I wrote a few weeks back about the upcoming, much-delayed, little-anticipated Palestinian local elections which had been one, two, three times delayed for various reasons; most recently in order to allow Gazan parties to organize in time to participate in the elections. Their inclusion seems important to me; it tangibly unites again a Gaza-West Bank administration, especially important after the recent reconciliation, ending the political split between the two territories. In the quest for a state, discarding Gaza to the side, as it looks Fatah is about to do, does not seem a politically savvy or humane move.
zed all uncultivated land in the Negev as mawat (dead), encouraging cultivation as a means to ownership. Mawat land was the property of the state. The land law categorized the land and controlled uncultivated land, but the Ottoman government also respected traditional Bedouin customs of land ownership, purchase, and inheritance.
British: The British Mawat Land Ordinance of 1921 aimed to consolidate land in the hands of the government. Cultivators of mawat land were given a period of two months to register the land in their names, or it would be claimed by the state. Continue reading →
Can you explain to me how the situation of the Bedouin construction in Negev evolved? I’m confused about Israel’s justification for the demolitions…what is the historical timeline?
The easy answer is ask Ariel, our resident al-Araqib and all things Negev Bedouin expert.
My rough answer, and please feel free to correct, was the following:
So the Bedouin in the Negev thing is complicated and the story is a little different depending who you ask…
…as I understand it, they were issued titles to their land under the Ottomans. The British recognized them sort of in passing (though they were never transferred over as official British documents), and then when Israel was formed they basically ignored the Negev, focused more on the cities and the populous areas. Now that Israel is trying to expand into the less-populated regions with all its Lands Administration laws benefiting former soldiers, etc. (e.g. Settlements in the WB and Gaza, the Negev, the Galilee), they have decided they want the traditionally Bedouin lands in the Negev. They do this under the premise that it is state-owned land, and as they don’t recognize the Ottoman titles to the land (though they do occasionally recognize British-issued legal documents, but not always, I think) the Bedouin are essentially squatters.
Thus the legal premise for the destruction.
It’s also being claimed by the JNF which, despite being an American organization is also an Israeli government organization, and they think they are going to plant trees, or something, and if you google GODTV you’ll see the fun Christian Evangelical Zionist types who are financially and politically backing the GOI and the JNF in their attempts to oust the Bedouin from their villages.
I remember reading something about a bill stipulating these charges a while ago, possibly a Knesset or executive proposal or something, but I don’t exactly remember.
The land politics in Israel are a funny thing; on some level, it all comes down to land ownership.
I’m looking forward to explanatory comments below, and perhaps a post from Ariel on the topic?
ask: why build homes and plant trees when we know they will be destroyed? The construction was a symbolic gesture meant to show the Israeli government and the world that the villagers will not give up their struggle for their ancestral land. It was meant to show that they are not alone: that people of all nationalities, ethnicities, and religions stand in solidarity with them. It was an act of sumud (صمود), or steadfastness.
This morning, after a funeral took place in the village, the bulldozers returned and razed the newly-built shacks and newly-planted olive trees. This was the 28th demolition since last July.
Shacks built by villagers and volunteers on Friday morning
No, this is not a picture of democracy in the world.
This is the map overlay from Google Analytics for midthought’s June 20-July 20 visits. Almost 700! The previous month we logged a bit over 700. This is pretty amazing, I think. In less than a year (I purchased the domain in September of 2010), as inconsistent as our posting can be and as busy as we all are, we’ve managed to grow and attract new readers while holding strong with over 60% returning visitors.
So, this is just to say thank you! We believe we have something important to say and are a critical voice now and will continue to be so in the future, and even 700 visits a month feels like an accomplishment and a validation and willingness to listen on your parts. (I know, I know, we’re not quite to Facebook levels yet, but what do we look like, Mark Zuckerberg?)
So says a Jordanian about my own age quoted in today’s New York Times.
When I was studying abroad in Jordan several years ago, we were so indoctrinated that the security forces and secret police (mukhabarrat) were all-powerful and would immediately toss us in jail and we’d never see the light of day if we even so much thought something critical of the king or the government. I was probably paranoid, led to being overly cautious, but the argument that as foreigners and for some of us, as girls we would be easy targets was too compelling to permit disobedience. Continue reading →
n call it that) for his support of Israel’s worst policies. Nor will I detail the irony of his support of the Jewish presence in Israel so that the Messiah will come and take the “believers” (a.k.a. Christians) to heaven, or the spectacle of his cosying up to Israel’s radical politicians such as Likud MK Danny Danon, “the carefully coiffed Mad Hatter of Israeli Tea Party wannabes.” But if you’d like to, be my guest.
The recently-passed Israeli anti-boycott bill has been getting an unprecedented amount of press (I wonder, is it because it targets Jewish as well as non-Jewish citizens of Israel?). I thought it seemed prudent to highlight the many others bills and laws proposed by Knesset members over the last year and a half or so, simply because there is a sense, generally, that these laws are only just now starting to be written, which is simply untrue. The Anti-Boycott Law is only the most recent in a long, long legacy of this type of legislation. I didn’t bother to deal with executive orders or anything else because I needed a manageable amount of data.