Monday, April 30, 2007

Bedouin & Brous & Bustan - Part 4

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.

Working with Devorah, we developed this itinerary for the fact-finding tour and visit to the region of the Bedouin villages but in spite of the effort that Joan and I put in, we were unable to obtain any commitments to join us by mid-2004 and cancelled the tour.

Bustan L’Shalom Delegation
10 Days (Plus 3 day optional add-on) October 3rd to 17th, 2004)

Translation from Hebrew /Arabic to English available during each session

Day 1 – Orientation - Afternoon - Arrive at Tel Aviv, travel to hotel in (Beer Sheva/Arad) and visit Joe Allon Bedouin Museum. Evening - Group orientation session by Professor Ismael Abu Sa’ad (Founder of Center for Bedouin Studies) and Devorah Brous (Founder of Bustan L’Shalom)

Day 2 – Bedouin Villages and Townships – Morning Meet with the Regional Council for Bedouin of the Unrecognized Villages, and the Together Forum. Afternoon - Meet first Bedouin professor, Ismael Abu Sa’ad to tour government planned townships, speak to local representatives and villagers. Evening meet with Bedouin MK Taleb el Sana, Thabet Abu Rass (Shatil Director).

Day 3 – Jewish Development: Farms and Factories – Morning Visit Ramat Hovav toxic waste incinerator and meet with factory management and environmentalists Afternoon – Lunch with Israeli professors at Ben Gurion University, see new Jewish neighborhoods, single-family farms, and a Jewish development town. Meet Jewish settlers and municipal officials for tour and discussion at new Giv’ot Bar settlement. Evening – Talking Circle

Day 4 - Health and Eco-Solutions – Morning Visit and tour the “unrecognized village”, Wadi el Na’am, village #32 - N.E. Tikkun’s sister community. Tour to see Bedouin Baika housing and traditional bustan agriculture in the village. Visit the village’s new medical clinic and learn about its sustainable construction from Michal Vital (eco-architect), hear from Njiib Abu Gharibiya (the village spokesperson) and meet medical personnel at the clinic. Discuss eco-building in the desert, green technologies suited for water and sewage treatment. Afternoon – Discussion with the residents of Wadi Na’am and Dr. Yunis Abu Rabia (the first Bedouin doctor in the sector) and Aziza Abu Freh (nurse) to learn about health issues affecting the Bedouin. Evening - Sunset walk. Panorama of encircling state infrastructure. Traditional meal and a cultural presentation including meeting the village Sheikh, traditional music, Dubka dance, and Bedouin story-telling fireside.

Day 5 –Nature – Morning Visit Sde Boker Institute – learn about solar designs, alternative technologies, permaculture techniques. Afternoon -- Travel to Makhtesh Ramon, the largest crater in the world and tour and hike by jeeps or camels

Day 6 – Palestinian Bedouin – Morning Travel to Jerusalem. Meet Jeff Halper (Israel Committee Against House Demolitions), Rabbi Arik Ascherman (Rabbis for Human Rights) and others to learn about Bedouin from South Hebron Hills. Meet displaced Jahalin Bedouin community as well as their leadership. Visit Ma'ale Adumim settlement. Evening - open.

Day 7 – Shabbat and Simcha Torah Celebration (Jerusalem or the Dead Sea).

Day 8 – Women, Education and Economics – Morning Meet with dynamic Bedouin women leaders in the field of education and Jewish women leaders in Negev. Visit Bedouin girls at school with Fares Abu Ayaad, Director of Association for Negev Arab Culture and Education. Visit the Bedouin shuk for shopping and lunch. Afternoon - Visit the Laqiya Weaving Cooperative and learn the basics of weaving and its integral value to their local economy. Evening – Talking Circle


Day 9 – Option 1 – Political and Legal Probing
Morning Meet and discuss issues and topics of interest with Jewish municipal authorities, governmental officials and non-governmental individuals including leadership from the Israel Land Authority and/or the Jewish National Fund, and the Green Patrol. Afternoon Meet with lawyers from Association for Civil Rights in Israel and Adalah and other organizations to discuss legal actions relating to the Bedouins of the Negev. Panel Discussion – review what we have seen with Forum for Coexistence in the Negev – Dr. Yanni Nevo and Yeela Livnat -- Forum Hakara, Shatil, and Mossawa

Day 9 – Option 2 – Field Work
Morning and Afternoon – Participate in actions in the field (such as volunteering in the Wadi el Na'am medical clinic, researching water quality, planting olive trees and organic seeds, renovating and/or painting a kindergarten, or learning traditional embroidery/weaving with a women's collective.

Day 9 – Evening – For the entire delegation - Documentary Film on Bedouin.

Day 10 – Next Steps - Morning Decompress and Debrief – Identify key topics, consider courses of action and establish priorities. Afternoon - Through facilitated discussion, define follow-up activity. Return to Tel Aviv for flight home Day 11

Day 10 - 12 (FIRST OPTIONAL ADD-ON) Three days and two nights at Kibbutz Lotan – Hiking, ecology, birdwatching, and visit to the Hai Bar Biblical Wildlife Reserve and Timna Valley Park. Cost to be set later.

Day 10 – 12 (SECOND OPTIONAL ADD-ON) One day in Tel Aviv and Jaffa - Tel Aviv Museum, beach, dinner. One day in Jerusalem visiting the wall, political tour of settlements and East Jerusalem. Visit mosques, ynagogues, churches; meeting with spiritual activists and leaders and participation in Peace Vigil. Cost to be set later.

Day 13 Return to Tel Aviv for flight home

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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