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URGENT ACTION: Israel¹s Prawer Plan: New Nakba Hits the Negev

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  • Abe Hayeem
    Various articles on Israel¹s plan to ethnically cleanse the Negev of its Bedouin using a distinctly racist law, that will lead to a new Jewish-only settler
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 23, 2013
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      Various articles on Israel¹s plan to ethnically cleanse the Negev of its
      Bedouin using a distinctly racist law, that will lead to a new Jewish-only
      settler city being built on the cleansed land, to prevent contiguity with
      the Bedouin in the West Bank, in South Hebron, who are also being displaced,
      to allow illegal settlements to expand, and where a thousand olive trees
      have been burnt, and EU funded solar installations and Bedouin villages are
      also being demolished.
      Please follow the ACTION alerts to sign petitions and write to your MPs,
      Elected Representatives or Foreign Secretaries:
      Here are the links:
      1) Lobby the Foreign Secretary to stop Israel's Prawer Plan:
      2) Amnesty Appeal: Israeli lawmakers: Don't evict tens of thousands of
      Bedouin citizens:
      3) Avaaz Petition:

      4) Get your MP to sign the EDM 306, "Ethnic Cleansing of Bedouin People in
      Israel" <http://www.parliament.uk/edm/2013-14/306>

      Now the Articles:

      1) Israel¹s Prawer Plan: New Nakba Hits the Negev
      By Malik Samara, Al Akhbar
      July 16, 2013

      A Bedouin woman gestures during a demonstration against Israeli government's
      plans to relocate Bedouins in the Negev desert, on 15 July 2013 in the
      southern city of Beersheva. (Photo: AFP - David Buimovitch)

      Bedouins of the Negev desert are facing perhaps the most dangerous attempt
      yet to cleanse them off and expropriate their land, in what Palestinians are
      calling a ³New Nakba.²

      In the south of occupied Palestine, a vast stretch of desert land has
      remained largely absent from the Arab consciousness. The Negev, which once
      made up fully 50 percent of historic Palestine, is home to 300,000
      Palestinians today.

      If the measure passes, Palestinian Bedouins could see 35 of their villages
      destroyed in an attempt to squeeze the whole Arab population onto 1 percent
      of the desert.The largely Bedouin population, which makes up a third of all
      Palestinians living on the lands occupied by Israel in 1948, have roots in
      the area that go back to the fifth century BC. The Israeli authorities have
      subjected the Negev¹s people to repeated attempts at ³resettlement² and land
      expropriation, trying to force as many Palestinians as possible to settle
      within the confines of a small area in order to seize their lands.
      The Israeli government has succeeded so far in corralling nearly half the
      population into an area Palestinians refer to as al-Siyaj (the Fence), while
      the rest have fought to remain in 45 villages across the Negev unrecognized
      by Israel, which therefore refuses to provide the most basic services.

      In perhaps one of the most dangerous transfer plans adopted by the Israelis
      since 1948 under the guise of ³developing the Negev,² the Netanyahu
      government signed off on the Prawer Plan in 2011, which seeks to expropriate
      800,000 dunams (1 dunam = 1000 square meters), and expel between 30,000 and
      50,000 Palestinian Bedouins in the process.

      The plan passed its first reading in the Knesset in June and a committee was
      formed on July 15 to complete the approval process, with a second and third
      reading scheduled for Fall 2013. If the measure passes, Palestinian Bedouins
      could see 35 of their villages destroyed in an attempt to squeeze the whole
      Arab population onto 1 percent of the desert.

      This will have a devastating effect on Bedouins and their tribal way of
      life. In the name of improving their lives by moving them into more
      developed urban centers ­ with only modest services such as schools and
      clinics offered ­ Israel hopes to break the communities¹ ties to their land
      and culture, so it can be more easily expropriated, either for settling Jews
      or for military purposes.

      In Rahat, one village ³recognized² by Israel, local resident Iman al-Sanea
      explains that nearly 60 percent of the town¹s 60,000 residents live under
      the poverty line. Here, young people have no hope whatsoever of finding

      Nevertheless, the Bedouins of the Negev are struggling to foil attempts to
      subject them to another Nakba. On Monday, a national day of rage against the
      Prawer Plan was organized, leading to protests throughout occupied
      Palestine, including many areas within the Green Line, including the Galilee
      and the Triangle area in the country¹s center.

      Many young people now active in the Negev complain of negligence from their
      political leaders ­ including their representatives in the Knesset ­ who
      offer little more than one compromise after another.

      This has prompted these young activists to pursue fresh ideas to mobilize
      people against the Prawer Plan, such as organizing simultaneous Nakba events
      in 10 Negev villages, linking the Palestinian catastrophe to the new
      expropriation plan.

      The activists have made headway in improving ties to Palestinians in other
      areas who tend to know little about the plight of the Negev. Their latest
      protest quickly spread to other parts of Palestine, breaking the area¹s
      isolation, which is but a further attempt by Israel to fragment Palestinian
      national identity into localized ones, be it in the West Bank, Gaza,
      Jerusalem, Akka, or elsewhere.

      This article is an edited translation from the Arabic Edition.

      2) Fighting new Nakba in the Negev

      Popular resistance against the Prawer plan has united Palestinians of all
      affiliations and origins.

      By Ben White, Al Jazeera
      July 17, 2013

      From the refugees in 1949 looking over the Lebanese border at the land from
      which they were expelled, to the students in the Gaza banned by the Israeli
      Supreme Court from studying in the West Bank, Israeli colonisation has
      fragmented the Palestinian people over the decades with walls, fences, guns,
      bureaucracy and propaganda.

      Overcoming that fragmentation has become further complicated in recent times
      on account of the moribund state of representative bodies like the Palestine
      Liberation Organisation, as well as the long-running split between Fatah and

      In the last few years, however, there have been moments when particular
      circumstances have prompted coordinated resistance, at least on a grassroots
      level, amongst Palestinians wherever they may be. One such example was the
      widespread protests prompted by the massacre in Gaza in 2008-9 (otherwise
      known as Operation Cast Lead). Another example is when Palestinians
      coalesced around the prisoners¹ hunger strikes to launch solidarity
      activities from Haifa to Ramallah.

      This week has seen Palestinian flags raised and slogans chanted regarding
      the same outrage, from Jerusalem to Syria and Tunisia

      Now, Palestinians have united around opposition to a pending Israeli
      government plan to expel tens of thousands of Palestinian Bedouin from
      communities in the Negev that await destruction in the name of

      The Prawer plan, some years in the making, is part of a historical drive by
      the Israeli government to prioritise and privilege Jewish settlement in the
      Negev while forcing Bedouin citizens ­ those who weren¹t expelled in the
      first decade of the state¹s existence ­ to live in approved zones and shanty

      On Monday, protests took place all across historic Palestine ­ in the West
      Bank, Gaza Strip, and inside Israel ­ after the High Follow-Up Committee for
      Arab citizens of Israel called for a general strike and protests against
      Prawer. As plans for demonstrations were made from Nazareth to Hebron,
      Palestinians also hit social media to raise awareness and link up their
      actions, using hashtags like #AngerStrike and #StopPrawerPlan.

      In Beersheva, to the south, a city ethnically cleansed in the Nakba and not
      far from many of the villages the Israeli government will seek to uproot
      under Prawer, a demonstration was targeted by the police and a number of
      protesters were violently arrested. In the north, some 400 people took part
      in a protest near Sakhnin in the Western Galilee, where another dozen
      participants were arrested. There were further demonstrations by
      Palestinians at Umm al-Fahm and many other towns and villages.

      Meanwhile, Palestinians with Israeli citizenship were joined by those under
      military rule in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, where demonstrators rallied
      in solidarity with the ŒAnger Strike¹ in Ramallah, Hebron, and Nablus. Even
      in a small village like Hussan, near Bethlehem, Israeli forces broke up a
      peaceful demonstration against the Prawer plan. The coordinated day of
      action also reached prisoners, with Palestinians in Gilboa jail announcing
      their participation and support.

      What is interesting here is not simply how, in the words of Palestinian
      activist and blogger Abir Kopty, ³protests took place across Palestinian
      cities and villages from the river to the sea², with people ³communicating
      and organising, to defy a Œborder¹ that², Kopty told me, ³separated us
      physically but failed to do so mentally². Even more unusually, she pointed
      out, ³Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza joined their brothers¹ and
      sisters¹ struggle within 48 hours, when it is usually the opposite².

      Salah Mohsen, spokesman and media director of legal rights centre Adalah,
      called the 15 July demonstrations against Prawer ³an extraordinary show of
      solidarity², with Palestinians from ³the Galilee, the Triangle, and the
      Naqab joined by activists from around the world². Kopty remarked how the
      protests, to her mind, show that ³hope lies in the determination of the

      The art of Palestinian resistance
      As if to prove her point, West Bank-based Palestinian activist Linah
      Alsaafin linked the events to Land Day, describing the Anger Strike as
      ³assert[ing] that despite political division, non-representative and
      collaborative leadership, Palestine remains from the river to the sea, with
      the Bedouins in the Naqab an integral component of the Palestinian

      This week has seen Palestinian flags raised and slogans chanted regarding
      the same outrage, from Jerusalem to Syria and Tunisia. Briefly,
      colonially-imposed borders seemed weaker, as Palestinians demonstrated that
      new strategies have emerged and will continue to develop as a means of
      confronting the age-old problems of fragmentation and artificial divisions.

      3)Watch this Video: Bedouins resist Israeli plan to expel 40,000 and
      ³Judaize² their land

      Submitted by Ali Abunimah on Sun, 07/21/2013 - 14:39
      Israeli parliament approved the deportation of 40,000 Bedouin from their

      With the European Union¹s recent decision to stop subsidies to any Israeli
      projects in the occupied West Bank, a lot of media attention has once again
      been focused on Israeli settlements there.
      Watch video discussion on this:

      What has attracted much less international attention is an Israeli plan to
      force tens of thousands of Palestinian Bedouins out of their homes in the
      southern Naqab (Negev) region, land that most countries recognize as part of
      present-day Israel.

      This video report from The Real News Network provides essential background,
      noting that some 200,000 Bedouins live in the Naqab, about half of them in
      so-called ³unrecognized villages² that have existed since before the Israeli
      state was founded.

      ³Intruders² in their own homes

      But Israel considers the Bedouins to be intruders and trespassers on their
      own lands, even though they are nominally citizens of Israel.

      Israel has long refused to connect their villages to the power grid or
      running water, build roads, health clinics or schools.

      Instead, on 24 June, the Israeli parliament passed the Prawer-Begin law,
      that would see 40 Bedouin villages demolished.

      40,000 will lose their homes

      Under the Prawer plan, their land will be confiscated in order to establish
      a wedge of Jewish communities separating Arab communities in the western and
      eastern parts of the Naqab.

      This is an intensification of an already ongoing assault. As the video
      notes, in 2005, 30,000 Bedouin homes had an Israeli demolition order. In
      2011, about 1,000 were demolished.

      Under the new plan, up to 40,000 people will lose their homes in the latest
      phase of the violent ³Judaization² of Bedouin lands.

      Those affected are not accepting their fate and are mobilizing to stop the
      Prawer plan, as the Bedouin activists featured in the video explain.

      Racist incitement against Bedouins

      Meanwhile, government and media continue a campaign of incitement against
      the Bedouins, painting them as criminals, in order to justify the assault.

      For example, the video says, Israeli lawmaker Danny Danon ­ a member of
      Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu¹s ruling Likud party ­ claimed that in
      2011, 1,000 women and girls were ³seduced, kidnapped or enslaved² by
      Bedouins, even though the Israeli police did not record even one such case.

      The Jewish National Fund (JNF), which raises tax exempt charitable funds in
      the US, UK, Canada and other countries, plays a key role in the ethnic
      cleansing of Bedouins and theft of their land.
      See also: Protests against Prawer Plan to forcibly move Negev Bedouin spread
      across Israel/Palestine

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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