israeli Supreme Court Wednesday dismissed various petitions against the Admissions Committees Law, which allows admissions committees in hundreds of communities in Israel to reject housing applicants based on their “social suitability.” By Amjad Iraqi March 8, 2000 marked a unique moment in Israeli history. In a major decision, the Supreme Court of Israel ruled that the town of Katzir, which was established on state land by the Jewish Agency, could not deny the right of the Arab Ka’adan family to live in the town simply on the basis that they were not Jewish. This was the first time that Palestinian citizens of Israel…Read More... | 79 Comments
Ever since the beginning of the war, jobs have evaporated in Be'er Sheva. Those who could afford to have left the city. And the worst part? The moment the rockets stop, the journalists and commentators will pack up their things and leave. Then what? By Daniel Beller I can't stand seeing cynical politicians, those with easy access to a microphone or camera, speaking about the "strong home front" in Israel's south. People have been living from siren to siren for more than a month, and earlier this week someone on the radio called for an end to the Home Front…Read More... | 1 Comment
In these frenzied days, I look for routine and find it in the task of translating names. Not that anyone reads all of them, but here's another child, and another, and a last name that gets repeated again and again. And then I realize that a whole family has been wiped out. By Michal Rotem (Translated by Sol Salbe) For several days now I've been translating the names of those killed in Gaza to Hebrew. It was not my idea, and I'm not an expert in literary Arabic, but I volunteered my meager translation skills to help John Brown, because…Read More... | 2 Comments
Like the failed peace process or the policy of severing Gaza from the West Bank, the plight of the Bedouin in Israel is one more long-term problem that there is just no time to solve. Two Israeli sisters, 10 and 13, were wounded yesterday by Hamas rocket fire in the Negev. One of them is in critical condition with stomach wounds and underwent emergency surgery in Be'er Sheva, according to Israeli news. Maram and Atir Wakili are Bedouin; their grandfather Ibrahim, interviewed on Channel 10, explained that they live in far-flung areas where they are unable to hear sirens. And if…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...
The Bedouin village of Al-Arakib has been demolished 63 times since 2010. Now it's dealing with its latest challenge: eviction orders for the deceased. By Michal Rotem (translated by Yehudit Keshet) On May 21, 2014, eight eviction orders were placed on structures in the cemetery of Al-Arakib, a Bedouin village in the Negev that has been demolished over 60 times. The evictions are to take place between June 12 and July 12 – what's known as a “flexible eviction.” However, some of the eviction orders were also issued against people who are no longer living, and are buried in the…Read More...
The court’s ruling that the rights of Alsira's villagers’ take precedence over the state’s agenda for their land, inadvertently implies what should have already been an established fact: the deliberate hostility toward the unrecognized village is simply wrong. By Amjad Iraqi May 1 was a good day for the families of the Arab Bedouin village of Alsira. After eight years of legal proceedings, the Be’er Sheva District Court dismissed the state’s appeal aiming overturn a lower court’s 2011 decision to cancel 51 demolition orders against the village, which is home to 350 Bedouin citizens of Israel. This means that the…Read More...
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