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WATCH: The triple displacement of Umm el-Hiran

The Israeli military government moved the residents of Umm el-Hiran to their current location in the 1950s. Now, the government wants to force them out — in order to build a Jewish community on the ruins of their homes.

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    1. Whiplash

      This is all propaganda. These people were shown to be liars in court. Photographs from the air showed there was no such community until recently. The majority of Bedouin here moved to Hura knowing they had no rights to squat on state land.

      If the remaining Bedouin do want to move to Hura or one of the other Bedouin towns, they can take their compensation from the state and purchase property in Hiran which is open to all peoples, Jews, Arabs, Druze, Christians, Muslims and other.

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    2. Ben

      Here’s what’s amazing. All that land there and they can’t share it, they can’t even build next to and around the existing Bedouin town, which could benefit from the basic infrastructure that is sure to follow and that the existing people never got. No, they have to uproot and move the people living there–as Bruce said, like rocks in the landscape–because the people they are moving in are too pure to have such Bedouin people living near them. Disgraceful.

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    3. Sh

      The government’s broken promises to citizens without resources or infrastructure and with less rights than their Jewish compatriots are dramatic enough not to need the distraction of Chopin’s funeral march (or anything else) for support. Sometimes events, faces, those citizens’ words and the places from which they emanate, are enough.

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      • Pedro X

        Just the Facts

        Veteran Israeli journalist Ben-Dror Yemini wrote this on the Bedouin issue:

        “Let’s take, for example, the repetitive chorus of the past few weeks, which sounds like this: “The Bedouin community of Umm al-Hiran is slated to be turned into Hiran, a community for Jews only, via the disinheriting and transfer of the Bedouins, in accordance with the racist policy of the State of Israel.” This is also a summary of the claims in a series of articles in Haaretz.

        After setting sail on the sea of lies, it’s worth returning to the solid ground of facts. First, the Bedouin members of the Al-Qian tribe, who are the focus of the current fuss, were transferred to the Yatir region of the Negev decades ago, of their own volition and at their request, due to a dispute with another tribe.

        Second, when Hiran was being planned, a little over a decade ago, there were only a few Bedouins there, if any. The move to Umm al-Hiran occurred mainly in the wake of the plans for the new town. Aerial photographs prove this.

        Third, only a small part of the master plan for Hiran is on the land occupied by the new squatters.

        Fourth, adjacent to the Al-Qian compound, the state built Hura, a proper Bedouin village, with paved roads, electricity and water infrastructure and more.

        Fifth, every family in the tribe is entitled to receive nearly a dunam of land. Even a bachelor over 24 is entitled to a plot of land, in preparation for future generations.

        Sixth, in addition to the free land, with free infrastructure development, each family also receives monetary compensation for the previous, illegally built house where it lived.

        Seventh, and here we’re in for a surprise, most of the tribe – 3,000 of the 4,000 members – actually felt this was a fair arrangement, and they indeed moved to Hura.

        Eighth, Hiran is not designated only for religious Jews, and also not only for Jews. Any Bedouin who wishes to buy land there is invited to do so and is entitled to do so. Of course, that would cost money. In Meitar, for example, Bedouins from the surrounding area decided to buy plots of land. No one stopped them.”

        “When “rights groups” and Haaretz automatically side with the Bedouins who oppose the arrangement, rather than with those who support it, the arrangement is doomed to failure. Just like the “forces of progress” in the world, who fan the flames of the boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign and the fantasy of the Arab Right of Return. This is no way to reach an arrangement, and only bolsters the objectors. This perpetuates the suffering and the conflict and the bloodshed. What the “progressives” are doing for the Palestinians, the “rights activists” are now doing for the Bedouins.

        Truth be told, it is doubtful if there is a population anywhere in the world with similar characteristics, native or nomadic, that has been awarded such a generous settlement.”

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        • Ben

          Ben Yemini has stated: “The facts are, first of all, that the Bedouin expansion to the compound allotted to Hiran began only after the decision was made to build the new community.”

          This is a curious talking point. If it is true, why does Ben Yemini assume it undermines the case against Israel’s actions that the Bedouin decided to establish more visible facts on the ground to try to preempt a land grab they saw coming? This from a preeminent champion of preemptive “facts on the ground” land grab maneuvers all over the West Bank? The hypocrisy is astounding.

          Moreover, Ben Yemini has given two versions of the same talking point:

          Version 1: “The Bedouin expansion to the compound allotted to Hiran began only after the decision was made to build the new community.”

          Version 2: “When Hiran was being planned, a little over a decade ago, there were only a few Bedouins there, if any. The move to Umm al-Hiran occurred mainly in the wake of the plans for the new town.”

          “No Bedouin” become “a few Bedouin” and a move that “began only after the decision” becomes one that “mainly” occurred after the decision.

          In addition the “dispute with another tribe” reason put forth as the primary reason for one of the transfers is highly suspect. Where’s the proof that that is a sufficient and true explanation and not a misleading half truth or outright nonsense?

          Where In Israel have Jews have ever been told or would ever be told that the homes they have lived in for decades (and that the state moved them to already from their original home for the same reason) must now be uprooted and moved to make way for the state-assisted, state-financed transfer of Arabs into that land? “And oh, you’re free to buy land around here–we are so fair and we are so just.” So why could the state not move the newcomers next to and around the existing community? The newcomers are too pure? Really there is a lot of explaining to do as to why the newcomers are so pure they cannot bear to live next to Bedouin people.

          Readers should turn now to the arguments of Greg Pollock and others here:


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    4. CigarButNoNice

      Justice requires that all the illegal Arab settlements on Jewish land (the Land of Israel) be dismantled for the sake of peace. Driving the Arab colonists out of the illegal Arab colonial settlement of Umm el-Hiran is what justice requires.

      All Arab settlements on the Land of Israel are illegal. Arabs, stop stealing Jewish land! Go back to Arabia! No justice, no peace!

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      • Ben

        An unabashed Jewish fascist like you is the best friend BDS ever had. Keep it up. Unlike some others here who use less direct rhetoric, you’re willing to come right out and say what the extreme right really thinks. This is interesting.

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        • Pierre

          First of all Ben, you atrocious slandering troll, the poster has not depicted support of fascism by any means. You stand corrected and need to apologize.

          Secondly, your use of Jewish Fascist is telling. As you previously said under a different name “the jig is up”, “the mask is off”, “the fig leaf is removed”. Why does the BDS movement differentiate between Jewish Fascists and racists of an alternative ethnicity? Perhaps, according to,you, they in fact *do* target Jews. Why else would you bring that up?

          Pure sickening antisemitic garbage. You are a mere punk ben/Brian. Be happy that Jewish scientists helped developed medications and Jewish philanthropists dedicated hospitals that can help manage your mental illness. They, unlike you, don’t discriminate and believe in universal human rights.

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    5. Ben

      Former Defense Minister Moshe Arens wrote this about the settlers of Gush Katif:

      “So now we go back 10 years to the forcible eviction of Israeli citizens from their homes in Gush Katif in 2005. Evicting people from their illegally built homes is a painful process, which becomes unbearable if they have been living in those homes for many years. But the families of Gush Katif did not build their homes illegally. They were encouraged to settle there by the Israeli government and had been living there for more than 20 years. Their forcible eviction was a gross violation of their civil rights, it was a crime.”

      Ok, let’s ignore the fact that the settlers of Gush Katif built their homes very illegally according to every legal authority outside the Israeli right wing establishment.

      Aside from that, though, every heartfelt word Moshe Arens applies to the settlers of Gush Katif–“painful…unbearable…forcible eviction…encouraged to settle there by the Israeli government and had been living there for more than 20 years…gross violation of their civil rights…crime”–applies to the citizens of Umm el-Hiran. Every word. Where is Aren’s concern about that? Where, allies of Moshe Arens*, is your concern?


      *Who, it should be said, said some things in the same article against Deputy Interior Minister Yaron Mazuz, and in the same vein of defending civil rights, that are admirable and should be publicized, which we will publicize, in a following post.

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    6. Ben

      Here is what Moshe Arens said about Yaron Mazuz:

      “Sometimes your blood boils when you see someone trampling on a sacrosanct principle. This occurred last week when Yaron Mazuz called out to Arab Members of Knesset that “we” were doing them a favor by issuing them Israeli identity cards and allowing them to sit in the Knesset. This outrageous statement was not made by somebody who had never gone to school and might be excused for having no understanding of the functioning of a democratic society. It was made by none other than the deputy minister of the interior, addressing the Knesset in the name of the Minister of Interior Silvan Shalom. All of Israel’s citizens have the right to vote and to be elected to the Knesset regardless of gender, ethnic background, religion, and not least important, regardless of political opinion. If the deputy minister of interior does not know this or prefers to disregard it, he cannot continue to hold that office.”

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