Monday, April 30, 2007

Bedouin & Brous & Bustan - Part 2

Today is Day 14,261 of the Maintenance of the Immoral (and Illegal) West Bank Settlements and almost the 40th anniversary of the start of the immoral (and illegal) occupation of the West Bank and Gaza.

Micah.6:8 “He has told you, O man, Only to do justice and to love goodness, and to walk humbly with your God

So much attention is appropriately devoted to the terrible illegal and immoral occupation and settlements and the terrible situation of the Palestinians. What is quite overlooked is the deplorable and shameful discrimination of the Israeli government towards the Bedouin CITIZENS OF ISRAEL LIVING IN ISRAEL.

As I mentioned in the last post, I met Devorah Brous in Santa Fe at a weekly meeting of the Santa Fe Tikkun Community and invited her to speak in Boston to the New England Tikkun Community. Thereafter we formed a sister community with Wadi Na’am, an unrecognized Bedouin village IN ISRAEL (all caps provided to emphasize that the Bedouin live in Israel and are Israeli citizens), raised funds to construct a medical clinic (with no permit authorized by the Israeli government) This year the clinic received an Honorable Mention in Israel's Most Prestigious Architecture Competition. Read more about this at:

Joan and I also began to plan an tour and visit to the region of the Bedouin villages to witness and document the lives of the Bedouin and their treatment by the Israeli government. As part of the invitation and information packet we forwarded to those interested, we prepared this document:



January, 2002 – Devorah Brous talks at the Founding Conference of the Tikkun Community in NY on her work with her organization, Bustan L’Shalom, providing direct action relief to impoverished families in Israel and Palestine.

October 9, 2002 – Devorah Brous, after talks to the Santa Fe and Houston Tikkun Communities makes a presentation to the New England Tikkun Community on”A Personal and Political Perspective on Human Rights in Israel and Palestine.”

February, 2003 – New England Tikkun adopts Wadi Na’am, an unrecognized Bedouin village in Israel as a sister community primarily to support the Bustan L’Shalom effort to build a medical clinic in the village. (See “The Bedouin in the Negev in Israel 1948-2004” Attached)

March, 2003 – In response to a Purim Tzedakah Request which reminded members that Purim is a time to give gifts to those in need and that a Tikkun principle requires us to “reject all practices which lead to unequal treatment of Palestinians or other non-Jewish minorities within the State of Israel”, members at a Purim auction and therafter raised over $1500 to purchase solar panels for the medical clinic.

June 15, 2003 – Some members of New England Tikkun and others sent a letter to Prime Minister Ariel Sharon (with copies to the President of the United States, the Hon. Ted Kennedy, His Excellency Kofi Annan and others) urging him to respect the teachings of Judaism and human rights laws and to halt the government ordered demolition of houses and other buildings in Bedouin villages and noting “should any harm befall this (medical clinic) we will take it as powerful evidence that the Israeli government is embarking on an unfair, inhumane and possibly illegal forcible transfer of the Bedouin

October 15, 2003 - Presentation by Michal Vital, the lead architect on the construction of the medical clinic in Wadi Na’am on “Peacebuilding in Israel through Eco-Architecture”. Michal showed 150 slides covering the technical, cultural and social aspects of the construction. She also answered questions about the evacuation order issued by the Israeli government which would force the entire population of Wadi Na’am to move to a poor urban township and the status of the appeal of that order by the 4500 villagers.

December 21, 2003. In response to a suggestion in the Tikkun Magazine Chanukah Supplement that there be a theme for each night, Tikkun communities across the country, including Maine, Corpus Christi, Santa Fe and New England participated in “A Chanukah Observance in the Spirit of Tikkun” noting that “Chanukah represents the victory of a people who struggled to maintain their religion, their culture and their human dignity in the face of overpowering force and pressure to assimilate” Money was raised for the medical clinic (which officially opened on January 9, 2004) and prayers, messages of support and pictures were forwarded to the villagers Wadi Na’am.

April , 2004 – Devorah Brous invites members of the Tikkun Community to join a fact-finding delegation to study the territorial conflict between the Bedouin and the Jews in the Negev (See the Invitation, the Itinerary and the Expression of Interest Form Attached)
United Nations International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination Signed by Israel 7 March 1966: Ratified by Israel: 3 January 1979In compliance with the fundamental obligations laid down in article 2 of this Convention, (Israel) undertakes to prohibit and to eliminate racial discrimination in all its forms and to guarantee the right of everyone, without distinction as to race, colour, or national or ethnic origin, to equality before the law, notably in the enjoyment of the following rights:The right to equal treatment before the tribunals and all other organs administering justice;The right to own property alone as well as in association with others;The right to housing;The right to public health, medical care, social security and social services;The right to education and training;The right to equal participation in cultural activities.
Deutoronomy 16:20 – “Justice, justice shall you pursue that you may live and inherit the land which God gave you” and the footnote in the 1980 Hertz Edition “(T)here is international justice, which demands respect for the personality of every national group, and proclaims that no people can of right be robbed of its national life or territory, its language or spiritual heritage.”

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