Dorothy Online Newsletter



“This paved the way for a French apology. In his letter to Netanyahu, Sarkozy fiercely slammed Tehran , accusing it of spreading “propaganda lies” and promised that Paris will lead unprecedented sanctions against Iran at this week’s IAEA Board of Governors meeting.” [item 10, Damage Control] 


Dear All,


10 items below, but no compendiums, so 10 is 10, not more.  The final one (a portion of the article) from which the quote above is taken struck me as amusing, except that it’s for real, and therefore not in the least amusing, since it shows how diplomacy operates—not out of deciding truly what is best for one’s country (not to mention the world ), but to pacify the head of a country for having made a private remark overheard by reporters.  Would be funny in a comedy, but being actual is not funny at all.


The items begin with Gideon Levy’s “ A new Israel in the making,” which is followed by 5 items that show that Levy is clearly on the right track.   Item 2 reveals this with respect to an ultra-Orthodox takeover.  Items 3, 4, and 5 report on the new bills that manifest how fascisitic Israel is rapidly becoming.  The one advantage of all of these is that they will deter Jewish immigration and expidite emigration of Israeli Jews who are either secular or humanistic or both.


Item 6 demonstrates how dishonest and immoral Israel can be.  The report reveals that Israel  prevents the release of a report that shows that most of the land on which an outpost sits is private Palestinian land, stolen from the owners.  Of course most of Israel sits on private land stolen from the Palestinians.  Perhaps this is one reason for not releasing the report, that is for not setting a precedent.


Items 7 and 8 are about Israeli expansion.  Item 7 actually is about the Bedouins opposing Israeli plans to relocate their communities.  But the truth is that Israel wants to Judaize most of the lands on which they sit (about 2% of the Negev ).  Item 8 is about Jerusalem expansion, which of course is at the expence of Palestinians.


Item 9 is a response to Barak’s comment that in a war with Iran (assuming that Israel attacks) no more than 500 Israeli lives will be lost.  Amir Oren disputes this.


Item 10, as I said, is the Sarkozy episode.


What awful stuff I send you.  But unfortunately, it all reflects what Israel is. 

What a mess!




1. Haaretz

Sunday, November 13, 2011


A new Israel in the making

The future is now. The revolution is in progress; just wait for what’s to come.


By Gideon Levy


One day not long from now we will wake up to a different kind of country, the country that’s now in the making. It won’t look like the country we know, which already has its share of flaws, distortions and ills. And when we become aware of this, it will be too late. At that point, the old Israel will be described in glowing terms, a model of democracy and justice, compared to the new version that is taking shape as we close our eyes to it, day after day, new law after law.


The way of life in the new Israel where we will live and die won’t remind us in the least of the country we’re used to. Even this article won’t be publishable. Only proper opinions will be put into print, the ones approved by the new government-sponsored journalists’ association, whose people will sit in every newsroom so there is no divergence from the accepted chorus of opinion.


Laws and regulations (clearly they will be passed as “emergency” regulations ) will bar publication of anything that could, in the eyes of the authorities, harm the state. A new law will bar defamation of the state , and the newspaper you will hold in your hands will be different. It will only report good news.


Radio and television broadcasts won’t be what you’re familiar with either. No media outlet will be able to go beyond the bounds of the law due to the draconian penalties for running afoul of them. The word “occupation” will be illegal, as will the expression “Palestinian state.” Treasonous journalists will be pilloried or arrested, or at least fired. That day is not long in coming.


In the not too distant future, the urban landscape will look different. What is happening today in Jerusalem will play itself out in the whole country tomorrow, when the likeness of women will be banished from public view. Today Jerusalem , tomorrow the whole country. Separate buses and streets for men and women. Radio and television will only broadcast men singing. At some point, women will be required to cover their heads. Then it will be the men’s turn. They will be barred from appearing clean-shaven or without a head covering. That day is not long in coming.


The cities will be shut down on Shabbat. Not a store or movie theater will be open. Then will come the ban on driving on Shabbat. Non-kosher restaurants will be illegal. Mezuzahs will be required on the doorpost of every room in every home. Couples not registered with the rabbinate will not be allowed to live together, and couples in which only one party is Jewish will be deported immediately. Unmarried couples will be barred from walking arm-in-arm in public.


Once a month all the country’s schoolchildren will make solidarity visits to West Bank settlements. Every lesson will begin with the singing of the national anthem and a salute to the flag. Those who don’t serve in the army will lose their citizenship and be deported.


And the Jewish state will have a Jewish Knesset. First Arabs will be barred from running for parliament in their own parties. Then they won’t be allowed to be elected at all. Until then, MKs who at the beginning of every Knesset session don’t sing the national anthem’s words about the “yearning of the Jewish soul” will be permanently removed.


Arabs will be denied the right to a university education, with the exception of a symbolic quota approved by the Shin Bet security service. It will be illegal to rent to Arabs, other than in their own towns and villages, and the Arabic language will be banned. The poetry of Arab poet Mahmoud Darwish and his Jewish compatriots Aharon Shabtai and Yitzhak Laor will also be banned. Amos Oz, A.B. Yehoshua and David Grossman will have to decide. They, and all the country’s citizens, will be required to declare themselves Zionists to get published.


The West Bank will be annexed, but the Palestinians living there will not be. Left-wing organizations will be made illegal and their leaders arrested. The government will publish a blacklist of those with offensive views who will not be allowed to leave the country or speak to the foreign media. Only someone who murders Jews will be deemed a real murderer, and the statute books will be divided into two parts, one for Jews and one for non-Jews. The death penalty will only apply to Arabs.


Special legislation will give settlers the right to take control of any land in the West Bank, and military censorship will ban any news item that could “harm the strength of the Israel Defense Forces.” The Supreme Court will only serve as a court of appeals and will not consider direct petitions on civil rights violations. Supreme Court justices will be selected by the Knesset and slots on the bench will be reserved for West Bank settlers, rabbis and members of the party in power. Only religious justices will be able to serve as chief justice. Rabbis will have legal immunity similar to what MKs have. Any declaration of war or a peace agreement will need the approval of the Council of Torah Sages.


Actually, you don’t need much imagination to come up with all this. The future is now. The revolution is in progress; just wait for what’s to come.


2.  LA Times

Saturday, November 12, 2011


As ultra-Orthodox flex muscle, Israel feminists see a backsliding

Women who thought Israel ‘s battle for gender equality was mostly won warn of a new assault from the fast-growing ultra-Orthodox, seeking to expand religious-based segregation into the public realm.,0,7356238.story


By Edmund Sanders, Los Angeles Times


Reporting from Jerusalem


When public buses rumble to a stop in some of Jerusalem ‘s religious neighborhoods, women often dutifully enter by the rear door and sit in the back, leaving the front for men.


There’s no law requiring the women to do so, but those who don’t risk verbal taunts and intimidation.


It’s a curious sight given Israel ‘s history as an international trailblazer for women’s rights.


The country produced one of the democratic world’s first female heads of government with Golda Meir’s election in 1969. Women lead Israel ‘s Supreme Court and two of the nation’s main political parties. Israel drafts women into military service and has some of the world’s toughest laws against sexual harassment and rape.


Yet Israeli women say that recently some of their most basic rights have come under attack, including singing and dancing in public, vying for student government positions at a religious college, appearing on billboards in Jerusalem , speaking on a religious radio station and even using the sidewalk during religious celebrations.


Feminists who once thought Israel ‘s battle for gender equality had been mostly won are warning of a new assault from Israel ‘s fast-growing ultra-Orthodox community, which is seeking to expand religious-based segregation into the public realm.


“We are going backward and losing all our achievements,” said Rachel Liel, executive director of the New Israel Fund, which advocates for civil rights and equality. “A 21st century democracy is not a place where women sit in the back of the bus.”


Israel ‘s ranking in gender equality — based upon workplace discrimination, pay differentials and other factors — compared with other countries dropped from 36th place in 2007 to 55th in 2011, according to the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Index.


A study last year by the advocacy group Israel Religious Action Center , which is leading the campaign to allow women to pray as men do at the Western Wall, found that attempts to segregate men and women had expanded from private buildings and religious sites to public spaces, including a post office, pizza parlor, grocery store and fairgrounds.


“The pattern is one of creeping encroachment,” said Anat Saragusti, director of Agenda, an Israeli group that works on minority-rights issues. “They try a little, see if it works, and then push the envelope a bit more every time until things reach a critical mass and are irreversible. That’s when people wake up. But by that point, it’s often too late.”


During a religious holiday last month, male residents of Jerusalem ‘s ultra-Orthodox Mea Shearim neighborhood banned women from using the main streets to prevent mingling of the sexes, defying a Supreme Court order allowing women on the streets. Last year, the same neighborhood constructed a separate, covered sidewalk that women were forced to use, a measure also rejected by the court as discriminatory.


The Israeli Andalusian Orchestra, based in the largely secular city of Ashdod , last month said it was dropping a female vocalist from its standard subscription schedule after conservative customers complained that it was against their religion to listen to a woman sing in public.


One way women’s rights activists are pushing back is by plastering posters of themselves around Jerusalem to protest what they say is the growing trend of advertisers to self-censor female images from billboards and bus placards after many such ads were ripped down or burned.


The Israel Defense Forces, which has long been a national symbol of gender equality and opportunity for women, is facing intense criticism after scores of dancing female soldiers were shuttled away from dancing male soldiers during a public military ceremony celebrating the Sukkot holiday last month. Military officials said they are investigating the incident. A month earlier, some male cadets walked out of another official event because female soldiers were singing.


Ultra-Orthodox leaders agree that the problem is one of encroachment, but they insist that it is the secular and the liberal religious communities that are seeking to impose modern values and prevent the ultra-Orthodox, also known as haredim, from practicing a stricter form of Judaism. Those traditional values typically include restrictions on television and the Internet, modest dress codes and segregation of the sexes, which haredi leaders say is needed to protect women from sexual exploitation and men from temptation.


“Women walk down the street as though they are at the beach,” said Rabbi Shmuel Pappenheim, a spokesman and leader for an umbrella group of ultra-Orthodox factions. “If in the past this was typical only of Tel Aviv, today it has reached Jerusalem as well. They encroach on our way of life, prompting our people to impose new restrictions, deepen separation and erect higher barriers to keep it away.”


The conflict is gaining intensity, he said, because of the rising influence and numbers of the haredi community, once a small, scattered minority that today numbers 1 million, about 15% of the population. The ultra-Orthodox live mostly in separate cities and neighborhoods where they have been free to practice their beliefs without interference. As their political power grows, they are demanding more accommodation for their way of life, Pappenheim said.


“We used to be a small minority fighting for survival,” he said. “Now we are a huge minority. As the saying goes, with food comes more appetite.”


He said the segregation was not intended to discriminate or oppress women but to “protect women’s honor and dignity.”


Critics say the issue is not religious tolerance, but equality.


“With all due respect, women are quite capable of defending their own honor,” said Hila Benyovits-Hoffman, an Israeli blogger who writes frequently about gender issues. “This insane gender separation and obsessive attention to women’s bodies have nothing to do with religion. Perhaps it is sexual repression or frustration out of control.”


Many activists criticize mainstream politicians for failing to speak out more aggressively against the segregation, particularly female leaders such as Kadima party Chairwoman Tzipi Livni , Labor Party head Shelly Yachimovich and Supreme Court Chief Justice Dorit Beinisch. All three declined to comment for this article.


” Israel ‘s women politicians do not like to be associated with women’s issues and do not want to be single-interest feminist activists,” said Saragusti of Agenda. “But who will take care of women’s issues if those who made it to the top won’t?”


[email protected]


News assistant Batsheva Sobelman in The Times’ Jerusalem bureau contributed to this report.


Copyright © 2011, Los Angeles Times


3.  Haaretz Editorial

Sunday, November 13, 2011


Netanyahu encouraging assault on Israel ‘s legal system

The prime minister is backing the assault by Yisrael Beiteinu and members of his own party against the legal system and its independence, and has accepted its subordination to political considerations.


Haaretz Editorial


Until recently Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appeared to be a supporter of the rule of law, the separation of powers and the independence of the judiciary, as they have developed since the state’s establishment. His acquiescence to the appointment of Yaakov Neeman as justice minister seemed to be a political response to Yisrael Beiteinu in coalition negotiations as well as the personal appointment of a confidant. When the prime minister opposed Neeman’s proposal to split the position of attorney general, he demonstrated that he is not opposed to the idea of an attorney general with broad authorities.


In contrast to his predecessor Ehud Olmert, who launched a battle against the Supreme Court, Netanyahu always came off as someone who recognized the importance of this institution and of the independence of its judges. But things are different now : The prime minister is backing the assault by Yisrael Beiteinu and members of his own party against the legal system and its independence, and has accepted its subordination to political considerations.


Last Sunday he allowed the Ministerial Committee for Legislation to approve a resolution that would change the Judicial Appointments Committee before its upcoming convention, a resolution that violates the Basic Law on the Judiciary and makes a mockery of the recent Israel Bar Association election.


The prime minister said nothing when his party colleague MK Yariv Levin , with demagogic lies, said after the ministerial committee vote: “This ends the reign of jurists from the radical left … the will of the public is stronger than the legal elite that had controlled … the judicial system by referring their friends to the bench … full diversity of the composition of the Supreme Court, whose gates would open to judges from the Mizrahi … Russian … and nationalist communities … [and] prevent the appointment of justices with a post-Zionist agenda.”


Netanyahu’s silence, and his acquiescence to the idea that candidates to the Supreme Court must be vetted by the Ministerial Committee for Legislation, constitute agreement with the determination that “jurists from the extreme left” are sitting on the bench, and support for the idea that the rulings of the district courts should be not only interpretations of the law but also interpretations of the political interests of the Ministerial Committee for Legislation. This is his test: Will he choose the path of Menachem Begin, or that of Olmert.


4.  Haaretz

Sunday, November 13, 2011


U.S. , EU pressure Netanyahu to scrap proposed bill against Israeli NGOs

EU ambassador to Israel , Andrew Standley, warns prime minister’s national security adviser, Yaakov Amidror that passage of legislation could harm Israel ‘s standing.


By Barak Ravid

Tags : Benjamin Netanyahu Israel US Knesset


The European Union and the United States , as well as other countries, have begun applying pressure on the office of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, urging that proposed legislation limiting funding by foreign governments of Israeli nonprofit organizations be scrapped.


The EU’s ambassador to Israel , Andrew Standley, contacted the prime minister’s national security adviser, Yaakov Amidror, on Thursday and warned him that passage of the legislation could harm Israel ‘s standing in the West as a democratic country.


The Ministerial Committee for Legislation will consider Likud’s version of the proposed law, sponsored by MK Ofir Akunis, on Sunday. It would bar political nonprofit organizations from receiving more than NIS 20,000 from foreign governments or international agencies such as the UN or the EU.


An explanation in support of the bill – which is also supported by Netanyahu himself – said it was necessary in light of what were called “acts of incitement by many organizations operating in the guise of human rights organizations that seek to influence political discourse, the character, and policy of the State of Israel.”


At the same time, Fania Kirshenbaum (Yisrael Beiteinu ) is sponsoring a similar bill that would require Israeli nonprofits that don’t receive Israeli government funding pay a 45 percent tax on all proceeds from foreign governments.


Diplomats posted here from three European countries said the two bills are prompting great concern within the EU. One diplomat said the bills are problematic both with regard to potential harm to the countries’ activities in Israel , and with regard to what he said was their anti-democratic character.


A diplomat familiar with the situation said that the EU’s Standley told Amidror that the proposed laws are viewed as an attempt to limit civil society activity in Israel , calling the proposals part of a wider disturbing development.


For his part, Amidror is said to have replied with a defense of the legislation, calling foreign funding of nonprofits interference in Israel ‘s internal affairs.


A senior Israeli official acknowledged that if the bills pass in their current form, they would cause a severe crisis with the EU. Standley has contacted all of the embassies in Israel that represent EU countries, urging them to register their own concerns regarding the legislation. EU ambassadors here are to meet on Tuesday to discuss the issue. The office of the EU in Israel has also approached the embassies of three non-EU countries – the United States , Canada and Norway – to coordinate the diplomatic response that Israel receives.


The embassies of Britain and the Netherlands , both countries that fund a number of left-wing organizations in Israel , have already begun to take action on the issue.


The British ambassador here, Matthew Gould, is said to have told Akunis that Britain supports the promotion of human rights in a large number of countries in an effort to advance universal values, and that the funding is not directed against the Israeli government.


In addition to individual EU countries, including Denmark , Belgium and Spain , as well as the U.K. and the Dutch government, the EU itself funds Israeli nonprofits. The United States and Canada do so too, and the American embassy has registered its own concern to the Prime Minister’s Office.


5.  Haaretz

Sunday, November 13, 2011


Israeli ministers approve bills to limit funding for human rights groups

Bills would cap foreign governments’ contributions to ‘political’ NGOs; EU , U.S. say legislation could harm Israel ‘s standing as a democratic country.


By Jonathan Lis

Tags: Knesset Benjamin Netanyahu Avigdor Lieberman Yisrael Beiteinu


The Ministerial Committee for Legislation on Sunday approved two bills that would limit foreign funding for Israeli human rights organizations.


Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had already announced support for one of the bills, sponsored by two members of his Likud party – MKs Tzipi Hotovely and Ofir Akunis – which would cap foreign governments’ contributions to “political” non-governmental organizations at NIS 20,000.


Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman’s Yisrael Beiteinu, meanwhile, is throwing its weight behind the second initiative brought forh by party MK Fania Kirshenbaum, which would slap a 45 percent tax on foreign governments’ donations to NGOs ineligible for state funding.


Netanyahu said Sunday that he wants to amend a number of clauses in each bill, which are likely to include raising the proposed cap for financial contributions and distinguishing between organization that specify in human rights from those viewed as having a purely political agenda.


Members of the coalition will be asked to vote on both bills when they are brought to the Knesset for a preliminary reading in the coming days.


Also on Sunday, Netanyahu decided to postpone the vote on a controversial bill that gives the Knesset Constitution Committee the right to vet Supreme Court candidates.


The European Union and the United States , as well as other countries, have been applying pressure on Netanyahu’s office, urging the new legislation be scrapped.


The EU’s ambassador to Israel , Andrew Standley, contacted the prime minister’s national security adviser, Yaakov Amidror, on Thursday and warned him that passage of the legislation could harm Israel ‘s standing in the West as a democratic country.


6.  Haaretz

Sunday, November 13, 2011


Israel stalling release of report proving West Bank outpost built on Palestinian land

The outpost, Derekh Ha’avot, established early 2001 and is home to about 35 families; according to report 60 percent of the community is on Palestinian farmland.


By Chaim Levinson

Tags : Israel settlements Benjamin Netanyahu West Bank Israel Supreme Court Palestinians IDF


The Military Advocate General (MAG ) is delaying the publication of an internal report from a year ago which shows that most of the West Bank outpost of Derekh Ha’avot is on private Palestinian land. The report, a copy of which was obtained by Haaretz , indicates that 60 percent of the Etzion Bloc community is on Palestinian farmland.


The outpost, also known as Nativ Ha’avot, was established in early 2001 and is home to about 35 families. In 2002, the Palestinian landowners petitioned the High Court of Justice for the return of their land. A government team appointed to conduct a land ownership survey never completed its work.


In 2008, Peace Now filed a second High Court petition, through attorneys Michael Sfard and Shlomi Zachariah, again demanding the outpost’s evacuation. In its response to the petition, the state said the survey team would be reestablished. In October 2010, Justice Edmond Levy rejected the petition because the survey had not been completed but wrote, “No one knows when it will be done; only time will tell.”


The landowners contacted the Civil Administration repeatedly, asking about the survey’s status. Zachariah received a letter from Roman Levitt of the MAG’s land department last April, stating that the team was building a database of its findings and expected to conclude its work within two months. In September Levitt wrote again, saying the survey work was “at its peak.”


In response to a query from Haaretz last week, the IDF Spokesperson’s Office noted the complexity of the survey, which included a land-use review going back to 1969, physical surveys of the land in question and input from Survey of Israel – the government mapping agency – and said the team’s work was in its “final stages.”


The documents obtained by Haaretz , however, indicate that the survey was carried out in November 2010. Since then, MAG and the Civil Administration have used various excuses to avoid making it public. The survey was conducted by Malka Ofri, head of photo-interpretation at Survey of Israel, who sent the Civil Administration an opinion based on her comparison of seven aerial photos taken between 1969 and 2007.


According to West Bank law, a person earns rights to a plot of land after cultivating it for 10 successive years. Ofri wrote that for 25 years there was no significant change to the cultivation of the land in question, which constitutes 60 percent of the 1,420 dunams ( 350 acres ) on which Derekh Ha’avot sits, meaning that most of the outpost is on Palestinian-owned land.


Since February, when Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu decided to demolish all outposts built on private Palestinian land, right-wing activists have been applying heavy pressure on him to reverse that decision. Publication of the report on Derekh Ha’avot would cause more headaches for the authorities and bring the petitioners back to the High Court.


“This case, like many others, proves there is close cooperation between the the law enforcement authorities and lawbreakers,” Zachariah told Haaretz. ” The state rebuffed the Derekh Ha’avot petition by saying the status of the land had to be examined. It is now clear that this was only an excuse for the state not to address the issue of illegal building. When the outcome is inconvenient for the settlers, the state does not hurry to enforce the law, and by concealing data it completes the violation of the law. The new information will find its way to the relevant judicial instances so that the court will expose the sad truth of the enforcement authorities’ conduct.”


7.  BBC

Friday, November 11, 2011


Bedouin oppose Israeli plans to relocate communities


By Yolande Knell


 BBC News, Jerusalem   Many Bedouin fled to the West Bank from the Negev after the creation of the Israeli state in 1948


Bedouin in the occupied West Bank and in Israel ‘ s Negev desert say they fear for their future as new reports circulate that the Israeli authorities plan to relocate them. International aid and Bedouin groups say tens of thousands of people could ultimately be affected.


Bedouin to the east of Jerusalem expect attempts will soon be made to move them against their will. They live in an area that is controlled by Israel ‘s Civil Administration, part of the Defence Ministry that governs the West Bank.


“Nobody can stop them. This is their project and they will implement it no matter what,” says Ghadara Jahalin, who squats on a rug surrounded by her grandchildren in a camp made up of tents and metal shacks.


“They will push us to somewhere where we won’t be able to survive”.


The small community already endures harsh conditions in the desert. They have no running water or access to the electrical grid.


On the other side of the busy road leading to Jericho , Israel ‘s largest settlement, Maale Adumim, fills the horizon.


“You can see now we are trapped between the settlements, their power cables and the road,” Ghadara says. “We used to have wells, now we can’t reach them. We can’t plant anything so there is no pasture for the goats and sheep.”


The family moved here after they were forced away from Tel Arad in the northern Negev, more than 60 years ago, soon after the creation of Israel .


Now there are plans to relocate them to allow for expansion of the nearby settlement bloc. The Israeli authorities say this will also give them better access to resources and services.


Recently the Civil Administration declared its intention to move some 20 Bedouin communities, a total of about 2,300 people, most of them refugees.


 Bedouin communities worry their children may not be able to continue their traditional lifestyles


Reports said the Bedouin would be taken to a new permanent location by al-Azariya, close to a rubbish dump. Dozens of members of the Jahalin tribe were relocated there in the 1990s due to early construction at Maale Adumim but complain of lack of access to grazing land and health problems.


The local UN agency, OCHA, says such a move would contravene international humanitarian law and “further endanger the Bedouin’s way of life”.


However the Civil Administration spokesman suggested the plans were not final. He said work had gone on for months “to find a solution for the relocation dilemma of the Jahalin tribe who are illegally located without the required permit”.


“Talks are being conducted with the heads of the Jahalin tribe to find a solution that would suit them,” he added.


Demolitions and harassment


The Israeli authorities ban most new construction by Bedouin in the West Bank zone they control.


Since the beginning of this year there have been increased demolitions of homes. UN data shows more than a hundred Bedouin structures have been demolished. Settler harassment is also a growing problem.


In Khan al-Ahmar, many homes are under demolition order, as is the primary school, set up with the help of an Italian charity two years ago. It was built out of rubber tyres covered in mud and concrete. Dozens of children attend classes there.


 There is a demolition order on the Khan al-Ahmar tyre school and many other Bedouin structures

“All basic international laws support education. Today you must have it. It’s as important as water and oxygen,” says Eid Jahalin, the father of two pupils.


“The status of the school is like an intensive care patient: we don’t know if it will make it or not ,” he goes on. “We are facing many lawsuits.”


It is estimated that about 27,000 Bedouin living in the West Bank.


They mostly live in areas that Israel declared as state land or on private land leased from Palestinians. Some have deeds showing they bought territory when Jordan was in control of the area between 1948 and 1967.


Many of the nomadic communities settled there after leaving their ancestral land in the Negev desert. The Bedouin that remained became Israeli citizens but still have a tense relationship with the state.


‘Unrecognised’ villages


In September, the Israeli cabinet approved a plan that would see over 30,000 Bedouins moved from Negev villages which it views as “unrecognised”, to land adjacent to existing urban centres. These are villages that often predate the State of Israel, are not officially recognised and therefore denied state support or services.


“A decision must be made for the country and for the development of the Negev and its residents, Jews and Bedouin alike,” said the prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu.


Legislation is soon expected to go before parliament after a three-month consultation period.


Arab advocacy groups argue this reverses the usual planning process and that Negev Bedouin will never agree to relocate two-thirds of their population in “cramped towns” where they cannot pursue their traditional agricultural lifestyles.


They say they seek rights to land that amounts to just 2% of the Negev

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