Monday, June 25, 2007

Bedouin & Brous & Bustan - Part 6

Today is Day 14,317 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.

Rabbi Akiva - “ ‘Love your neighbor as yourself’ (Leviticus 19:18) - this is the major principle of the Torah.”

While I prefer not to simply insert articles and messages of others as posts, I thought you might want to read this one from Devorah Brous about the most recent move by the government of Israel to dismantle the "homes" of Bedouins in an "unrecognized" village and to forcibly move them to a urban setting to make room for a community of Jewish Israelis. Again recall that these Bedouins are Israeli citizens and that the towns which have been set aside for the Bedouin have little land for agricultural use and are among the poorest in Israel. Unfortunately, because of the terrible oppression by the government of Israel of Palestinians in the occupied territory, very little attention has been paid in the media to the plight of the Bedouin people.


Making the Desert Bloom:
Destroying Atir Village in Yatir ForestIsrael's Negev Development

Plans continue apace. Another Bedouin town was completely destroyed today. The Regional Council of Unrecognized Villages will be building a Refugee Camp in the center of Jerusalem for the Bedouin families that have been uprooted from their lands and forced out of their homes as part of the government's relocation project. Your help in spreading the news updates to your communities and publishing information widely -- is critical. North American Jews should not be funding this process and in the name of pioneering settlement of the Negev. Please use your influence to speak truth to power.

BUSTAN will host a Negev Unplugged Tour to Atir/Yatir on July 12th. Sign up today:

ILA destroys Bedouin homes to make way for Jewish town
By Mijal Grinberg, Haaretz Correspondent

The Israel Land Administration (ILA), with the assistance of an unusually large police force and IDF soldiers, demolished dozens of tin shack homes Monday in unrecognized Bedouin villages Um Al-Hiran and A-Tir in the northern Negev.The ILA is destroying the village and evacuating the inhabitants so that a Jewish Community named "Hiran" can be established in the area.

Fourteen shacks, which housed some 100 people, have been destroyed by bulldozers so far. Bedouin women tried to get their children out of the house but police wanted to speed up the process so they grabbed the play pens with the children inside and did not let the mothers come near."Tonight we will sleep on the ground", Fajua Ab Abu Al-Cian said.

Young men, roughly 18-years of age, wearing orange shirts are taking part in the evacuation, removed the Bedouin's property from their homes and put it in piles on the ground outside. Haaretz has discovered that these teenagers are outsourced workers who are employed by a contractor hired by the ILA. According to the evacuators, they are being paid in cash without any labor rights.

According to Adallah, the Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel, the residents of the village have been living there for 51 years. They were transferred to the site in 1956 while under martial law. The land they originally owned was transferred to Kibbutz Shoval, while the Bedouin were leased 3000 dunam of land for agriculture and grazing.

In August 2001 the ILA submitted a report on the establishment of new communities, which included Hiran. The Bedouin residents living in the area appeared under the title of "special problems" that may affect the establishment of the community.The government approved the establishment of Hiran in 2002, and in 2004 the state submitted a court order claiming that residents of Al Hiran should be evacuated as they are using state lands without permission.

***Please sign up now for the Yatir/Atir Negev Unplugged Tour to Atir/Yatir. We will study the Politics of Planting, Israel's Negev Development Plans, and the use of forested land for rooting Jewish settlers and uprooting Bedouin. We will meet with Raid Abulgiyan (a BUSTAN Green Guide and village leader), settlers, and decision

***Devorah BrousFounder, Director BUSTAN P.O. Box 6955Jerusalem, Israel 91060 0523 711 800 (analysis) (local updates) (green technology applications)

***The trouble is that once you see it, you can’t unsee it. And once you’ve seen it, keeping quiet, saying nothing, becomes as political an act as speaking out. There’s no innocence. Either way, you’re accountable. -Arundhati Roy

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Deuteronomy 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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