Website policy


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

Bedouin claims to land ownership stand up to test of history

Before Israel, Palestine was part of the Ottoman empire, then the League of Nations gave Britain a mandate to govern the territory from the Mediterranean to Iraq (north) Saudi Arabia (south). Both Ottoman and British officials recorded land ownership claims in order to raise taxes and prevent land disputes. These show that the Negev, far from being an empty desert, had many Bedouin villages in which people owned land and engaged in agriculture and animal husbandry. Can this Israeli myth hit the dust before the Bedouin are forcibly moved to a ‘town’?

Begin-Prawer plan for Bedouin defeated

Mass opposition to the Begin-Prawer plan for the forcible resettling of Bedouin has led to its being, at the least, postponed and rethought. As the government’s spin on the plan became increasingly frantic – Bedouin leaders supported it… in the Bedouins’ best interest… opposition just foreign rabble-rousers … Begin himself delivered the coup de grace: he had never consulted the Bedouin on the plan and they had never agreed to it.

If it weren’t for the people, Israel could be the perfect Jewish state

From the southern tip of the Negev to the northern tip of Galilee, the Israeli government could create the perfect Jewish state if it weren’t for the people in between. Sadly for the zionist dream, only the Bedouin have devised a way of desert living compatible with the area’s resources and the Galilee – well its history is just too multicultural to be truly Israeli. Ben White looks at how the government is going about getting the right people in the right places.

Bedu: you may not like our way of life but it’s our way of life

The language of the Israeli government about the relocation of the Negev Bedouin has recently become entirely about furnishing the Bedouin with the amenities of modernity. If modernity is characterised by the free movement of people and capital, cosmopolitan cities, separation of church and state… Israel is no more a symbol of modernity than are the Bedouin.

Israeli Bedouin – we do not want your plan for us

The Israeli government wants to clear Bedouin from the Negev because they want the land for forest (and settlers) and because of the desperate desire to be a modern western nation. Bedouin must be ‘civilised’ by urban life. Benny Begin knows few Bedouin who oppose the bill and accuses ‘NGOs and rights groups’ of politicizing the issue. Which says more about him than it does about Bedouin people. November 30, London protest.

Young Bedouin press for more aggressive defence of their land

The Israeli state has declared the Bedouin living in ‘unrecognised’ villages have to move into special townships. These are likely to be worse than the ‘recognised’ villages which, despite their status, lack the amenities which non-Palestinian Israelis enjoy. The Bedouin elders believe the way to fight for their rights is through the law. The younger ones now feel resistance must take more direct form – although they have so far got little support from other Palestinians.

An Arab-free Negev is ‘Jewish destiny’

It takes more than the usual amount of twisting history to make the claim that Arabs (Bedouin) have no place in the Negev desert, and that owning that expanse of land is the manifest destiny of Israeli Jews. But that hasn’t inhibited the land-grabbers who believe it’s Israel’s wild west waiting to be conquered once the natives have been ‘concentrated’ in controlled towns. Max Blumenthal details the steps to make this happen.

Plan after plan after plan to stop Palestinian citizens owning land

Jillian Kestler D’Amours begins with the Begin plan and goes back through the Prawer plan to Sharon’s Individual Settlement plan, all of which scheme to rid the Negev of its historic Bedouin residents and land-users and replace them (with dubious legality) with true, i.e. Jewish, Israeli citizens.

JfJfP calls on Israel to recognise the property, dignity and equality of the Negev Bedouin

The executive committee of Jews for Justice for Palestinians adds its voice to the many Jewish, Israeli and human rights groups which are protesting against the wrongful treatment of the Bedouin and calls on Israeli people and government to leave these Arab citizens of Israel in their villages in the Negev, recognise them and furnish them with the amenities which all Israeli habitations have a right to enjoy.`And ditch the Prawer plan!

Protests from Beirut to Brazil against Prawer plan

Israel’s Arab citizens led the protests against Bedouin displacement by the Prawer-Begin plan on the Day of Rage, August 1. Thousands from north and south Israel joined, as did large crowds in the West Bank who added their protest against displacement from the Hebron area. Protests also took took place in Brazil, Beirut, Amman, London, Morocco, Mauritania, Amsterdam, Dublin and Washington. Activists say the protests will continue into a second day.

Bill to displace Bedouin proceeds through Knesset

The first parliamentary stage of the Prawer plan has passed by a majority of just 3. There is great opposition to this assumption by the Israeli government that it can reorganise Bedouin life from on high and expropriate their land. The government is now scrambling to re-present the plan as a benign plan to improve the lives of the Bedouin, who are Israeli citizens. ACRI, Mondoweiss, video and funds-appeal from Rabbis for Human Rights.

How the Bedouin obstruct Israel’s ‘no Arabs’ goal

The Prawer/Begin plan to drive the Bedouin out of ‘unrecognised’ villages into permitted centres is a poor reward for these Israeli citizens. Bedouin, like the Druze, were regarded as loyal to the new state (at least, those staying in Palestine had no loyalty to any other state). No wonder treating them as subject to separate laws causes such disquiet even among loyal supporters of Israel.

Attack on JNF’s theft of names and land

Here’s a peculiar thing about the JNF (Jewish National Fund). It always claims to be acting in the interests of the environment, or in honour of various Others, from Herzl to countries to individual ambassadors. Having gained its funds from thousands of humble Jewish homes it can thus bestow on its grandiose schemes and land seizures the simple idealistic hopes of many ordinary people. Two articles of protest.

British Rabbis campaign against eviction of Bedouin

British friends of Rabbis for Human Rights have sent a letter, signed by 65 rabbis from judaic communities in the UK, to PM Netanyahu protesting against his government’s plan to move Bedouin from the Negev and disperse them in towns. They have also produced a petition (see post) to be sent to Netanyahu.

No law protects Palestinians

The Israeli claim that it is a democratic state based on law is shown to be laughable in a new report and film from Adalah on the forced displacement of Palestinians. When the Israeli government or the IDF or the Jewish National Fund or settlers want land where Palestinians live, they almost invariably get it and there almost no laws which Palestinians can use to assert their right to their homes or free movement. Adalah questions whether trying to use the notion of rights to protect Palestinians – who may be Israeli citizens – is effective.

Costly plan to get Bedouin out of Negev gets go-ahead

The Israeli government has long been determined to corral all Bedouin into official towns in the West Bank and as few towns as possible in the Negev. The cost of following through the Prawer and Begin plans is estimated to be NIS 6.8 billion. Many voices have been raised in protest at this deprivation of the Bedouins’ freedom of movement and self-government, including by Rabbis for Human Rights, the UK’s Union of Jewish Students and Pro-Zion which say the plans are un-Judaic..

Shameless racism in Israeli broadcasting

One of Israel’s best-paid celebs, TV host Avri Gilad, returns from a tour of the Negev organised by the aggressively Zionist Regavim, declaring that “There’s no more Negev. The Bedouin have taken it over completely. By force…” By buying into Regavim – which uses the law and propaganda to maximise Israeli land and minimise non-Jewish inhabitants – he could have uttered his judgment without leaving home. Particularly given Gilad’s view that “Islam today is the most terrible disease raging around the world”. His views cause no uproar in Israel.

From a life in the open spaces to shacks and sardine tins

Once a nomadic people herding animals and transporting goods throughout the Middle East and the Negev, the Bedouin tribes have been forcibly moved by successive governments to urban shanty-towns. The Jahalin were shifted to the E1 area of Khan al-Ahmar on the edge of East Jerusalem in 1967. The Israeli Ministry of Defence now plans to move them again into blocks of 800 units near Jericho, to allow settlement expansion and the break up tribal self-government.

Survive the Sinai torturers – to get three years in an Israeli jail

Much of the Sinai is now ruled by criminal gangs who capture Eritrean refugees, hold them for ransom – and rape and torture them, either to exert pressure on families, or because they can. Those who escape and cross the Israeli border are then automatically imprisoned for 3 years as ‘infiltrators’. Lucy Newman calls for a change of mind in Israel; reports from Human Rights Watch and Jadaliyya. Sign the petition!

Bab al-Shams: a new and important form of resistance

The Bab al-Shams encampment in its brief life inspired and enthused people in Palestine and round the world. Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad praised the activists saying that “the Palestinian steadfastness make the most important part in resisting the occupation and settlement.” PA personnel including Saeb Erekat and Hanan Ashrawi were prevented from reaching the ‘village’. The protesters were removed on the orders of Netanyahu/Civil Administration, but as a form of resistance which does more than say no, the image has taken wing.