By Adalah - The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel A new Adalah report documents the parallels between two Palestinian villages, Al-Araqib in Israel and Susiya in the West Bank, which share a single story of struggle against home demolitions and forced displacement. The report sets out the methods of displacement used by Israel to expel Palestinian communities from their land on both sides of the Green Line, and examines the legal context in which it takes place. Read more: PHOTOS: Palestinians commemorate Nakba Day with rallies and protests Remembering the Nakba, understanding this is a shared land…Read More... | 3 Comments
The time has come to allow ourselves to see this country not only as the battleground of a national struggle but as a shared homeland, which with painful concessions and tremendous confidence-building efforts on both sides, we can turn into a good place where our children will want to live. By Ron Gerlitz As Israel’s Jewish citizens celebrated the Passover holiday last month, its Arab citizens commemorated Land Day. Land Day is a commemoration of the death of six Arab demonstrators in 1976 while protesting massive government land expropriations in the Galilee for the purpose of building new Jewish communities.…Read More... | 1 Comment
By ruling that Bedouin citizens of Israel have only the right to 'minimum access' to water rather than 'equal access,' the Israeli Supreme Court established that the rule of law does not apply to Bedouin citizens. The resulting situation is intolerable for a country that claims to be a democracy, but is fitting for a country that defines itself only as a 'Jewish state.' By Sawsan Zaher On February 20, the Israeli Supreme Court dismissed an appeal by residents of the unrecognized Bedouin village of Umm El-Hiran in the Naqab (Negev), demanding minimum access to drinking water. which holds 500 residents.…Read More... | 8 Comments
Jewish settlers have been camped out in an illegal settlement in the Negev (Naqab) forest of Yatir for two and a half years, waiting for the unrecognized Bedouin village of Umm al-Hieran to be razed so they can move in and build an exclusively-Jewish settlement on its ruins. By Nadia Ben-Youssef Deep within Yatir Forest in the Negev (Naqab), on “this side” of the Green Line, there is a temporary settlement where 30 settler families are waiting. Waiting for the promised moment when the Bedouin village of Umm al-Hieran is destroyed; waiting for its roughly 500 residents to be forcibly displaced; and…Read More... | 50 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
The Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) has released its annual assessment of the state of human rights in Israel and in the occupied Palestinian Territories. The 2012 report includes chapters on house demolitions in Palestinian and Bedouin villages, the occupation of the West Bank and the regime of discrimination, the persecution of asylum seekers, the lack of affordable housing, and the privatization of the police and the judiciary. Established in 1972, ACRI is Israel’s oldest and largest human rights organization and the only one dealing with the entire spectrum of rights and civil liberties issues in Israel and the Occupied Territories. Read more about…Read More... | 2 Comments
Although the tent protests of 2011 succeeded in changing the public discourse about housing, the country's policies regarding availability, affordability, and recognition of Bedouin villages in the Negev have not changed. By Gil Gan Mor Last month, the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) published its annual report on the state of human rights in Israel and the Occupied Territories. The document reviews the events of the past year by focusing on the how the government's policies have affected peoples' civil, political, and economic rights. The summer of 2011 will be remembered in Israel for the massive social protests that…Read More... | 2 Comments
In its refusal to make compromises on zoning restrictions for an unrecognized Bedouin village in the Galilee, Israel demonstrates that its preferred demographic balance is higher on the list of state priorities than the protection of the welfare of its citizens. By Paul Karolyi In the early 1950s, a Bedouin Arab named Atif Mohammad Sawa’ed (Abu Walid) bought a parcel of land from the Shafa ‘Amr municipality, 25 kilometers east of Haifa, hoping to build a home for his new wife and his family. The land he bought in Umm al-Sahali lies on a hilltop, no more than two kilometers…Read More... | 1 Comment
There is a proven road to security for the people of the Negev: a total end to Israeli rule over the people who are shooting at them. Here is my suggestion for how Israel can bring peace and quiet to the people living within rocket range of Gaza: lift the blockade of the Strip entirely (they get all the weaponry and fighters they want through the tunnels anyway); announce that in one year Israel will have no military or governmental presence whatsoever beyond the security barrier ("the wall") in the West Bank (the settlers will then leave of their…Read More... | 33 Comments
With all eyes on Gaza, Israeli police forces shoot tear gas into an elementary school. Twenty-nine children were hospitalized and 19 people were arrested after police attempted to place eviction notices on several buildings in the Bir Hadaj village in the Negev. Sometimes all a schoolteacher can do is hold up his cellphone and film children fleeing the playground, or being carried off by other teachers. Sleman Abu Laqia, of the village Bir Hadaj in southern Israel, found himself in this situation Monday morning. The schoolyard was supposed to serve as a safe zone for the children, while police stormed…Read More... | 1 Comment
Photos by: Oren Ziv, Yotam Ronen, and Keren Manor/Activestills.org Al-Araqib is one of the 45 “unrecognized” Bedouin villages in the Negev desert of southern Israel. Since July 27, 2010, the village has been demolished 39 times. Despite daily harassment, ongoing house demolitions and the Israeli government's determination to forcefully transfer the Bedouin population out of their historical land, the residents of Al-Araqib continue to struggle. Following the 1948 War, the Bedouin population in the Negev (Naqab) Desert, in southern Israel, was forced to change its way of life. Prior to that time, Bedouins wandered freely in the deserts which are…Read More... | 6 Comments
By Neve Gordon Last year I gave the Israeli artist Amir Nave an old Hebrew copy of Immanuel Kant’s Perpetual Peace, which I teach every so often in my Introduction to Political Theory class. He took the book, flipped through it, ripped out the title page, turned it upside down, signed it and returned it to me. Nave, an Arab Jew of Iraqi descent, didn’t say anything, but the gesture was eloquent enough: we are living in an era of perpetual war, and peace emerges, if at all, in the interregnum. Nave’s children go to the same school as mine. It’s called Hagar,…Read More... | 4 Comments
After having their homes destroyed by the State over 30 times in the last two years, the residents of al-Arakib can do little else but watch as a forest is built on the ruins of their homes. The Jewish National Fund resumed cultivating land Monday morning in al-Arakib, an unrecognized Bedouin village in southern Israel which the quasi-governmental agency has earmarked for a large forestation project. A week ago, the families in the village got word that the JNF would return and asked for activists to come and support them. JNF equipment, escorted by heavy police presence, showed up Monday…Read More... | 9 Comments
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