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We provide links to articles we think will be of interest to our supporters, informing them of issues, events, debates and the wider context of the conflict. We are sympathetic to much of the content of what we post, but not to everything. The fact that something has been linked to here does not necessarily mean that we endorse the views expressed in it.
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Action Alerts


The BEDOUIN

We have posted more than 30 articles on The Bedouin of the Naqab/Negev over the last three years

See the JfJfP briefing note on Bedouin Palestinians of the Naqab and download our 2013 leaflet on the Prawer plan
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Did you know?



Settlements Generate Virtually No Economic Activity
"A recent Israeli government report estimated there are…$250 million in annual exports — [only] 0.55 percent of the national total — from the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights, territories the international community generally considers illegally occupied."
Jodi Rodoren cited by Richard Silverstein, 22 Jan 2014

Daily acts of violence committed by Jewish Israeli citizens against West Bank Palestinians
"These incidents — now particularly heightened during the olive harvest season — are not the aberration from the norm, but a regular feature of life in the occupied West Bank. In 2012, over 7,500 Palestinian olive trees were destroyed. In the 5-year period between 2007 and 2011, there was a 315 percent increase in settler violence."
Mairav Zonszein, Israel Must Stop Settler Violence, 8 November 2013
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Police impunity
After their own investigations establishing a prima facie violation, Btselem has lodged over 280 complaints of alleged police violence in the oPt since the start of the second Intifada: "we are aware of only 12 indictments" Btselem April 2013
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Runners in the first ever Bethlehem Marathon were forced to run two laps of the same course on Sunday 21 April 2013, as Palestinians were unable to find a single stretch of free land that is 26 miles long in Area A, where the PA has both security and civil authority. See Marathon report
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30th March, land day.
On 30 March 1976, thousands of Palestinians living as a minority in Israel mounted a general strike and organised protests against Israeli government plans to expropriate almost 15,000 acres of Palestinian land in the Galilee.The Israeli government, led by prime minister Yitzhak Rabin and defence minister Shimon Peres, sent in the army to break up the general strike. The Israeli army killed six unarmed Palestinians, wounded hundreds and arrested hundreds more, including political activists. All were citizens of Israel.
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* Out of 103 investigations opened in 2012 into alleged offences committed by Israeli soldiers in the occupied territories, not a single indictment served to date
Yesh Din, 3 Feb 2013
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* In total, out of an area of 1.6 million dunams in the Jordan Valley, Israel has seized 1.25 million − some 77.5 percent − where Palestinians are forbidden to enter.
Haaretz editorial, 4 Feb 2013
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Posts

JfJfP press release on the Bedouin and the Prawer Plan

 

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Jews “disgusted by Israel’s plans for its own citizens”

Dame Janet Suzman among eminent UK Jews appalled at Israeli law displacing Bedouin

British Government urged to insist Israel complies with international human rights law

5 November 2013: On the anniversary of the 1917 Balfour Declaration that led to the founding of the State of Israel in Palestine, over 150 British Jews have funded and signed a half-page display advertisement in the Independent newspaper [now published on 7 Nov], expressing their repugnance at a law going through Israel’s parliament now (the “Prawer law”) which threatens to wipe up to 40 Bedouin villages off Israel’s map.

And in a letter to The Times Monday 4 Nov, sixteen prominent Jews including Dame Janet Suzman, Sir Geoffrey Bindman QC and film directors Mike Leigh and Peter Kosminsky, call on Israel’s government and people to “abandon this cruelty and injustice against defenceless, law-abiding citizens”, and urge the British government to “demand that Israel complies with international human rights law”. 18,000 American Jews and 65 Rabbis in Britain have petitioned against the Prawer law, and there are plans for a Bedouin speaking tour around Britain in the New Year.

Why are Jewish people so disturbed?

The Law for the Regulation of Bedouin Settlement in the Negev,widely known as the Prawer Law, will result in the forced removal of 30-40,000 people from their traditional lands and livelihoods into squalid government townships. More than three dozen Bedouin villages in Israel’s Negev region are at risk of total demolition.

The Bedouin are supposedly full and equal citizens of Israel. But they have long been denied basic services, have limited voting rights, and their land rights and many villages have never been recognised. This new law, much like white South Africa’s Group Areas Act, will consolidate their exclusion and status as second-class citizens.

The Prawer law presents itself as  a “tidying up” of Bedouin land rights. But the Bedouin are overwhelmingly opposed to it: it will tear up  all their original land ownership documents, giving the government a pseudo-legal cover to carry out mass evictions and forced transfer to overcrowded dumping grounds.

Spokesperson for Jews for Justice for Palestinians, Richard Kuper, says: “If a Westminster law said that all Sikhs in the UK should be internally deported to special reservations, or if the Asian communities of Leicester or Leeds were to be cleared out, or the Jews from Golders Green  —  imagine the outcry! The Prawer plan is unacceptable.”

The UN has condemned the plan as racist. The European Parliament has urged Israel to withdraw it. Adalah (who promote the legal rights of Israel’s Arab minority) said it was a “declaration of war” against the Bedouin.

“There is no pretence that this is about security”, says Kuper. “It is a land grab, part of an ongoing policy openly called ‘Judaising’.”

New Jewish settlements planned on the Bedouin lands will, like the settlements on the West Bank, be racially exclusive and will alter the ethnic character of the region. That is the expressed intention of the Bill and its promoters.

For information about jfjfp, the anti-Prawer campaign or interviews with signatories, contact:

Richard Kuper richard@richardkuper.com  07985 575768
or Deborah Maccoby deborahmaccoby@hotmail.com 07928 812825


NOTES FOR EDITORS

1. Full text and signatories of letter signed by Dame Janet Suzman and 15 others

“We write as Jews, appalled by the “Prawer” law in Israel which will enable the  internal deportation of 30-40,000 Bedouin from their villages into designated townships.

The Bedouin are Israeli citizens. They have been living in the Negev region for generations, from long before Israel existed. Their villages will be demolished and their lands given for new, racially exclusive, Jewish settlements and farms.

The Jewish National Fund will take control of lands as their owners are evicted. Its “Blueprint Negev” aims to move 250,000 Jewish residents into the area. Expansionist settlers call it “the next frontier”. One village, Al Arakib, has already been demolished over 50 times, and re-built in a dogged  resistance. Meanwhile, in place of their destroyed olive and datepalm groves, the JNF plant environmentally damaging eucalyptus trees.

Many Jews are disgusted by what Israel is doing to its own citizens. 18,000 American Jews petitioned against it. 65 British rabbis have condemned its “great injustice”. And 170 Jews signed and funded a display ad in the Independent. The EU parliament and UN say the Prawer bill contravenes international human rights law. In Israel it’s been met with strikes and demonstrations.

We call on Israel’s government and people to abandon this cruelty and injustice against defenceless, law-abiding citizens. We call on the British government to take up the Bedouins’ case with Israel and to demand that Israel complies with international human rights law. We urge people to write to their MPs , and hope that many more Jews will join us to stand with the Bedouin for the cause of justice.”

SIGNED
Sir Geoffrey Bindman QC; Prof. David Epstein FRS; Moris Farhi MBE; Dr Julian Huppert MP; Prof. Francesca Klug OBE; Nobel laureate Prof. Sir Harry Kroto FRS; Peter Kosminsky; Mike Leigh; Miriam Margolyes OBE; Prof Susie Orbach; Prof Laurance Pearl FRS; Michael Rosen; Prof. Jonathan Rosenhead; Alexei Sayle; Dame Janet Suzman; Zoe Wanamaker CBE


NOTES FOR EDITORS

2. Sample Images

All images © Negev Coexistence Forum 2013. To use these images and for a selection of other high resolution images, contact www.dukium.org


NOTES FOR EDITORS

3. Links and Organisations

* Rabbis for Human Rights
The Israeli campaigning group Rabbis for Human Rights is making a priority of defending the Negev Bedouin.  Its spokesman Arik Asherman believes the Prawer Plan is the worst human rights abuse he has seen.  http://rhr.org.il/eng/

* Jews for Justice for Palestinians
Jfjfp is a UK pressure group supported by over 1700 Jewish signatories who believe that the humanitarian values of Judaism have been corrupted by Israel’s human-rights abuses.
Many of us descend from Jews driven out in the 1890s by Russia’s racist pogroms. Slandered and persecuted, their homes and communities were destroyed. Today, such displacement of a whole people is a crime under international law.
Jews who stand for Justice for Palestinians feel they have the right and duty to say: do NOT do this to the Bedouin, and do NOT do this in the name of Jews.
Full information at  www.jfjfp.org
Contact: richard@richardkuper.com  07985 575 768

* The Negev Coexistence Forum for Civil Equality
The NCF is based in Beer Sheva, in southern Israel. Meet the Bedouins on its site, which has publicity tools, photos and newsletters, updates and a record of all demolitions, crop destructions and invasive tree planting. NCF is UN-recognised and does legal and political reports and advocacy, education, social and support projects, emergency help with tents and building materials, protests and promotion of “Arab Jewish partnership”.
www.dukium.org


PHOTO: Stop the JNF Campaign

* Stop the JNF
In 1901 the worldwide Jewish National Fund (JNF) was set up to buy land for settlement in Palestine.  After 1948 when most of Palestine’s original population was displaced and prevented from returning, their lands were handed “in trust for the Jewish people” to the JNF, now a quasi-state body. Some 530 Arab villages were then demolished and the JNF planted over them. Today the JNF (a Registered UK Charity) is still fundraising for exclusive Jewish settlement, still taking over demolished villages and still planting forests over them. Its “Blueprint Negev” is spearheading the move to clear out and replace the Bedouin.  Stop the JNF, an international campaign, highlights their role and wants to end their Charity status.
www.stopthejnf.org and http://goo.gl/01GrrU

See also

* http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/security/2013/10/israel-bedouins-relocation-negev-resistance.html
* Max Blumenthal, author of “Goliath: Life and Loathing in Greater Israel”:   http://jfjfp.com/?p=50288
* Seth Morrison in +972: http://972mag.com/lying-by-omission-the-jnfs-role-in-setting-negev-land-policy/80885/
*Dan Gazit in +972: http://972mag.com/the-historical-truth-about-bedouin-expulsion-from-the-negev/78404/
* Rabbi Alissa Wise in Huffpost: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rabbi-alissa-wise/prawer-plan_b_3438201.html



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