Bedoeienen in de Negev“The political exploitation of Bedouin resettlement”

A plan to move some Bedouin in Israel’s Negev region from unauthorised hamlets on to state land and into cities is being ridiculously exploited by extremists from both sides.

In an analysis piece in the Times of Israel, Haviv Rettig Gur argues that the international community and political activists are deliberately missing the point about a carefully-crafted development and modernisation scheme cultivated by planners and economists which is slowly being allowed to ferment into a nationalist tug-of-war. …

The fiery rhetoric surrounding the Prawer-Begin resettlement plan is hiding the real needs and complicated reality of Bedouin modernization – By Haviv Rettig Gur December 3, 2013 – The Times of Israel

There is nothing new in the intense interest foreigners take in the Israeli-Arab conflict. But the concentrated flurry of discussion and activism abroad over the government’s so-called Prawer-Begin plan to resettle some of the Bedouin population in the Negev took many Israelis by surprise.

In October, the second-largest bloc in the European Parliament, the Socialists and Democrats group, held a conference on the issue in which posters urged parliamentarians to “Stop Prawer-Begin Plan, no ethnic cleansing of Palestinian Bedouin.”

The idea of the plan — developed in the Prime Minister’s Office Planning Directorate headed by Udi Prawer, and advanced by former cabinet minister Benny Begin — is to move some of the Negev’s Bedouin, Arab Israelis who lead a semi-nomadic lifestyle, off of unrecognized hamlets on state land and into cities.

Last week, 50 British artists, musicians and left-wing activists penned a letter to the Guardian newspaper accusing Israel of planning the “the expulsion and confinement of up to 70,000 Palestinian Bedouins,” and of “systematic discrimination and separation.” They called on the UK government to cut ties with Israel until it showed “respect for human rights and international law.”

Protests were held against the plan in an estimated two-dozen countries.

For Israelis watching the burgeoning international opposition to the program, the surprise stems from the sense here at home that the question of Bedouin settlement is a domestic issue, not part of the Arab-Israeli conflict that reliably draws the passion of foreign activists.

After all, the Bedouin are Israeli citizens. Their sons serve in the IDF. …

… One key problem with this spectacularly excessive rhetoric is that for all the noise it generates, it fails to provide actual information to its audience.

For example, one cannot discover from the Rabbis for Human Rights video that almost half of the Bedouin being moved — roughly 15,000 – actually asked to be moved, even appealing to courts to get the state to grant them a new planned town in a separate location because the site where they had encamped was too close to the chemical works of Ramat Hovav, Israel’s main hazardous waste disposal facility. ….

… And nowhere in the EU Parliament’s gathering of Socialists and Democrats could one learn that the Bedouin are being moved just three to five kilometers down the road from their current place of residence, and not out of the country.

The Brussels gathering could have learned these facts, but alas, the conference of the parliament’s major left-wing bloc declined the Israeli ambassador’s request to appear and offer a full rebuttal, instead granting him just five minutes’ speaking time in the framework of a larger debate about Israel’s faults. …

Lees verder: het origineel artikel uit Times of Israel: Sound and fury masking true debate over Bedouin resettlement

Lees ook: Using the Bedouin to Attack Israel

Israel’s policy on the Negev Bedouin, an interview with Mark Regev

EJC / Times of Israel – foto: Bedoeienen in de Negev