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Negev Bedouin

  • The occupation is a symptom, not source, of Israel's racist system

    It was the state's policies within its 1948 borders that inspired the 1967 occupation, not the other way around. During a Knesset debate in May 2011, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu chastised opposition parties for criticizing his government’s lack of progress in achieving a two-state solution. Referring to Palestinian demonstrations held the day before in commemoration of the Nakba, Netanyahu pointed out that the protests “did not take place on June 5, the day the Six Day War erupted,” but on “May 15, the day the State of Israel was established.” He continued: “This is not a conflict about 1967. This is a…

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  • Police arrest nine during march in unrecognized Bedouin village

    Nine Bedouin and Jewish activists arrested for trying to prevent JNF bulldozers from turning Al-Araqib's land into a forest. Text and photos by Oren Ziv / Activestills.org Israeli authorities arrested nine Bedouin and Jewish activists in the unrecognized village of Al-Araqib Sunday morning as they attempted to block bulldozers from working to turn village land into a Jewish National Fund (JNF) forest. Like every other morning over the past week, JNF tractors began working the land, which has been destroyed by Israeli authorities 100 times over the past six years, in order to plant a forest in its place. The women of…

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  • Nearly 1,000 Bedouin structures demolished in past year

    Over 1,700 structures were self-demolished by their owners over the past three years following pressure by police and state inspectors. Around half the demolitions were carried out in recognized Bedouin villages. Israel demolished 1,041 Bedouin structures in the Negev between 2013 and 2015, with a further 1,711 structures being destroyed by their owners after receiving demolition orders, according to a new report by the Negev Coexistence Forum for Civil Equality (NCF). In 2015 alone, nearly 1,000 structures were demolished in the Negev — 365 by the Israeli authorities, and 617 by the homeowners themselves. [tmwinpost] The waves of demolitions have displaced thousands of…

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  • The tragic resilience of Israel’s unrecognized Arab villages

    Abu Saleh, a 73-year-old farmer, speaks with a raspy but strong voice as he points to his crops. “Everything you see around you is food grown from my own land. These carrots, this zucchini, these olives…they are all part of my survival.” He lifts his head, his voice starting to shake with anger. “Now they want to tear down my home and remove me from my livelihood. They want to rip my heart from my land – just to put the heart of someone else.” Abu Saleh is a resident of Ramiya, an Arab community of 50 families nestled within…

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  • The risk of building while Bedouin

    According to a recent court ruling, only Bedouin need to be concerned about illegal construction. Israeli Jews, it turns out, are immune to home demolitions.  By Michal Rotem (translated by Ofer Neiman) The Be'er Sheva Magistrates Court recently overturned an indictment against a Jewish Israeli for building three guest houses without a permit, due to "abuse of process." In short, the defendant argued that enforcement had been selective, since the entire nearby Jewish community of Azuz — located in Israel's Negev Desert — had been built without permits in the same area in which the defendant operates his guest rooms.…

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  • Why is JNF UK throwing a Bedouin-themed party?

    The JNF has played a fundamental role in the displacement of the villagers of al-Araqib, an unrecognized Bedouin village that Israeli authorities demolished for the 90th time last week. Later this month the organization is holding a 'Bedouin Night' party in London. The Jewish National Fund in the United Kingdom (JNF UK) will be hosting a Bedouin-themed party catering to young professionals in London later this month. According to the invitation, the event — which is slated to take place on November 26th — will be held at a "secret Central London location" in a "unique Bedouin style venue," and will…

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  • Shin Bet threatens Bedouin activist, offers money to prevent protests

    Agents of Israel's security services raid the homes of several young Bedouin activists, summon them for 'friendly chats' and attempt to coax them into suppressing protests they claim undermine the 'fundamental principles of the state.'  By John Brown* It's Tuesday, just after midnight in the Bedouin town of Lakia in the Negev Desert. Black jeeps carrying approximately 15 plainclothes Shin Bet agents come to a screeching halt in front of one of the houses before bursting into it. The agents wake all the residents, including a young girl with a flashlight to her face, and take all the men outside. The men…

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  • Photo exhibit challenges Zionism's most popular myth

    Using haunting aerial photographs of the Negev Desert, American artist Fazal Sheikh challenges the notion that the desert was an unpopulated land before Zionism made it bloom.    By Tom Pessah In “Caravan Song,” the late Arik Einstein sings of a caravan of Zionist immigration and settlement that began in the 19th century and continues to this day. Most of the song is in his own voice, apart from one line in which he lovingly imitates David Ben-Gurion promising that the Negev will bloom. It is less acceptable today to talk of a people without a land populating a land…

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  • Is Bibi using J'lem violence as an excuse to target all Arabs?

    Netanyahu is trying to expand the open-fire regulations so that they target Arabs inside Israel. The outcome? Only more bloodshed.  By John Brown* and Michal Rotem For the past few weeks it has been difficult not to avoid reports on stone throwing in East Jerusalem. Government representatives compete with one another over who will offer up the firmest way to deal with these youth in order to "do away with this phenomenon." Of course none of them offers dealing with neglected East Jerusalem, the discrimination, the home demolitions, and the fact that 75 percent of East Jerusalem residents — and…

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  • The Bedouin children trying to stop bulldozers with their cameras

    As the bulldozers start building the Jewish town of Hiran, the children of the Bedouin village Umm al-Hiran are joining the struggle to save their homes.  By Michal Rotem The children of the unrecognized Bedouin village Umm al-Hiran started their summer vacation in an usual way. The future of the village in which they grew up in is unclear, the struggle against the demolition of their homes is gaining traction, and the bulldozers are working tirelessly nearby to establish the Jewish town of Hiran. [tmwinpost] Despite the fact that the Negev Coexistence Forum for Civil Equality organizes its yearly photography workshops…

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  • So we meet again, Prawer Plan

     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…

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  • A Month in Photos: Popular struggle, come hell or high water

    Editors' picks of the top photos from Palestine, Israel and beyond for the month of February. This month, Palestinians establish a new protest tent, ultra-Orthodox Jews protest military recruitment, Israeli factory workers protest job cuts, a 14-year-old Palestinian girl is released from prison after 44 days, Negev Bedouin mourn their lost ones, Bil'in marks 10 years of popular struggle, LGBTQ activists speak up against homophobia, and a second wave of snow blankets the holy city. Photos: Oren Ziv, Ahmad al-Bazz, Keren Manor, Yotam Ronen, Basel Yazouri, Keren Manor, Shiraz Grinbaum, Faiz al-Bazz, Ryan Rodrick Beiler / Activestills.org

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  • WATCH: Following killings, will Bedouin boycott the elections?

    Following the recent killing of two Bedouin men in the southern city of Rahat at the hands of Israeli police — along with years of discrimination in nearly every realm, dispossession and home demolitions — the younger generation of Bedouin are more reluctant to vote in the upcoming elections. Jews and Bedouin met in the Negev town Lakiya to discuss the difficulties currently facing the Bedouin community, and whether or not boycotting the elections will really bring about any significant change.  Related: PHOTOS: Bedouin protest deadly police shootings in Israel Negev Bedouin are now demolishing their own homes out of despair

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