In this week’s article at Souciant, I examine the lack of political power of Palestinian citizens of Israel. Though they have the right to vote just like any Israeli, as Israel endlessly reminds us, the power of that vote in the real world is negligible, and not just for the reasons many disillusioned voters feel. It’s about the marginalization of Israel’s Arab sector more broadly.
Posts Tagged ‘Bedouin’
Posted in Palestinian Citizens of Israel, tagged Al-Aksa Intifada, Arab Democratic Party, Aryeh Deri, Avigdor Lieberman, Bedouin, Benjamin Netanyahu, Ehud Barak, Ehud Olmert, Gaza, Hadash, Israel, Jewish State, Labor Party, Likud, Mapai, Palestine, Palestinians, Tzipi Livni, West Bank, Yisrael Beitenu, Zionism on October 26, 2012 | Leave a Comment »
When I was a kid, my family, friends, and school all passed various hats, boxes and pledge cards around to raise money for the Keren Kayemet L’Yisrael, or Jewish National Fund. This was all about planting trees in Israel.
As I became a teenager, and on into my early 20s, and the situation in Israel became somewhat more fraught for me, I still saw giving to the JNF as one sure way to promote something good without the political entanglements of so many other causes.
Boy was I wrong.
In the town of al-Araqib, in the Negev desert, a JNF bulldozer is standing poised at the village cemetery, ready to plow it down in order to make way for…wait for it…a “peace forest.”
This is the 17th time the village has been razed by the Israel Land Authority, which controls all state land, some of it in partnership with the JNF. The Bedouin claim to this land has been in dispute since 1951 when, the villagers say, they were forced out. Israel claims the land was abandoned, a very familiar claim regarding Arab lands in the wake of a war from which many families, not wanting to get shot or blown up, did flee, expecting to return.
Al-Araqib is one of many so-called “unrecognized villages” in the Negev. By definition, all construction in these villages is illegal in Israel, because the state will not grant a building permit in a village which, technically, “does not exist.” (more…)
I wasn’t sure if I was going to blog about this, and now Oren Yiftachel has saved me the trouble. It’s horrifying that apparently Israelis of all backgrounds and ages saw the destruction of a Bedouin village as a cause for glee. Unfortunately, this is only the most stark example of the treatment of so-called “unrecognized villages” in Israel. And yes, folks, these are Israeli citizens.
Yiftachel’s excellent piece can be read here, and it includes background on the entire issue.