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[Sapir College, Public Admin] Dr. Yeela Raanan from the "Regional Council for Unrecognized Bedouin" incites Bedouins to become enemies of Israel

Dr. Yeela Raanan is a lecturer at the department of Public Administration at Sapir College



Preventing Bedouin Access to Land in the Negev: destruction of crops and deprivation of resources

Dr. Yeela Raanan, Regional Council for Unrecognized Bedouin
Villages in the Negev
RCUV general mailing
Monday, April 06, 2009

Yesterday, April 5th, 2009, the *Government of Israel sent tractors to plow
in order to destroy the crops of Al-Tori family from the unrecognized
Arab-Bedouin village of Al-Aaraqib in the Israeli Negev.* They destroyed
about 500 dunams (125 acres) of crops. Sheikh Sayah requested that the
police show the legal papers allowing this action – and there were none.
About 30 vehicles of police, Green Patrol, Israeli Land Authority inspectors
and border police came to protect the tractors as they destroyed the crops.
Interestingly they removed the license plates from these tractors…

Today they sent the tractors to plow and destroy the crops on Abu-Mqirh
family from the unrecognized Bedouin village of Am-Ratam.

*Why plow? – To destroy the crops.*

The Government of Israel does not view the Arab-Bedouin citizens of Israel
as deserving the right to utilize the Negev lands. The government will take
extreme measures to prohibit this right. The reasoning: *Making the Negev
Bloom – only with Jewish crops…*

The indigenous Bedouin populations were the only people capable of utilizing
the Desert land of the Negev, and were its sole inhabitants 100 years ago.
Today the gov’t of Israel is battling its Bedouin citizens in order to stop
the access of the Bedouins to the last 3% of the Negev land that they are
still holding. This the gov’t does by demolishing homes and destroying

The gov’t claims that there is land grabbing… indeed there is – but it is
not done by the Bedouins, as the gov’t claims, rather by the Government of
Israel itself.

The Bedouin farmers do not receive subsidized agricultural water as the
Jewish farmers, so their crops, grown in the desert without irrigation, are
very lean. This year was a drought year in the Negev, reducing the crops
even more. Despite the little access to land, no access to subsidized
agricultural water, and more policies that induce poverty – the gov’t
invests in the destruction of crops.

And all of this

*On Behalf of Zionism*

*Water for Agriculture in the Negev – only for the Jews*

*Development of the pasture in Israel – against the Arabs.*

In two articles published recently (in Hebrew, attached) the Government of
Israel, and in particular the Minister of Agriculture, Mr. Shalom Simhon,
make cynical use Zionist rhetoric, in order to pursue the development of
Jewish agriculture, and at the same time destroy the option of agriculture
for Israel’s Arab citizens.

Quoting from one of the articles:

*Mekorot, the national water company is constructing a plant to pump
restored sewer water … at Shoqet Junction. The sewer water of Meitar,
Karmit, Laqiya, and Hura… will be pumped to water the agricultural crops in
the vicinity.*

This sounds great.

I know of many villages in the vicinity of Shoqet Junction: Al-Qrein,
A-Sayed, Saawa, Amra-Tarabin, Al-Baht, Al-Mekimen, Awajan, Im-El-Hiran,
Atir, Twail Abu-Jarwal, Al-Masudia, Hirbat al-Watan, Tla-Rashid, Al-Ghara,
Um-Batin. All are no more than 10 kms (7 miles) from Shoqet Junction, and in
these villages most of the residents find their major income from
agriculture. This is wonderful – at long last they will be able to purchase
agriculturally priced water, and will be able to water their fields.

However, the article goes on to explain:

*The plant will be called Sekhel plant, using the acronyms of the kibbutzim:
Shomria, Karmia and Lahav, the future recipients of the restored water.*


*50 million Shekels will be invested in the building of this plant. … The
pipes will reach the fields of Shomria, 15 kms away.*

*Why only to Jewish agriculture???*

The cynicism is unbelievable: the towns from which the water will be taken
are mostly Bedouin towns. In Israel citizens pay partially (through
municipal taxes) for the restoration of their sewer. Further, the town of
Karmit, from which the sewer water will be taken, has not yet been
established… but is one of the scores of rural towns planned in the Negev,
to Jew-adise the Negev.

The Israeli Land Authority rents land for agriculture to Bedouins in the
Negev for the duration of three months – the rainy season, without certainty
that it will be renewed the next year. This is to make sure that they cannot
make any claims to the land. Jewish agriculturalists in the Negev on the
other hand receive some of the land on a 50 years renewable basis, and some
on an annually or tri-annually renewable basis, with access to water at
subsidized agricultural prices (a fraction of the price available for
domestic use, or to the Bedouin community for agriculture). Any person with
a sense of justice would expect the gov’t to apply similar criteria to the
Bedouins and the Jews. In addition, when asked several years ago, why the
handful of Bedouins who have access to land do not receive also restored
water, the answer was that there was no restored water in the area. And now?

In order to make sure we understand the full reason for not allocating water
for Bedouin agriculture, we can read from the second article, published in *The
Marker – online*, titled:

*51 Million Shekels will be invested in “preventing the seizure of national

And it goes on to explain how this will be done:

*The support is intended to finance the development of 350 thousand dunams
of open spaces for pasture of cows and sheep… the beef growers in Israel …
have superior national importance… it is a national struggle on claiming
hold of open spaces… the major battle is going on in the Negev, Galilee and
Wadi Ara regions…*

Isn’t it time we stopped viewing the need of Israeli non-Jewish
agriculturalists as an attempt to seize national land? Until when will we
continue to discriminate and harm non-Jewish citizens in Israel *on behalf
of Zionism*?

Raising sheep in pasture is the main source of income of about 20% of the
Arab-Bedouins in the Negev. Animal husbandry has been a traditional way of
life of the Bedouins. However, the reasons it still persists until today as
such an important source of income is due also to Israeli policies towards
the Bedouin: The education system is still the worst in Israel, there is
high unemployment in the Negev, as with globalization most of the industry
has moved out of the country. And to make things worse, Thai laborers are
imported to carry out the agricultural work in the Jewish fields.

And beyond all this, the gov’t every year claims – we don’t have pasture
area for the seasonal pasture for the Bedouin flocks. But as we can see –
for Jewish sheep there is plenty of pasture…

Please write to your local representative or to the Israeli Minister of
Agriculture, Shalom Simhon and demand access to resources: land and water
for the Bedouins.

fax # +972 3 748 5544

Write to your local representative and demand justice for the Bedouin
minority in Israel, or to the Director of Israeli Land Authority, Minister
of Housing and Construction, Ariel Atias, and demand the cessation of crop

fax # +972 2 5824111

Written by Dr. Yeela Raanan, Regional Council for Unrecognized Bedouin
Villages in the Negev – RCUV.

For more information: yallylivnat@gmail.com +972 54 7487005

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