I wrote this article after 9 of us were arested when we tride to rebuild the homs of El-Arakiv after the entire vlage was demolishd again. In this time the police arive again and arested 4 people from El-Arakiv and 5 Humanrihgts activists that tride to help them to rebuild their homs. One humanrihgts activist was arested earlier that day.
I wish you could ask your Forign ministers to interfir in this grave Humanrights violation by the Israeli governament against deafendles sitizens that their only crime is that they are Bedouins in the Jewish state. I wish you ask them to chek the resist role of the JNF in this case.
All the best to you and thank you!
Martin Luther King Junior and the Struggle of the Bedouins
By Amos Gvirtz
On Monday January 17, 2011, America celebrated Martin Luther King Junior Day. In the 1960s King led a non-violent struggle against the racial segregation in the southern states. He was arrested many times during the course of this struggle for breaking the laws of those states. Nevertheless, his birthday was declared a national holiday in the U.S. – and this during the term of a right-wing president, Ronald Reagan.
How is it possible that the birthday of a serial criminal has become a national holiday? The difference between King and other criminals is that the latter break laws which are intended to protect all citizens, while Martin Luther King Junior broke laws which discriminated against some of the citizens – deplorable racist laws.
On Monday January 17, 2011, representatives of the State of Israel, accompanied by a large police force, destroyed the Bedouin village El-Arakib for the 10th time. They then proceeded to clear away the rubble in preparation for the planting of a forest by the Jewish National Fund (JNF) on the village land! That same day the police arrested 10 people at the site, residents of the village and human rights activists who protested against the state’s reprehensible act.
All the Bedouin tribes living on their lands in the area of El-Arakib were evacuated by the state in the early 1950s. They were not evacuated in the heat of battle in 1948, but by a political decision! The authorities notified the Bedouin that the army needed the area for military maneuvers, and promised that they would be allowed to return to their lands in six months. They broke their promise and instead, in 1953, passed the Land Acquisition Law which allowed the state to take over the Bedouin lands – a clear case of land embezzlement by means of legislation!
The state transferred the majority of the Bedouin who were evacuated from their lands in the 1950s to the Sayag (??) area, between Beer-Sheba, Dimona, Arad and the corridor to the Kama Junction. As if this were not enough, in 1965 the Knesset passed the Planning and Building Law which, among other things, prohibited building in the Sayag area. In one stroke this legislation turned all the Bedouin villages in the area into unrecognized villages which were prohibited from building! The very government that had uprooted the Bedouins from their lands and homes and transferred them to another area, now declared that they were trespassers in this area, and as such were forbidden to build homes and to receive water, electricity and services from the state!
The state had created a situation in which its laws were in conflict with morality! A situation in which an honest person had to decide whether to be moral and break the laws, or immoral and accept them!
In the early 1970s the state allowed the Bedouin to submit ownership claims to their lands, and thousands did so. Instead of checking each individual claim, as the Ottoman and British regimes had done, in a political decision the state rejected the ownership claims, thereby robbing the Bedouin of their remaining lands.
The problem is aggravated when the Bedouin are unwilling to accept this highway robbery. Then the state punishes them: demolishing their houses, destroying their agricultural crops, demolishing entire villages, and so forth.
If, God forbid, the Iranian government started to demolish the homes of Jews, all of us would protest against the criminal acts of the Iranian government! But when the government of Israel systematically destroys the homes of Bedouins, whose only crime was being born Bedouin in a Jewish state, only a few of us go out and protest. Sometimes these protestors are arrested by the police.
If, God forbid, the French government started to concentrate the Jews in townships, all of us would go out and protest against the despicable policy of the French government! But here in Israel, when the government concentrates the Bedouins in townships, in order to steal their remaining lands, politicians dare to claim that they are doing it from concern for their welfare! And too few of us understand what the protest is all about.
Criminal law deals with the prevention of acts which are for the most part immoral. In contrast, land laws and planning and building laws are policy laws. When this policy discriminates against people whose only crime is not belonging to the right ethnic group, then this policy is racist and the laws supporting it are racist. It is our obligation to struggle for their abolition! That is what Martin Luther King Junior did in the United States, and it is what human rights organizations are attempting to do here in Israel.
2. [Thanks to Guenter for calling attention to this.]
Al Jazeera Friday, February 11, 2011
Egypt’s lessons for Palestine
Will the pan-Arab intifada reignite Palestinian streets or is the challenge facing Palestinians just too great?
Al Jazeera Friday, February 11, 2011 Last Modified: 11 Feb 2011 15:20 GMT
Palestinians protest in support of the Egyptian and Tunisian uprisings [EPA]
Egypt’s lessons for Palestine
Will the pan-Arab intifada reignite Palestinian streets or is the challenge facing Palestinians just too great?
Global attention is rightly focused on Egypt at the moment. Weeks after Tunisia’s Zine El Abidine Ben Ali withdrew his proboscis and fled to Saudi Arabia, the Egyptian tyrant and American strongman Hosni Mubarak has similarly fallen. Protests have erupted across the Middle East causing the Yemeni, Saudi and Jordanian dictators to hyperventilate. Now, observers are wondering whether the pan-Arab intifada will reignite Palestinian streets.
Palestine is a special case, however. The race-based Israeli apartheid system and the virtual Palestinian Authority (PA) police statelet work in tandem to pummel the Palestinians into submission. The binational repression apparatus spawned by the Israelis and venal Palestinians is especially difficult to overcome. That is because while the Israelis are perpetrating what Professor Juan Cole calls the “slow genocide” of the Palestinian people, PA functionaries insulate the occupation from legitimate resistance.
The Palestine Papers provided observers with a raw view of the inner workings of the so-called peace process. It became clear that where a people’s national aspirations should have been, a pervasive rot had taken root and metastasised throughout the Palestinian body politic.
Predictably, the PA’s response to the leaks showcased Mahmoud Abbas’ gangster credentials. Shortly after the release of the documents, the PA regime’s secret police and thugs vandalised the Al Jazeera network’s offices. That embarrassingly transparent act of hooliganism turned out to be portentous of Mubarak’s own attacks against the network. Here in Cairo, the regime’s henchmen torched the network’s offices and began to attack and arrest journalists.
There are more similarities. When Palestinian youths congregated to demonstrate in solidarity with Tunisians several weeks ago they were jackbooted by Abbas’ thugs. And it happened a second time when they organised to demonstrate in solidarity with Egyptians. Likewise, Mubarak’s own baltageya (goons) massed to injure and kill peaceful protesters in one street battle that lasted 15 hours. Hundreds of demonstrators were injured and at least nine were murdered – some by snipers.
Meanwhile, Israel continues to kill Palestinians at a remarkably constant rate of one person per day in 2011. And the Israelis kill with impunity; they know that Abbas’ security forces are their subordinates. And they know that the PA exists to protect them from Palestinian resistance – an example of which was the PA’s burying of the Goldstone Report on war crimes perpetrated by Israel and Hamas during Operation Cast Lead.
Following the money trail
The grand arc from Cairo to Tel Aviv to Ramallah – the primary propulsion force behind the despots – is American patronage. Americans provide Israel with billions of dollars every year to build settlements – money is fungible, after all. And they provide Mubarak with billions and Abbas with hundreds of millions of dollars to secure the Jewish apartheid state.
This formula guarantees that the Israelis get security, PA apparatchiks get rich and ordinary Palestinians get savaged – by everybody. It is a formula that permitted Saeb Erekat, the chief Palestinian negotiator, to offer the Israelis the biggest “Yerushalayim in Jewish history”. It enabled Ahmed Qurei, the PA’s former prime minister, to exclaim obsequiously to Tzipi Livni, the then Israeli foreign minister, that he would “vote for [her]”. And it allowed Mahmoud Abbas to make a solidarity call to Hosni Mubarak at the outset of the Egyptian revolution. It is a formula that has enabled Israel to colonise Palestine out of existence, undermining the ostensible reason for the PA’s creation.
There are signs that the American street is awakening to the abuses marshalled by American government “aid” in the region. The revolution has ignited discussion in online chat forums and op-eds about why Americans are providing billions to a brutally despotic regime.
Similarly, the discussion around Palestinian financial aid and authoritarianism is already beginning. Human Rights Watch issued the following statement in response to the crackdowns against protesters: “The US and the EU should suspend aid to Palestinian Authority security forces unless the Palestinian authorities take appropriate measures to end such abuses and allow Palestinians to enjoy their rights to freedom of assembly and expression.”
But the Palestinians cannot wait for the American and European publics to pressure their governments into withholding funds from the PA and Israeli apartheid. Nor are they willing to wait. On February 5, several thousand Palestinians succeeded in overcoming Abbas’ squad of thugs and protesting against the regime, and in solidarity with Egyptians. But much more needs to be done to overcome the double-stacked challenge they confront. The Palestinian people need a strategy for dismantling the colonially corrupted PA. Human Rights Watch provides a workable template for how to do that.
The parallel challenge of defeating Israeli apartheid and calling for equal rights in Palestine/Israel will become that much easier in the absence of apartheid’s insulation authority. The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement can operate more efficiently against an apartheid regime that does not hide behind a native enforcement regime. The efforts of the Palestinian people must be directed at both.
Ahmed Moor is a Palestinian-American freelance journalist based in Cairo. He was born in the Gaza Strip.
The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Al Jazeera’s editorial policy.
Source: Al Jazeera
3. Indian thinktank report claims countries can make “blue peace” with water management, solve deadlocks between Israel, PA, Syria.
An Indian thinktank, Strategic Foresight Group, released a report Saturday that claims that Israel, Jordan, and the Palestinian territories are in the worst shape in the Middle East with clean water resources, citing a 500-700 million cubic meter water deficit each. Middle Eastern counties will have no choice to cooperate as water resources in the region dwindle causing shortages, the report said.
The investigative report was launched by Swiss Foreign Minister Micheline Calmy-Rey, who, according to AFP, said “The report comes to an alarming conclusion; five of the seven countries are experiencing a structural shortage, and debit of most of the big rivers has declined by 50 to 90 percent since 1960.”
Calmy-Rey also called for stronger cooperation between Israel, the Palestinian Authority, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, and Turkey on managing the scant available water resources, adding water’s potential to create a “blue peace.”
“In the future the main geopolitical resource in the Middle East will be water more than oil,” he added.
The report warned, however, that “The countries that are friendly today may be antagonistic tomorrow and the ones which are enemies today may be friends tomorrow,” adding that “The history of merely last ten years in the Middle East demonstrates how quickly the geopolitical scene changes.”
The report claimed to have provided a “regional perspective,” explaining that watercourses both above and below surface do not adhere to “political boundaries.” The investigation highlights the shrinking of the Dead Sea to a small lake by 2050, depletions of the Yarmouk and Jordan Rivers, as well as the drying-up of the Euphrates River due to droubt, and also added that the technical solutions developed in Israel to water issues will only last for a short period of time.
Commenting on water issues in Israel and the Palestinian territories, the report cited a “fundamental misunderstanding between water experts” on both sides concerning the withdrawal from available aquifers. The report stressed that a peace accord will allow the Palestinians and Israelis to a “fair management of water resources by equitable participation of both parties.”
As for joint Israeli-Jordanian-Palestinian water resource management, the report said that the ongoing Red-Dead Sea Canal (RDC) project, a 112 mile pipeline from the Red Sea to the Dead sea would be used both to replenish dwindling waters in the Dead Sea, as well as creating desalinated water for all three parties by using hydro-electric power created by the 400 meter drop from the Dead Sea to the Gulf of Aqaba, Eilat’s coastline.
The report noted that due to Jordan’s funding difficulties for it’s own $2 billion desalination project at the Dead Sea, it can be expected that the “more ambitious” RDC project may face potential financial problems once feasability and environmental studies have been completed for the venture.
Israel and Syria may also see their water issues become the focal point of potential peace negotiations, as Lake Kinneret has become a central issue of “secret” talks between the countries since Israel conquered the Golan in 1967.
The report recommended that Israel and Syria break the current deadlock by engaging in joint-water management on the lake and surrounding tributaries, citing the contentious nature of the issue given the unlikelihood that Israel will disengage from the Golan in the near future, or that Syria will give up claims to the Kinneret’s eastern shoreline.
The report claims that Israel and Syria have “attempted exploring a compromise on many occasions” to turn the area’s water resource into a Regional commons, working to sustain water bodies within a certain time frame and agreeing on a set of principals regarding the management of their shared ecosystem.
As for Israel’s unilateral, technical solutions, the report said that such projects “will mainly work for a decade or so, but Israel will have to look for external sources and regional cooperation beyond 2020 to ensure its water security.”