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Netanyahu's silence on Trump and anti-Semitism

Netanyahu built his career on the idea that only he can protect the Jewish people. Yet his silence in the face of Trump’s disregard for rising American anti-Semitism speaks volumes. 

One year ago, former president Barack Obama delivered a speech on International Holocaust Remembrance Day in which he declared, “We are all Jews.” This is a far cry from the statement issued by the Trump Administration last week, which made no mention of Jews or anti-Semitism at all. White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus has since said that he does not regret the omission, but that “obviously” all of the Jewish people were “affected in the miserable genocide.” Apparently so obvious it does not warrant mention. White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer went on to call the widespread backlash from both Jewish groups and Democrats as “pathetic” and added that “the president went out of his way to recognize the Holocaust.”

It is hard to say whether the omission was a deliberate calculation that, as Virginia Senator Tim Kaine and others have already deemed, “soft-core Holocaust denial,” or simply an incredibly insensitive and disingenuous oversight. But what I can say is that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s silence on the matter is resounding. The Israeli leader who never misses an opportunity to invoke the Holocaust, anti-Semitism, or the threat of the elimination of the Jewish state has remained utterly silent on this matter.

This is the same prime minister who never missed an opportunity to criticize or outright undermine Obama. Yet in this case he seems to be going out of his way to avoid any criticism of Trump. When asked for comment, Netanyahu spokesperson David Keyes told me, “I don’t have anything on that.” Netanyahu’s silence is even more deafening considering that staunchly conservative, pro-Trump, pro-Israel hawkish groups like The Republican Jewish Coalition, and the Zionist Organization of America broke ranks and criticized the White House statement.

At Yad Vashem on International Holocaust Remembrance Day, Netanyahu implored: “Any person of conscience should speak out about resurgence of same attitude that decades ago openly said we are out to destroy Jewish people…. As prime minister of Israel I will not be silent, I have not been silent.” He only mentioned Europe and “the East.” When it comes to growing anti-Jewish rhetoric in the U.S., he has been deafeningly silent.

Where was he in the last few weeks as 48 Jewish institutions across the U.S. faced bomb threats? Why did...

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Compare and contrast: Israel's evacuation of Jews vs. Arabs

Can you spot the difference?

Compare and contrast: When Israel Police came to evacuate the Bedouin village Umm el-Hiran, they arrived at dawn and were armed withM16 assault rifles and black sponge-tipped bullets, the latter they still refuse to admit they used. They also shot several people with sponge-tipped bullets who the police claim were throwing stones.

And this is how Israeli police officers arrived on Wednesday to evacuate the illegal outpost Amona, whose residents are on occupied land, in violation of both international and Israeli law. No helmets, no riot gear, no guns. Just blue sweatshirts in the middle of the day. There were reports of a few senior officers on the scene who were armed. Despite reports and images of some settlers throwing stones, no shots were fired as of time of this report.

Umm el-Hiran is one of dozens of so-called “unrecognized villages” in Israel’s Negev Desert, in which approximately 100,000 Bedouin citizens of Israel live without electricity, water, and other basic services the state has refused to provide. For more background on the village, click here.

Amona, an illegal settlement outpost first built in the 1990 on Palestinian land belonging to the villages of Silwad, Ein Yabrud and Taybe – and partly demolished in 2006 – is one of about 100 outposts considered illegal even by Israeli law — although tolerated and sustained by Israeli authorities nonetheless. Israel’s Supreme Court ordered its evacuation because it is built on private Palestinian land, and several demolitions orders have been issued against it in the past. For more background on Amona, click here.

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Israel Police backtrack over injury to Palestinian MK

When MK Ayman Odeh received a head wound during clashes in Umm el-Hiran a fortnight ago, witnesses contradicted the police claim that he had been hit by stones. A new forensic report throws the official narrative further into doubt — and police spokespeople are now denying their original statements.

When the news came out that MK Ayman Odeh was injured during “clashes” in Umm el-Hiran two weeks ago, shortly after Yaqub Musa Abu Qi’an and police officer Erez Levy were killed, almost all Israeli media outlets reported the police claim that Odeh had been wounded by stones, while noting that Odeh himself claimed he was hit by sponge-tipped bullets. No one seemed to care about the very serious allegation that a Knesset member was shot in the face by police for no reason and no one seemed interested in getting to the bottom of it.

As I reported then, Odeh filed a police investigation report and underwent a forensic exam. The findings of the medical examination by the National Center for Forensic Medicine (part of the Israeli Ministry of Health) published Monday, while not conclusive, show that the injury “can be consistent with a bullet wound — in other words an abrasion from a sponge bullet, as the patient claims.” The report does not conclude what caused the injuries to Odeh’s head and back, but does throw into further doubt the police’s version and exposes the police and government’s account to be fraught with lies.

With the release of the report Monday, police spokesperson Luba Samri chose to put out a statement which claimed that due to the general investigation into the car ramming attack, the police could not respond to any information about the incident, but then added, “at no point did the Israel Police specify the circumstances of MK Ayman Odeh’s injury.”

This is a lie. I spoke to police spokesperson Micky Rosenfeld on January 19 and asked him directly for his comment on Odeh’s injury, including specifically what caused it and whether he was aware of the fact that people at the scene and MK Odeh himself claimed he had been shot with a sponge-tipped bullet. As I reported already, Rosenfeld told me outright, “it was stones,” adding that the precise details of his injury would be investigated.

This is the same version of events that all Israeli journalists reported in the media and several claim they were briefed as such off the record by police....

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PHOTOS: Hundreds protest Trump in Tel Aviv Women's March

Hundreds of women and men march to protest the inauguration of Donald Trump outside the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv.

Around 400 people, mostly dual American-Israeli citizens, gathered in front of the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv on Saturday night, in solidarity with the Women’s March taking place in Washington D.C. following the inauguration of Donald Trump. The Tel Aviv march was one of dozens that took place across the world in solidarity with the march on the U.S. capital, where protestors rallied around issues such as women’s rights, reproductive rights, anti-racism and immigration.

The march was organized by the local Israeli chapter of Pantsuit Nation, a Facebook group that was used to rally support for Hillary Clinton during the election campaign, as well with Jewish activist groups All That’s Left and If Not Now.

The speakers and marchers chanted not only for women’s rights, but also LGBT, Palestinian, refugee, immigrant and minority rights, as well as against anti-Semitism and Islamophobia.

One speaker, All That’s Left activist Liya Rechtman, wearing a hat that read “Make America Gay Again,” told the crowd she had grown up in a Jewish home in the U.S., which meant she came from an activist home. “To be a Jew is to demand justice — to be a Jew is to resist Trump,” she said.

If Not Now activist Simone Zimmerman also spoke, asking the crowd why Trump and Netanyahu didn’t speak out after dozens of Jewish institutions across the U.S. received bomb threats over the past few weeks.

“It is more clear than ever that we need a Jewish resistance that can say that our leaders failed us when they incite hatred and fear. We insist that we deserve a better world, and we will resist with everything we have to win it,” Zimmerman told the crowd.

Some members of the crowd chanted against the occupation and called to boycott David Friedman (Trump’s pick for ambassador to Israel). Another speaker, All That’s Left activist Erez Bleicher, mentioned solidarity with the women of Umm al-Hiran and Al-Araqib, two Bedouin villages in Israel that continue to face state violence and home demolitions.

Democrats Abroad, the official Democratic Party arm for Americans living outside the United States, were conspicuously missing from the protest. Several protesters said their leadership had decided to hold a small meeting at home, as they are still in mourning.

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Palestinian MK injured ahead of home demolitions: 'The police are liars'

Although all evidence points to wounds from sponge-tipped bullets, police claim Joint List head Ayman Odeh was hit by stones thrown by Bedouin protesters in Umm el-Hiran. If the police are proven wrong, it means they shot the leader of the third-largest party in Israel in the face without any justification. 

UPDATE: This post was updated with a photo of Ayman Odeh’s back showing his injury to be consistent with that of a wound from a sponge-tipped bullet, and that he is filing a complaint with the Department of Internal Police Investigations.

The debate continues to rage over the killing of an Israeli police officer and a Bedouin man in Umm el-Hiran on Wednesday, when Israeli forces turned up to begin demolishing the Bedouin village in order for it to be replaced with a Jewish town. Police and much of the media have the incident down as a car-ramming attack, while residents and eyewitnesses say that police opened fire at the car before it sped up and hit officers — a version that appears to be supported by police aerial footage. But another contested event, involving the injuring of Joint List head and Knesset member Ayman Odeh, flew largely under the radar.

Police claim that Odeh was hit by rocks thrown by the Bedouin residents he was with, and police spokesperson Micky Rosenfeld insisted to +972 that Odeh’s injuries were caused by stones. Yet Odeh and the people who were beside him all say he was shot by black sponge-tipped bullets. A report in the Ma’ariv newspaper on Thursday morning cited police as saying that Odeh’s injuries could not have been caused by these projectiles as they aren’t in possession of such weapons. But police use of black-sponged tipped bullets against Palestinian youth is widely documented — particularly in East Jerusalem, where they have resulted in at least one death. On the other hand, the injuries Odeh suffered were relatively minor, which is unusual for this kind of bullet, but it also depends on the exact distance and angle it was shot from, which is unclear.


There were no firsthand reports of any rocks being thrown when Odeh was allegedly attacked by police, and none of the injuries at the scene were reported as having been caused by stones. You can hear bullets being fired in the video shot by Activestills that was broadcast all over the Israeli media. There are photos of Odeh holding the bullet that he says hit him and...

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New Israeli campaign pushes racism in guise of two-state solution

Former top generals and commanders in Israel have launched a new campaign that pushes for unilateral separation from Palestinians. But their messaging reminds us just how racist the notion of a Palestinian ‘demographic threat’ really is.

A new campaign in Israel by a group of former top military and security officials warns that Palestinians will soon be the majority in the country. It is billed as a centrist, pragmatist approach to enhance Israel’s security in lieu of a peace process, which it may be — but it is also blatantly racist.

Launched Sunday to coincide with the Paris Peace summit that Netanyahu is boycotting, the campaign by the group, “Commanders for Israel’s Security,” (CIS) features signs in Arabic across the country that read “We will soon be the majority.” At the bottom it says to call a number for Hebrew, where you can hear the group’s founder, retired IDF major general Amon Reshef telling you: “Are you sick of these Palestinian billboards? We are too. But they will disappear in a matter of days. What will not disappear are the millions of Palestinians who live in the West Bank. They want to be a majority. And we are supposed to annex them? If we don’t separate from them we will be less Jewish and less secure. We must separate from Palestinians now!”

This is an anti-annexation campaign, meant to counter the right-wing elements in the government pushing to annex the West Bank and legalize the unequal one-state reality we currently live in. The CIS is made up of former top IDF generals, Shin Bet, Mossad and police chiefs. Out of the 248 members, I believe there are two women.

Their vision, as presented on their website, is to push a “security first” plan which advocates Israel unilaterally separate from Palestinians east of the separation barrier (deep into the West Bank, beyond the internationally-recognized pre-1967 borders), continue to have military control over the entire West Bank and keep the two-state solution in mind as a distant but ideal principle.

The campaign strategy is apparently to be provocative by using Arabic so as to wake Israelis from their apathy. But it’s not provocative, it’s just inhumane. It describes an entire people — people who are native to this land — as an existential threat, simply for living. It dehumanizes the entire Palestinian population that has been  living under military rule for half a century, portraying them...

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We feel you, America — it's lonely at the bottom

With the election of Donald Trump, a lot of progressive Americans must now be feeling what we here in the Israeli left have felt for a long time — outnumbered, unwanted, frustrated, and alone.

For a while now, I’ve been writing about how lonely it is to be a leftist in Israel, to be part of the minority that opposes the occupation and 50 years of discrimination and human rights violations, a minority that insists on challenging fundamental aspects of this government’s policies and this society’s values. About how it has become increasingly dangerous and radical simply to speak one’s mind, as the notions of equal rights and human rights have become derogatory terms, and as open criticism and dissent is explicitly silenced. How scary and frustrating it is to see the values and issues I believe in consistently voted down and publicly delegitimized.

With the election of Donald Trump as president, a lot of progressive Americans must be feeling what we here in the Israeli Left have felt for a long time: outnumbered, unwanted, frustrated, and alone.

What the success of Netanyahu — who was elected first in 1996 on the back of the Rabin murder and a campaign of incitement against the Left, and to his fourth term in 2015 again on the back of incitement against Palestinians citizens — and the success of Trump – who incites against or insults just about everyone – prove is that democracy is not a bulwark against inequality, racism, violence, oppression, and sexism. On the contrary, it is all too easy for people to democratically elect to do horrible things.

Israel has done this for quite some time. It may still try and market itself as a genuinely peace-seeking country, but today it is clearer than ever before that it is not. That veil has come off. De jure has caught up with de facto. Israelis have consistently “democratically” chosen  to keep Palestinians under occupation with no rights . And as Breaking the Silence director Yuli Novak succinctly put it this week, “don’t be confused. Occupation is the consensus [in Israel] … We are, proudly, outside the consensus.”

All those who were horrified by a Trump presidency, who didn’t believe it would happen — you, too, are now outside the consensus. This is a wake-up call.

With the election of Trump, the U.S., too, has now begun an “unveiling” process that Israel has been...

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Ari Shavit's non-apology

Haaretz columnist Ari Shavit apologizes for sexually assaulting an American journalist. Well, kind of.

Eight days after American journalist Danielle Berrin published allegations of sexual assault against an Israeli journalist who she refused to name, Haaretz columnist and author Ari Shavit identified himself on Thursday and issued an apology “from the bottom of his heart for this misunderstanding.”

Those eight days were filled with speculation that the “dark eyed” and “black haired” author of a highly popular book in the American Jewish community was in fact Shavit. In the Israeli media, there was far more talk about uncovering his identity than about the act itself and its implications. In that sense it is unfortunate that she didn’t name him, especially since her story describes no less than sexual assault — the crime of forcible touching.

In his apology Shavit writes that he “wrongly interpreted the interaction between us” and that until he read her story, he considered it to have been a “friendly encounter” that included “elements of courtship,” and that he did not mean to cause her any discomfort or hurt her feelings.

Berrin’s hints left almost no question it was in fact Shavit, so it makes sense that Haaretz understood Shavit would have to identify himself and issue an apology to try and get ahead of the story. Haaretz has yet to issue any statement* — neither a condemnation of Shavit nor the act itself — and it remains unclear whether it has plans to take any action against him.

Shavit is one the paper’s most prominent columnists, and is especially well known among the American Jewish community, to which he regularly speaks. Israel’s Channel 10, which employs Shavit as a commentator, has said it is deliberating how to respond. Hillel, the North American campus group, already issued a statement last night that it is suspending Shavit’s campus tour.

Asked for comment, Haaretz Editor-in-Chief Aluf Benn told +972 he has no comment at this time, and will update if there is. My sense is that they are still deliberating what to say, and whether this will blow over and they will only have to issue a formal condemnation — without actually suspending or firing Shavit. But the clock is ticking. Meanwhile...

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Opposing the occupation means being anti-Israel, to Netanyahu

The Israeli right has worked very hard to erase any distinction between Israel and the occupation — between Ariel and Acre, Hebron and Haifa. Ironically, this is the same thing he accuses Palestinians of trying to do.

Since B’Tselem director Hagai El-Ad spoke at the UN Security Council a week ago calling for an end to Israel’s half-century old occupation, the organization has been subject to vicious attacks and delegitimization, including by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. El-Ad’s very citizenship has been threatened by a senior member of Netanyahu’s Likud party, and thousands of Israelis have incited against him, including death threats. None of this incitement has been condemned by anyone in Israel’s ruling coalition.

Anticipating much of the backlash, El-Ad went on record throughout the Israeli press just 24 hours after his appearance in New York to clarify why he went to the UN: “I didn’t speak against my country, but against the occupation.” On the face of it, such a distinction seems fairly simple. The director of Israel’s largest human rights organization is lobbying for his country to stop policies that violate human rights, to stop exerting systemic violence against a people with no rights; in short, to stop holding the Palestinian people under military occupation.

To the establishment, that makes him subversive, unpatriotic, and anti-Israel. Contrarily, being pro-occupation and pro-settlements is indisputably pro-Israel as far as many Israelis and politicians are concerned. No one questions, for example, the patriotism of those – both in Israeli government and civil society — pushing to retroactively authorize settlement outposts built on private Palestinian land that even the government says are illegal. Nobody questions the patriotism of those who want to illegally annex the West Bank without the consent of the Palestinians who live there.

The message being propagated by Netanyahu and his government, and unchallenged by the majority of Israelis, is clear: fighting to end occupation and fighting for Palestinian human rights is not only slandering the country, it’s tantamount to treason — as far as they are concerned speaking out against occupation is the same as speaking out against Israel. This type of tactic works well to deflect criticism and silence dissent by delegitimizing the critic. Applied long enough and to enough people, such tactics set a precedent for seriously curtailing free speech and political dissent; it is no wonder the U.S. came out in defense of...

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The crisis of Israel's anti-occupation Left

Israelis emigrating — or considering emigration — for political reasons are inadvertently adopting the spirit of the boycott movement in the sense that they, too, have given up on the idea of change coming from within.

Everywhere I turn these days, many of my peers have left Israel, are leaving Israel, are planning to leave, or are talking about leaving Israel. My family and I included.

The reasons for leaving are always personal, and it’s hard to point to a specific political trend. But the discourse around leaving is indicative of a real crisis in the Israeli Left regarding the inability to effect change, the increasing sense that our ideals are unwanted, and that we are outnumbered. Not just at the polls, but at the family dinner table, too.

For me, this is not just about the normalization of racism and violence in the public sphere that goes along with the occupation. It is about the fact that so many Israelis who identify as liberal or left wing are either ignorant of the state’s actions vis-à-vis the Palestinians, or they are complicit in them.

When I first witnessed Israeli human rights violations and the violence of military occupation nearly a decade ago — through my activism with direct-action Arab-Jewish cooperative Ta’ayush — I found my most fundamental working assumptions about Israel upended.

Those experiences shaped my politics, almost instantaneously setting me apart from most Jewish Israelis. While other Israelis spent their Saturdays resting at home or going to family gatherings, I was escorting Palestinians to their wells and grazing lands in hopes that our — Israeli activists’ — presence might discourage attacks by Israeli settlers and confrontations with soldiers (sometimes it would work, sometimes it wouldn’t).

Returning to the comforts of my life in Tel Aviv I would find myself outraged that people could sit in cafes with no clue about what was being done in their name just a few miles away — or worse, that they didn’t care. That sharp dissonance began to affect more and more aspects of my life, including interactions with friends, family members and colleagues. It began to breed a constant sense of despair and resentment.

That was 10 years ago.

Likewise, it has been five years since the “tent protests,” when hundreds of thousands of — mostly Jewish — Israelis took to the streets to protest the high cost of living, ignoring the disenfranchised Palestinian population in our...

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100k Bedouin Israelis couldn't watch Netanyahu's 'apology' — they don't have electricity

In a video shot in his office, Israel’s prime minister apologizes to the country’s Arab citizens for inciting against them. But a large portion of them couldn’t watch it — they live in ‘unrecognized villages’ that Israel refuses to connect to basic infrastructure like electricity, and the internet.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu published a video addressing the country’s Arab citizens on Monday, in which he apologized for inciting against them — and undermining the most basic of democratic standards — nearly a year and a half ago, on Israeli election day, when he warned that Arab voters were coming to the polls “in droves.” It’s doubtful that it took him the past year and a half to realize the error of his ways.

The timing is more likely related to Netanyahu’s attempts to push through “law and order” conditions he reportedly slapped on an already approved economic support package for Arab municipalities in Israel worth NIS 15 billion (nearly $4 billion). The package is meant to help narrow the yawning economic and social gaps between the Arab and Jewish sectors in Israel.

The fact that Netanyahu chose to put the video out this week is a slap in the face to the Bedouin citizens of Israel who live in the “unrecognized” village of al-Araqib, who have been facing demolitions and arrests while Netanyahu sat in his comfortable chair and recorded a video they couldn’t watch. Israeli authorities demolished the village for the 101st time Wednesday morning, the latest in a back-and-forth of demolition and rebuilding that has been ongoing since 2010. The village will mark six years of its struggle for recognition this Saturday.

Joint List Chairman MK Ayman Odeh published a response to Netanyahu’s video, in which points out that the 100,000 Arab citizens living in “unrecognized” villages like al-Araqib could not view the prime minister’s apology, since the state has never hooked them up to electricity or any other infrastructure — and certainly not internet connectivity.

[Click “CC” in the bottom right of the video if subtitles don’t appear automatically.]

Odeh nonchalantly mentions that Israel’s Arab citizens are natives of this land (mistakenly translated in the subtitles as “sons of the place”). What he means is that they are indigenous peoples, that they have just as much of a right to live here as Jews. This is of utmost importance, since Israel has never recognized this fact. When it comes to Bedouin land rights specifically, at the heart of...

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Year after teen's murder, largest turnout ever at Jerusalem Pride

Massive, unexpected turnout sent a powerful message in the wake of anti-LGBTQ hate speech in recent weeks. Yet the sterile police cordon in which the Pride Parade was forced to take place also served as an eerie reminder of its insecurity.

[Photo gallery follows the text.]

More than 25,000 Israelis turned out to march in Jerusalem’s 15th annual Pride Parade Tuesday evening, the largest turnout ever in the city’s history, coming a year after 16-year-old Shira Banki was stabbed to death in a hate crime targeting the march.

The massive turnout was uplifting and sent a powerful message in the wake of anti-LGBTQ hate speech by prominent rabbis in recent weeks, the refusal of Jerusalem’s mayor to attend the parade, and the cancelation of a smaller pride march in the southern city of Be’er Sheva a week earlier.

The huge number of security forces was impossible to ignore, however. Following the police’s tragic failure the previous year, and in response to alleged threats to attack this year’s parade, police set stringent entry requirements — namely, that all participants had to pass through a single entrance.

Thousands more than anyone expected showed up, leading to long lines at undermanned security checkpoints.

Once on the march route, participants passed by the exact location where Banki was murdered by ultra-Orthodox man Yishai Shlissel, who carried out a similar stabbing attack 10 years earlier and who was accused of attempting to orchestrate a third attack this year from behind bars. Participants placed flowers next to a giant photograph of 16-year-old Banki.

The security was so tight that no counter protesters were within sight, particularly, members of the racist Jewish purity group Lehava, which in the days leading up to the march distributed fliers offering gay conversion therapy. They were apparently cordoned off somewhere far away.

In fact, the streets were totally cleared of anyone but the marchers and policemen. The only passersby were people trying to join the march. It felt bizarre, like we were marching alone, among ourselves. It felt like all of downtown West Jerusalem was on lockdown.

And while the security appeared to dominate the scene, the record turnout brought with it an uplifting and bold declaration that Israel’s queer communities are here to stay.

Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat’s announcement a day earlier that he would not join the march (he never has) because, as he told Yedioth Ahronoth, “I  don’t want to be part of the harm to the ultra-Orthodox public and the Religious-Zionist public,” was the worst possible thing he could have said, suggesting a...

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Police arrest three minors in Bedouin village as expulsion efforts continue

Police arrest three children in ‘unrecognized’ village of Al-Araqib, as the Jewish National Fund continues its forestation project on village land. 

Two children, 12 and 13, were arrested in the unrecognized Bedouin village of al-Araqib in Israel’s south on Monday, as the Jewish National Fund (JNF) entered the village accompanied by police forces to resume cultivating land for a forestation project. Another youth was also arrested Tuesday morning, the circumstances of which are still unclear.

After a long and successful struggle to stop the JNF from cultivating the remaining plots of land that have not been destroyed, authorities returned this week, even establishing a camp southeast of the village’s cemetery.

Two minors were arrested for allegedly disrupting police conduct and assaulting an officer; they were released the following day and ordered to keep away from the plots for 30 days.

The land in question is currently in the process of ownership registration and has yet to be legally resolved. In 2012 an Israeli court ruled that no irreversible changes should be made on these plots of land, which the Bedouin families claim as their own. Despite promises made by JNF chairman Efi Stenzler to halt any work until the issue is cleared legally, tractors began plowing this week.

Al-Araqib has been demolished 100 times since July 2010. It is one of 35 “unrecognized” Bedouin villages in the Negev desert in southern Israel, which means Israel refuses to provide residents with connections to the national water and electricity grids, provide them with health and educational services, or any basic infrastructure.

Despite being citizens of Israel that are supposed to enjoy equal rights, the Israeli government and institutions such as the Israel Land Authority and Jewish National Fund have been waging a slow and methodical war of attrition against Bedouin residents of unrecognized villages in an effort to expel them.

As a result most of al-Araqib’s residents have indeed left to neighboring towns over the past several years. The tactics used by the state against these citizens are similar to those used in Area C of the occupied West Bank, where Palestinian residents have no rights, no representation, and their homes are repeatedly demolished.

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